08/13/2011 Comments Off on Religion
Religion defined –noun 1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. 2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
|“The ultimate goal of all mankind, the aim and end of all religions, is but one — re-union with God, or, what amounts to the same, with the divinity which is every man’s true nature.” Swami Vivekananda
(Notes from a lecture The goals and methods of realisation)
|“The mainspring of the strength of every race lies in the spirituality manifested in religion and the death of that race begins the day that spirituality wanes and materialism begins.” Swami Vivekananda
(The Necessity of Religion – Jnana Yoga 1902 edition)
“Religion and religion alone is the life of India, and when that goes, India will die, in spite of politics, in spite of social reforms, in spite of Kubera’s wealth poured upon the head of every one of her children. Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)
WHAT IS RELIGION? Religion is the very foundation of civilisation in all its aspects. It is an applied science that takes man to his highest goal. Religion comprises of non-injury, self-control and austerity.
Religion tries to bring you to God and to make you divine. Its purpose is to release the ultimate values of life – the transcendental – truth, beauty, goodness and love.
Religion is a dynamic force. It is both the science and the art of life. Religion is not merely life-transcending, it is life- transforming. It is a process of purification and transformation. Know thyself and be free. Religion teaches tolerance and peace. Religion is essentially an eternal going out in search of completeness, fullness, and wholesomeness. Believe in the existence of God and life hereafter. Believe in right conduct, unconditional surrender to God, meditation and union with God. These are all the essentials of religion. The union of the individual soul with the divine soul, the lover with the beloved – this is true religion. Religion lays down the laws of life. Religion teaches us how to live a divine life. Man cannot progress spiritually without religion, just as a tree cannot grow without manure and water. Religion is the support that helps us to climb the steep and narrow ladder of emancipation. It is the most important factor that helps the earnest student to understand the principles of oneness – the oneness of life and universal love. We can attain eternal bliss, immortality and everlasting peace by attaining God-realisation. All religions admit this, unanimously. This is essential to all religions. To realise God, one should develop universal love; one should have ethical perfection, self-restraint, the spirit of self-sacrifice, good conduct, devotion to saints and to God. One should study the holy scriptures and have perfect faith in the existence of God, in the scriptures and in the words of the guru. All religions admit this unanimously. This is essential to all religions. – Swami Sivananda