Countless schools of thought have emerged to this day about Man, his relationship with nature or with the Unseen Power that charges us almost everyday in our sleep in order to enable us to get up refreshed to face another day. This Unseen Entity has been given a name and some have given It a form. The result is we countless books published on religious topics. How? Why did this happen? You must ask Man’s mind. And, people say that Man’s mind is linked with the Cosmic mind. Part and parcel of the Cosmic Mind! But what is the Cosmic Mind?
Now let us take the word “religion”. The origin of this word has its roots in the Latin word re-ligare which means “to bind back”. To bind back to what?
Let’s consider the individual mind. the nature of the mind is to wander. The more it wanders, the more confused it becomes—becomes very insecure, just like a child without parents, going about in fear, making blunders. There is something that has been said by a certain writer: “The human-soul was sent into the world to see the show of life and thus to gain the needed experience. But when it came here it became completely absorbed in the show and lost all recollection of the Lord, like a child who goes out to see a fair, holding on to his father’s hand, but lets go the father’s hand and is soon lost in the crowd. He is then no longer able to enjoy the fair nor can he find his father. As a result he wanders from place to place, lost and filled with fear and misery.”
This feeling of insecurity is something that almost every being suffers from. It is this feeling of insecurity that makes a young man or a young girl seek a mate. It is this feeling of insecurity that makes the parents get attached to the children with the hope that they may at some time be a source from which they can obtain security.
But once Man realizes that the feeling of security is something to develop from “within” him he stops looking “without” for this. But this realization comes in very late in life or sometimes never at all. Therefore, individuals who feel this deficiency go in search of dynamic beings who act as spiritual guides. Such guides of vibrant dynamism are known as Avatars in Hindu parlance. And the Voice that guides is recorded and becomes a religious text of scripture.
Those of us who are born in a century where such vibrant dynamic beings are not seen, have to rely on religious scriptures or their interpreters for consolation and guidance. Therefore, as long as man is weak in spirit he needs something to nourish it so that he can pick up those loose ends of his life and find himself a place in society. It is here we have the Guru and disciple relationship. By Guru I mean spiritual Guru who is a reflection of God’s light on earth.
Vivekananda in one of his talks said: “In all living beings there are three sorts of instruments of knowledge. The first is instinct which you find highly developed in animals, the second instrument of knowledge is reasoning. You find it highly developed in man and the third instrument is inspiration. So instinct, reason and inspiration are three instruments of knowledge. Instinct belongs to animals, reason to man and inspiration to God-Men.”
All the three, of course are found in every man in different proportions according to each man’s inner development.
Amongst the three, the reasoning mind can sometimes go off at a tangent and lead us to destructive ways. This is where the inspired sayings contained in religious texts show us the way.
*Mother Mangalam is the president and spiritual leader of The Pure Life Society. For comments or questions you can e-mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org