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Updated on: Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 11:14 PM IST

TWO FORMS OF HIGHER HINDUISM

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The higher and truer Hinduism is also of two kinds, sectarian and unsectarian, disruptive and synthetic, that which binds itself up in the aspect and that which seeks the All. The first is born of rajasic or tamasic attachment to an idea, an experience, an opinion or set of opinions, a temperament, an attitude, a particular guru, a chosen Avatar. This attachment is intolerant, arrogant, proud of a little knowledge, scornful of knowledge that is not its own. It is always talking of the kusanskars, superstitions, of others and is blind to its own; or it says,

“My guru is the only guru and all others are either charlatans or inferior, “or, “My temperament is the right temperament and those who do not follow my path are fools or pedants or insincere”; or “My Avatar is the real God Himself and all the others are only lesser revelations”; or “My ishta devata is God, the others are only His partial manifestations.” When the soul rises higher, it follows by preference its own ideas, experiences, opinions, temperament, guru, ishta, but it does not turn an ignorant and exclusive eye upon others. “There aremany paths,” it cries, “and all lead equally to God. All men, even the sinner and the atheist, are my brothers in sadhana and the Beloved is drawing them each in His own way to the One without a second.”

But when the full knowledge dawns, I embrace all experiences in myself, I know all ideas to be true, all opinions useful, all experiences and attitudes means and stages in the acquisition of universal experience and completeness, all gurus imperfect channels or incarnations of the one and only Teacher, all ishtas and Avatars to be God Himself.

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That is what Ramakrishna taught by His life and sadhana and therefore is He the Avatar of the age, the One who prepares the future of humanity. But there is a danger of turning Him into the guru of a sect, the incarnate God of a dogmatic religion, to stultify His own life and teachings by making Him the object of a narrow attachment, an intolerant reverence, a sectarian worship. That must be avoided.

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Published on: Tuesday, March 27, 2018, 01:22 AM IST
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