Our Attitude Towards Religions

Religions are mostly belief systems and what is needed is to respect people’s belief systems since they draw their force from it. It is not a question of right or wrong but of what helps man to progress. If someone progresses through a particular belief then so be it. If he does not but holds on to it out of habit and conditioning, it is up to them. Of course, all religions have something true at their core. It is the spiritual element within it. However due to a number of reasons the Hindu religion or the Sanatana Dharma has kept the spiritual element alive and preserved down the ages through a line of living Masters who renewed and recovered its truths within them and could also transmit its core experience to those who are ready and sincere in their seeking. In this sense, all religions can be considered as part of Sanatana Dharma since Sanatana Dharma is about man’s quest towards God or the ultimate Supreme Reality in countless ways. Each religion is one such line of the quest. However, while this wide spiritual seeking is kept alive in Sanatana Dharma it, other religions have lost it in too much externalities, strict and rigid codification and ritualistic approach and the predominance of belief systems rather than the actual yoga that is at its origin. In this sense, Hinduism differs from rest of the religions that are stuck in a period of time with one book and one founder which does not allow the variance of human nature in its strivings towards the Infinite. However, it is up to each one to follow whatever they wish to. but if try to disregard other approaches to god as heresy and worse still crush them out or start killing and converting as if theirs is an exclusive club sanctioned by God then surely it is transgressing upon the basic freedom of every human being to follow whatever they wish to. Such religions are foredoomed to collapse one day under the advancing evolutionary spirit of the time. In fact, some of them have already collapsed like a number of ancient religions because their term and time is over. Others are like setting suns or stars that have already died though something of their light is still visible upon earth. These religions have outlived their time and purpose which was limited and in a certain context.

It is also incumbent upon the elite and thinking humanity to call the lie if they wish to. For the rest, it is best to keep a respectable distance since in some of these religions the seats of these places are occupied by a dark and distorted formation of falsehood. This dark formation is an Asura who mimics god and tricks the followers of that religion into blind submission. This is especially true of religions that have become encapsulated belief systems with rigid dogmas that all must follow through fear of punishment or lure of a reward. Only that which is universal will survive the evolutionary march of mankind. Or those religions that have not only kept intact the spiritual element within them but also know that religion is only an initial; preparation for awakening the spiritual impulse in man. Once the flame of spiritual aspiration is lit then religion has served its purpose and can be safely left behind or looked upon fondly as one looks at the pristine childhood days before one had entered into adulthood. Infant souls seek the crutch of religion. The adolescent soul rejects it. The adult soul accepts and embraces it but only to transmute it into its spiritual element leaving the crust aside.

It is in this light that a disciple of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother has to view religion. He understands its’ place in the evolution of mankind but is also aware of its limitations. He is conscious also of its distortions and even its dangerous sides. He has a luminous indifference towards it. But for himself, he has taken to the path that his soul has chosen. Unlike the religious bigot, he knows that there are different paths leading us to different aspects of the One Divine. Unlike the zealot evangelist, he is not interested in converting others to his fold knowing that all true conversion must come from within through the evolution of faith and aspiration. He follows the path shown to him unwaveringly with faith and steadfastness but knows that not all will be called upon the same path and that the Divine reveals Himself in countless ways to each and every human being.

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