In Self-Realization Fellowship we honor the land of India that has been the custodian of truth, millenium after millenium, eon upon eon. But if you come to our temple services, you won’t find that we speak very often or very much about the traditional Indian rituals or stories of the Puranas, because that is not our purpose. That was not Guruji’s purpose. What he has brought us is a universal message. It cannot be circumscribed as Hindu, as Christian, as Buddhist, as Jewish; it is the foundation of all true religions. In India it has been perpetuated down through the ages; they call it Sanatan Dharma, ‘eternal principles of truth and righteous living.’
In the words of the beautiful song that Mahatma Gandhi loved, which was sung tonight: “You may call Him Jehovah, call Him Brahma, call Him Ishwara, call Him Allah—call Him by His name in any religion—each is but a different word in a different language for the One, who always has been and always will be, and is changeless.” And the laws of truth — the science by which we return our consciousness to its native oneness with Him—have never changed. The degree of truth that is commonly understood in the different ages or yugas varies; but the principles of truth never change.
Today, however, very few have that deeper peace of Spirit —even in India. And this may surprise some devotees who go to India to meditate in the temples there. Unless you understand something about the outward forms of worship, you may be quite confused by what is going on in the temples, because often you will find a lot of noise and activity, and not many sitting still and practicing meditation. Usually there will be ritualistic worship of some type of deity, which means a representation of one of the qualities of Spirit. These pujas all had spiritual significance at one time, but now most of the worshipers don’t really understand the deeper meaning behind the outward ceremony. Even so, the Hindus who come to the temples do so with deep faith and devotion—they have that background, and they feel they are coming into the presence of some representation of that Cosmic Force. So this centuries-old halo of spirituality is still very much there.
But the higher science of religion, comprising advanced techniques of meditation that were developed in ancient India, has been lost for many centuries; to revive these practices is the divine mission of our line of Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society Gurus.
excerpt form Self-Realization magazine, WINTER 2 0 1 0