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The Gospel of John in the Light of Indian Mysticism Paperback – August 16, 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Catches the tone and spirit of St. John and this gospel’s profound coherence with other traditions, particularly the Hindu tradition in India and of course the Bhagavad Gita." (Father Thomas Berry, co-author of The Universe Story)

"Looking at Christ through Hindu eyes, Ravindra's 'external' view of Christ is in ways more faithful to Christian history than much Western Christology now manages to be. This makes Christ the Yogi something of a landmark in interfaith dialogue." (Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions)

"The book's real value lies in bringing readers into contact with the Gospel itself, highlighting its yogic nature, connecting us to the mystery that leads to rebirth in the Spirit." (Yoga International)

"The main qualification for an interpreter of a religious text is the ability to discern true wisdom--something Ravindra certainly can do. . . . Christ the Yogi is one of the best studies on a book of the Bibles that I have read. It has opened aspects of John's Gospel that were previously closed to me." (Gnosis, 1998)

"A loving pondering over one of the most beautiful and probably most esoteric of the Four Gospels of the Christian tradition." (The Theosophical Society)

"This nonsectarian evaluation of Jesus and the Gospel of John is another good example of the fruits of interfaith dialogue." (Frederic Brussat, Cultural Information Service)

“A dazzlingly brilliant spiritual and cross-cultural study of the most mystical of the books of the Bible, the Gospel of John. Few will finish this book unchanged, either intellectually or spiritually.” (Robert Ellwood, author of The Cross and the Grail)

“Shows the benefits that cross-cultural perspectives can bring, helping readers to see with the heart as well as the head. . . . The best study of St. John’s Gospel that I have found.” (James George, Parabola)

"In this new revision, Mr. Ravinda is surely helping to establish an interfaith sensibility in which beauty and truth in all religions can be simultaneously appreciated and embraced." (The Beacon, May/June 2005)

“Through the Gospel of John and references to the Bhagavad Gita, which are both cosmological and mystical, the author, in this book, brings about a cross-cultural spiritual presentation, which is brilliant and electrifying.” (East and West Series, February 2013)

“If you’re looking for an in-depth, metaphysical analysis of the New Testament’s Fourth Gospel, you won’t do any better than Canadian Physics and Comparative Religion Professor Ravi Ravindra’s The Gospel of John in the Light of Indian Mysticism.” (Alan Glassman, New Dawn, June 2013)

From the Back Cover

MYSTICISM / CHRISTIAN STUDIES

“Catches the tone and spirit of St. John and this gospel’s profound coherence with other traditions, particularly the Hindu tradition in India and of course the Bhagavad Gita.”
--Father Thomas Berry, coauthor of The Universe Story

“A dazzlingly brilliant spiritual and cross-cultural study of the most mystical of the books of the Bible, the Gospel of John. Few will finish this book unchanged, either intellectually or spiritually.”
--,Robert Ellwood author of The Cross and the Grail

“Shows the benefits that cross-cultural perspectives can bring, helping readers to see with the heart as well as the head. . . . The best study of St. John’s Gospel that I have found.”
--James George, Parabola

The Gospel of John differs notably from the other canonical gospels in its overall point of view concerning Jesus Christ and his mission on earth: It is much more cosmological in scale and mystical in nature and has long been considered more esoteric. In The Gospel of John in the Light of Indian Mysticism Ravi Ravindra explores this scripture--which he considers one of the world’s great spiritual texts--from a Hindu perspective, taking us into the heart of St. John’s words. His commentary on the verses in the gospel eloquently and convincingly reveals the interconnectedness of all faiths and the growing need in today’s world for interfaith dialogue. For those concerned with the emergence of a universal spirituality, Ravindra provides a source of light, a translucent pool of wisdom that offers from its depths an immense and lasting spiritual vision.

