Saturday, August 05, 2006

Inner religion

We are not one coherent homogenous single unit called 'I'. There are a number of parallel selves within us, all working simultaneously, and often pulling us in different directions. Becoming aware of this condition within us - as no one but we ourselves can really know; discovering the source, nature and impulsions of these various selves; severing our identification with these involuntary selves; finding a single undeniable real self hidden within this multiplicity; connecting to this and ultimately becoming one with this, and thus one with the whole of humanity, the earth and the cosmos - this is a journey within one's inner world, through which the human creature becomes truly alive, as Human.

Religion is concerned with this journey, and may be understood as a means to enable people to successfully make this journey through the course of their life.

The inner worldly religious imperative is quite removed from everyday, worldly concerns, aspirations and pursuits.

The essence of any religion is the celebration of and adoration of God, the act of worship, which for the realised being, is one with his very breath, every moment of his life is a sacrament to the Divine. The effacement of one's sensory and socially constructed self, an utter humility in the face of the Absolute and the Infinite, and tender love for all beings, who are all so many witnesses to the glory of God - this is the essence of the religious personality.

Genuine religion is something quiet, heroically compassionate; not for it the grandeur and trappings of earthly wealth, power and conquest. The association of worldly, political concerns with a particular religion, tells us about historical circumstances related to political power, and testifies only to the desire even among the profane to have ultimate moral and divine sanction for their possibly ignoble ends.

For any genuinely religious person, social life as it presently exists and has always existed, is akin to a web of ignorance and delusion. A person who has realised God cannot but seek to share his treasure with the whole of humanity. To continue to live in society, among all others, with one's faith intact and growing richer, is something that also calls for reinforcing and supportive means, processes, structures.

Besides, a community of those who have realised God would also like to ensure that their own struggles and learning make things easier for others, and more fundamentally, have the realisation of God as the basic principle of the community, its principal aim and object, which gives meaning to all other concerns and pursuits.

In such a view, Religions cannot, by definition, be in conflict with each other. Such conflict, wherever and whenever it exists, must be viewed not as something concerning the tenets or truths espoused by the respective religions, but as something arising out of historical events and ongoing geo-political considerations.


gautami tripathy said...

All of us conveniently forget that we made religions to suit us, religion does not make us. When that realisation comes into our minds, all are inner conflicts should get resolved.

BUt then I am being idealistic.

Irving Karchmar said...

A very good essay, brother :) After the initial act that brought about the religion, the politics and power that come with later religious authority often usurps God's message of love and peace that was its origin.

dr.alistair said...

and so then religion becomes government. rules and laws made to bind men.
a spiritual path is one taken shared with others, not dictated to from a pulpit.......

Vinayak said...


Thanks for that thought provoking post

Your post made me think of injustice in general and the myriad ways Indians get cheated in our own country

I recently read about NPAs or NON Performing assets of Indian Public Sector banks. These are basically loans given by these banks, that went bad.

Meaning ....some one borrowed your money or mine (PUBLIC MONEY ) and did NOT care to repay it !!

Simple isn't it ....

What would happen if you borrow money from a money lender and did not pay. He will send the dogs or the gundas after you to collect the money !

However the banks seem to be sleeping on this and Supreme Court of India has recently rebuked the Finance ministry on this issue

The Total DECLARED bad loan portfolio has reached 1 lakh crores. that is 10,00,00,00,00,000/- rupees to be precise. This is just the declared portion. The un declared could be much more !

That money has been swindled (or NOT repaid) to the public

what do we do as citizens ? Netizens ?

More at

Yves said...

I am trying to recognise the religion your describe in the world or in myself. I find only an aspiration, not the thing itself.

What I find in myself is an absence of religion and an absence of any kind of effacement, sacrifice or subservience to God. Yet I feel myself truly alive, as one who has travelled a religious path and come out at the other end, but with nothing to teach.

"To continue to live in society, among all others, with one's faith intact and growing richer, is something that also calls for reinforcing and supportive means, processes, structures."

Or perhaps it just calls for total integrity and fidelity to one's inner impulse, trusting that this will be enough means, process and structure to "share one's treasure with the whole of humanity"?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this great post!