Not by mere argument or discussion can religion be taught. Not by precepts or moral canons alone can you convert a person to be religious. Not by pointing to your loads of sacred literature or the miracles of your Chief can an aspirant be won over. Practice religion and live up-to its teachings if you want to evolve and attain the Goal of Life. Whatever be your religion, whosoever your prophet, whichever be your language and country, whatever be your age or sex, you can easily grow if you know the way to crush the ego, to destroy the lower nature of the mind and to have mastery over your body, senses and mind. This is what I have found out to be the way for real Peace and bliss eternal. Therefor I do not try to convince people by heated debates and arguments.
Real Religion is the Religion of the heart. The heart must be purified first. Truth, love and purity are the basis of real religion. Conquest of the lower nature of man, control of mind, cultivation of virtues, service of humanity, goodwill, fellowship and mutual amity, constitute the fundamentals of true religion. These ideals are included in the mottoes of the Divine Life Society. I am very particular in propagating these ideals on a wide scale.
I do not waste time in finding out suitable authoritative statements from scriptures to satisfy the curiosity of aspirants. I led a practical life and try to be an example to the students for molding their lives. Know that true religion begins when you go above body-consciousness. The essence of the teachings of all sages and saints, the fundamentals of all religions and cults, are the same. People needlessly fight over non-essentials and miss the Goal.
The world of unreality is beset with many difficulties at every step that we take to attain the Goal-Nirvana-which the Lord Buddha attained after years of determined and steady struggle. The modern thinker has neither the requisite time nor the patience to perform rigorous Tapas and austere religious practices; and some of these are even being relegated to the superstitious level. The average seeker after Truth is often deceived by the caprices of his mind. A person who takes to the spiritual path is bewildered before he reaches the end of his journey, and is naturally tempted to relax his efforts half-way. Many are the pitfalls, but those who plod on steadily by leading a Divine Life are sure to reach the goal of their religious aspiration, i.e., Self-realisation. I have laid great emphasis in all my writings upon disciplining of the turbulent senses, conquest of mind, purification of heart, attainment of inner peace and spiritual strength, to suit the different stages of evolution, the taste and temperament of each individual.
Oneness of Humanity
“The Upanishads say: ‘All this is verily the Atman (Soul). The One, blissful Self indwells all beings.’ The spiritual oneness of all humanity is a great lesson man needs today. Whatever has been and whatever will be in the future, all this is verily the one, eternal Being alone. The Message of Divine Life is: ‘See God in all faces. Serve all. Love all. Be kind to all. Be compassionate. Feel everyone to be your own. Serve your fellow beings in the spirit of worship offered to the Divine which indwells them. Service of man is truly the worship of God.’ Let this message ring freedom from end to end in every land. Let this message enter into every home and into the heart of everyone.
“All great religions of the world do verily declare this divine message of the spiritual basis of man’s life. They do verily declare the universal brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of the Almighty Lord. Know well that the heart of the Vedas, the heart of the Bible, the holy Koran, the sacred Gathas and all the world scriptures are in truth one and sing in unison the sweet message of love and concord, goodness and kindness, service and worship. Discard the barriers of name and form. Seek the oneness at the heart of all beings. Include within your spiritual embrace entire humanity. Live for peace. Live for universal love. Live in the Life Divine.” May the Divine Life, the harbinger of peace, harmony and exalted life shed its luster and glory throughout the world!
- Sri Swami Sivananda