Chapter 6.10 from "Study Circles for Divinity"
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6.10  UNITY

WISE SAYINGS FROM DIFFERENT FAITHS

"Just as fire is broad-based at the bottom but pointed at the top, all differences and diversities at lower levels become resolved into Unity and Universality  at the highest level of Divinity."    Zarathushtra

"A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another as I have loved you."    Jesus Christ

"Be them Muslims, Jews, Christians, or Sabians, those who believe in God and the Last Day and who do good have their reward with their Lord. They have nothing to fear, and they will not sorrow."    Mohammed

"And your God is One God; there is no God but the One; the Compassionate, the Merciful."    Mohammed

"I am the origin of all, from Me everything evolves; thus thinking, the wise worship Me with loving consciousness."
    Sri Krishna



FROM DISCOURSES OF SAI BABA

BASIC TRUTH IS UNITY IN MULTIPLICITY

The basic Truth of Creation is Unity in Multiplicity. This was understood by Indians. All other religions have accepted certain fixed doctrines and built systems on them. They are content with the establishment of such credal groups. They devised methods of worship, prayer and adoration in accordance with the feelings and emotions they laid down as valid and valuable. The service that every religion offers to mankind is to expand the consciousness of man beyond the material sphere and light the spark of Divinity already in him. The Bharathiya mode of worship is based on the awareness that the One manifests through many discrete forms and many discrete attributes, when confronted by many discrete situations and conditions. So, Bharathiyas have the intellectual tolerance, among all peoples of the world, to proclaim to all the quarters that God exists and can be found in every religion. This is their unique good fortune. (Vidya V 61)

In every object in the universe, Being (Sat), Awareness (Chit), Bliss (Ananda), are present in a subtle form. There are two other characteristics of every object: name and form. Being, Awareness and Bliss are derived from the Divine. Name and form, which are subject to constant change, are related to nature. Even name and form are comprehended by Being, Awareness and Bliss. Man is the embodiment of these three. Forgetting these basic truths about his permanent reality, man is leading a life related to names and forms.

Every human being is a manifestation of God. Every object manifests the Divine. There is nothing in the world which is not a manifestation of God. Do not have any doubt that the cosmos is permeated by God and everything is contained in Him. There is not an atom in the universe which is not permeated by the Divine. (231189)

RE-LIGION, RE-UNION

The word 'religion' contains the prefix 're'. 'Re' means doing something again. The other part of the word connotes 'unifying'. Religion may be thus interpreted as reunion, the reunification of two entities separated by time or the restoration of their original organic unity. The individual soul and the Universal Soul have lost their fundamental oneness. Karmic factors have created a duality between the soul and the Universal Absolute. The restoration of the primal unity of real self and the Universal Absolute through self-realisation is the primary function of religion.

This process of reunification of the real self with the Universal Absolute is an arduous spiritual practice. An analogy might be useful here. The water in the sea evaporates on account of the sun's heat-forming clouds. These clouds float in the sky until they are again condensed into water drops by cool winds. The vast ocean consists of an infinite quantity of water. A small volume of water becomes a cloud and comes down as rain. This rain-water becomes a stream. A number of streams mingle together to become a large river which flows down mountains and through valleys. Finally, the river reunites with the ocean. Similarly, we are alienated from Iswara, the repository of illimitable grace. We have gone through many incarnations and the recurring cycles of births and deaths. The journey of the embodied soul follows a similar pattern until it merges with the universal soul. (SSB 79,55)

UNITY IN THOUGHT, WORD AND DEED

Today speeches are made on Truth, Righteousness, Peace and Love and exhibitions are organised to propagate these values. But there is no attempt to exemplify these values by practical living. Of what avail are speeches and exhibitions if these values are not practised? The world will not be reformed by propaganda. It is only when there are living examples of these ideals that they become meaningful and inspiring.

All the chaos in the world is due to the fact that people lead double lives. They say one thing and act differently. There should be unity in thought, word and deed. True spirituality consists in promoting human unity through harmonious living and sharing the joy with one and all. Devotional singing and all forms of worship are only good actions, but are spiritually not important.

