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Home : Teachings & Beliefs : The Avatar Par Excellence - Part 4

Part 4
Philosophy of the Om Sakthi Movement

Before dwelling upon the topic itself let us investigate what is meant by Religion and what is meant by Philosophy?

What is Religion?

Religion is the relationship between the three fundamental principles - God, world and the individual. God means Godhead or Brahman or Adhiparasakthi. World means Prakrithi or Avyaktham or Jagath or Universe. Individual means the individual self or Jiva or Atman.

In the correct sense, religion is the belief by man in a secret and invisible power higher than himself. When men seek to travel or think beyond the first sense impressions of their existence, they feel the necessity of religion. Religion gives solace to the weary mind in the earth-plane. Religion explains life's mystery to men. Religions shows the path to the immortal abode.

As such the proper functions of religion are:

  1. To instill into its believers, faith in a higher power and to sustain it, to teach the masses that God exists, to teach the relationship of man to God.
  2. To bring them communion with the power and to inculcate worship of it; to explain the psychological consequences of the relation between man and God.
  3. To make its believers better in character and nobler in conduct; to bring the people into a life of supreme significance; to inculcate a morality necessitated by the above.
  4. To relieve emotional misery; to see that the benefits reach all classes.
  5. To give solace to the weary mind in the earth-plane.
  6. To explain life's mystery to man.
  7. To show the path to immortal abode.

Requirements of a Religion

The main requirements of a religion are: (1) Philosophy, (2) Mythology and (3) Rituals. Philosophy enumerates the whole scope of that religion, setting forth its basic principles, the goal and the means of reaching it. Mythology is philosophy made concrete. It consists of legends relating to the lives of great men or of supernatural beings of Avatharas and so forth. It is the abstractions of philosophy concretized in the more or less imaginary lives of men and supernatural beings. Ritual is still more concrete and is made up of forms and ceremonies, various physical attitudes, flowers and incense and many other things which appeal to the senses. This includes daily Pooja, Kalasa Pooja, Velvi Pooja, etc.

What is Religious Decadence?

Today man has become irreligious. He has forgotten all about his religion. Due to ignorance, lust for power, and greed, he has come down to the level of a brute. In the name of religion, man has started stabbing and looting, and burning and destroying houses and religious places. Many preach Hinduism but no one realizes the Divinity in all. Many preach Islam but no one has recognized the brotherhood of man. Many preach Christianity but no one practices love and forgiveness. Politics has preoccupied religion. Preaching has become the livelihood of men, while practice has become their object of scorn. There are religions with truth and ideals. But true followers of these truths, ideals and religions have become scarce.

What is the need of the hour? Now the followers of all the religions are to be educated in the proper direction. Practical tenets of true religion are to be shown to followers of religion. Ways and means are to be devised so that these tenets can be expressed and followed in daily life. Idealism should be put into practice. Knowledge should alter man's life in the proper direction. Ideals such as selflessness, love and service to mankind are to be demonstrated and radiated. Let everyone practice his own religion to attain the goal of life. Let religion create saints & yogins rather than Mandirs, Majjids and churches. Instead of building new temples, churches and mosques, let us renovate and preserve the old places of worship.

The Essentials of Religion

Religion is a life of goodness and service. Religion is a life of meditation. It is life in God. He who is loving, kind, pious and truthful, he who is endowed with faith and devotion is truly religious. The terms God, Godhead, Goddess, Divine Mother and Adhiparasakthi are used synonymously.

The essence of religion is not merely making on the forehead with viboothi or Kungumam and wearing black or blue or green or orange or red colored or saffron robe but a life of goodness, purity and service in the midst of mundane temptations. Religion is living in God. It is not mere discussion about God. Mere intellectual assent cannot make you really religious. Real religion is beyond argument. It can only be lived both inwardly and outwardly. It is realization and becoming.

Ensure that personal bias, force of convention or the opinion of fanatics and sectarians, do not blind your vision into a narrow view of religion. Do not get prejudiced by observing the religious practices of untutored masses. Differentiate the essentials from the nonessentials in religion, and philosophy through the power of pure reason and discrimination. Only then can you be happy. The essentials of all religions are one and the same. They all agree. Religions differ only in nonessentials.

The Fruits of a Religious Life

The religious life is the greatest of all blessings. If you live in accordance with the rules of religion you will attain wisdom, immortality, everlasting peace and eternal bliss. Religion frees one from sorrow and pain. Religion bestows everlasting peace. Religion makes one independent. Religion unites the soul with Brahman. Religion frees one from births and deaths.

