Sunday, January 16, 2011

Inspiration for the Day, January 16, 2011: 

The Central Question

"The central question...in life itself is 'What is God?' This question has baffled humankind for eons, and it will continue to defy logical understanding so long as we live with the concept that there is Heaven up above, and that God sits there judging all of humanity, punishing those who misbehave. Eminent people throughout history have tried to find logical answers to this vexing question with little success. His Holiness Gautama, The Buddha, one among many . . . ultimately found that God exists within every human heart in the form of love, compassion, understanding and all positive attributes that human kind is capable of but often chooses to suppress. Perhaps, instead of espousing exclusively rational images of God, we would best serve God and one another more faithfully by remaining open to the mystery that transcends our understanding . . .

"I recall the wisdom that my grandfather imparted to us when I was living with him as a young teenager. He said all human beings can only hope toward understanding God and to aspire to reach 'salvation', which he defined as living a life of compassionate service, sacrifice and satisfaction. He believed the greatest religion was to ensure that we 'wipe the tears from every eye and bring hope and decency to every life wherever they may be.'

"It is important that this service be performed with utmost humility. There are many ways to serve humanity, and so there are many ways to salvation. We must have the magnanimity and the humility to accept and to recognize the many ways to God realization.

"I am convinced that at the very root of the spiritual problems we face today is the intense competitiveness which we have injected into religion. Each of us believes our religion is the best and that it is incumbent upon us to save the world by converting everyone to our way of worship.

"If we persist in pursuing competition, instead of working in unity to pursue the Truth, we are going to face untold grief and, worse, violence.

"When asked what he thought of the meaning of God, grandfather said: 'There is an indefinable mysterious Power that pervades everything. I feel it, though I do not see it. It is this unseen Power which makes itself felt and yet defies all proof, because it is so beyond all that we perceive through our physical senses. This unseen Power transcends our rationality and our senses. While we certainly do experience God’s existence, our attempts to reason it out intellectually will always prove to be a humbling and limited exercise.'"

-Arun Gandhi (grandson of Mahatma Gandhi). From the forward of the book "God Without Religion"

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