Videos | Q & A with Sri M | On Religion ( With Transcripts)

The four-part interview with Manorama Online where Sri M speaks at length on Religion, Religiosity, Marketing Spirituality and the Gurus.

Transcript

Not only the peers, but also the so-called custodians of all religions want to be safe and have a flock around them. So, anything that says all religions are same in essence breaks the flock and everyone will go away in diverse directions. Suppose, if I insist all must come only here, it is much easier then to hold everyone together. So, that is one of the reasons why custodians don’t like a healthy discussion. The main requirement, I think, is dialogue. Dialogue is absolutely essential. People should break out of narrow boundaries and think why these religions came about for a start, for what. Of course, it is for the betterment human beings. Now, if religion has done its work, its fine. Instead of that, if it has become negative and against humanity, then it is about time we shift. We need not shift the religion; we should go back to the core and see what is happening out there. How did this happen, that out of such beautiful concept, a terrible monster has been created. What happened in between? This has to be looked into with care. We need to. Unfortunately, people will not believe the cause. When you are a custodian, you are very powerful and, since people are very power hungry, it is very difficult to come out of it. We are trying in many ways; I am trying to get people into a dialogue, but many a time I find it very difficult.

Transcript

I am personally someone who thinks that religiosity is more important than formal religion. I am not saying that religion should be banished, it is impossible to do that because it holds millions of people within it – it is a total belief, and faith is a powerful thing. So, we cannot get rid of it. People say let’s get rid of all religion. It is easy to say, but difficult to accomplish. It is not possible because we are so entrenched. I am not, maybe you and I, but most people are deeply entrenched. So, we can’t do that. Let’s try to find common virtuous points of all religions, and prove that this is what was meant in essence. And, then try to make people understand that, even in a holy book like the Quran –which people nowadays try to dismiss as too much one-sided – it says, “Your religion to yours, my religion to mine”. Can we do that, at least? I essentially would like to be without any formal religion. Lets think this way: this is my belief, my practice, but can I avoid things that are harmful and detrimental to the other. I don’t want to step on other people’s toes. I will practice my religion. It used to be like that. I don’t know what’s happened now. Things have changed. In some intellectual circles, people discuss all these, fine. In practical, nothing happens. Maybe a time will come when human brain is evolved enough to go back, to understand what was originally said. At the moment, we have to always work, according to our circumstances, and, in the present circumstance, it is not possible to have a clean slate. There is a silver lining in this: most of the originators and the great teachers have given us gems, around which many organized faiths have been built, of course. You can still go back to those gems, those cardinal ideas. Like Christianity is now such an organized religion, right? Churches and different kinds of things are all fine, but what did Jesus Christ say? Go back to that. I am saying please go back there.

Transcript

Ultimately, what happens with all this promotion is that everything builds up and, in the end you find that there is no essence in it, despite all the growth. There is this anecdote of the Devil and his friend going for a walk. The Devil bends down and picks up something and puts it in his pocket. The Devil’s friend asks, what did you pick up? The devil says, I just picked up the Truth. His friend says, your days are numbered because you have picked up something opposite to your ways. The Devil smiles and says, don’t worry, I will organize. So, when the organization becomes strong, the shell also becomes strong, while the core is lost. I am deliberately preventing this from happening, but whatever happens is incidental. It’s not contemplated and done in a deliberate manner. The other thing is, I also believe the teachings are more important than the personality of the teacher. Now, suppose, you ask me how to go to Thiruvalla and I know the way. I tell you the details: this way, turn right, walk, left, etc. Now, if you want to reach Thiruvalla, you have to go on. You have to follow the path: read, understand, and move. Instead, if you stay where you are, garland me repeatedly and do Arathi, how will you reach Thiruvalla? So, I want to divert the interest away from the personality, which is what all promotions are about, and concentrate on the real work. Actually, I don’t mind a little bit of promotion in the work because it helps other people.

Transcript

Speaking of Jesus Christ, it was the Jewish norm those days that you shouldn’t work on Sabbath. It is a day of rest and nobody is supposed to do anything. Yet, he preached in the market. So people said, “What is this that you are doing? You are breaking the law.” After all, Jesus was a Jew himself. So, he said, “The law was made for man, not man for the law.” In those days, it was a revolutionary thing to say.

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