Letter written by Swami Kriyananda

Dec. 17, 1991

Dear Friends:

Just twenty-six years ago this month I wrote a very special song, one that has remained for many people a favorite among my compositions. I still recall repeatedly wiping away the tears that I might see to write. It was a carol, and I gave it the name, “The Christmas Mystery.” The refrain went:

Who’ll tell to me this mystery:
How a tiny babe in a manger laid
Could so many hearts to love persuade?
This holy son of Mary.

We human beings have a tendency to look at the world around us superficially. We don’t see the deeper realities. When it comes to religion, we view it in terms of its outward labels: Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam. Thus, we overlook the essential message, which is one of inward reformation. By superficial worship we blind ourselves to the deep truths on which all the truly great religions were founded.

Though we, as human beings, are born into imperfection and limitation, our eternal—and indeed our only—mission in life is, through the lessons we learn here on earth, to unite our souls with the infinite Source of all life.

The religious spirit is that aspect of human nature which reaches up in longing for eternal realities. And religion itself is that teaching, and that code of behavior, which inspires and guides mankind toward the fulfillment of this soul aspiration.

Let us give birth to Divine Love in our hearts.

Let us then, during this Christmas season, view the birth of Jesus as—yes—a very special event in history, but also as one of the sweetest expressions of universal truth. Let the birth of Divine Love two thousand years ago in that little form inspire us to conceive, and give birth to, divine love within ourselves through the virgin purity of our hearts’ devotion to God.

In this way, Christmas can become a holy season not for Christians alone, but for people everywhere on earth, regardless of their outward religious affiliations.

The three wise men, who visited the Christ child with so much respect and adoration, came as representatives of the other great world religions. Let us, like them, open our hearts and souls to Universal Love as it calls out to us from altars of religion everywhere. Thus, may we solve at last that eternal challenge to our human understanding: the Christmas Mystery.

With love always in Him,
Swami Kriyananda