With the yardstick of love with us, the very essence of God’s character, let us probe our hearts. Is our life an efflorescence of God’s love? Are we ready to serve one another with love? Do we keep our hearts open to the healthy influences coming from outside? Are we patient and tolerant towards those who differ from us? Are our minds co-extensive with the creation of God and ready to embrace the totality of His being? Do we bleed inwardly at the sight of the down-trodden and the depressed? Do the distresses of others distress us? Do we pray for the sick and suffering humanity?
If we do not do any of these things, we are yet far removed from God and from religion, no matter how loud we may be in our talk and pious in our platitudes and pompous in our proclamations. With all our inner craving for peace, we have failed and failed hopelessly to serve the cause of God’s peace on earth. Ends and means are interlocked things and cannot be separated from each other. We cannot have peace so long as we try to achieve it with war-like means and with the weapons of destruction and extinction. With the germs of hatred in our hearts, racial and colour bars rankling within us, thoughts of political domination and economic exploitation surging in our blood-stream, we are working for wrecking the social structure which we have so strenuously built and not for peace, unless it be peace of the grave; but certainly not for a living peace born of mutual love and respect, trust and concord that may go to ameliorate mankind and transform this earth into a paradise which we so fervently pray for and preach from pulpits and platforms and yet, as we proceed, it recedes away into the distant horizon.
Where then lies the remedy? Is the disease past all cure? No, it is not so. Life and Light of God are still there to help and guide us in the wilderness. We see this wilderness around us because we are bewildered in the heart of our hearts and do not see things in their proper perspective. This vast outer world is nothing but a reflection of our own little world within us.
The seeds of discord and disharmony in the soil of our mind bear fruit in and around us and do so in abundance. We are what we think and see the world with the smoke-coloured glasses that we choose to put on. It is a proof positive of one thing only: That we have so far not known the life and light of God and much less realized God in man.
Every religion has, of necessity, a three-fold aspect: first, the traditional, comprising myths and legends for the lay brethren; secondly, the philosophical treatises based on reason to satisfy the hunger of the intelligentsia, concerned more with the why and wherefore of things than anything else, with great stress on theory of the subject and emphasis on ethical development which is so very necessary for spiritual growth; and thirdly, the esoteric part, the central core in every religion, meant for the chosen few, the genuine seekers after truth.
The last part deals with the mystic personal experiences of the founders of all religions and other advanced souls. It is this part, called mysticism, the core of all religions, that has to be sifted, enshrined in the heart for practice and experience. These inner experiences of all the sages and seers from time immemorial are the same irrespective of the religio-social orders to which they belonged and deal in the main with the Light and Life of God – no matter at what level and the methods and means for achieving direct results are also similar.
Thus we have seen that Life and Light of God constitute the only common ground at which all religions do meet and if we could take hold of these saving life-lines, we can become live centres of spirituality, no matter to what religion we owe our allegiance for the fulfilment of our social needs and the development of our moral well-being.