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25 Dec 2011

“Om for the holidays”: My greetings & Swami Sivananda on the meaning of Christmas

 

 

Wishing all my family and friends who celebrate Christmas

a very happy and joyous day!

 


WHAT CHRISTMAS MEANS TO ME

by Sri Swami Sivananda

Combining as it does, the joy of life and the Spirit of God, the festival of Christmas comes each year, after the approaching herald of a new year, with its sweet message and silent shifting of our attention, more and yet more to the spiritual pursuits in which alone consist man’s real peace, true progress, and everlasting glory. Whether it was Jane Taylor or Watts who affirmed, “Lord, I ascribe it to Thy grace, and not to chance, as others do, that I was born of Christian race,” it is no expression of any spirit of fanaticism, but a humble acknowledgement of the excellent benefits that the genuine Christian way and style of life confers upon one. It is an eloquent tribute to the First Christmas divinely celebrated in the Christ’s crib one thousand, nine hundred and fifty-six years ago, a tribute paid by one who has reaped in experience the life-making fruits of the seeds sown by the birth of Christ. Besides that elevation of sentiments that inspiration for the inmost spirit in man, that gladness of heart for all, Happy Christmas renews and revivifies in us splendid spiritual values, unyielding spirit of courage, hope, service and sacrifice, a wider and more profound meaning of life to live by. Nothing but a complete volume of weighty writing becomes necessary for any satisfactory narration of the Great Meaning that Christmas has always held for each of us. May this Christmas bring to everyman on earth, immense happiness, persisting peace, a new strength, a long life of service, love, sacrifice and spiritual progress!

This message was written in 1956 for the special Christmas Issue of ‘The Guardian’, Madras.




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