May the Lord of Lords, Mahavira, whom all the hosts of saints keep in mind, all the rulers of men and angels praise, and all the scriptures—Vedas, Puranas, and Sastras—extol, make my heart his abode.~ Jainism. Samayika Patha
May the Lord of Lords, who cuts asunder the net of worldly afflictions and sorrows, perceives the innermost secrets of the universe, and is the pure introvert Self capable of being visualized by the yogins, reside in my heart.
I grew up in the Unitarian Church in Westport, Connecticut, USA. We definitely celebrated Christmas and the birth of Jesus. But it was an interfaith celebration.
A wonderfully creative couple—John and Olivia Vlahos—had scripted a theatrical Christmas Eve service. It was full of laughter, music, and drama. And it delighted adults and us children.
At one point, with the lights dim, a brass fanfare and a spoken evocation introduced sages from throughout history into the chapel—Zarathustra, Moses, Jesus, and others from around the world. A traditional candle-lighting followed. That might have been common even then. But it certainly enchanted me as a child.
Even though I grew up in that kind of very open religious environment, I have become more familiar with Judeo-Christian traditions than with other faiths and spiritual paths from around the world. This reflects my roots and the prevailing culture in which I live, and my own chosen spiritual path.
And still…I believe deeply that at the root of our human experience, there is only one faith. Not mine or yours. One faith. We either have faith in life, in what put us here, and the source of love and wisdom within us all, or we don’t. We have faith in ourselves and humankind, or we do not.
The quote I have chosen this week reminds me of the words from the Hallelujah Chorus:
King of kings! and Lord of lords!
And He shall reign forever and ever
Honestly, I am not a student of Jainism. But I take the words of this quotation as a confirmation of the one faith I refer to, known by people around the world, in their own terms.
And as this Christmas Eve draws near, I too say, Lord of Lords, reside in my heart. Make my heart your abode. Stay with me always, in and through all things.
Thank you, John and Olivia, wherever you may now be. Thank you to all Jains who are true to the one faith.
And to all people from whatever faith or tradition, Merry Christmas!
We, the authors of this blog, dedicate it to the transparent exploration of the world’s sacred scripture and enlightened spiritual thought. We believe that the original inspiration of all faiths comes from a common source, named and revered in a myriad of ways. With that understanding, the innumerable symbols, beliefs, and practices of faith cease to divide. They become open windows to a common reality that inspires and unifies us. We find deeper insight and nourishment in our own faith and from the expression of faith from others.
We hope these weekly quotations and meditations speak to your heart and soul.