• http://www.amazon.com/The-Thomases-Road-Realization-ebook/dp/B009BATQUA/

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Section 1: Ch 3: Secular versus Orthodox

Chapter 3
Secular versus Orthodox

Was Jesus really the only way to salvation? I was brought up in a totally secular environment, visiting even Hindu temples and Gurdwara. All the people in the defence campuses that I had lived in treated each others religion with respect. That was the culture that I had lived in. Consequently I had a hard time reconciling these ‘new ideas’ with my totally secular mindset. How could it be that the sincere prayers of my friends of other religion were meaningless?! The time they share with God each day in prayer, a waste?! I had read and heard the teachings of the Hindu religious books like the Geeta and had always been touched to my very depths by the beauty and wisdom of the teachings. How could a religion teaching such wisdom be wrong in any way? How could it be? I needed a clear answer to this. My Christian friends in college stressed that there is only one way and tried to help me clear my doubts by taking me to discourses by certain learned guests in the protestant church. I attended these. The ideas of the Hindu faith were discussed and disproved with the use of logic. ‘All is Brahma or God’ is the Hindu belief. This would mean that man is Brahma. But Brahma is nirvikar (without emotion). Man is full of vikar (emotions). So man cannot be Brahma. I mulled over all that I heard. The logic seemed in place. I realized that I knew little about what Hindu scriptures had to say. Anyway I was willing now to give up my doubts or so I thought.

Vivekananda has said, ‘Two statements apparently contradictory may both be true’. Statements are obviously subjective and arise out of the particular perspective taken by the seeker. It is said that even sages could never agree due to differing perspectives. Then how can common man? Do I then dismiss the differences according it to differing perspectives? But it was difficult for me to just overlook the contradiction. How could I believe that there is only one way to God and yet there could be many ways? How could I accept one without rejecting the other?

I did find a quencher to this query though, in a way that both scriptures could be right! It is just a one line quencher. The quencher is so simple that such a major, mind boggling question now seems silly and childish to me!

So here is the query (that has been the most troubling one to me) and its quencher with its explanation.

Which is the RIGHT path to salvation?

‘Ask and you Shall Receive, Seek and you Shall Find, Knock and The Door Shall Be Opened Unto you. Matthew 7:7’

Jesus explains with an example that if a person keeps on asking without shame, then he just cannot be refused. ‘For those who ask will receive, and those who seek will find, and the door will be opened to anyone who knocks. Luke 11:9,10.’ ‘As bad as you are, you know how to give good things to your children. How much more then, will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him. Luke 11:13.’ So there is evidently no need to worry about ‘the right way’ because it is actually a person’s intensity and sincerity that opens doors to the sought and not the religion that he follows. After all, nobody marks ‘the path’ a bee takes to a flower! A bee is a seeker of the flower and so will find it whether it is by a straight or a roundabout way. When the seeker has the intensity, the love for God above all else, then the world will have to step aside and make way for him to his cherished Goal. It’s obvious then that we need not go out of our way to show a seeker, our personal way as the only way. It is only when somebody comes asking the way through word or deed that we need to guide as per our own level of understanding.

If a Christian believes this statement as true then he will agree that whether a person walks the path shown by Jesus, or pursues with the aid of knowledge, selfless deeds or whatever else, his sincerity and persistence will be rewarded by God.

It would be interesting for the still doubtful (who may still wonder as to how different ways or religions can lead to the same destination and especially when the Christian way has it that Jesus is the only way to God) to know here a statement from Katha Upanishad, ‘The goal which all Vedas proclaim, which all austerities and meditations seek and desiring which the sages lead the life of Brahmacharya-it is Om.’ ‘This immortal Word (Logos) is verily Brahma( the Personal Creator God). This immortal Word is verily also the Highest Brahma (the Impersonal Divine Reality)’ as quoted from Om Gayatri and Sandhya written by Swami Mukhyananda.And what is Om? It is the vibration that the mystics could hear through meditation and is the vibration through which everything was created.

As per the Logos theology of christianity - Logos/word is the cause of all creation.(The term 'word' is derived from the greek word Logos). Logos is another way to refer to the Word of God and Jesus is considered the Logos incarnate.

Therefore, quite evidently Logos/word/Om is considered to be the way to the cosmic mind by both the scriptures. You may approach him daily through selfless deeds(Karmayog), through prayer(Bhaktiyog), through meditation(Rajyog) or by acquiring knowledge(Gyanyog) about him, and yet your soul would have gained only when it becomes attuned to the vibration (Om) in the universe, attuned to the ‘Word’ that is the window to God’s mind. Therefore there are many ways to approach God and yet the Word is the only way to the cosmic mind! 

Moreover I want to stress the importance of "sincerity". When a person is filled with fear about which is the right road, his mind has no space for thoughts of love for the destination. His mind is busy with showing others the right road. Without total focus on the goal and a sense of fearlessness and faith in the compass of his heart...there can be no sincerity. The mind should be on the goal and not the road (to be able to reach it). For where ever our mind is, there we are. Let not fear and concern about 'which is the right road' make a christian stay forever on the roads...

1 comment:

Monu Awalla said...

well this chapter gives a very clear view of what you've for people to believe without any biasing shown towards any particular religion.

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