When we talk about religion, we often get the impression of a static institution with a mixture of rules, regulations and spiritual practices. When we talk of religious paths, it conjures up a spiritual journey. We are not static but seeking to be a better person, to come closer to God.
A seeker may feel that their religious path is by far the best and the others are mistaken. It is a feeling that only theirs can be right. This is a mistake, we can say that our religion is perfect for us. But, we cannot say that other religious paths are leading people to the land of nowhere (or worse).
Outwardly, we can see many differences in religious paths. But, it is a mistake to give too much importance to the outer forms. True religion depends on our inner attitude, our inner belief and sincerity. We may be able to fool others with displays of piety, we may even be able to fool ourselves; but, we can never fool God, as he sees us like an open book.
The Quintessence of Different Religious Paths
- Judaism and Islam teach the importance of faith and devotion to God.
- Christianity offers the message of Divine forgiveness and compassion
- Judaism. Judaism teaches the importance of devotion to God and a sense of divine Justice.
- Islam. Islam teaches its followers to put God first
- Hinduism teaches that God can be discovered in our selves in the eternal here and now.
- Buddhism teaches the importance of self discovery and self effort to overcome the bondage that leads to suffering. Buddhism lays open the goal of Nirvana for those who can transcend the paths of the world.
- Sufism. The mystical devotion of Sufism teaches the experience of bhakti devotion.
Whichever religious path we follow, we need follow it with devotion, sincerity, humility. It is only when we actively pursue a religious path with sincerity and devotion that religion can become a spiritual experience rather than just a collection of mental beliefs.
The real essence of religion is to cultivate a love of God, a love of the Divine consciousness; it is to transcend our human limitations and seek a diviner life. To dive into the divine consciousness we have to transcend the mental world. We cannot seek God through scriptural knowledge alone. It is the attitude of a child that can alone seek the Kingdom of Heaven within. The attitude of a child is an attitude without any pride or envy. It comes from living in the heart, in the soul. A proud mind can never open the kingdom of heaven.
A religious path should never be for the satisfaction of human egoism. If we pursue a religious path for our own prestige or sense of egotism, is their any bigger fool on earth? We must pursue a religious path to please our inner pilot.