The Science Of Religion - Need Of The Hour
Times of India
"Revered scriptures and particularly the vedantic treatises discuss and dwell upon two facets of religion - the ethnical and the scientific. All popular religions in the world are varied expressions of Eternal Religion - Sanatana Dharma and thus, have ethnical tag attached to them. This is so because they represent ethnical distinctions of religion. God is one but deities are many. Likewise, religion is one but sects are many. The varied expressions in the world represent the ethnical dimesion of Eternal Religion which is Oneness. The ethnical religion bind us in the constraints of birth, choicelessness and absense of spirit of inquiry. Each religion in the world, no doubt professes freedom and spirit of inquiry in its own way.
Notwithstanding this, the fact remains that in ethical religion, we impose restrictions and barriers of sorts. The so called custodians of religious have to accept the blame for hampering the individual growth aimed at entering the sphere of"Oneness"of all, irrespective of caste, colour, creed, faith and nationality. The ethnical dimension is often guilty of nurturing sectarian and parochial feeling which is the greatest obstacle to achieving the goal of"one global family." This approach and dimensions is responsible for numerous human maladies today.
Alas! we have shut ourselves in the narrow confines of man - made religions. Due to this entanglement, our condition is like the caterpillar who gets entangled in its self - woven cocoon. We too are caught in the clutches of ethnical aspects of religion. Just as the caterpillar develops into a butterfly bursting the cocoon to enjoy freedom, we too can get across the meshes of ethnical dimensions of man - made religions by imbibing eternal religion which is essentially knowing and realising God within this human body. Remember, if we remain confined to ethnical dimensions of religion, we would start as 'believers' and end up as 'believers' only. Contrary to"belief theory"of ethnical religion, the science of religion prompts mankind to seek and enquire into the Absolute, the Ultimate, the Supreme Brahman. One is transformed into an inquirer, a seeker and a experimenter of the inner world of ultimate reality.
We have made rapid strides in the field of science and technology including space exploration, we have left the scientific dimension of religion unexplored. This dimensions of the inner world - the hinterland of our own consciousness can alone unite us with our origin - the fountainhead of eternal bliss - paramatman. Inner world of conciousness is terra incognita (unexplored region) to mankind. That is why the science of religion is need of the hour. It is high time that religion is taught as a science of experience. Trans -dichotomous experience of cosmic conciousness is a pre - requisite of inquiry, exploration and journey into the metaphysical world of ultimate reality.
The aforesaid discussion takes us to a very pertinent question. What is God realisation? Is it merely oral doses of scriptures and moral, ethical and spiritual values? If not, what constitutes eternal religion and the science of introversion - spirituality. What is that knowledge that could work as panacea for the suffering humankind. It is spiritual realisation only. Herein below, we discuss the practical aspect of religion that is badly needed today.
Modern philosophers, intellectuals, prelates, clerics. Theologians, eschatologists and ecclesiastical giants have dwelt at length on core issue of God - realization. Whatever they give by way of advancing theories and treatises contain only verbal instruction. Alas! theory is not capable of producing the desired results. Theory sans practical experience of divinity inherent in man is like stuffing people mind with prolific description of Atman and Paramatman only to eventually confront with natural questions like where is He? How I can see Him? Did verbal instruction and assurances by Lord Krishna in Bhagavat Gita pacify Arjuna? No, they did not. From chapter one to ten of Gita, Lord Krishna replied to a plethora of questions of Arjuna. This constituted shiksha - verbal education. This, however, did not quiten the agitated, confused and wavering mind of Arjuna. Replies generated further questions. Though the answering authority was Lord Himself, even then verbal knowledge could not satisfy, convince and pacify the flustered mind of Arjuna. Till then Arjuna identified Krishna as merely a physical body. All exhortations and teachings of Lord did not yield any lasting effect. This was in reality a divine sport of Supreme Brahman in human embodiment. He wanted to show to the mankind that attainment of God is beyond verbal knowledge. Lord thus showed to the limiting value of theory.
Eventually Lord blessed Arjuna with divine eye to make him see His cosmic form Physical eyes can just see the outward form. The inner soul can be practically perceived by the eye of spirit. The celestial vision is not a work of imagination of cosmic consciousness, which permeates horizon, widens and we comprehend the play of the cosmic mind. Human being is fundamentally and essentially divine in nature. However, the divinity in man is shrouded and veiled by the endless chain of thoughts and desires. Vedanta envisages removal of encrustation of incessant flow of thoughts and desires and unfolding of inherent divinity of man. Atman - the real self of man constitute the invisible energizing force within. It is only on knowing and realizing the indwelling spirit within in practical sense that shackles of our gross body, mind and intellect are broken.
Practical dose of spirituality can alone affirm and solidity the abstract truth that is sought to be taught and revealed. Simply knowing that the supreme spirit dwells in all beings as Atman is not sufficient. It is the vision in practical sense which would arouse unshakable faith. Thus, we need to cultivate the science of religion. This is the clarion call we wish to make from Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan. The ethnical dimension of religion should yield place to practical and scientific dimension of religion as illustrated above. This is the need of the hour to save humanity already sitting on the brink of apocalypse from drawing closer to a holocaust."
THE SCIENCE OF RELIGION - NEED OF THE HOUR
Times of India
Disclaimer: Our material may be copied, printed and distributed by referring to this site. This site also contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the education and research provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance freedom of inquiry for a better understanding of religious, spiritual and inter-faith issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.