Have you ever started reading a book and before you were halfway through already start making plans for the next time you are going to read it? Well, that was my experience with the book The Gospel of John in the Light of Indian Mysticism by Ravi Ravindra.
In this book, Ravindra takes a look at the Gospel of John, going section by section, and interpreting it through the lens of an individual who is well versed in mystic and spiritual truths from the Eastern continents. Ravindra shows how this gospel can be interpreted and read in a manner that provides similarities to other religious works.
Although this view of connecting the gospel to Eastern religions is the main crux of this work, Ravindra also spends a considerable amount of time telling how he interprets the words and messages from this gospel and from Jesus. It is clear that Ravindra is well versed in a variety of religious philosophies as well as experienced in a mystical viewpoint in reading these ancient texts.
What Ravindra did was write in a way which spoke to my heart. I felt my heart echoing in response to his interpretation and the message that he was conveying from this writing.
I would say, this book has a very specific audience in mind. It is helpful to have an open mind in terms of religious contexts which can be hard, especially as it involves Christianity. Many people that may come at this work from a desire to learn a more Eastern perspective will be thrown off by the religious nature and texture of this work.
For me personally, this book came into my awareness at a very opportune time. I have recently undertaken the task of reading the Bible (finished with the New Testament and am making my way through the Old currently) and this book helps expand and develop my own personal interpretation of the text. As my knowledge of Christianity is largely culturally based, my understanding of the text of this religious document is based mainly from a background of metaphysical and mystical understanding.
Basically, as someone reading the Bible for the first time with a lens for the mystical, I likely get a different message from the words than those who grew up with the doctrine and dogma inherent in the text. I actually was shocked to find that the doctrine that underlies most of the Christian church is not from the gospels, but interpretation of other letters and writings.
So, if you are of a particular ilk where you enjoy the words of Jesus and desire a deeper understanding of the Gospel through a broader interpretation and a slightly Eastern perspective, this is an amazing book which I highly recommend.
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