- Religion and Philosophy»
All roads reach the mountain top.
Each path leads to mountain top
To reach the summit, there are many different paths.
The very purpose of human life is to attain god. But man wastes his precious life in sensual pleasures and luxurious living! Hence the scriptures point out to this lacuna and exhort man to tread spiritual path to attain god. If we consider god as the summit of a high mountain, there are numerous ways to reach the summit. Some path may be circuitous, some path steep and some other path combining both. A man climbs a mountain from any point in the base. Only experience will illumine which path is safe! The top of the summit can be identified by any name. It is just a highest peak, denoted by several names. Likewise, all religions starting at different points in the base take one to the summit which is called in different names by different people like Allah, Jesus, Buddha, Shambhu, and Krishna and in the names of goddess in various names. Though the names differ, they point to the one summit which is god!
We are aware that water is termed in different ways in different ways but the substance is one which quells our thirst. Muslims may call it as ‘pani’, Christians as ‘water’ and yet other communities may call differently like ‘aqua’. In a similar way god is called differently in different religions and languages. Ultimately, God is One only. All the prayers from all the people reach the one god and he takes care of all. It is not correct to say that god will answer only a particular form of prayer in particular tongue. If we are aware of this simple truth, there won’t be any religious animosity and war anywhere in the world. Sadly today people have forgotten this fundamental unity and wage war against one another. Some religions assert that their scriptures bade them to fight war! It is a mistaken concept. No religious scripture has ever created dissent amongst human race!
All religions are true.
Differences are due to geography, climate and culture.
We have to note that geography, climate and different environment created different customs amongst the various people in the world. People in arid regions cannot wear the same clothing as those living in cold climates. In Iceland there is no possibility of any plants. Hence the people in Iceland have to necessary consumed meat or flesh of animals. Where there is abundance of trees, plants and leaves, most of the people living there are accustomed to vegetarian food. Thus the different regions and different climates enabled man living in the environment to adopt suitable food, clothing and religious practices. The basic teachings of any Prophet or Saint revolve around Truth, Love and tolerance. No spiritual teacher will advocate violence in any form! But people reading the scriptures misunderstood the teachings contained therein and adopted what is suited to them. Terrorism has evolved due to inequalities in societies, some getting fair treatment and others relegated to second class citizens. Thus, within a religion there erupted differences which led into different sects within a religion. Thus we have Roman Catholics and Protestants as major sects in Christianity! Shia and Sunni within Muslim countries and population is the results of this differences in concepts and philosophy about customs and worship.
In South India, even within Brahmin communities, there are differences between those who worship “Shiva and those who worship Vishnu”. Even within the devotees of Vishnu, there is difference like North and South! All the rivers invariably merge in the ocean. Call it Ganga, Yamuna or Godavari, their ultimate destiny and destination is ocean! Then why should we nurture the differences? All people want to attain God by different paths. Of course rationalists and communists do not believe in god. But everyone ultimately reaches god at his own pace and time! This is the true destiny of mankind.
As sky contains everything, god contains the entire cosmos!
Differences pertain to forms. Fundamentally there is underlying unity in the Self. As one sky pervades the entire universe and one sun illumines the entire globe, there is only one god who is Omnipresent. Hence there is no place where he is not. As the sky contains everything in itself, god contains the creation and cosmos within him. The fundamental elements emanated only from him. He contains all and he is the cause, sustenance and absorption of all created things and beings! The formless entity called god is quiet capable of assuming any form for the sake of humanity. He is beyond all dualities and duality is the fundamental quality the mind creates. Because of the duality, creation was possible! God is the spiritual cause and mind is the material cause for the cosmos and creation! By quelling the mind, one can go beyond dualities and reach God for sure!
Beings are many but breath is one!
There are several examples for the fundamental unity behind the diversity! Flowers though look different, when threaded into a garland, it looses the difference and become one garland.Though cows are of many different sizes, colors and breed, the milk extracted from them is one and the same throughout the world. Beings are many but breath is one! There may be different communities around the world but the blood of human beings are always red! Earth has one surface and it is illumined by Sun. All beings are born and die one day. Thus human life is mortal and the creator is immortal. The only constant entity in the universe is god who is the base for everything!