Religions of the world have become lifeless mockeries
"If there is ever to be a universal religion, it must be one which will have no location in place or time, which will be infinite like the God it will preach, and whose sun will shine upon the followers of Krishna and Christ, on saints and sinners alike; which will not be Brahmanic or Buddhist, Christian or Mohammedan, but the sum total of all these, and still have infinite pace for development; which in its catholicity will embrace in its finite arms, and find a place for every human being, from the lowest groveling savage not far removed from the brute, to the highest man towering by the virtues of his head and heart above humanity, making society stand in awe of him and doubt his human nature.
It will be a religion which will have no place for persecution or intolerance in its polity, which will recognize divinity in every man and woman, and whose whole scope, whose whole force, will be centred on aiding humanity to realise its own true, divine nature."
Swami Vivekananda, My India: The India Eternal,
The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Calcutta, 1993 p. 119-20
"An artist by trade, Anne-Marie has turned her spirituality into a creative act. Her beliefs are drawn from many sources, some ancient, some new. When Anne-Marie speaks of karma and reincarnation, I hear the influence of Hinduism and Buddhism. Her sense that certain places in nature are scared is either as new as deep ecology or as old as Shinto. It's hard to say exactly how quantum physics fits into the picture, but she says it does. Beneath it all lies the ethical lexicon of her Christian upbringing, timeworn but still discernible, like the ruins of a Spanish mansion.
When I ask her why she left her childhood church, she's blunt."I needed beliefs that empower me, and organized religion is disempowering," she says."It's bogus."
Jerimiah Creedon (Writer+
The following excerpts are from a book entitled World Fellowship Addresses and Messages by leading spokesmen of all Faiths, Races and Countries; edited by Charles Frederick Weller, General Executive World Fellowship of Faiths; Liveright Publishing Corporation, New York 1935.
By Paramhansa Yogananda
Author of the spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi
Science is progressive. Most religions are stationary. Science is constantly winning new inventions because they are based on untested beliefs. The usual method of most churches has been to hold their people by virtue of inbred church-going religious habits, or by holy threats, or by lectures, and musical or festive entertainments. If the scientists do not get new knowledge by blind prayer, how can the religionists expect to know new laws of life just through blind prayer? Instead of peddling untested dogmas and urging people to believe, churches should convert their premises into universities of experimental psychology. Ancient India built the biggest and most gorgeous temples in the world, but now they have mostly become marts for priests to ply their religious trades and to shear the pilgrims of money for their own diabolical uses. India is now going through a new evolution and is getting rid of this false growth. In little secluded hermitages, unmarked by any religious trade-mark, real spiritual teachers, who live the Life, are experimenting with the worthwhile effect of spiritual laws on the lives of true seekers , and not on floating curiosity seekers.
Protestants, Catholics, Christian Scientists, Jews, Quakers, followers of Unity, Rosicrucians, Theosophists, Buddhists, Shintoists, Mohammedans, Jains, Mormons, Zoroastrians and Hindus must cease fighting with one another about the infallibility of their individual dogmas, and spending money in decorating their temples. They should get together and find the real meaning of life. Let the best universal moral and religious codes of discipline as found in all true religions, be combined into a universal spiritual treatise on the art of moral and spiritual living. It might be named the"Code Book of All Religions."
From the Hindus let us take their methods of Self-Realization through scientific psycho-physical meditation, which throws the searchlight of attention from without to within. Let us omit the superficial religious ceremonies, caste system, untested beliefs, etc. Let us take the pantheistic, positive conception of God as ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new Joy—which, directly or indirectly, all people are seeking. Let us take from them the doctrine of Reincarnation which assures imperfect souls, cut off by untimely death, a chance to make continuous effort until perfection is reached. Let us take [the] law of Karm or cause and effect which makes man responsible for his advancement or downfall, and explains why there are born failures, morons and other defectives, produced not by God but by the wrong actions of individuals in past lives. Let us take the Hindus' step-by-step methods of meditation which scientifically and gradually lead to God-contact.
From Buddhism let us select the unique self-discipline and the doctrine of compassion-including even the animals within the family circle of love. Let us avoid the popularly-interpreted negative or annihilating state of Nirvana. As Souls, made in the image of God, we cannot be absorbed, losing our individuality. We can remain confined in the flesh through desires for some time, but not for all time. According to Hinduism, as Soul images of God, we expand by right effort until we become Gods. Let us accept from Buddhism the doctrine of Reincarnation and the universal moral code of living.
