Online Magazines > Manav Dharam (April 2007)
Discourse - Param Sant Sadgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj

TRUE RELIGION STANDS FOR HARMONY AND GOODWILL

These days people do not understand religion in its true sense. This is why many untoward things are happening in the name of religion like hatred, killing the innocent and bigotry. Such heinous crimes have become the order of the day. But we are human beings.

Photo: Param Sant Sadgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj

Param Sant Sadgurudv Shri Hans Ji Maharaj

We should ask what religion is in the true sense. Muslims raise the spectre of Islam being in danger so it is necessary for Muslims to unite and fight to protect it. Hindus also are ready to fight in the name of religion. Religious hysteria is whipped up by leaders with vested interests who incite innocent people to kill each other. Institutionalised religions are getting more and more segregated, dividing humanity into different sects. But in the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna proclaims, “Whenever religion and righteousness decay, I incarnate myself to establish dharma; to protect the good and destroy the wicked.” I ask any scholars present to come forward and tell us which religion is decaying.

Lord Krishna further tells Arjuna, “Discard all these worldly religions and take shelter in Me; I will deliver you from all sins”. He further says (in verse 1, chapter 9), “Idam tu te guhyatamam pravakshyamyanasuyave. Gyanam vigyan sahitam yajgyatwa mokshyaseshubhat .” “O Arjuna, to you who does not see others' faults, I will reveal the most secret knowledge in theory and practice, knowing which you shall be free from the misery of worldly existence”. In verse 2 of chapter 9 he says, “Rajvidya Raj guhyam pavitramidmuttamam. Pratyakshavagamyam dharmyam susukham kartumvyayam.” This is the Supreme Knowledge, a sovereign secret, supremely holy, most excellent, directly experienced, in accordance with true religion, blissful, imperishable and very easy to practise. We should know what that knowledge is which is the universal religion for all human beings, which is sacred and secret and easy to practise.

St Tulsidas says in the Ramayana, “Sumiri Pawansut pawan namu. Apne vash kari rakheu Ramu.” Hanuman remembered the Holy Name and won over Lord Rama. The Holy Name of God is pure. It eradicates all sins and bestows goodwill and bliss. The Muslims call it ‘Pak Naam.' It is totally in accord with true religion. It is indestructible and very easy to practise.

I am talking about this same knowledge, which is never destroyed and very easy to remember. It is written in the Ramayana that devotion is totally independent but cannot be acquired without the company of saints. In verse 3 of chapter 9, “Ashraddhanah purushah dharmasyasya Paramtap. Aprapya mam nivartante, mrityu sansar vartmani,” Lord Krishna says, “Arjuna, he who has no faith in this dharma will fail to reach Me and will continue to revolve in the cycle of birth and death”. This is the religion, to establish which the Almighty has to incarnate again and again. If you get this spiritual knowledge, it will protect you.

Who knows how much water is in the sea! Clouds carry water from it and when it rains, it benefits our agriculture and all creatures. Similarly, when Rama (like the sea), saints (like the clouds) and satsang (like rain) are present, then devotion flourishes. It is said, “Chandan taru hari sant sameera.” God is like a sandalwood tree and saints are like the breeze. Even though the sandalwood tree is full of scent, it cannot convey its scent to anyone. Similarly, God is omnipresent, but is not visible. When saints, like the breeze, spread the fragrance of Knowledge, everyone will benefit. Saints spread the knowledge like the wind spreads the scent of the sandal tree throughout the forest.

When Lord Rama was in exile in the forest and searching for Mother Sita, Sugreev saw him and felt afraid. He told Hanuman to go and find out who they were, dressed like hermits. He was ready to run away if they had been sent by his enemy Bali . So Hanuman went there and asked, “Ko tum shyamal gour sarira. Kshatriya roop phirahu van veera. Kathin bhoomi komal pad gami. Kavan hetu bicharahu van Swami” – “Why are you wandering in this forest?” The Lord has a very real and great purpose for doing what he does. Whenever a true spiritual Master teaches the true meaning of religion, he meets a lot of opposition from the orthodox, but this is a good thing. I enjoy opposition. Let them oppose me! This will help us spread spirituality far and wide. Those who do good are also assisted by Nature. I say, let any Hindu scholars or academics or Christian priests or Sikh scholars explain what religion is. They talk of eternal religion but only perform rituals and worship idols in the name of religion. Hindus have worshipped statues of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna only since their incarnations, but we should ask ourselves what the people who lived before Lord Rama and Lord Krishna worshipped. Lord Rama incarnated in ‘Treta Yuga' but whom did the grandfather and the great-grandfather of Rama worship? Arya Samajis can advise us to perform fire sacrifices or ‘havan '. First, five elements came into being, then the ingredients for havan were available, but before that, what did people do? Religion is something which is neither created nor destroyed. Lord Krishna says that it is indestructible. I see that those, who recite the Bhagavad Gita and the Ramayana, try to understand and they think that they know everything, but in fact, they know nothing. Spiritual knowledge is within oneself. Do not accept a Guru who preaches mantra-tantra . Chanting mantras is of no use at the time of death. I give the spiritual knowledge by which you will understand the true meaning of the Bhagavad Gita and the Ramayana and you will understand meditation.

St Tulsidas has written in Uttarkand section of the Ramcharitmanasa, “karna dhar sadguru drirh nava, durlabh saaj sulabh kar pawa.” If hundreds of people are sitting in a ship but if there is no captain, then who will pilot it? This human body is that boat and we are sitting in it, but it cannot go ahead without the boatman. People do many things for devotion but Tulsidasji writes in the Ramayana, “Ram bhakti chintamani sundar. Basai Garud jake ur andar. Param Prakash roop din rati. Nahin chahiye kachhu diya ghrit bati.” Devotion to the Lord is a beautiful sparkling diamond. The self-effulgent Divine Light shines day and night in the heart of the devotee. For this light you don't need lamp or wick. It is further said that the impossible may be made possible, for example, ghee may be churned from water, horns may sprout on a rabbit's head, the son of a barren woman may win a war or many flowers may bloom in the sky, but no one can get salvation without this inner devotion to God. No one can cross the ocean of mundane existence without remembering the Holy Name of God. Only meditation on God is true; it is the essence. Saints say, “ Jap tap sanyam sadhana, sab sumiran ke manhi .” The benefits of japa (chanting), tapa (penance) and spiritual practice are all accomplished by remembering the Holy Name. So remembering God's true Name is the supreme duty of a human being.

Saint Kabir says, “Kahe Kabir jane bhaktajan, sumiran sam kachhu nahin. Sumiran se sukh hot hai, sumiran se dukh jay. Kahe kabir sumiran kiye, sain mahin samay.” He says that devotees know that there is nothing to equal remembering the Name. It erases sorrow and brings much joy.

“Ram ek tapas tiya tari. Naam koti khal kumati sudhari.” Lord Rama liberated one woman ascetic, Ahilya, but the Name has liberated thousands of ignorant people. “Ram bhalu kapi katak batora. Setu hetu shram kinha na thora. Nam let bhav sindhu sukhahi. Karahu vichar sajjan man mahin.” Lord Rama assembled an army of monkeys and bears and with much effort built a bridge, whereas the Name dries up the ocean of existence.

Which is greater? By remembering the holy Name of God, the ocean of mundane existence dries up. The Name is the storehouse of everything good and it is all-blissful.

Know that Name! Do not be led astray by dogmas. Understand the essence of all religions. Religion never teaches us to fight, rather it teaches goodwill and love for everyone.


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