Avatarhood and the Inner Mystic Doctrine of Christianity

If we look at the doctrines of mystic Christianity, we find that it actually corresponds well to the understanding of the ascent of human consciousness, the response and descent of the divine consciousness and its manifestation in life. This “inner” doctrine translates the outer symbology of Christianity into the psychological experience of the mystic or yogi, similar to the way the Rig Veda has been shown to have both an exoteric (external symbol) and esoteric (inner sense of the symbolic language for spiritual experience and realisation) meaning.

Sri Aurobindo relates the symbols to the inner realm of experience: “But above, on a plane within us but now superconscient to us, called heaven by the ancient mystics, the Lord and the Jiva stand together revealed as of one essence of being, the Father and the Son of certain symbolisms, the Divine Being and the divine Man who comes forth from Him born of the higher divine Nature, the virgin Mother, para prakrti, para maya, into the lower or human nature. This seems to be the inner doctrine of the Christian incarnation; in its Trinity the Father is above in this inner Heaven; the Son or supreme Prakriti becomes Jiva of the Gita, descends as the divine Man upon earth, in the mortal body; the Holy Spirit, pure Self, Brahmic consciousness is that which makes them one and that also in which they communicate; for we hear of the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus and it is the same descent which brings down the powers of the higher consciousness into the simple humanity of the Apostles.”

The ancient Vedic Rishis employed similar symbols to cloak their inner experience in everyday terms. The dawn was a symbol of the coming illumination. The cow was a symbol of rays of Light illuminating the consciousness. The Christian doctrine fits this mystic approach, and is even practiced today by those branches of Christianity that work to understand and uncover a hidden inner significance to the symbols.

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, First Series, Chapter 16, The Process of Avatarhood, pp. 153-154