Thursday, October 28, 2010

Egalitarian Spirituality

Egalitarian Spirituality

Sant Mat Quote of the Day:

Once a Brahman while bathing in the Ganges was asking a Sudra [member of the untouchable caste] to move off, lest his touch might pollute him. Tulsi Sahib noticed this and said, "Yours, sir, is a very strange sastra [scriptural regulation]! If the Ganges is so pure on account of her origin from Visnu's feet, why should a Sudra who has sprung up from the self-same feet be so impure?"

Brahman-Pharisee Parallels

The above story about Sant Tulsi Sahib on the theme of ritual verses real spiritual purity reminds me of this delightful account recorded in an unknown gospel discovered in 1905 in Egypt given the name "Oxyrhynchus 840":

Taking the disciples along, Yeshua lead them into the inner sanctuary itself and wandered around in the temple. Then a certain high priest of the Pharisees named Levi came toward them and said to the savior, "Who permitted you to wander in this place of purification and to see these holy vessels, even though you have not bathed and the feet of your disciples have not been washed? And now that you have defiled it, you walk around in this pure area of the temple where only a person who has bathed and changed his clothes can walk, and even such a person does not dare to look upon these holy vessels."

Standing nearby with his disciples, the savior replied, "Since you are here in the temple too, I take it you are clean?"

The Pharisee said to him, "I am clean. For I bathed in the pool of David. I went down into the pool by one set of stairs and came back out by another. Then I put on white clothes and they were clean. And then I came and looked at these holy vessels."

Replying to him, the savior said, "Woe to blind people who do not see! You have washed in the gushing waters that dogs and pigs are thrown into day and night. And when you washed yourself, you scrubbed the outer layer of skin, the layer of skin that prostitutes and flute-girls anoint and wash and scrub when they put on make up to become the desire of the men. But inside they are filled with scorpions and all unrighteousness. But my disciples and I, whom you say have not washed, we have washed in waters of eternal life that come from the God of heaven."