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I And Mine: [02.08] - A Religious Revolution - A Sketch of Religion

Published: 09.11.2005
Updated: 06.08.2008
  • We need a kind of power, which besides being self-illuminated is capable of illumining others too.
  • We need a kind of power, which while itself remaining non-accumulative is capable of restraining the disposition of accumulation.
  • We need a kind of power, which while itself remaining non-violent is capable of controlling violence.

The power we need is spirituality.

We need religion as long as religion and we are two separate entities.
We need it as long as we are not in harmony with our existence. After achieving that harmony, religion is no longer needed.

What use is a boat once we have crossed the river? Means have limited uses; they are not useful in all places and at all times.

Religion is needed so long as the mystery of the unknown persists. Despite great strides made by science, there is much that remains unknown. Let us recall what Newton said, ‘Whatever the world may think about me, in reality I am like a child who is gathering shells on the sea shore.'

First comes knowledge, and then comes faith. The latter is a condensed and profound form of the former. The condensed form of water is ice and that of milk is curds. Those who do not know what religion is profess faith in it. How is it possible? Can there be ice without water or curds without milk?

Why should we believe in religion if religion too makes available the same things, as do physical means?

Religion will exist as long as I last.
When I become separated from my true existence, religion gets destroyed, not by any communist but by me myself.

Society suffers from two problems: physical distress and spiritual indifference. Physical distress can be removed by increased production of goods, but spiritual indifference can be cured only by religion.

Whatever its popularity in the past, religion is no longer popular now. The iron has got rusted; it no longer has a cutting edge. The building is in ruins; it can no longer provide protection.

People are not deriving from religion what it is meant to deliver. One takes medicine to effect a cure. What would one think of a person who goes on taking medicine even though it shows no positive results?

Let us get saturated with such knowledge as would automatically generate righteousness.

Anuvrat is undoubtedly a religion but it is context-free and unspecific. It is a religion on the basis of the observance of vows (Vrat) as its very being. Vrat means a screen or a cover. Houses began being built when the need arose to provide men a cover from cold, heat, sun and storm. Vrat began being investigated into when men felt the need to provide themselves a cover from pain and disquiet.

Can the skin of a fruit quench the thirst after its juice has dried up or can the scaffolding create shed after the canopy has been blown away?

Consciousness is pure, bright and clear. It needs no cleansing. If the filth mixed with it is removed, water regains its intrinsic purity. If the external moral filth mixed with it is removed, consciousness regains its intrinsic purity.

A Vrati (one who observes Vrat or vows) cannot be created. People become Vrati by themselves. The skin is the Vrat of our body. What would have happened to our nerves, sinews and ligaments in the absence of skin? The peel is the Vrat of the mango. What would have happened to mango juice if the peel had not been there? Who asked the skin to protect the nerves, sinews and ligaments? Who asked the peel to protect the juice? Every thing in nature comes into being carrying its own Vrat. One wonders why is it that human psyche alone is born without carrying its Vrat.

Once a man wanted to know if Anuvrat could succeed in these immoral times. I told him that the success of the lamp is manifest only in the last night of the dark half of the month, not in sunlight. No matter how deep or intense the darkness, it vanishes the moment the lamp is lighted.

Acharya (now Ganadhipati Gurudev) Tulsi owns nothing, but those given to accumulative propensity come to meet him. Accumulation craves the direction of non-accumulation. It represents the power of spirituality. Conditions have to be created in which non-accumulation does not seek the road to accumulation and non-violence does not seek confluence with violence.

Remaining stationary and moving ahead are both useful within their own contexts. We accept changelessness and tradition also. One class of people wants to destroy changelessness and tradition while another wants to cling to it. Neither is right. We do need the earth to walk on, but shall we like our feet to get stuck to the earth? We may seek the support of a wall, but shall we like our body to get stuck to it?

At present religion too like the body and property has assumed the character of patrimony. It is not at all desirable.

  • I And Mine by Acharya Mahaprajna
  • Edited by Muni Dulahraj ji
  • Translated by R.P. Bhatnagar, formerly Prof. Dept. of English at Jaipur University
  • Published by Jain Vishva Bharati Institute, Ladnun, India, 1st Edition, 1995

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Anuvrat
  3. Body
  4. Consciousness
  5. Gurudev
  6. Newton
  7. Non-violence
  8. Science
  9. Tulsi
  10. Violence
  11. Vrati
  12. vrat
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