Religion In a Word
Dear Member of Blavatsky Net,
One reason I admire His Holiness the Dalai Lama is that he summed
up his religion in a single word. Tibetan monks at monasteries memorize
long sections of text. As part of their training they tradition
they practice the art of debating. Yet a single word summary? The
Dalai Lama says "My religion is kindness". You can carry
that with you.
This sets me wondering how other bodies of religious thought might
be similarly summarized.
Sai Baba has a following of millions in the East and the West. He
says he is not here to found a new religion and instead directs
followers to return to the roots of their original religion. At
his compound at Putaparti India, on the top of the tallest building,
there is carved a very short saying. If people look up they will
see it. In two lines it says "Love all serve all". In
only four words he has captured the essence of a guiding rule for
the lives of his devotees - perhaps for all of us.
In Christianity we can easily think of the maxim "Love thy
neighbor as thyself." A world of behavior is indicated by that
rule. Others might choose "Do unto others as you would have
them do unto you." We acknowledge its significance by naming
it the "golden rule".
In Hinduism there are what are called "five great sentences".
Each sentence epitomizes a great truth. Perhaps the greatest of
the five great sentences is "Tat twam asi". In English
- "That thou art." An admirer of the Hindu Shankaracharya
once called this sentence the great identity - the E equals M C
squared of religious philosophy. (I guess we each have our own way
of describing things.) From this one sentence, if properly understood
- and thought out - flow all the moral maxims I have just mentioned.
A choice from Judaism might vary considerably from person to person.
One might consider the 10 commandments. Some might choose Hillel's
statement that is very similar to the golden rule. My own choice
would be a more obscure passage. Psalm xx says, "Lord create
in me a clean heart."
And finally we turn to Theosophy. H.P. Blavatsky's works occupy
a full bookshelf wide. How can one select a single passage? For
myself, I would pick a line from the Voice of the Silence. There
she writes "Compassion is the Law of Laws." This is suitable
for engraving on one's heart. In only six words it can provide the
basic compass for guiding us through life.
What choice would you select?
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"No Religion Higher Than Truth"
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