You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : May 1996

Some of the recent discussions : part 2

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_CompuServe.COM)
Date: Fri May 03 1996 - 18:24:21 PDT


" 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
 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. "


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.