There is no living without a religion. It is only religion that makes existence valuable and fills the mind with love, devotion, serenity and cheerfulness. No material force can annihilate the religious urge in man, though for a time a certain kind of propaganda may serve as a deterrent.

Religions of the World

There are six great religions of the world. They are: (1) Hinduism, (2) Zoroastrianism, (3) Judaism, (4) Buddhism, (5) Christianity and (6) Mohammedanism. All the religions except Hinduism have been named after the founders. But there is no founder for Hinduism. Jainism is only another form of Buddhism. Sikkism is based chiefly on Hinduism and partly on Islam, Brahmoism is born of Hinduism and Christianity.

Whenever any important truth of religion was suppressed by the arrogance and selfishness of the priestly class, or forgotten through the ignorance of the people; there appeared a great saint, or prophet, or religious teacher. He emphasized the truth, removed the dress which had concealed or obscured it, and made it shine in its original brilliance, purity, splendor, and glory.

When in olden times people forgot all about Vedic monotheism, there came Zoroaster. When the religion of Vedas degenerated into blind observance of rites then Buddha came. When the priests of Judaism became arrogant, there came Jesus. When Christianity also degenerated into idolatry and superstition, there appeared Mohammed to preach his monotheism. In this way, every new religion was only an endeavor to reform the other religion as it then existed and a protest against the abuses.

Today there is no inward peace and no outward security for modern man. He is unable to decide what is the right conduct of life. He is unable to tackle the obstacles encountered in his day to day life. Truth of religion is being suppressed by the arrogance and selfishness of politicians and religious fanatics. Religion is being used for political gains. Above all these things, the power of money is dominating, and hence all the people in general and the middle class people in particular are suffering a lot. There is no scarcity of food and water in the world. But due to improper distribution, a vast section of the community is dying for want of food and water. As such, now a time has come to revise and reorient the religious teachings and to unite all the religions under one roof to avoid global conflict, so as to save mankind. In the above circumstances, His Holiness Arulthiru Bangaru Adigalar has appeared as an Avatar of Adhiparasakthi to reestablish Dharma.

Adhiparasakthi herself has taken an Avatar in the form of Adigalar in this earth-plane. He has revised and reoriented the ancient Hinduism under the name, Om Sakthi Movement, into a Universal Religion. Adigalar's view is that the majority of people are principally preoccupied with fighting and struggling for livelihood. These people can hardly be blamed for being indifferent to a higher spiritual culture. They cannot give sufficient attention to such a search for truth until they themselves are less hindered by the inevitable dependence on economic conditions. The basic human needs of sufficient food, clothing and medical treatment have to be satisfied before the cultural, religious, mystical or metaphysical needs. Hence, Adigalar has organized 'Anna Thanam' and 'Adai Thanam' and is now materializing a Hospital of World Order to serve the poor freely in particular, and the humanity in general.

Religion gives solace to the weary mind in the earth-plane. Religion explains life's mystery to man. Religion shows the path to the immortal abode.

What is Philosophy?

Philosophy or Vedantham is theoretical religion, and religion is practical philosophy. Philosophy is forever searching, inquiring and questioning. Religion is sensing, realizing and experiencing.

The idea of death is the motive power of religion and religious life. Man is afraid of death. Man does not want to die. Man wants to live forever. This is the starting point of philosophy. Philosophy inquires, investigates and advises man not to be afraid of death. It proclaims that there is an immortal abode, that is, Brahman or Adhiparasakthi, or Atma, that dwells in the chamber of the heart. Philosophy gives the way to attain immortality. Religion shows the way for the implementation of philosophy.

Three Schools of Metaphysical Thought

In explaining the relationship of man to God and the Universe, there are various schools of philosophy. The three important schools of metaphysical thought are:

  1. Dvaitha - Dualism
  2. Visishtadvaitha - Qualified Monoism
  3. Advaitha - Monoism or Non-dualism

These are the three stages on the way to the Para-Brahman, the Ultimate Truth. These stages are harmoniously arranged in a graded series of spiritual experiences. All three culminate eventually in the Advaitha - Vedantic realization of the Absolute or the Adhiparasakthi or the Transcendental Thirigunatheetha Anandha Brahman.

