Commentary on the Gospel of
Desire of the Nations
The Church refers to Jesus as the “desire of the nations” and rightly so. The B?had?ra?yaka Upani?ad, one of the ten principal upanishads of India (written between 9th–6th centuries BCE), has this famous prayer, known as pavam?na abhy?roha (prayer of purification), that captures this human desire beautifully. I give it in transliterated Sanskrit with its meaning in parenthesis:
asato m? sadgamaya (lead us from untruth to truth)
tamaso m? jyotirgamaya (from darkness to light)
m?tyor m?'m?ta? gamaya (from death to eternal life)
No one has answered this prayer, by word and deed, as Jesus has: “I am the light of the world” (Jn 8: 12), and “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn 14: 6)! Like Peter, we can only say, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life” (Jn 6:68).