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You Will Know The Truth
And The Truth Shall Set You Free
By Jagannatha Prakasha 1991

Return to: Part One of You Shall Know The Truth.


By examining and comparing the various traditions we can gain a deeper insight into ourselves and the world around us. Religion is the heartfelt contemplation of our role in the universes, our connection with existence, and our relationship with God, however that One is described and defined. If we are to learn from the ancient systems, we must honor them and rightly reflect their teachings. As with any other subject, before we can transcend the rudimentary elements we must understand them. Likewise, before attempting to create an eclectic spiritual system, which I believe is the message of all the masters, we must build a base which is established on right understanding. In religious texts we have an abundant amount of information which is conducive to an eclectic spiritual perspective, but if we proceed in ignorance of the first level interpretations, we will miss much of the significance.

For example, at Psalms 82 we find support for the teaching that each of us is divine, that like Jesus, we are all gods, sons and daughters of the Most High. With this understanding, our reading of Jesus' experiences and teachings takes on a much deeper meaning. If Jesus is understood as God's only Son, as the traditional interpretations maintain, then our ability to relate to him and learn from his examples will be minimized. Certainly, says the traditionalist, he could heal the sick, raise the dead etc., but he was God. With the understanding that each of us are potential Christs however, we too can accept that we are able to perform similar actions, as the Scripture itself says at John 14:12. More importantly, we can each actualize that divinity. By understanding how Scripture presents him, we will discover our own potentials. Without this knowledge, although we may claim it possible to become Christs, we will not fully understand what that means. This is but a simple example but it serves to illustrate the point.

It has been said that those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. To this I would add that those who remember the past can thereby create a better future. For this reason, it behooves everyone, especially those of us who are pursuing the discipline of religious studies, to rightly understand the traditions and perspectives of the various systems. Such knowledge will lead us to spiritual realization and the Truth which passes understanding.

Moses, Zarathustra, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Jesus, Muhammad Mustafa, Guru Nanak, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Ramakrishna, Bahaulla, all the masters had one thing in common; none of them were religious! Their lives reflect not religious belief and duty, but mystical realization and liberation. To identify with them is to transcend the realm of religious piety and enter the domain of mystical knowing. When we truly understand the ways of the masters, when we personally devote ourselves completely to spiritual realization, then and only then will we know the Truth which sets us free. Those disciplines which aid this process are beneficial, those which do not, are useless. This is my humble perspective, and based upon it I seek to establish my life. The goal is realization, the state is freedom and the fruit is Truth.

The End

Go to: You Shall Know The Truth, part two

Go To: Reaching for the One

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Notes

Note 1. For more information on the New Sciences see: Algeny by Jeremy Riffkin (Viking Press New York, 1983) or The Turbulent Mirror by John Briggs & F. David Peat (Harper & Row, New York, 1989). Return

Note 2. The Q Document is supposed to be the source of the Gospels Matthew, Luke and perhaps Mark. It exists only in conjecture. Return

Note 3. Judaism, of course, does not accept the Christian Scriptures. Islam accepts them, with certain reservations and both Jews and Christians reject the Divine authorship of the Quran. All agree that the Hebrew Scriptures are inspired or God-breathed, though Islam sees some tampering. Return

Note 4. The religious acceptance of scientific theories. Return

Note 5. This is one of the very few times when any statement beginning with "Any religion..." or "Every religion..." is justifiable. On this point every single religion, past or present, is in agreement. Even Jnana-Yoga, the Hindu path of knowledge, requires much more than intellectual understanding alone (SR 64). Return

Note 6. Lakshmana was the brother of Lord Rama in the epic Ramayana. Return


REFERENCES

A: Algeny, Jeremy Rifkin, Viking Press, New York 1983
BS: Beyond Supernature, Lyall Watson, Bantam Books, New York, 1988
GSK: Gods, Sages and Kings, David Frawley, Passage Press, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1991
HG: Hindu Gods and Goddesses, Swami Harshananda, Sri Ramakrishna Ashrama, Mysore, India, 1981
L: Listen to Yourself: Think Everything Over, Venerable Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua, Dharma Realm Buddhist University, Talmage, Ca. 1983
LM: Life Magazine, Dec. 1990, Volume 13, number 15
LWG: Liberation Without Gods, Bob Avakian, RCP Publications, Chicago, 1988
MoG: The Masks of God, Vol. 1, Joseph Campbell, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England, 1969
PN: The Portable Nietzsche, translated by Walter Kaufmann, Viking Press, New York, 1969
PR: Psychoanalyze and Religion, Erich From, Yale Paperbacks, Clinton, Mass. 1959
SR: Life of Sri Ramanuja, Swami Ramakrishnananda, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Mylapore, Madras, India, 1885/1977
SV: The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, vol. 4, Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati, India, 1948
SW: Shifting Worlds, Changing Minds, Jeremy W. Hayward, Shambala Books, Boston & London, 1987