Devotion consists in expressing love towards all. You cannot effect a change of heart by speeches. They often lead to confusion and conflict. Better than speeches is the practice of love, with faith in the Divine. Follow the path of love and redeem your lives. (240389)

Today man is reminding us that the proper study of mankind is man himself. Wherever there is oneness of the thought that comes to one's mind, the word that comes from one's mouth and the deed that one performs, there is the spirit of Atma. If there is no oneness, no unity or coordination between thought, word and deed, there will be no peace of mind. At this age, you must understand and give a sacred place to the Atma or Soul and you must recognise that the thought that comes from your mind should be pure, the word that comes from your mouth should be true and the work that you do should be sacred. I hope that you will realise the importance of these statements and give them a prominent place. (SSB 73,169)

It will be seen that all religions have emphasised the greatness of truth, sacrifice and unity. Learn to live in love and harmony with all the members of your society. This is the basic teaching of Christianity and Islam. Guru Nanak favoured community prayers in preference to individual prayer in isolation. When all people join in unison to pray to God, their prayers will melt the heart of God. In a large gathering there must be at least one who prays with a pure heart. That prayer will reach God. Hence, devotees should take part in community devotional singing. They should participate in community service and involve themselves in the life of the community. This is the noblest path.

Cultivate love. Love is the form of the Divine and God can be realised only through love. Of all the myriad names given to God, the one which is most to be cherished is Being-Awareness-Bliss (Sat-Chit-Ananda). 'Sat' represents truth. 'Chit' represents wisdom. Where truth and wisdom are present, bliss is bound to be present. As God is Truth, He has to be realised through truth. As God is Wisdom, He has to be realised through the path of knowledge. As He is Bliss, He has to be realised through bliss. Follow the path of love and achieve the goal of unity. Banish all differences. This is the supreme message for you today.

Embodiments of Divine Love! Wherever you may be, in whatever country, do not give room for religious differences. Do not give up religion. Get rid of differences based on religion. Adhere to your faith and your traditions. When differences between religions are given up, love will develop in you. When love grows, you can have a direct vision of God. Without love, verbal prayers are of no avail. Realise that the love that is present in everyone is common to all. It is love that has brought you all together. It is the cord of love that has bound all of you. It is the unifier, the motivator and the bringer of joy to all. Therefore, develop love. (251291)

UNIVERSAL LOVE IS THE BASIS OF UNITY

Embodiments of Divine Love! Realising that the Atma in everyone is the same, extend your love to all. It does not matter if you do not practise any spiritual discipline. Your love to others will raise you to the highest level of spirituality. Bear no ill-will towards anyone. When you harm anyone, realise you are doing harm to God. When you develop this kind of universal love, it will be the basis for unity.

In whatever you do, remember the name of God. It is a panacea for all human ills. Do not waste time, because Time is Divine. With faith in God, consecrate your life. (180788)

I am telling you in every discourse that Divinity resides in every being. But you must have noticed that I am inflicting rather hard punishment on those who have done some wrong or strayed into wrong paths. The Divinity has to shine in every activity and we should see that it is not befogged by human failing or 'animalities'. For this purpose, such correctives and remedial measures are imperative. Copper as an alloy will lessen the value of gold, so the stuff has to be melted in a crucible to remove the copper. So, too, when the pure, holy and progressive human being is associated with certain impure, unholy and downward-dragging trends, Swami has to intervene to stop them and restore their value of the original 'gold'. Or else why should I indulge in correction and punishment? Understanding my actions in their true light is the surest means of earning my Grace. (270979)

The body is a combination of water, iron, lead, phosphorus and other things which are but inert matter. The body is inert but is made to function actively through vibration or the Life Force. Radiation causes vibration to act. This radiation is conscience. It occupies a special place in the body. God, in the form of conscience, activates the body. If man only understands this truth of spirituality he will never indulge in bad deeds. (140493)

