Do all paths lead to God?

Sen,16 May,2011

 

Sages of all ages preached to hold steadfastly to your own belief and through introspection one can reach the ultimate truth of self realisation.

 

This can be seen over the ages, for which different cults, sects, believers emerged in this world over, with different religions and variety of practices to help the mundane, the lowliest of the lowly, all children of god, to rise above the rest and be free.

 

This feeling of one-self to be one with the whole is the ultimate achievement in one’s life, be it through any means. One should not be dogmatic that my path is the best. It is for the learner to choose which path suits him best as per his self-like and dislike.

 

Through the passage of time, the more one progresses, more one becomes refined, silence and peace dwells within his heart and becomes above all these petty issues.

Whoever likes Krishna, let him come to this path. Whoever likes Shiva or Kali or any other form of god, let him or her choose the same and be free.

 

Does the Krishna Bhakta’s believe in this ideology or is there something more in their understanding on the path of realisation? Of course, the path of love is the shortest way to reach to the ultimate truth and the core of all religions preaches the same.

 

pranathi sundaragiri,16th May,2011

 

Hare Krishna!

All glories to Guru and Gauranga 🙂

 

Religion is the order of God. Dharman tu sakshad bhagavat pranitam. So 1st of all, we must know who is God, then we take education about what His orders are and how to follow them. If we donot know who is God then where is the question of following His orders??

 

The orders of God are very clearly enunciated in our scriptures which tell us that the Supreme, the Highest, the Personality of Godhead is Lord Sri Krishna. We are also informed of the various prescribed ways to approach Him based on our currently prevalent material condition. The same has been advocated by sages of all times.

All this, IF we are serious about our spiritual life- our real life. If we want to imagine and manufacture, we can always do so. But the results are highly questionable.

Krishna is God. He is accepted by all the realized souls Including Shiva, Devi, Brahma and all the great acharyas including the famous mayavadi acharya, Sri Shankaracharya. God cannot be manufactured or imagined. Nor can someone become God just because a few people believe in them.

The idea of moksha as being fused with the Brahman aspect of God is highly prevalent but it is one of the five and, in fact, the least favoured type of liberation -known as sayujya mukti. The result of following a religion or dharma, the true test is whether we have learnt to love God, Adhokshaja.

sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokshaje -srimad Bhagawatam 1.2.6

 

Hare Krishna

 

Milind Joshi,16th May,2011

 

Hare Krishna!

 

Thank you for this lively discussion.

 

It is best to also reflect on some writings by Srila Gurudeva, Sri Sankarshan Das Adhikari on this subject.

 

There are many many more writings on this subject as it is a common question.

 

Humbly,

Milind

 

From 23 Sep 2009

Request:  Help Me Get Out of Suffering

——————————————————————————–

 

Dear Gurudeva,

Please accept my deepest respects for your love and devotion to God and for delivering the human race from suffering.

If I can be granted any mercy or favor in your sight, please respond with patience and understanding for my ignorance and gross darkness; I am not a devotee.

1. I have the most difficult time trusting God since my prayers don’t get answered.

2. I gather that He is aloof and that there is no guarantee for salvation unless I earn it, and still there is no guarantee. Because of unanswered prayers in my practices, I struggle with trusting any deity though I thirst for a personal living God. I am told there is one, but He is not real to me. I am reluctant to surrender to a deity for fear of discouragement, and I am thus walking away from God like I have done many times in the past. Voidism is a ‘safe haven’ for avoiding this discouragement by putting my salvation all on me, but it does not fulfill the heart of craving for fellowship. Plus, I have been let down by false masters who have knowledge but no wisdom. Worse, they knock other religions and have monetary motivations. Please assist me in this search and help me get out of suffering.

Thank you.

Your student

 

——————————————————————————–

Answer: Follow My Instructions. You Will Be Saved.

——————————————————————————–

 

If you are prayers are not being answered, you are not praying properly. It is a fact that God is aloof from those approach Him to fulfill their material desires. But He becomes the intimate associate of those who approach Him to humbly submit themselves at His feet as His eternal servants. Your salvation is 100% guaranteed if you will simply surrender yourself to Him. Voidness or the philosophy of absolute nothingness can never bring happiness to your heart because it denies your very existence, which is an obvious absurdity. If a guru teaches that there are different religions, he is not bona fide because religion is one, to become a pure lover God. And he is after your money, he is also not bona fide because the bona fide spiritual master is attracted to Krishna and only to Krishna.

If you are ready to fully open heart and learn the science of bhakti, I am willing to teach you, but for the teachings to be effective you have to be willing to carefully and sincerely follow my instructions. If you will adopt the proper practice of bhakti under qualified guidance I can assure you that will gradually become free from all suffering.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

 

 

 

From June 4, 2006:

 

Why Does God Have Different Rules for Different Religions?…

 

Why do people fight in the name of religion? To stop doing such deeds, what are Krishna’s thoughts, as well as what do you feel about it? If God is one, then why Islamic people are so cruel for their religion? Why does god differentiate between Hindu, Muslim or Christian? Why does He have different rules for different religions?

