header pic header text

Religious Gathekas

(To be read at the Service of Universal Worship)

Religious Gatheka Number 47

The Sufi Movement

One wonders what this movement is, – is it a religious movement, is it a philosophical movement, or is it a social movement? In reality this movement is the answer to the cry of humanity. Whose answer? God's answer. If it is a religious movement, it is not a movement to make a propaganda for one particular creed. It is a religious movement in this sense: that this movement is meant to bring about peace between the followers of all religions. It is a religious movement in this sense: that we all may learn – whatever be our belief or faith, whatever may have been the faith of our ancestors – that we may learn to respect the religion of another, that eventually, by doing so we may rise to that state of understanding when to our mind comes one religion as the sum total of all religions. At that moment we rise above the differences and distinctions which come from the narrow outlook of man, from his limitation; and we begin to understand that this religion or that religion; its name and its form, was only a cover, a cover over that religion which always was, and which always is, and which always will be.

God is one, the Truth is one. How can there be two religions? There is one religion, the only religion. It is from the smallness of human nature that he has snatched the credit from his fellow man. If there was any religion, it was one religion, at any time in any part of the world, followed by any people or nation. Yes, we are living in different lands, but under one sky: So we have many churches but one God, many scriptures, but one wisdom, many souls but one spirit, the only Spirit of God.

It is to understand this ideal that we have this movement; and we have several different ways in which we study and in which we practice this ideal. The devotional side of our Movement is this, this Service. These candles represent the light of the different religions, known to the world, and on this altar you will see all different scriptures that the great ones have given to humanity from time to time. It is a form, and yet is all embracing. There is the Gita of the Hindus, the Quran of the Muslims, the Bible of the Christians, there is the Kabbala of the Jews on this altar. What does it mean? We put on our altar wisdom, not the name. What is Christianity? True wisdom, Christ-spirit. What was the Christ-spirit? That spirit which always united humanity and which will always unite. If there is any Christianity, that is Christianity: to rise above the distinctions and differences which separate humanity – humanity, which was meant to unite in one Brotherhood in the Fatherhood of God.

We have among us some who perhaps enjoy a formless service. There is no restriction. Whether you come to the service with form or whether you come to the formless service, as long as God, who is the Father of humanity, is pursued and the search for His truth, it does not matter.

Do we call the members of our movement infidels if they went to any other church or attended another service? Never. To whatever service, whatever church, whatever ceremony they will go with the same feeling of universal worship, where ever they will go with the same sentiment, they will receive the benediction of God.

Does this not show that, as time after time, when the true religious ideal is confused, then the Message has come to humanity, it is not for one community, it is for the whole world? And the question; we are very few, may be answered, 'not in reality.' The members of this particular movement may be limited, but the members of our ideal are not limited in this world. We have millions and millions and millions of members in the world.

When we go with our hearts open, with the thought of brotherhood, when we open our arms and welcome without as king: what nationality, what race, what faith, what religion have you? Then certainly we become the brothers of humanity and humanity becomes our brothers.