The world today is suffering as a result of the reign of 'I'-ness and 'my'-ness over the human hearts. Fear, anxiety, sorrow, pride, greed - each of these is fed in dangerous proportions by such 'I' and 'mine' feelings. When a calamity affects someone within the circle of 'mine', undue grief overwhelms you; when it happens to someone outside the circle, you are untouched and dismiss it with gross indifference. So long as these antics of the ego are considered valid and proper, man cannot grasp the Universal Atman that is in him as the core of his personality. In order to recognise the Atman and earn strength therefrom, man must practice the spiritual discipline of Unity. He must give up the distinction of those within and without the circle. (270979)

LOVE ALL, ADORE ALL, SERVE ALL

You observe the pitiful fate of many devoted and dedicated persons nowadays - they are besieged by various types of calamities. For what reason? People ask cynically why such good persons should suffer so much. The reason is that they have not attained purity of heart, not realised the Oneness of the Atman and are still possessed by 'I' and 'mine'. The aspirant must take the calamity as a warning and tell himself, "I am beaten by this incident. It grieves me and deprives me of balance because I have still some defects in me." When saambar is cooked in a copper vessel, however fresh and fine the ingredients, the result is a highly poisonous stuff. When spiritual practice is done with the most meticulous attention and care, if the intentions and attitudes are impure, no progress can be achieved. I wish to emphasis that purity of the heart, the mind and the consciousness is more important for progress than even meditation, repetition of the Name or devotional singing. Purity alone can convince you that there isthe Divine within you, that there is a master of the body immanent in this body - not only within you, but equally within all. Love all, adore all, serve all. That is the spiritual discipline of worship to win purity and earn grace. (270979)

You must feel the pain of others as your own; you must be happy when others are happy. That is the way to realise the unity of all. (180471)

EXPERIENCE THE ONE

The deepest yearning of man is to experience the One, the Basis, the Being that has become. From east and west, from south and north, you have come in thousands and are now One in this Poorna Chandra Auditorium, feeling a blissful spiritual Unity. Be aware of the One which manifests as the many. That is Divine life. Aspire for such a life, not simply for long life. Aspire for the bliss that the awareness of the Atma can confer, not for the pleasure the objects of the world can give.

God is omnipresent. So do not act differently when you are away from my presence. Be always and everywhere conscious of the presence. Be vigilant, even while engaged in little tasks. Maintain silence, in the recesses of the heart, as well as outside. The Gita says, God's hands and feet are everywhere. You can hear His footfall only when no other sound hinders. Develop the awareness of God, see Him and serve Him in every living being. (SS June 89,167)

Everything and every being are but waves on the surface of the vast unbounded timeless ocean, which is God. Waves belong to the ocean and depend on it for their individual existence, but, the ocean has no need for the waves. Therefore, you are bound inextricably with all else and all others. The world will inevitably react on you; it will reflect your thoughts and plans; it will with your cries and creeds. Your thoughts, words and deeds will shape others. and theirs will shape you. It is your duty to be good, do good, and see good. That is the way to make the world good, and be yourself good. (220373)

ALL ARE SPIRITUALLY ONE

It is a mark of ignorance to consider one religion as superior and another as inferior and develop religious differences on this basis. The teachings of all religions are sacred. The basic doctrines are founded on truth. The truth of the Spirit is the essence of religions, the message of all the Scriptures and the basis of all metaphysics. The primary duty of human beings is to recognise that the paths (indicated by different religions) may vary, but the goal is one.  Love, sacrifice, compassion, morality, integrity and similar qualities are common to all religions. In different ways, all religions have sought to promote unity in diversity.

Bharatiya philosophy, culture, and sacred way of life permeate and shine like an undercurrent in all religions. Bharatiya culture has affirmed the profound Vedic truth that it is the one spirit that dwells in all living beings. This unity of the spirit is proclaimed in various contexts in the teachings of Buddhism, Christianity and Islam.

Although in terms of physical form, human beings appear different, in terms of the spirit they are all one - this is the truth propagated by Christianity. It has declared that all are the children of one Lord and, believing in the Fatherhood of God, all should live in harmony.

Thus, if we try to understand the basic truth of every religion, it will be seen that it teaches only unity. Religious differences poison the mind. No one should give room for religious differences. All are spiritually one. (251291)

 

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