You have heard it was said, ‘You must not commit adultery.’
But I say to you that anyone who even looks at a woman with a lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in her heart.
So, if your eye — even your good eye — causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. For it is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
And, if your hand — even your stronger hand — causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.
For it is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
~ Sermon on the Mount ~
Acharya Prashant: What is sin?
Sin is to be committed to anybody other than God.
What is woman? What does woman stand here for?
Woman stands for any object that is attractive, anything that you find attractive.
Sin is to be attracted to anything other than the Truth.
What is this one eye that the Jesus is saying that you better pluck out and throw away? It is that part of the mind that is attracted to something.
Reject that part of your mind that is attracted to anything other than the Truth.
The words of a Teacher must be listened in great attention and empathy; never take them literally. You will always otherwise misinterpret.
What is the definition of adultery?
Adultery does not mean that you are hanging out with somebody else’s wife. Adultery means that you are now taking something as a high priority and that something can never be God.
That is the real definition of adultery: To be disloyal to God.
There is no harm in being disloyal to this and that; every vow, every promise can be broken, but your first promise must never be broken. Your first promise, your first commitment is towards the Truth, and, if you break that, then you are an infidel, that is adultery.
Listener: Why is Jesus so strict about divorce?
AP: What is meant by divorce? Same as Kabir; Kabir also talks of the pativrata; the sati; the committed woman. It’s just a metaphor, it’s just a symbol. What is Jesus saying exactly?
Let’s read again.
“It was also said that whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.”
These were the original commandments, now Jesus is adding:
“But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife except on the ground of sexual immorality commits adultery and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
A divorced woman, in the language of Jesus, is a mind not in touch with God. This kind of usage of the terms man and woman was popularized later on greatly by both the Sufis and the Bhakti Saints.
In the bhakti tradition, every person, be it a man or a woman, is called a woman, and the only man is God. In the bhakti tradition, every human being is a woman and the only man is God. Then, what is a divorce? To be separated from God that is what Jesus means. In the Sufi tradition, God is a beautiful woman. Even there, what does divorce mean? To be separated from God. Jesus is making use of the word woman just as the bhakti Saints do.
L: Why is bible so difficult to read?
AP: It is not at all difficult to read, it just that the conditions of a time necessitate a particular kind of language.
L: It appears cryptic.
AP: Yes, it does. Then, read these statements in light of those that do not appear cryptic.
If you find a few statements cryptic or coded, you must be finding a lot many not cryptic or not coded. Use them to interpret these ones. If you understand eighty percent of what Jesus says and twenty percent remains obscure, then use the eighty percent to come to the twenty percent. He could not be contradicting himself, or could he be? Which means that eighty percent has to be in line with that twenty percent which you cannot decipher?
L: I had this idea that praying was about asking something and then as I understand it was actually about surrendering.
AP: To pray is to just surrender.
If you say anything, if you think anything then it is just the old pattern of desire, no more prayer. Do you see that this is not a character we think we know?
Here is somebody totally different, totally different.
~ Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Read more articles on this topic:
Article 2: On Jesus: What is celibacy?
Books by Acharya Prashant