 

What is the difference between religion, peace and love?

 

With regards,

 

Sangita

 

There Are Not Different Religions…

 

People who fight in the name of religion do so in complete ignorance of what is the meaning of religion. Religion means to obey the laws of God. It does not mean to exploit others. A devotee, a lover of God, does not even want to harm an ant because he sees every living being as a dear child of God.

 

God does not differentiate between religions because there is no such thing as different religions. It is man who has concocted these different so-called religions. God has given us one religion, to develop our pure love for Him.

 

True religion means to become a true lover of God and all of His creation. Only someone who comes to this platform can experience real peace. This is described by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita as follows:

 

bhoktaram yajna-tapasam

sarva-loka-mahesvaram

suhrdam sarva-bhutanam

jnatva mam santim rcchati

 

“Only that person who knows Me to be the Supreme Enjoyer, the Supreme Proprietor, and the Supreme Friend can experience true peace.” Bhagavad-gita 5.29

 

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

 

 

From Aug 23, 2005

 

Which is the Best Religion?

 

Dear Prabhuji ,

 

Thanks for your reply. I was glad to receive your explanations. I am happy to read “Thought for the Day”, and I am benefiting from the same.

 

I would like to ask you a few more questions.

 

There are different religions in the world like Hinduism , Christianity, Islam , Buddhist , Sikhism , Jainism and a few other religions. Krishna says in the Gita he is supreme and similarly Christ and Allah are saying they are supreme in their religious books. How does an average neutral human being judge the major religions and decide which is the best way forward. I feel confused each religion is telling that their God is superior and to accept their ideology . Kindly advise me on this. Does this mean if a person accepts Krishna consciousness he is liberated and if he follows other religions he is not on the right track.

 

Hare Krishna

 

Regards,

 

Krishna

 

 

My Dear Krishna,

Please accept my blessings.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

 

In the Christian Bible and Islamic teachings there are statements indicating that is more knowledge beyond what those teachings are revealing. For example, the Bible Christ states, “There is so much that I have yet to tell thee, but you cannot bear to hear it now.”

 

Compare this with Krishna states in the Bhagavad-gita:

 

jnanam te ‘ham sa-vijnanam

idam vaksyamy asesatah

yaj jnatva neha bhuyo ‘nyaj

jnatavyam avasisyate

 

“I shall now declare unto you in full this knowledge, both phenomenal and numinous. This being known, nothing further shall remain for you to know.” Bhagavad-gita 7.2

 

So according to what the Christian, Islamic, and Vedic teachings say about themselves, the Vedas are giving the complete full knowledge and the Christian and Islamic teachings are giving a portion of it. This does not deny the validity of the Christian and Islamic teachings. This is simply to establish the more complete nature of the Vedic teachings. It is just like the difference between a pocket dictionary and an unabridged dictionary. Do you understand?  Both dictionaries are valid, but one is more complete than the other one.

 

This is not our bias.  This is according to the version of the teachings themselves.  This is why I am following the Vedic teachings.  If the Bible or Islamic teachings were more complete, I would follow them instead.  I am not attached to any particular religion or any particular organization.  I am simply attached to realizing and living the Truth in its most complete form.

 

My membership in ISKCON, the Hare Krishna Movement, is utilitarian, not blind.  I participate in ISKCON because they have the most perfect and complete conception of the Absolute Truth and the most perfect and complete methodology for realizing the Absolute Truth.

 

Hoping this meets you in the best of health and in a cheerful mood,

Your eternal well-wisher,

 

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

From 23 Jan 2011

 

Today’s Thought:

 

            Connecting with the Universal Religion

 

Uploaded from New Dwarka–Los Angeles, California, USA

There are many billions of people throughout the world who consider themselves religious. Generally each of them adheres to a particular religious tradition, which is in many ways similar and also in many ways different from other religious traditions. Often, they consider that their tradition is the only valid tradition, and that others who are not participants in their tradition are lost souls condemned to be denied access to the kingdom of God. In this way, they fail to see the true universal nature of religion. Unfortunately this exclusivist mentality leads to increasing chaos and conflict in a world that is already too much overburdened by chaos and conflict.  Religion is supposed to be God’s gift to man so that he can have a heaven on earth and qualify to return to God’s kingdom upon leaving his current body. So what is going wrong? And what can be done to change it?

