The Jews like other people of the time, were a mixture of traits good and bad. But all those dwelling in that holy land shared the desire to be free. For some, that meant freedom from the oppression of Rome, with its soldiers and tax collectors. For others it meant liberty from poverty and daily toil. But a few yearned for spiritual liberation and freedom from delusion, the greatest of all oppressors.
From those thirsty ones arose a soul call, and God responded. The Christ consciousness descended to earth as an avatar, a free soul bearing the knowledge of God’s presence in every heart and every atom. God’s love, condensed into the form of the baby Jesus, came to all those willing to receive him.
First to receive him was Mary, pure of heart and body, who accepted the invitation of God’s angel to become the mother of a Christ. Much joy and much suffering awaited her. Then there was the tiny form of John the Baptist, yet unborn, who leapt in his mother’s womb at the very approach of his spiritual master. Later would come the disciples, outwardly simple, but great saints all, on the very cusp of merging back into the light. Many others, too, would hold up their cups of spiritual longing, and the Christ would fill each according to its capacity.
Jesus chose as his birthplace, not an inn of luxury or a mansion of pride, but a humble stable: His kingdom was of the heart and mind, not the purse or palace. To this simple shed came three great souls from India. Knowing that an incarnation of compassion had taken birth, they traveled from the East, whence comes the light of day, to pay homage and to renew an ancient connection. These wise men, who Yogananda tells us were Babaji, Lahiri Mahasaya, and Sri Yukteswar, followed the inner star of wisdom and intuition known as the spiritual eye. And they brought to God, in the tiny form of Jesus, symbolic gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Later the young avatar would return to them, visiting the land of India and preparing himself for his world-changing mission.
This same Christ consciousness awaits the time when you and I long to receive Him. When the desire for the pleasures and dramas of the world fades, and the yearning for the divine light grows keen, He will come. The few remaining shadows will vanish and we too will live in the eternal freedom of God.