My Master’s most important teaching to me was his first teaching: Where religion ends, spirituality begins. His second most important teaching was: Religions have served to divide humanity and human beings into different cults, different sects, different religions, warring with each other, hating each other, suspicious of each other. Spirituality unites, because here (in Sahaj Marg) we worship not a god with a name, we don’t subscribe to any principles such as are embodied in a particular text, but we stand by morality, by ethical life, and by the need to love everyone as ourselves, by the need to love, meaning therefore to sacrifice.
So spirituality, as my Master said, unites people. There is no more the bigotry of religions. There is no more separatism of worship. There is no more the problem of which is the true religion, which is the true god, as if there can be a true god and an untrue god. Can there ever be an untrue god? There is one God, everyone knows. Then how can your god, my god be different? Should we not immediately shake hands and reconcile and say, “Yes, by jove, we have been stupid for three, three and a hand centuries, five centuries, ten centuries, we have been saying the truth without putting it into practice – your god and my god are the same, your religion and my religion are the same, your principles and my principles are the same, except that you as a European, eat with a fork and knife, I eat with my fingers. The food we eat is the same.
So spirituality seeks to bring people together in an enormous, transcendental synthesis of oneness of humanity, where human values have to be crystallized by practice of meditation on the heart…So the proof of the pudding is very much in the eating.
I have experienced the truths, the very fundamental life-shaking, emotion-shaking experiences of all these great faiths in my personal experience, meditating without any religion, without any named god, without any systematic worship, because here the worship is to the ultimate Divine principle within. All religions have produced mystics. They are called mystics precisely because instead of seeking God outside, they sought God within themselves, in their heart. The mystics know no religion. They were born Christians, but became mystics. They were born Muslims, but they became mystics called Sufis. They were born Hindus, but became mystics called Rishis and they attained what they attained finally, as mystics.
This is the important, shall I say, message of spirituality, that God is one!
- Taken from “Love and Death” by Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari