One Goal many Religions to attain it: Gradually the academia and philosophers of comparative religions are acknowledging that the universal goal of all mankind is one and the same, though respective religions may call it variously! The idea that salvation is universal is of course a great and a profound truth of Truths, which is in complete harmony with the Vedic ideal that God is one and various are the ways, religions, to attain oneness with That; and we need a Guru, a Mentor to show us the way to that infinite truth of Truths.
Education is that which leads to the highest and best: God-realization is beyond the intellectual understanding of modern society with their plethora of academia, philosophers, pandits, preachers! It needs a special ability to experience God, i.e., ‘chitta-suddhi’, purity of mind, which is a result of growth from selfishness, of ‘mine-Vs-your’ to unselfishness, of growing experience and feelings of ‘oneness’ with more and more till we can feel our ‘oneness’ with the whole creation; towards our ideal of ‘whole world as our family’, as written on the gates of our Parliament.
How do we purify our mind and grow in unselfishness? Doing work is not religion, but work done rightly leads to freedom. The only ‘right’ way is commitment to kartavya-palan, ethical, righteous conduct, fulfilling our respective duties, swadharma, working as a karma-yogi, (as GOI now wishes) in a spirit of service of God in man. So, the journey towards highest and best starts not from IQ, degrees, and knowledge of this or that, but from getting established in ethical conduct. That was the purpose of education; today it is IQ, marks, degrees!
The Highest and Best? A state, which is totally free from all traces of dukha, miseries, is commonly understood as mukti, moksha; a state of eternal, never decaying bliss, ananda; which is our real unchanging self, Swaroopa. One fears only something other than himself. When we experience the whole creation as our own and recognize there is absolutely nothing separate from myself, why should I become afraid? Thus, getting rid of separateness, feeling of duality that there is anything other than myself, is our idea of highest and best, moksha, salvation, nirvana, heaven, how so ever we refer to it.
In simple terms the healthy worldview of Creation is that God and the Uni+verse, and the Living-beings, Jiva+Atman, are one integrated whole; the whole creation is one singular ocean of eternal, blissful Consciousness. From That we emerge. In That we live as long as our mind-ego considers itself as a separate entity linked to a body. If we receive spiritual guidance and are inspired to strive towards That and we sincerely strive to purify our mind, then we shall once again Regain and Reunite with That; the one singular ocean of eternal, blissful Consciousness.
Without this clarity in simple words, ideas like salvation, moksha, nirvana, heaven or hell don’t mean much. We need simple universal answers: We want to know as global society and as global human beings, without believing in this or that religion, and, in simple words: Who we’re; where we’ve come from; why are we here; where are we going and how to get there?
Isn’t Religion Realization? All Religions claim that they are based upon actual experience of the Founder of their respective Religions. The truths they teach are the results of the experiences of a single particular Founder. The Founders all experienced, ‘saw’ God; they all saw their own souls, they saw the eternity, they saw their future… which they convey thru’ words like salvation, etc.
Now, preachers of different religions claim that it was only possible for their Founders to experience the reality of God and that these experiences are impossible at the present day and that no one else can experience the truth for themselves! And therefore, we have now to take religion on belief on what is stated by their preachers, instead of inspiring us to strive!
They’ve got us so involved in plethora and rigmarole of ideologies, belief, teachings, scriptures, etc. that modern society has no idea of what exactly is the purpose of Creation and our role in it. They think and teach that mere ‘belief’ and ‘belonging’ to a religion is enough! That being ethical and virtuous while following some other religion, is not enough!
What do Religion and Yoga mean? In Latin Religion literally means to Regain. Similarly in Sanskrit Yoga literally means to Reunite. With what? Living-being in Sanskrit means Jiva+atman, and we know Kingdom of God is within us. So, they inspire us to once again, Regain, Reunite, with our basic changeless nature of ‘ananda’.
They all tell us based on their personal experience, that if someone sincerely wants to live a long healthy, happy life, he has to be convinced that fulfilling our swadharma, our respective vocational and societal duties, ethical righteous conduct, practice of virtues, universal human values, along with our respective prayers, worship, meditations, etc. is the only way! And so they inspire us to strive to get established in the habit of daily and continuous self-development practices to refine our mind and ego.
No man can be religious until he has himself realized the highest truth. The fruit of religions and its practice is to ourselves have the direct realization, and the same perceptions, experiences that the Founders had. Mere belonging or believing in this or that God, or ideology, or religion is never going to be enough!
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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