Religion is supposed to be a complete science of perfect living whereby society can learn to live peacefully and fully. Religion is the science of self-purification; it is a means to an end. Religion, as is manifest from the derivation of the term re-ligare (re=back, ligare=to bind) is that which binds one back to the original or fountainhead. Therefore religion is any technique by which man regains his original glory.
Religion is not mere ritual though rites play an important role in the religious scheme of mental integration and self-purification. A man whose mind and intellect are well integrated will, by practicing various religious techniques seek identity with the Self, the Truth. This merger of the little self (Ego) with the Real Self (Athmav) is indeed the first goal of religion. The process of joining the Ego with the Supreme self is known as Yoga in Hindu religion and it is the ‘Total surrender of one’s will to the Supreme’ in other religions.
In the past, religions refused to recognize science and it has almost dug its own grave. Today we find the same mistake done by the people of science. They openly disown religion and promote only materialism. It is leading to sorrows and miseries of life. Neither religion nor the science can stand on its own if its objective is to bring happiness to human beings.
The achievements of science and technology should be backed by the practice of nobler values for healthy living preached by religion. The history of man has been a melancholy story of repeated wars and revolutions. All such wars and revolutions were fought in the name of peace and happiness. Man has been manipulating and trying to control the external factors ignoring the ‘inner man’ and it has led him to only more wars and destructions.
The failures in achieving the real peace and happiness can be directly traced to the very ignorance in us of real meaning of life and its component parts. To understand the real meaning of life one has to understand oneself the ‘inner man’ constituted of the mental, intellectual and spiritual personalities. Knowing the ‘inner man’ is the real revolution the inner revolution. True goal of joy can be reached only if the mind and intellect of the individuals are controlled and patterned so as to find for themselves this equipoise in all challenging areas of life. This is called inner transformation to discover the fundamental and the absolute reality in life.
Philosophy explains the mysteries of man and the universe. It points out the unseen string that holds together the heterogeneous phenomena-it makes man understand what he is now and what he should really be. It gives him the key to open the kingdom of heaven that lies within. Philosophy bridges the gulf between man and God. However philosophy is only a view of life, while religion is a way of life. Religion divorced from philosophy becomes a bundle of superstitions.
A time has come for the human beings to develop a philosophic mind beyond the ritualistic and mechanical process of all religions. This philosophic mind in its pure form will identify the ‘goodness’ in every human being to lead a purposeful and full life of happiness on earth that is the ‘Kingdom of God’.
Let these days of ‘Lent’ with prayer help all of us to find our ‘Inner Man and its Goodness’ implanted in our body by our God. Let us kindle that light within us to spread the divine love through our words and actions anchored on our pure faith shown by Jesus Christ the son of God.