Moksha as God’s Free Gift for Everyone
Merry Christmas! Or happy Yeshu Jayanti! Have you ever wondered about the true meaning of Christmas? In essence, it is the celebration of God’s deep love for us – that God himself, who is our Creator, was born into humanity. He was born as the man Jesus or Yeshu in order to grant us the free gift of moksha, meaning salvation or liberation. And that is good news! What follows is an elaboration of this wonderful offer of God and how to receive it.
Why was Jesus born?
We did not have any choice concerning our own birth – whether to be born or not, the place or the family of our birth, etc. But unlike us, God, who always exists, does not need a birth to begin his existence. So why would the Almighty God lower himself to become a mere human being? Not only that, instead of being born as a king or a warrior, he chose a lowly birth. So low that his parents could not even lay him in a cradle, but laid him in a manger, a feeding tray for the cattle. According to the Holy Bible, before Jesus was born one of God’s angels declared, “you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). The word Jesus means “savior.” So he was born to save us from our sins.
Sins? I am Not a Sinner! Am I?
God established Dharma, i.e. the moral law, and desires that we be morally perfect. Anytime we violate God’s law, we miss the mark. This is called sin. Consider, for instance, when you tell even a small white lie. According to God’s dharma, we are to be truthful and honest. The Holy Bible records the words of God in the Ten Commandments, one of which says “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16). So when we lie, God’s dharma is violated, and we break his heart. Our God-given conscience flags this and screams deep within us to tell us that we are doing something wrong. Has this happened to you? This is one way for us to know when we have sinned, namely this inward sense of guilt.
So What if I Do Sin?
When we ignore or suppress our conscience, this inner voice becomes quieter. With time, our conscience is seared and silenced. We become numb to lying, and sinning in general. Because of this disagreement with God’s dharma and the silencing of our conscience, deep within us we have effectively “unfriended” God. We have rejected him and have rebelled against God. So even when God speaks to us we have stopped listening or responding to him. It’s a breakdown of our spiritual relationship with God. The Bible says this is our condition from birth. We are born in sin and spiritually dead. It’s universal, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:23). In spite of this, we continue to experience God’s material blessings such as good health, family life and earthly comforts. But spiritually, we are empty and dead to God. Sin causes spiritual death and separation from God.
I am a Hindu. Does This Apply to Me?
That’s a good question. Hinduism teaches the concepts of karma, which is good works done to earn moksha, and samsara, which is the endless cycle of reincarnation. No matter how much good karma we do in this life, we know that we can’t finish earning our moksha. So we end up in a cycle of rebirths that we cannot escape. In other words, according to this teaching even our own death is not a sufficient prayaschit, meaning compensation or payment for our sins. Adi Sankara articulates this entrapment in his famous poem Baja Govindam. He speaks of the agony of being trapped in this cycle of samsara without mukti or freedom. Mukti from samsara is indeed moksha, which amounts to freedom from our sins. And this remains elusive for everyone in this system.
In our fast-paced modern world, we get easily fooled and distracted. We drown out, and even suppress, the feeble inner spiritual plea for moksha with the powerful noise of ambition and greed. In the rat race for earthly comforts and unspiritual things, we are lost and defeated. So we sprinkle some acts of service and devotional exercises to feel good about ourselves. If we are honest, we are still left yearning spiritually for God, for freedom and for a fulfilling life.
How Can Yeshu Save Us From This Mess?
Just like a simple sin snowballs into an irreparable separation from God, a perfect prayaschit can begin reversing the damage of sin. This is what God chose to do out of his deep love for us, “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (2 Cor 5:21). Being God, he chose to be born as a human being, and led a perfectly sinless life. He suffered and offered his life as a sacrifice, or balidan, on our behalf by dying on the cross. Yeshu chose to die instead of us, meaning in our place by taking our sins upon himself. In this way, Yeshu became our perfect prayaschit. Because of his sacrificial death, we are offered forgiveness for our sins. In other words, our karmic debt can be canceled by his perfect sacrifice, thereby setting us free. Thus, Yeshu offers us moksha through his death.
Is Yeshu’s Death a Sufficient Prayaschit For Our Sins?
Yes! Because he is God, he is infinite, sinless and perfect. Therefore, his death is sufficient to satisfy God’s dharma. This is further attested in his resurrection from death to life. The Bible records that on the third day after his crucifixion, he was raised to life. This is evidence that his death was a sufficient payment to redeem everyone from their sins.
How to Receive Moksha as a Gift?
By faith! Yes, it’s that simple and yet it is profound. The Bible says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). It is not by our own karma but by faith in Yeshu we receive the free gift of moksha from God. By trusting in Jesus, by believing in him – his death and resurrection, we are granted moksha by God as a gift. It sets us free from having to endlessly and fruitlessly earn our salvation. It sets us free from the guilt of sin and the power of sin, which is death. And it puts us in a relationship with God. Through faith in Jesus, God becomes our Father, and we become his children.
This is the true meaning of Christmas: God became a child so that we may become a child of God! What beautiful news! This Christmas, we invite you to receive God’s gift of moksha in Yeshu.
If you have any spiritual questions or would like to know more, contact us. In addition, to inspire you throughout the year, Yeshu Samaj would like to offer you a special calendar that explores this beautiful message through a penetrating array of art works. Since the supplies are limited, we request you to reserve your copy by clicking ‘Request Calendars’.