Born and educated in India before moving to Canada, RAVI RAVINDRA holds master’s degrees in technology, physics, and philosophy and a Ph.D. in physics. He was the founding director of the Threshold Award for Integrative Knowledge and is currently professor emeritus at Dalhousie University in Halifax, where he served as professor and chair of comparative religion and adjunct professor of physics. His other books include Science and the Sacred, Krishnamurti: Two Birds on One Tree, Yoga and the Teaching of Krishna, and Whispers from the Other Shore. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions; Revised edition (August 16, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594770182
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594770180
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #376,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Brian Robertson on February 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
The odd part is, when Christianity tries to present itself as exclusive because of the person of Jesus it limits God and, as Ravi Ravindra states, belittles the depth of both Jesus and God and certainly their relationship.

As a Christian who has studied Hindu, Vedanta, Buddhist, Sufi, Taoist and other paths, I find Ravindra's book does more to bolster my faith in God and my respect for Jesus and, I hope, that makes me a better Christian. By going through the Gospel of John and commenting on the verses from an "outsider's" point of view, Ravindra has crafted a wonderful source that no only illuminates Jesus' words but also mixes in the remarkable parallels found in the Bhagavad Gita, for instance, perhaps the supreme spiritual text in humankind.

Ravindra is careful to say again and again that when Jesus spoke the "I" statements found in John (as opposed to the other gospels) he must be read with the understanding that Jesus had emptied himself completely and surrendered to God. In becoming, as I would say, transparent to the Transcendent, Jesus can easily be misunderstood as either an egomaniac or a madman or speaking so exclusively about himself that we have no use for him.

I'm not sure this book will immediately open the eyes of a hardened Fundamentalist to the fact that we can often make God as small and petty and territorial as we can be. For people who have been a part of Christianity and have looked into other avenues to God, this will be a welcome addition to their spiritual readings and meditations.
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Format: Paperback
If you're looking for an in-depth, metaphysical analysis of the New Testament's Fourth Gospel, you won't do any better than Canadian Physics and Comparative Religion Professor Ravi Ravindra's The Gospel of John in the Light of Indian Mysticism. Originally released back in 1990 as Yoga of the Christ, and again in 1998 as Christ the Yogi: a Hindu Reflection on the Gospel of John, the book shows Dr. Ravindra's deep understanding of the mystical teachings encoded into the narrative of an arguably often misinterpreted document attributed to John the Apostle.

A long-time seeker, Ravindra emphasizes in his interpretation of The Gospel According to St. John that he sees it as pointing in a direction that can aid one in the search for inner transformation. Viewed from this angle, the Gospel's text takes on greatly expanded new and revelatory meaning. Perhaps because of his background in traditions of the East, Dr. Ravindra is able to comfortably make comparisons to ideas in other sacred writings which illustrate the richness of the metaphoric and symbolic allusions that have come down to us over the centuries since this Gospel first came to light. The reader who possesses even the slightest nature of spiritual inquiry will find this book tending to promote increased meaning and aim to his or her path. It furthers the practitioner's awakening to a state of increased openness to that which can and might be transmitted from a higher consciousness. Along this line, Ravindra encourages us to "allow the Gospel to work its magic lifting us above ourselves."

What becomes increasingly clear are the various levels of being within each of us. The book encourages one to rise above even religion itself to a new level of awareness by "letting the inner Christ grow in us.
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Deep stuff and a great re-edit of this book previously published under a different title (Christ as a Yogi). We liked the first edition and think that this re-write is a little more accessible for those without prior knowledge of Hinduism.
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I found Ravindra's book fresh and illuminating--one of the better attempts at interfaith dialogue that I have encountered. Instead of getting too broad, Ravindra keeps his focus on the Gospel of John, then relates the Gospel line by line to Indian Mystical Tradition. This book offers a model for effective inter-faith dialogue... Just focus on a particular text from another faith tradition and compare it meaningfully to one's own tradition. Inter-faith dialogue is most constructive when it is focused and when one is firmly rooted in one's own tradition. Bravo!
-Amos Smith (author of Healing The Divide: Recovering Christianity's Mystic Roots)
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