(To be read at the Service of Universal Worship)
Religious Gatheka Number 62
And now we come to the subject of the ideal. Ideal is something we are missing today. The whole working of humanity today shows that ideal is entirely missing, when you look at it in education, in business, in industry, in politics. And if there is no ideal, there is no way of evolution, because it is by the ideal that mankind evolves and in the absence of ideal there is no other way of evolving. It was religion that taught the ideal in all ages.
And now coming to the idea of God. With the increase of intellectual knowledge, a person begins to wonder if there is some such thing as God; and then he begins to think that if there is a God, how must there be injustice; if there was a perfect God, why there should be imperfection; why if there was a God of goodness would there be so much wretchedness in the world; why if there was a God of power, there is so much ugliness. And the answer is that it is God Who is needed, what is wanting, that is God. If there was nothing wanting, then there would not be God. Because there is limitation, there is somewhere perfection. Perfection is wanting; there is only limitation and what is wanting is God. And when we look at it in this way, we begin to comprehend the idea of God and its need for humanity.
There is a tendency to disbelieve or to refuse to believe in a personal God. But those who will not believe in a personal God, for them God is abstract. But what is abstract? It means nothing; and nothing means abstract; either call it nothing or call it abstract. I have heard of hundreds and thousands of people who after they had studied the philosophy of Vendanta, of New Thought, of Advanced Thought, their thoughtfulness had expressed itself in this manner. Either there is no God, or they think there is a God but it is an abstract God. Then why call it God? Call it the space, which means nothing.
And besides, what devotion has that man who has an abstract God in his heart? In the first place he cannot have an abstract God in his heart. Perhaps in his head. Even his head cannot contain an abstract God. The abstract God is much larger than his head. What purpose is there in believing in a God who is nothing? That is where they arrive after having studied philosophies, and if one knew the mystery of God-Ideal one would solve this question. First of all we must know that by us praying God, praising God, we do not raise God higher than He is. By our praising God, we do not bring a pleasure to God. Because God is perfect, our praise is imperfect. How much we praise God, we cannot use appropriate words. The most we can say is: the King of the Universe, but this is a very small word to name God. We say: Forgiver. Well, man can forgive. Any words we make use of for God are inappropriate words and only make God limited. Therefore if there is a necessity of praising God, it is for ourselves and not for God. This is the first thing.
The best thing would be to keep God's being apart and for our own benefit make a God Whom we can comprehend and this we can only do by trying our best to make God as great, as good, as wonderful as possible as can conceive of. And that we cannot do if we did not make God a personal Being. If a person wishes to become perfect by divine knowledge and if he begins to say: I am God, because in myself is God, he is making God smaller than himself because what he thinks of is small, his own notion is small. Therefore many people by taking the intellectual, philosophical way of understanding God, go astray because they cover God by their small self. The best thing is to forget our small self and then to see the perfection of God. Because what stands before God is our limited being. If we removed our limited being from our eyes and looked at the perfect God without our selves coming in between, then we shall have the vision of God.
Now the church. No doubt it is necessary that people having the same spiritual ideals may meet together and may perform their spiritual adorations or services or worship together because this gives a greater strength and brings a greater blessing. The more people are together in one thought, the more they take the same form for their spiritual development, they will be helped more and more. Because the prayer of one person helps another, the devotion of one person helps another and as you can see that principle to cause wars in the same way they help one another naturally. Those inclined to receive spiritual blessings can profit by joining together in a worship. The Universal Worship of the Sufi Order is inaugurated for this purpose, that people of different faiths and religions may come together and give their adoration in one form.
And the need of Universal Worship is greater than one can imagine, for this reason that it gives a facility to the people of all religions. Besides, if we think of the wishes of the Prophets who have given different religions, we shall come to this same idea that their wish is that there would become a form of worship in which all different communities and nations would take part, and it is in this Universal Worship that their wish is being fulfilled. It is now beginning in the world, but before long this will become the manner of worship, the way of worship and this will become the source of a higher evolution of humanity. In the first place there is the greatest need that East and West may be united together for the evolution of the whole humanity.
If the East was left behind, or if the West remained behind, in their spiritual evolution it would keep them both back. East and West both should join hands in spiritual evolution and this can only be done if all different religions, at least the followers of different religions, come and worship together. And remember, the day Universal Worship will begin in the East, you will see that hundreds and thousands and millions of people will appreciate it and take it up and it will spread so widely because this is the pressing need of the whole world and of humanity. And it is our tendency to establish it and to begin it and to present it to humanity and we should be thankful for this privilege.