 

What’s going wrong is that we approach God to fulfill our desires instead of His desires. In other words we approach Him with our contaminated consciousness of subtly considering ourselves to be the Supreme. We place ourselves over Him by asking Him to serve us instead of us serving Him. This is selfishness, not selflessness. And this is what is going wrong in the hearts of practically everyone who approaches God. To change this we must teach that selfless service to Supreme Person is the only way that one can experience genuine complete happiness. If the hand wants to get nourishment, it must give the food to the belly. God is like the belly and we are like the hand. So we must give everything to God. In this way, we will be the best servants of God and all living beings including ourselves.

 

So, the universal religion is pure selfless service to the Supreme Person, the source of all existence. The language of the universal religion takes different shapes according to the different traditions. But when one goes deep enough into any one tradition, he will arrive at exactly the same conclusion as anyone else who follows his own religious tradition deeply enough. Therefore instead of getting side tracked by the differences of the religious traditions, we should immediately try to capture the pure essence of religion, the universal religion of pure, unadulterated, selfless, loving service for the Supreme Person.

 

The difficulty is that we currently have a drastic shortage of enlightened teachers on this planet who are fully tuned into the original, pure essence of religion, the universal religion of pure selfless devotion to God. An enlightened teacher is someone who has gone deep enough into his own tradition to find the one universal root of all traditions. He is a teacher who has fully realized the one universal or absolute truth underlying all relative truths. If planet earth had a sufficient abundance of such enlightened teachers in each tradition, there could be instituted a global educational system which would easily bring to this tattered global society a truly profound golden era of peace, prosperity, and happiness for all.

 

This is the day that we are praying and crying for, Lord. May it come soon! May it come soon! May it come soon!

 

 

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

 

 

From Aug 18, 2004

 

“Reviving the World Religion”

The Ultimate Self Realization Course, Lesson B32

 

by His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Under the sublime loving guidance of His Divine Grace

Sri Srimad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

There’s a lot of talk these days about bringing peace and unity throughout the world by establishing one World Religion. Many aspiring reformers are putting forward their proposals on what that World Religion should be. But what they fail to note is that man cannot invent Religion. Religion is given by God. Just as within a particular nation we must follow the established laws, we cannot invent our own laws and expect to be recognized as law-abiding citizens. It we neglect the existing laws we will be regarded as criminals and dealt with accordingly. It we disobey the laws of God we must suffer the karmic reactions for being out of harmony with the Supreme. This is why we see so much chaos in the world today.

 

While some want to invent a new World Religion others are pushing that their religious sect should become the World Religion. We see in many cases that such sectarianists will argue, fight, and even torture and kill others outside of their sect to push forward their own sect as the World Religion. Along with trying to invent a new World Religion this sectarianism is another type of madness. It has been going on for many, many centuries. Because of our tendency to place ourselves in the center instead of placing God in the center we may also try to establish our religious sect as the World Religion. This is not God consciousness. This is sectarian selfishness.

 

To clarify the situation there is one fact that we must carefully understand. That fact is that as soon as we talk about religions in the plural we are missing what is actual Religion. God is One. There cannot be two Supreme Beings any more than there can be two supreme courts. Since God is One, Religion, therefore, must also be One. Religion means simply to love God. When we consider religions in the plural we are not dealing with Religion. We are in the realm of religious sects. When we speak of Religion in the singular we are actually speaking about Religion.

 

After all, how many suns are there in the sky? There is only one. But how many different names are there for the sun? There are hundreds. Instead of fighting over what is the name of that fiery ball in the sky we should realize that we, along with everyone else, are the recipients of the rays of that same luminous object in the sky. The sun is not American. It is not Indian. It is not Christian. It is not Muslim. The sun exists beyond all the designations that we try to impose upon it. Similarly God exists beyond any designations that we try to impose upon Him.

 

Before the age of Kali began some 5,000 years ago the entire world was unified under one government centered in India and under one World Religion based on the Vedas. The Vedic conception of Religion does not restrict God to one name. The Vedic conception is the original religious teaching in this universe going back to the very beginnings of this universe some 155 trillion years ago. The religious conception described in the Vedas accepts all bonafide incarnations of God and all bonafide names of God. It does not allow anyone to concoct what is Religion according to his or her own imagination. It does present in a scientific way the detailed methodologies of how to dovetail perfectly your individual consciousness with the Supreme Consciousness. It can be practiced by anyone in any sect, whether they are Hindu, Christian, Jew, or Muslim. It is indeed the ultimate universal system for spiritual enlightenment, the true World Religion.

 

We are very fortunate to have been unlimitedly blessed with this knowledge by one of the greatest enlightened teachers in the history of the universe, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, through the many volumes of books that he has left behind for us to follow. Our course is meant to help you fully connect yourself with those teachings. Kindly take advantage of it and make your life sublime.

 

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Bhaktivedanta Ashram

Austin, Texas, USA

August 18, 2004

 

 

Humbly,

Milind

 

Compiled by Sunil Vaswani

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