Steps Toward the Attaining of the Consciousness
Which was in Christ Jesus
The Victory of the Meek
By PARAMHANSA YOGANANDA
And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him.
And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? And they said, The Lord hath need of him.
And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way.
And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
This striking day in Jesus' life, described above, is a further instance of His omniscience and omnipotence. With His cosmic consciousness, He perceived the presence of the distant colt-which Matthew, in his version of the story, tells us was an ass -and, with a few simple words, Christ empowers the two messengers to get the owner's permission to take, for a stranger, his as-yet unridden beast.
As in all other emergencies of His life, Jesus here again proves that He had no need for the persuasion of gold, and ever found ready to His hand all material accessories to His plans.
The drama of this day in Jerusalem, which the disciples later came to realize (see John 12:14-16) was centered in its literal fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy (Zechariah 9:9-10):
Rejoice greatly, 0 daughter of Zion; shout, 0 daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.
In the versions set forth in Matthew 21:1-11 and John 12:12-16, as well as in Luke's story printed here, we learn that Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem was in very truth one in which the daughters and sons of Zion did "rejoice greatly" and "shout" as they beheld, and saluted by title, their King, " riding on an ass," as Zechariah had anciently foretold.
That Christ would choose the lowly ass for His mount is as symbolic of His way of life as that He was born in a stable. Zechariah spoke truly of a Messiah who would "cut off the chariot ... the horse ... and the battle bow ... he shall speak peace unto the heathen."
The Prince of Peace, whose only battle cry could be: Victory to the Meek! rode no fiery charger amidst a panoplied army, but sat on a gentle steed, small and serviceable to the daily ways of peace. His, "warriors," no ostentatious stalwarts, were only an unimposing band of selfless disciples. Verily, this King, before whom the multitudes spread their branches of palm, demonstrated once again that a son of God celebrates His dominion in meekness and lowliness of pride.
When Jesus rebuked the Pharisees, He meant that scripture must be fulfilled this day; that Zechariah's words, which required the multitudes to "rejoice greatly" and " shout," should come to pass. If men were forced to "hold their peace," the very stones-permeated too with God, essential in every atom of creation-would be empowered to hold faith with the scriptures.
Men of divine realization, like Jesus and John the Baptist, know that God alone upholds the structure of the universe, and that He can flame forth from every clod and molecule. Because to mortal eyes, a stone appears inert and Spiritless, both Jesus and John used it, on similar occasions of public rebuke, as a challenge to faith. The story concerning John is as follows:
Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, 0 generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father; for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. -Luke 3:7-8.
There is a further interpretation of Jesus' reference to the stones. If the cosmos is against might, if the sun wars not with the planets but retires at dueful time to give the stars their little sway, what avails our mailed fist? Shall any peace indeed come out of it? Therefore, Jesus implied, by His repudiation of the Pharisees' request, that divine justice is no figurative abstraction, and that a man of peace, though his tongue be torn from its roots, will yet find his speech and his defense in the bedrock of creation, the universal order itself.
"Think ye," Jesus said to the Pharisees, "to silence men of peace? As well may ye hope to throttle the voice of God, whose very stones sing His righteousness and His omnipresence. Wilt thou demand that men not celebrate peace, but war only? Then makest thy preparations to overtopple the foundations of the world; for it is not gentle men alone, but stones, or earth, and water and fire and air that will rise up against thee, to bear witness of His ordered harmony.
Thus, as Zechariah had long ago foreseen, Christ on this occasion spoke "peace to the heathen," proclaiming that not cruelty but goodwill arms the universal sinews. He who "is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass" will know the endless fruits of victory, sweeter to the taste than any nurtured on the soil of blood.
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