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Religious Gathekas

(To be read at the Service of Universal Worship)

Religious Gatheka Number 35

What is Religion?

What is religion? Religion is a lesson, a lesson which teaches the manner of living aright and reaching the object for which we are born. This religion has come time after time to the world, through those who have brought the Message of God to the world. Those who came with this Message of religion, they have given it in diverse forms, in accordance with the evolution of the people, at that particular time, but religion was one and the same. There never has been any other religion than one, for God is one, Truth is one, and so the religion is one. If there is any difference, it is the difference of form, not of the soul. It is the same water, the pure water, perhaps filled in several pitchers. One pitcher is made in India, the other in China, the other in Arabia, perhaps the other in the Western world. It is like a stream which comes through the fountain and falls in various streams, but it is one and the same stream, in its stem.

The real understanding of religion is not in disputing over the diversity of the forms, saying. 'Your religion is worse and my religion is better.' The true religion is in recognizing that one life in all. There are different candles here on the altar, each candle named by a different teacher and religion, but it is one and the same light.

What then does this service teach us? This service teaches us: one light and different lamps. It is not the lamps that are to be taken first to the mind. No, it is the one light that should be taken to heart. It is this religion of unification which Jesus Christ came to teach. The teaching of Moses, and the efforts of Muhammad, they were all towards this one object. All that Buddha has taught, all that Krishna has said, this all sums up in one thing, and that is: it is one Light that is the Divine Light, and it is the guidance that comes from that Light that becomes the path for humanity to tread upon. The Sufi Movement, though in it infancy, is destined to serve God and humanity in this direction. The Sufi Message is the re-echo of the same Divine Message which has always come, and will always enlighten humanity.