Religion Through Faith, Knowledge

Published: 04.10.2008
Updated: 13.11.2008


Deccan Herald

There is an ascending order of knowledge from beings endowed with only one sense unto those endowed with five senses. Among living beings man has the greatest access to knowledge. Many other living beings have the senses as men have.

Once a man walked up to the seashore carrying a pitcher in his hand. The pitcher is there and the sea is there. Is the sea water accessible to the pitcher? It  will not be right to say that it is not accessible. But it will be not be completely true to say that it is accessible. In fact it is accessible as well as inaccessible. From the point of view of totality it is not accessible; from a partial or limited point of view it is accessible. A pitcher can also diminish the quantity of the sea water in proportion to its capacity. It is difficult to say that religion is accessible to the intellect. But it is also not easy to say that it is not accessible to the intellect. Religion is infinite. Infinite truth can be known only through knowledge. Then why was the question asked as to whether religion is accessible to the intellect?

Intellect represents the limits of our knowledge. Living beings as such merely have a trace of knowledge. Those having only one sense are capable of experiencing pleasure and pain.

There is an ascending order of knowledge from beings endowed with only one sense unto those endowed with five senses. Among living beings man has the greatest access to knowledge. Many other living beings have the senses as men have. Among them some have mind too. But intellect is not present in most living beings. Man alone has it. He has the power to take decisions.

Bullocks were beasts of burden in the past; they are so in the present and will continue to be the same in future too, because they lack intellect. Man has the intellectual ability to take decisions.

The intellect grows through work-experience also. Experience makes a man skilled. Knowledge is not found in equal measure in all persons. It too has gradation.

There are individual differences too. One man accepts religion unquestioningly; another says he will do so only after due deliberation. The former belongs to the class of the faithful; the latter to that of the intellectual.

However, according to me no act of faith is totally devoid of intellectual thinking. It is not possible to have faith without knowledge, even as there can be no ice without water. Faith is a condensed form of knowledge. Dharma or religion is accessible only through intellect not through 'non-intellect'.

Viewed grossly religion seems to be related more to faith and much less to the intellect. But a deep examination reveals that one cannot relate to religion without the intellect.

Sources
Deccan Herarld - by the efforts of Mr. Lalit Garg
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