From the Christian Catholics let us learn their profound devotion to God. Let us learn self-discipline from the exemplary lives of the Catholic saints. Let us omit their fear of hell. This earth can be made hotter then hades or better then beatific paradise. Let us omit their sect exclusiveness. I should like to see the Pope of Rome and the Bishop of Canterbury exchange pulpits-for they are both disciples of One Christ. The Catholics should hold their people by Self-Realisation, not by dogma.
From the Protestant Christians let us adopt their liberal views about God and Truth-and avoid their lack of perfect devotion. Let us combine the intellectual sermons of the liberal Christian Church with the Self-Realization of the Hindus. Christian churches should employ intellectuality, not merely to believe something reasonable, but also to find the technique of using and developing the powers of intuition and concentration so the God may be scientifically contacted. Self-Realisation should be the binding force of the Christian churches.
From Christian Science let us take the idea of making Christianity practical by using spiritual healing. Let us adopt their good principles of teaching people to depend more upon the all-powerful mind and not to enslave it to the habits of the body. Let us omit their exclusiveness and their method of holding people by intellectual dogma and isolation. Truth can never be the monopoly of one sect. It is only comparative study of religions that we can find the path best suited to us. Let no Christian Scientist deny the existence of matter or body until he develops himself like Christ to know that Spirit alone exists. Christian Science , according to Mary Baker Eddy, received some of its knowledge from India-and Christian Scientists should increase their knowledge by constructively exchanging their religious experiences with real Hindu Savants.
New Thought has done great work in uniting the eastern and western religions and in emphasizing the necessity of entering the Silence. It lacks a system of scientific training in spirituality, but it has done much to free people from wrong Orthodox beliefs.
Unity (Kansas City) has done great work in liberalising Orthodox Christianity in America and by incorporating some of the doctrines of Reincarnation , and so forth, of the Eastern religion. It should avoid the growing clannish spirit and the excluding from its centres of speakers representing other religions whom it used to welcome. Unity is very liberal and has done a great good in emphasizing the necessity of Silence and Mediation in modern churches. Unity asks its students to meditate, but does not give them the exact technique. It needs the scientific method. Unity would be more practical it if adopted the Eastern technique of systematic meditation and mental development which leads to conscious contact with God.
From Judaism let us learn to worship only the One God of Gods, and no other. Let us follow some of the hygienic teachings of Judaism—and avoid its clannishness. Let all followers of Judaism hold themselves to their religion because of the Self-Realisation of Truth and not because of racial prejudice.
From Mohammedans let us adopt the practice of regular chanting and regular praying. Let us learn their spirit of resignation to the will of God. Mohammedans ought to adopt the esoteric method of Sufis.
Bahaism is an eclectic religion with splendid liberal principles. It is not original, but collects the results of other religions under the liberal doctrine of Bahaism. It should give esoteric training in Self-Realisation and Self-Discipline and not depend only upon theoretical lofty principles.... The philosophy of pantheism, which teaches that God is everything, should be used to take away the one-sidedness of monoism and dualism. Evil should be explained as the result of delusion. All that exists is God. Study of theoretical western philosophies is good, for it helps us to understand the pragmatic philosophies of the East. Sankhya, Yog and Vedant, three eastern philosophies, are pragmatic and meant directly to discipline human activity so that it will yield the highest wisdom and final emancipation. The Sankhya philosophy teaches that the highest necessity of men consists in uprooting the three-fold suffering of body, mind and Soul. Sankhya teaches one to seek in religious technique the panacea for all sorrow. Yog tells people of the step-by-step methods of Self-Realisation which directly lead to God by the scientific way, which alone can destroy the possibility of all suffering. According to the highest Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, Yog is the surest and the supreme best way, for it constitutes the scientific technique of salvation. Vedant teaches the doctrine of the Ultimate; it describes the state of God Realisation and God. Yog is the most important of the three, for it is the technique which leads to the Ultimate Goal. Vedant describes the contents of the mine of Divine wisdom, but Yog tells about the way of mining that knowledge for human use. All humanity, and all religious sects, should follow the combined religious experiences of these three philosophies, and find in them the greatest standard of right living. This alone can produce ideal citizens of the world....
From my heard I feel that a great Spiritual flood is coming from America and a great Spiritual flood is coming from India—started by Mahatma Gandhi and the saints of India. When these two floods meet, we shall have perfect harmony and understanding and peace in all nations.
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