Tibetan Buddhism Takes a Messianic Direction

The Messianic Spirit, like a secret agent, ‘blows where he wills’, and has been active in, and influenced, many persons, cultures, spiritual paths..

This change of direction in Tibetan Buddhism is manifest in the story of Geshe Chekhawa who lived in the 11th century AD.

He was an advanced master of meditation but one day he stumbled upon two lines in a book that threw him= “Give all profit and gain to others, take all loss and defeat on yourself.” The unconditional love expressed in these lines astonished him. He set out to find the master who had taken such a new step, but this person was dead; instead, after a long search, he met the person’s chief disciple. He asked the disciple how important these two lines were for Buddhism, and received an unexpected reply: “Whether you like it or not, you will have to live this teaching if you truly desire to attain Buddhahood.” This reply shocked Geshe Chekhawa almost as much as his first encounter with the lines..

He stayed with the disciple for 12 years to study this new teaching, undergoing all kinds of hardships and ordeals, receiving criticism and abuse from other Buddhists. At the end of his life, Geshe Chekhawa told his followers he had been praying to be reborn in the hell realms, so as to be of help to all the beings there. Unfortunately, he added, he had a dream showing him he would be reborn in the realm of the Buddhas. He was disappointed and begged his students, with tears in his eyes, to pray to the Buddhas that this would not happen, and that his passionate yearning to help the beings in hell would be granted.

Sogyal Rinpoche describes such passionate love as “dedicating ourselves to others, taking on their suffering rather than cherishing ourselves” [‘The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying’, 1992, p 189].

This is exactly what the Cross teaches, and more importantly, accomplishes as an actual turn-around, a reversal, in the deepest abyss of the human heart, so that such an urging of the heart becomes ‘grounded’ in the Spirit of God dwelling there.

Similarly Redemptive in Spirit is this Sufi poem=

“Unlike someone who begs on the street for money to survive,
A dervish begs to give you his life.”

And this Egyptian Desert saying of Abba Agathon=

“If I could meet a leper, give him my body and take his, I should be very happy. That is true love indeed.”