(The Word (Guruvani) of Navajyoti Sri Karunakara Guru)
“Islam and Christianity are prophetic religions which do not have a long history. Besides, there is a deviation from the time of Moses. Also these two religions have more or less performed their functions, in their respective paths. The changes brought about by the Christian and Islamic presence in India were considerable. The Christian British bettered the lot of the lower castes and educated them. They started getting sufficient to improve their physique. Some from among these sections identified themselves with the occupying suzerain and became part of the new religious and educational institutions. They soon participated in the governance and outstripped the Brahmins in cleverness. Those who embraced Islam practiced it as a rigorous discipline. They relied on physical aggression at times and expanded the areas of their influence. Still, the majority of them are disadvantaged as they came from these Hindu communities which were uncultivated in the finer graces of religious culture. However elevated these religious groups might have become through education and affluence and however long they might have stayed close to political power, there is something lacking. The refinement of Sanatana Dharma is that it comes with a virtuous way of life combining cleanliness, tidiness and humility envisaged in the Hindu way of life.
The Sanatana law has come to mean a mixing of myths and legends of the ancient past and more recent stories up to the propounder of the Gita. All these are put together with an eagerness to establish Advaita. Those who spout this Advaita, non-duality, are often unsympathetic to neighbors and even to their own brothers and sisters. We are talking all the time. Vedanta degenerates into pedantry. That is why a correction is difficult in this path.
As far as Islam and Christianity are concerned conflicts and consequent divisions occurred within them even as they were coming up. This divisive tendency had led to disasters. It is not yet time for another coming (of a prophet or great soul), bringing peace and rejuvenating these faiths. Besides, other paramparas have not been able to go deep into spirituality as the Sanatana or perennial law of the Manvantara system. It is a matter of divine intervention. Such depth of spirituality as this is difficult to find elsewhere. And so is such extensive history and religious culture. Still more significantly, the responsibility of working for the remaining time period of this Manuparampara is vested in the Dharma of the Hindus. The Manuparampara is the means to impart the Law of the Supreme to the world. Therefore the essence of all religions inheres in this system. An alternative to this way cannot evolve easily in the world.
India is a land of great wisdoms and great civilizations grown over vast periods of time. It should, therefore, strive to establish the perfect culture willed by the Almighty. Not only Christians or Muslims alone, all religions ought to heed this. Though each world religion is essentially part of a totality, each has been separately ennobled by many great men from time to time with their self-sacrifice and effort which have given rise to different customs and traditions. Many such traditions are visible in Hinduism itself. It is doubtful if any other religion is enriched to this extent. In order to mold life in keeping with this Age -the Kali, theologians and all believers of various religions should assess this Kali and its composite culture – the samkara mentioned in the Gita. This is a process to be achieved by the present and future generations…
A reorganization of our society, of our country, is required. All of us, believers, should free ourselves from the destructive effects of the caste system. We should overcome ethnic and religious differences. All children of this land should come together in humility and in devotion to God. That is the way to reorganize. This will give us the strength of mind, and power. The community that could contribute greatly towards this reorganization is the Brahmin community. In them intelligence, skill, ability and shrewdness blend as it were. They should give up their varnasrama caste trappings completely and lay the foundation of a composite—samkara—culture, the culture that is meant for Kali, indicated by the author of the Bhagavad Gita. They should unite with others to build a complete society, totally free from caste or class. They should not be distracted by the differences seen today. The pattern of having one mode of worship for themselves and other modes for the rest should change first. Instead of securing tantric rites people should be firm in the experiential worship of the Divine. Those who strive wholeheartedly for this should lead others who lack awareness. If we do not do this, the births of great souls would be diverted elsewhere away from our ethnic stream. The focus of redemption will move away and we will be left in a complex of Karma…” (Quoted from the book ‘A Dialogue on Human Prospects’ by Navajyoti Sri Karunakara Guru, published by Santhigiri Ashram)
(Navajyoti Sri Karunakara Guru (1927-1999) is the Founder Guru of Santhigiri Ashram at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala)
Source: World Hindu News (WHN)