All religions in their essence describe the reality in the same way: The modern western and Islamic world has the intellectual conviction that the Kingdom of God is within; that man has been made in the image of God; and so, it follows, be you Perfect as the father in heaven is Perfect. How? Seek you first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and everything else will be added unto you.
Religions have failed in their duty to establish us in Righteous, ethical actions. We need preachers who’re spiritually illumined, as a Guru is, to teach, how to work!
Each soul is potentially divine: From the above it logically follows as a natural consequence that living-beings are potentially divine and therefore, Vivekananda says, Religion is the manifestation of the Perfection, Divinity, already in man. And the purpose of Education and Religion has therefore to be to ‘know’ the Reality, learn how to realize this Perfection within and strive for righteousness in work.
Thus, fruit of education and religions has to be realization of our divinity; not IQ, not talks, not doctrine not theories, not belief in that or this Religion or God; however beautiful the ideologies may be. It is being Perfect and becoming Divine, not hearing or acknowledging; it is the whole soul becoming changed into what it believes.
Thus, Religions may be different, but just as so many rivers, having their source in different mountains, roll down, crooked or straight, and at last come into the ocean – so, all these various creeds and religions, taking their start from different standpoints and running through crooked or straight courses, at last come unto the Divine, infinite, singular, blissful ocean of consciousness from which they emerge and unto which they unite again.
Why is this Essence not taught in mainstream schools, colleges, HRD? Modern society believes only on teachers, who merely teach the Alphabets and how to spell, read and write ‘this and that’! Preachers of various Religions have been thrown out of mainstream education and society, because the preachers have themselves failed to realize their divinity, and remain narrow, selfish, petty-minded and are busy in protecting their narrow interpretation of religions and in killing and fighting in the name of my-Vs-your religions!
Idea of a Guru: In Bharat we say the mother is the first guru of the child because it is the duty of the guru, not merely to teach, but to help us explore, discover, enjoy ‘This’ and through ‘This’ he helps us unravel the magical relationship between ‘This’ and ‘That’, the healthy world view of Reality.
This and That: ‘This’, the individual, is identifying itself with its ‘micro-body-mind-ego’ complex whereas ‘That’ is the vast infinite universe outside us! The Guru reminds us of the kingdom of God within us of the same nature as the vast infinite universe outside? He explains the Reality that due to our various thoughts-actions we’re continuously creating samskaras, impressions, in our mind, and we’re now enslaved by the law of cause-effect, of karma, of as we sow so we reap. And so ‘This’ identifies itself with this limited ‘body-mind-ego’.
So the Guru who is not just a preacher, but is striving to realize his potential divinity thru’ righteous conduct, meditation, etc., can awaken our Vivek and inspire us to work for good of society and be committed to righteous, ethical, conduct. These gradually refine and purify the mind and samskaras, so that we can be as Perfect as ‘That’.
Our inherent Perfection is constantly urging us to expand ourselves and to attain the state of Perfection. It is this that forces us into action. The big question is: how should we work so that whatever we do purifies, effaces our samskaras, so that ‘This’ can experience ‘That’. Of course, we’re led to action to fulfil our desires, but a Guru inspires us to transform this urge into a spiritual quest. He inspires us to perform our work and fulfil our duties while working selflessly for good of society, and that leads to manifestation of more and more of our divine Perfection.
Perfection is within. Actions with desires keep us identified with ‘this’ whereas righteous, ethical conduct, fulfilling our respective swadharma, duties, are good actions that lead to identification with ‘That’. Good actions are those that conform to truth; it shouldn’t go against spiritual principles; it should conform to customs and traditions followed by men of wisdom of that particular society; should bring satisfaction, not regret. And the absolute test is that a good action is based on the truth of oneness of ‘this’ and ‘that’.
The difference between a good worker and being a karma yogi is that the former is limited to excellence and effectiveness, whereas the latter attitude leads ‘this’ to ‘that’. For this the attitudes to work should be: strive for excellence but try to consider ourselves as a witness of the action; try to have no desire to attain thru the work; work only because it is our duty. Try to strive to offer the work as our worship of God and service of God in man. Try to work for the sake of work; enjoy intense rest in midst of action.
Such work then becomes a means of reaching Perfection. It become worship. It becomes selfless work. Such work, unattached and aloof from results, without registering praise or criticism, doesn’t bind us to the law of karma.
Role of Governance is to identify Spiritually mature politicians, administrators, preachers and academia and make them sit together and create the action plan to teach us how to awaken viveka and build powers of mind so that we can learn how to work to attain fulfilment and the highest fruit of our respective religions.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
END OF ARTICLE