Dharma for Awakening
Saint Augustine wrote in the fourth century: “The identical thing that we now call the Christian religion existed among the ancients and has not been lacking from the beginnings of the human race until the coming of Christ in the flesh, from which moment on the true religion, which already existed, began to be called ‘Christian.’”
Earlier Saint Paul had written that the Christian Gospel was that which had already been taught throughout the whole world, “which was preached to every creature which is under heaven” (I Colossians 1:23).
Authentic Christianity is not new, but eternal in essence, embracing the Ancient Wisdom (dharma) that has existed from the beginning of the world, especially that of the Far East. All master teachers of humanity, including Jesus the Christ, were revivers of that Wisdom, which at their time was either lost or almost extinguished.
Except for the New Testament, very few early Christian writings have survived. Those that have, such as The Odes of Solomon, The Gospel of Thomas and a handful of fragments, show a very different Christianity from that of today. To supply this defect, we must look to the East–especially India where Jesus spent over half his life. As a Saint Thomas Christian priest once remarked: “You cannot understand the teachings of Jesus unless you know the scriptures of India.”
Included in this site is material regarding the “lost years” of Jesus in India and their influence on his message and mission, for this is very necessary to an understanding of the teachings of Jesus. Along with commentaries on ancient Eastern texts that have been written with a Christian perspective, are other modern materials such as The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ, both text and commentary.
Discover more by exploring the following articles and books:
Jesus and India:
- The Christ of India—Jesus lived most of his life in India before becoming a missionary-martyr of Eternal Truth (Sanatana Dharma) in the West. This booklet presents the full story, including the historical texts about His life in India, and the inevitable conclusions that must be drawn about The Real Jesus and His Real Teachings. Written by Abbot George Burke (Swami Nirmalananda Giri)
- The Unknown Life of Christ—By Nicholas Notovich. The English translation of Notovich’s French translation of a Tibetan-language manuscript regarding the life of Jesus in India, which he found in a monastery of Ladakh where Jesus had actually lived.
Dharma for Awakening Series
- Bhagavad Gita for Awakening—The endless spiritual treasures of this essential scripture have been mined by saints, scholars, and devotees throughout the ages. Through a unique combination of exhaustive study and scholarship, and insight and wisdom gleaned from personal experience, Abbot George Burke’s commentary offers new gems that will enrich all true seekers.
- Upanishads for Awakening—Sanatana Dharma in its primal form is to be found in the Isha, Kena, Katha, Prashna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Taittiriya, Aitaryeya, Chandogya, Brihadaranyaka, and Svetashvatara Upanishads. These eleven texts (upanishad means “teaching”–literally “that which was heard when sitting near”) are attached to the Vedas, the ancient hymns of the Indian sages, and also knows as Vedanta, the End of the Vedas. The following texts provide useful commentaries on these important scriptures. By Abbot George Burke
- Dhammapada for Awakening—The Dhammapada is not a transcription of a single talk by Gautama the Buddha. Rather, it is a collection of his words on the most important subjects for those seeking Nirvana. It was compiled only three months after his passing away by his enlightened disciples (arhats), who gave it the name Dhammapada, which means “Portions of the Dharma” or “The Way of Dharma.” The Dhammapada is a distillation of forty-five years of teaching. This commentary is the completion of a years-long project, and students of practical spiritual life will find it an invaluable aid to their practice. By Abbot George Burke
- Tao Teh King for Awakening—Lao Tse was born in the Hunan province around 604 B.C., and eventually became historian and librarian of the Emperor’s royal library at the Court of Chow. Loving solitude, he was rarely seen, but he met the great Confucius at least once, inspiring him to say about Lao Tse: “This day I have seen a dragon. Birds have wings to fly with, fish have fins to swim with, wild beasts have feet to run with. For feet there are traps, for fins nets, for wings arrows. But who knows how dragons surmount wind and clouds into heaven?” Those who know and comprehend the teachings of Lao Tse know how–and do. This commentary on Lao Tse’s Tao Teh King is extremely useful for students of dharma. By Abbot George Burke
- Light on the Path for Awakening—In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, an Englishwoman named Mabel Collins was inspired to record teachings on the beginnings of the spiritual quest in a small book called Light On The Path. She did not consider herself the author but only the transmitter. Therefore she insisted that the title page say: “Written down by M. C.” In the following commentary we will be carefully analyzing her inspired transcription, for those who would make the Great journey must know both the path and how to travel upon it. By Abbot George Burke
Writings on Sanatana Dharma and Study Aids
- The Catechism of Enlightenment —Shankara outlines in a section titled “A Method Of Enlightening A Disciple” from the Upadeshasahasri–A Thousand Teachings–how the aspirants should receive the first instructions in the inquiry as to the nature of the Self. It begins “We shall now explain a method of teaching the means to liberation for the benefit of those aspirants after liberation who are desirous and are possessed of faith.” The texts cited certainly need comment–as Shankara assumed those who used his text would do. This commentary by Abbot George Burke (Swami Nirmalananda Giri) provides that commentary.
- Six Systems of Hindu Philosophy—One of the best summations of this subject, by Raghavan Iyer.
- A Brief Sanskrit Glossary—A great aid for students of Eastern thought, this glossary illumines the many sanskrit terms found in the scriptures and commentaries found on this site.
- Sacred Texts—A collection of scriptures and other texts for spiritual study.