The Sermon of the Beatitudes (1886-96) by James Tissot from the series The Life of Christ, Brooklyn Museum
The Sermon of the Beatitudes (1886-96) by James Tissot from the series The Life of Christ, Brooklyn Museum

The Beatitudes of Jesus and Their Real Meanings



The Beatitudes are teachings given by Jesus and are the basis of Christian morality. They are found in the Christian Bible in Matthew 5 and Luke 6.

 As is often the case, poor translations and interpretations have resulted in widespread misunderstanding of the teachings of Jesus. In this case, the first word of each beatitude is translated and memorized as "blessed," which implies receiving a boon from God. That is not what is being taught by Jesus.

Each line of the Greek begins with the word:

μακάριοι makarioi: "happy, blessed, blissful."

When translated to Latin, it became:

beati: "happy, blessed, fortunate, prosperous, wealthy, rich"

Since beati is the first word of each line, these passages became known as "beatitudes."

"beati pauperes spiritu quoniam ipsorum est regnum caelorum
beati mites quoniam ipsi possidebunt terram
beati qui lugent quoniam ipsi consolabuntur
beati qui esuriunt et sitiunt iustitiam quoniam ipsi saturabuntur
beati misericordes quia ipsi misericordiam consequentur
beati mundo corde quoniam ipsi Deum videbunt
beati pacifici quoniam filii Dei vocabuntur
beati qui persecutionem patiuntur propter iustitiam quoniam ipsorum est regnum caelorum
beati estis cum maledixerint vobis et persecuti vos fuerint et dixerint omne malum adversum vos mentientes propter me"

Here is the English version from the King James translation:

3"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
4Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
5Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the Earth.
6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be satisfied.
7Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
11Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." -Jesus, Matthew 5

People mistakenly think that if they adopt these "attitudes" they will be rewarded in heaven; they will be "blessed" and receive a trip to heaven as a reward. This is not what Jesus taught. How do we know that? Jesus said it:

"And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." -Jesus, Luke 17

That is why Samael Aun Weor pointed out:

But what is this about "being blessed"? Many think that they will be blessed the day they die and go up there, to enjoy heavenly bliss, with the little angels. No, that is a false concept! "Blessed" means "happiness", "they will be happy". Where? Here and now…! -The History and Influence of the Moon and our Level of Being

When you read the beatitudes as descriptions of our internal state right now, they are much easier to understand and use practically.

So, let us read them with a slight change in translation and attitude:

3"Happy [right now] are the poor in spirit [humble, who are not identified with illusions],
    for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
4Happy are those who mourn [who are remorseful for their defects],
    for they will be comforted [when their defects have been eliminated].
5Happy are the meek [the non-resentful],
    for they will inherit the Earth [what they need to live peacefully].
6Happy are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [to pay their karmic debts],
    for they will be satisfied [with peace once they owe nothing].
7Happy are the merciful [forgiving others],
    for they will be shown mercy [by the law].
8Happy are the pure in heart [who have no lust, anger, pride, etc],
    for they will see God [the third mountain, the purity of Atziluth].
9Happy are the peacemakers [who lack anger],
    for they will be called children of God [masters, initiates].
10Happy are those who are persecuted [criticized] because of righteousness [dharma, the teachings of liberation],
    for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven [inner serenity, nirvana].
11Happy are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me [Christ is always rejected by the crowds; this demonstrates you are on the right path].
12Rejoice and be glad [happy, beati], because great is your reward in heaven [nirvana here and now within you], for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." -Jesus, Matthew 5

20Looking at his disciples, he said:
"Happy are you who are poor [not full of yourself; ie. humble, not identified],
    for yours is the kingdom of God.
21Happy are you who hunger now [for liberation],
    for you will be satisfied.
Happy are you who weep now [remorseful of defects],
    for you will laugh.
22Happy are you when people hate you,
    when they exclude you and insult you
    and reject your name as evil,
    because of the Son of Man [when you incarnate Christ within you]." -Jesus, Luke 6

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