The three stages (Dvaitha, Visishtadvaitha and Advaitha) are based on three categories of reality. They are:

  1. Jagath or the Universe in which we live.
  2. Jivas or the individual souls that live in the Universe.
  3. The Substratum behind the Universe and the innumerable souls which are the repository of all knowledge and power.

Some of the fundamentals that are common to all three systems of philosophy are:

  1. The Substratum sustains and also governs and controls the destiny of the Jagat and Jivas.
  2. Enshrouded as the Jivas are in the Jagat, they subject themselves to countless births and transmigrations.
  3. Through transmigration they either evolve to higher orders of life or involve to the lower ones.
  4. Virtue and righteous acts help them to go upwards.
  5. Vice and sinful acts drag them downwards.
  6. Mukthi or emancipation is effected by giving oneself away in tito to God.
  7. Mukthi is the goal of all Jivas.

1. Dvaita

According to Dvaita philosophy, the Universe, the individual souls, and God are three separate and everlasting entities. God rules over the universe and the souls. In the Dvaita philosophy, God is independent and everything, including the Jivas, is under His control. The souls, in their ignorance, (Avidya) are entangled in the Universe. Through devotion to God and through His mercy obtained thereby, the souls are to free themselves from the bondage of the World and attain the realm of God. God, by his grace, can efface the Jiva's ignorance, restore him to his true nature and release him from Samsara, the cycle of births and deaths occurring according to his beginningless load of Karma. The State of living with God in Heaven is termed Mukthi. There, the Jivas are eternally in the presence of the Godhead. Their individuality is not lost because of Mukthi.

2. Visishtadvaita

Visishtadvaita means qualified non-dualism. God alone exists, according to it. The cosmos is His body. The Jivas exists as innumerable life cells in that cosmic body. The individual souls cannot be separated from God. With the dawn of intuitive knowledge the Jiva realizes that the Paramatman (God) is the whole and he an infinitesimal part of it. The attainment of this knowledge leads to emancipation. Complete self-surrender is the means of attaining this goal. In the state of Mukthi the Jiva is ever aware that he is a limb of Godhead.

3. Advaita

Advaita means non-dualism. Jagat, Jiva and Brahman are not really separate entities. Reality is one without a second. The Ultimate Truth is one and one only and it is Brahman or Brahman. This Brahman is sat-cit-Ananda (Existence knowledge Bliss infinite or Bliss absolute). It has intrinsic power to manifest itself as the Jagat and the Jiva. This inherent power goes by the name of Maya. Brahman and Maya are inseparable. This is what Advaita means. It is because of the ignorance (Ajana or avidya) that the Jiva fancies that he is separate from the Universe and the Substratum behind it. The ignorance is beginningless (anadhi) but can be ended through knowledge (jnana) of their real nature as Atman or self identical with Brahman or the Absolute. With the dawn of knowledge, this feeling of difference vanishes. The Reality alone exists. Because of its Mayasakthi it manifests itself as the Jiva and Jagat. Maya means illusion or the divine potency. Resolving the Sakthi into itself, it also remains unmanifest. In its kinetic state it is Saguna Brahman (conditioned reality). In the state of liberation, the individual self merges in Brahman, completely losing its identity. The individual soul dissolves into the absolute. This is emancipation (Mukthi) according to the Advaita system of philosophy.

Evidence is available in the scriptures in support of all three systems of philosophy. Human life itself is a composite of these three systems. In the wakeful state, man moves about and transacts. He is then in the plane of Dvaita. The world he lives in and the persons he contacts are all entities independent of him. Then comes the next state. The experience of this world of multiplicity goes to sleep. The world of variety vanishes. The dream world comes into being. The same plurality is experienced again. But the man and the world found in dreams are different from those found in the waking state. One has external reality while the other is a phantom of the mind. The dream world of plurality exists nowhere except in the mind of the experiencing individual. Here there is a perception of dualism while actually it is all monoism. This is the position of the visishtadvaita. Then there is a coveted dreamless sleep, contentless consciousness. The self that is in the waking and dream state continues to be in the dreamless slumber as well. This is the position of Advaita, one without a second.

Mutually exclusive though these are, these three experiences, wakefulness, dream, and dreamless sleep are indispensable to a man entangled in the meshes of the world. All three types of experiences are the mundane counterparts of the stages of experience in intuitive knowledge. The contention among the commentators is in regard to the relative validity of these three forms of experience and each maintains that its experience alone constitutes the ultimate truth.

In the light of the above philosophy now let us examine what Hinduism is.

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