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Mike Godfrey
Mike Godfrey
Mike Godfrey is an 86-year-old retired GP from Tauranga.

Thoughts on Easter and Rebirth

Easter opinion
Photo – © Mike Godfrey.

On July 2nd, 1960, Pope John XXIII issued a proclamation in the Vatican Newspaper entitled The Complete Salvation of Jesus Christ’s Body in which he stated that the complete ‘salvation’ of the human race was effected through the blood of Jesus, and that death was not essential to this end. Did the Pope know of ‘inconvenient truths’ in dusty documents in the Vatican vaults? The Gospels end with the Crucifixion in the following days, but what happened next?

The answer could have been more prosaic. The man known as Jesus, together with his mother Mary and the disciple Thomas, simply retraced his footsteps back along the Silk Road that he had previously travelled to India and Tibet as a teenager and acquired Spiritual Awareness. Notably, Jesus was reportedly only on the cross for some hours before Joseph of Arimathea obtained Pilate’s permission to have the body taken down before the start of the Jewish Sabbath.

In 1980, Peggy Mason and her husband Ron from Tunbridge Wells, England, both in their 70s and on their first and only visit to the Avatar Sathya Sai Baba’s Ashram near Bangalore, were given three private interviews in as many days. Peggy and Ron later wrote Sathya Sai Baba – The Embodiment of Love including this most important conversation to quote:

Swami, there’s something I’ve wanted to know for a long time. Did the physical body of Jesus recover in the tomb? I mean, it wasn’t a materialised body of spirit – in the same way that Yogananda’s Master showed himself to him in fully materialised form three months after he had been buried?

Swami replied, ‘No – the physical body. No spirit materialised body. The physical.’ ‘Ah!’ I said, ‘Then did he journey to the East, continuing his mission to Kashmir?’

‘Yes – and he also travelled to Calcutta and Malaysia.’

‘Then is it the body of Jesus which was buried in the Rozabal Shrine at Srinagar in Kashmir?’ Swami nodded and said ‘Yes.’

According to Peggy Mason, Jesus was accompanied by Mary who died not far from Rawalpindi in Pakistan where the small town of Murree and her tomb at Pindi Point remain an important shrine. The Bhavishya Mahapurana revealed that Jesus continued his ministry for many years being befriended by the Raja Shalevahin who promised obedience to his teachings.

After Jesus’ ultimate death at presumably an old age near Srinagar, Thomas arranged for his tomb to be placed East-West at the site and an ancient carved stone alongside reportedly shows two deformed feet. Descendants of the same family apparently looked after a now somewhat dilapidated Rozabal tomb on a street corner in Srinagar. Thomas continued the teaching until his death in India where the 16th century St. Thomas’ Basilica and Cathedral still stands over his tomb in Chennai.

The implications of Pope John’s proclamation, together with confirmation of Jesus having left Jordan after recovering from death and the subsequent tomb in Kashmir would predictably challenge the very foundations of Christianity when exclusively linked to his death on the Cross and disappearance up into Heaven. However, the most important Message God gave the world through Jesus, served to irrevocably take the western civilisations away from the Roman pantheon of 12 warring gods towards the Truth as we now know it.

The late Dr. John Hislop, one of the earliest Americans to be drawn to Sai Baba, relates in his book, Sai Baba and I, the following incident. It occurred in 1973 when Jack spent many weeks in daily close contact with Sai Baba.

As we passed a bush, Swami broke off two twigs, placed them together and asked me, “What is this, Hislop?” “Well Swami, it is a cross,” I answered. Baba then closed his fingers over the twigs and directed three somewhat slow breaths into his fist, between thumb and forefinger. Then he opened his hand to reveal a Christ figure on a Cross, and he gave it to me. He said, “This shows Christ as he really was at the time he left his body, not as artists have imagined him. His stomach is pulled in and his ribs are all showing. He had no food for eight days.”

I looked at the crucifix but found no words. Baba then continued: “The wood in the cross is the same as the wood of the actual cross on which Christ was crucified. To find some of that wood after 2000 years took a little time! The image is of Christ after he died. It is a dead face.” I noticed something odd and asked, “Swami, what is that hole at the top of the cross?” Baba replied that the cross was suspended from a standard.

The manifestation of the cross with a hole at the top revealed not only a more practical truth namely, that there would have been permanently erected posts in the hard, rocky ground with a peg onto which to hang a cross, but also that Sai Baba had a genuine ability to access that momentous event.

Omnipresence obviously relates to not only space but also time as the latter is dependent on the observer’s relative position. However, it appears that these so-called physical limitations do not apply to a hologram or to the Avatar Sai Baba.

What is a genuine Avatar? The formless divine consciousness we identify as God exhibiting the 3 ‘omnis’ (omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience) can presumably take form whenever and wherever appropriate.

The Avatar Sri Sathya Sai Baba revealed all 3 omnis, together with a divine sense of humour from infancy, and there are numerous books and videos on his life. When challenged by a youth with ‘Are you God?’ He replied, ‘So are you but you don’t know it.’ He left the physical at Easter 2011 with the promise of returning as another boy in the near future. We have even been shown his likeness in a cameo manifested on a ring last century.

As far as I know, the fact that the cross was lifted up, and hung on a post, has never been depicted in any description or painting of the crucifixion but it makes practical sense.

The Roman soldiers would likely have insisted on this, considering the required depth of holes in the rocky ground capable of holding up long posts with the unfortunate victims who had to then be removed before another was impaled. It was a routine form of Roman punishment and permanent structures like gallows would have been there. Notably, it would be almost impossible to drive fat iron nails through flesh and bone into the cross-pieces of an erect 2-metre post compared to it being first laid flat on the ground. Ask any farmer.

I consider that Jesus died on the Cross following the Roman lance piercing his chest, and his life was restored. Whether this was the first recorded NDE (Near Death Experience) or a miracle is immaterial. We only have one example of Jesus’ ability to restore life with Lazarus and there could well have been unrecorded others during his decades-long ministry in Asia.

However, there are three well-documented events involving this Avatar, with one an elderly American, another an Indian after 2 days of putrefaction, and the third an elderly Brigadier Bose who died in the ashram auditorium whilst listening to a Sai Baba discourse. After a doctor had confirmed death, Sai Baba stepped down from the podium, walked over and instantly brought Bose back to life.

Years later, I spent an hour with S.K. Bose listening to him and his life’s recollections including his NDE. Under Sai Baba’s directions, Bose was the engineer directing most of the extensive ashram buildings as well as a 300 bed Speciality Hospital completed in one year offering free heart and kidney treatment. Notably, all of these were completed in an otherwise impossibly short ‘miraculous’ time frame.

Bose humbly maintained that he was just an instrument.

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  1. What a beautiful discourse for Easter. I always find it fascinating to hear what Indian writings tell us about the history of the West. Why don’t we heed this more? I never felt drawn to Sai Baba but I have been in the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and it is a special energy. You were fortunate to have had this amazing teacher. Today, I wish I had made the effort to meet him but all is well and as it should be. Thank you for sharing Dr. Godfrey.


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