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From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_CompuServe.COM)
Date: Fri May 03 1996 - 18:24:21 PDT
B.EXCERPTS FROM PROF. SHARMA'S BOOK " A man(Woman ) has , besides a body , a conscious mind with its three main aspects of will, emotion and reason, and behind it a vast subconscious or unconscious mind in which are stored away the innumerable experiences of the individual" and his(her ) heritage .And, over and above all these, is the super-conscious, eternal and Universal spirit , which is the fundamental self of ALL beings and by virtue of which, in fact, they live and function. So every established religion , which ministers to the whole being of man is bound to possess elements in it , which will improve all aspects of that being. To begin with , there must be something in it which sublimates and purifies the unconscious mind, something which goes to the very roots of a man's being and exerts asubtle ,but most lasting influence on his habits, tastes, impulses and the unreflective ways of his life. That part of the religion , which performs this vital function is its RITUAL . The Ritual has also another function.It represents the traditional elements in Religion and ensures the continuity of its form from generation to generation. Then, as our WILL is immediately at the back of all of our conscious activities, there must be something in religion , which trains the will ,so that we may voluntarily go along the path of virtue and reach the infinite holiness of God. Every established religion is therefore bound to possess its scales of moral values and its system of moral discipline .There can be no religion withiut its own system of ethics. Agin, as our emotions largely determine our Will , there must be something in religion that operates directly on the emotions and leads them along the sacred channel of love to the infinite beauty of God. No great religion can ever exist without its pattern prayer and meditation by means of which it directs the feelings and aspirations of the faithful . And, finally, as aman not only feels and wills, but also understands and reasons, there must be something in religion, which satisfies his intellect and makes him understand his position in the universe and his relation to the ultimate reality , which we call God. Thus, every religion is bound to possess a philosophy of its own , a body of doctrine arising out of secular knowledge , but going far beyond it and including in its scope not only the viisble world outside man, but also the invisible world inside him. Thus, we arrive at the ewell known divisions of religion , namely ITS RITUALS, ITS ETHICS , ITS FORMS OF WORSHIP AND ITS PHILOSOPHY. It is only when all these four elements --- traditional, moral, emotional and rational -- receive due emphasis that we have awell-balanced religion. And Hinduism is a truly well-balanced religion. The rituals appeal to the unconscious mind of man, the ethics to his will , the forms of worship to his emotions and its philosophy to his intellect. " V.Sdaagopan P.S; Much of the discussions of the past weeks and during future would be to seek ways to acheive one's own balance betwen these four elements referrred to above. We have in our group brilliant logicians , learned scholars of our sampradhayams, deeply pious people and a lot of others wanting to learn from each other . There is an understandable tension between emotion and intellect in seeking and accepting solutions that are fully satisfactory. During this dialog, we do not want to lose any one. Let me appeal to be tolerant of each other's views, while not giving up one inch of what one deeply believes in . Thanks.