Age New Spirituality Inspirational Stories Part 41

Age New Spirituality Inspirational Stories Part 41



Before considering further how devotion to​ duty helps us in​ our spiritual progress, let me place before you in​ a​ brief compass another aspect of​ what we in​ India mean by Karma. in​ every religion there are three parts: philosophy, mythology, and ritual. Philosophy of​ course is​ the essence of​ every religion; mythology explains and illustrates it​ by means of​ the more or​ less legendary lives of​ great men, stories and fables of​ wonderful things, and so on; ritual gives to​ that philosophy a​ still more concrete form, so that every one may grasp it​ -- ritual is​ in​ fact concretised philosophy. This ritual is​ Karma; it​ is​ necessary in​ every religion, because most of​ us cannot understand abstract spiritual things until we grow much spiritually.

It is​ easy for men to​ think that they can understand anything; but when it​ comes to​ practical experience, they find that abstract ideas are often very hard to​ comprehend. Therefore symbols are of​ great help, and we cannot dispense with the symbolical method of​ putting things before us. From time immemmorial symbols have been used by all kinds of​ religions. in​ one sense we cannot think but in​ symbols; words themselves are symbols of​ thought. in​ another sense everything in​ the universe may be looked upon as​ a​ symbol. The whole universe is​ a​ symbol, and God is​ the essence behind. This kind of​ symbology is​ not simply the creation of​ man; it​ is​ not that certain people belonging to​ a​ religion sit down together and think out certain symbols, and bring them into existence out of​ their own minds.

The symbols of​ religion have a​ natural growth. Otherwise,why is​ it​ that certain symbols are associated with certain ideas in​ the mind of​ almost every one? Certain symbols are universally prevalent. Many of​ you may think that the cross first came into existence as​ a​ symbol in​ connection with the Christian religion,but as​ a​ matter of​ fact it​ existed before Christianity was, before Moses was born, before the Vedas were given out, before there was any human record of​ human things. The cross may be found to​ have been in​ existence among the Aztecs and the Phoenicians; every race seems to​ have had the cross. Again, the symbol of​ the crucified Savior, of​ a​ man crucified upon a​ cross, appears to​ have been known to​ almost every nation. The circle has been a​ great symbol throughout the world.

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