DAYA MATA: Guruji said I didn’t come to found a new religion. That was not why I was sent to the west. My mission was One. There’s been so much division in the world of religion, so much division in the world of Truth, that my message, my mission was sent by Babaji through Lahiri Mahasaya, who said to Master’s mother, ‘Little mother, thy son will be like a great engine drawing others to the feet of God.’ And so he was, and so he is. But the point is that…they are teaching the same thing. …
That is why you are all here, to try to stretch your minds, to try to understand this does not exclude anyone. It simply says that Truth is One, though it is called by many names…there is only one Truth as there is only one God. As Guruji often said, for instance, if you wanted to get to Delhi, you wouldn’t say I’m sorry, but you can only get to Dehli from New York. You would say well, you can get to Dehli from New York, you can get to Dehli from Tokyo, you could get to Dehli from Moscow, you could get to Dehli from this country, that country, etc. But when all of those planes are coming over Dehli, they’re going to behold the very same images, aren’t they? They are going to see the very same scenes. That’s the way it is with the Divine.
Guruji once said, do you suppose that in heaven the Lord Jesus, the Lord Krishna, Buddha, and all these great ones are sitting there quarreling with each other, and fighting for disciples? No, they will all be deeply absorbed in that Divine Joy. Why? Because they are all saying, ‘I and my Father are One. We have all come to that one common understanding, that one common Self-realization.’ In this way we learn to expand ourselves. We don’t condemn anybody because of what he believes. …
And that’s why I love so much Guruji’s prayer. First of all he addresses God–how can we say God is Father only? I don’t understand that. Why can’t He be all? Why can’t God be like a Father. Why can’t God be like a Mother? Why can’t God be like a Friend? Why can’t God be like the Beloved of our souls? All of that He is to those who seek him. “Heavenly Father, Mother, Friend my Beloved God.” And then he addresses his line of Gurus to whom he pays obeisance because it was they who brought him along the path. And then he says, ‘Saints of all religions, I honor you all. I bow to you all.’ Isn’t that the right way? Why should we single anyone out to omit?
This is the universality of Guruji. That’s why all over the world so many are reading his books, so many are following him.
A Universal Brotherhood Under the Common Flag of the Unity of all Faiths
SW. CHIDANANDA: From time to time great ones have come who have systematised this Cosmic plan and formulated a method so that individuals in whom this purpose has been awakened may make use of this method and reach the goal quickly, that they may consciously achieve this process in themselves. These methods have come to be the various religions of humanity. Gradually, these religions have had a greater and ever-widening group of followers. These great groups exist all over the world as the great section of Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Christians and so on.
But the one inescapable fundamental fact about these religions remains that all these various religions are but methods which seek to work out in some way or other the ascent of man from birth and death to Immortality.
Islam is one of those great brotherhoods, which has been given to mankind by prophet Muhammad of hallowed memory. There must be some common basis which underlies all these religions which seek to work out the same result. Even the inner anatomy of the process must be the same, however much it may seem to differ from religion to religion in details, and this difference could be very easily understood if we try to look at the following points, viz., the historical background, the state or the condition of the community in which the prophet first appeared, as also the geographical conditions existing in that area where the Prophet had his birth and gave out his teachings.
RAMADAN – Sadhana of fasting and prayer; Inner method of Yoga
One of the Sadhanas laid down by Muhammad for the faithful was the Sadhana of fasting and prayer. This you will find to be the common Sadhana in every religion of the world. The fasting laid down by Muhammad is carried out in a special manner in one of the months of the year. That month is called the month Ramzan [also called Ramadan]. All the days of that month are observed as days of fasting. The name Ramzan is given to this entire one month’s fasting. The last day of Ramzan is a very momentous day. In the religion of Islam as well as in the life of the Prophet.
Muhammad was a great soul. He was born with the temperament of a saint. His time was one of violence. He was mortified by the way in which people were living. He was struggling to find out some way by which he could enlighten these people. In great disgust he used to seclude himself and go away from Mecca into the wilderness. One of his special haunts was a mountain called Hijra. There in a cave he used to spend long periods in fasting and prayer. On one occasion, he was given no encouragement from Above. For an entire month he gave himself up to fasting and prayer and in supplication to the Lord. The Lord gave him some Light. This corresponds to Ramzan. On the last day there appeared the celestial being before Muhammad; and it spoke to him and gave him a message from the Highest. It commissioned Muhammad to go forth amongst his brethren and spread the gospel of true life, by which people may be led away from the path of evil and may come to walk upon a path of goodness, truth, purity, forgiveness, brotherhood and thus attain the Highest Bliss. This last day is the great day of the Muhammadans Id. It is a day of intense prayer. Muhammadans congregate in lakhs everywhere, offer prayers and also have Darshan of the moon, which is symbolic of the Light which appeared to Muhammad from the Highest Throne of the Almighty.
They fast from sunrise to sunset throughout the month.
Muhammad gave this Sadhana with a deep significance attached to it. In the Gita we have a Sloka:
Yaa Nishaa Sarva-bhutaanaam Tasyaam Jaagarti Samyamee
Yasyaam Jaagrati Bhutaani Saa Nishaa Pashyato Muneh.
“That which is night to all beings, then the self-controlled man is awake; when all beings are awake, that is night for the sage who sees.”
This gives the entire significance of Ramzan fast in a nutshell. This fasting is spiritually the inner method of Yoga; the spiritual quest is diametrically opposite to the path which the ordinary man who is attached to the world follows. In the case of the worldly man, the senses take in the sum-totality of impressions of things amongst which he lives and moves during day-light. Samskaras are created more and more every day. This binds him to Samsara. The abstinence from these Vishayas is what our great Acharyas have termed fasting. The things upon which the senses feed are Ahara (food) for the man. The first injunction laid upon the spiritual aspirant is that he has to turn away from the world.
This avoidance of food is the first qualification. Physical food represents this inner Ahara that the Jiva draws unto itself through the senses. Giving up the physical food during daylight symbolises that the faster is dead to the world. During the daylight hours only the world is visible. Thus the act of taking food at night symbolises the act of the Yogi by which he closes himself to the visible world and draws sustenance from the inner spiritual world. Thus he proceeds along the path of Yoga. While the worldly man is busy he fasts completely. He lives in his own inner realm of the spirit and feeds himself upon the divine food of Sadhana.
Being seekers, we belong to a universal brotherhood which is gathered under the common flag of the unity of all faiths. Let us also pray that we may be inspired and given the necessary inner strength to turn away from all allurements of this external physical world and to be awake unto the inner life of Yoga. Thus may we with great faith and with sustained exertion proceed upon the path of Yoga and may we be blessed with spiritual illumination, the culmination of Sadhana even as Prophet Muhammad had on the last day of Ramzan.
Swami Rama saw in the Moslem festival of Id, after the Ramzan, their fast month, the great joy of the God-consciousness of the Prophet. He would say, “Mohammad saw the moon of his Id, the inner Id, of which seeing the crescent on the Id day is a mere symbol.”
Well did Mohammad give the Truth on the authority of his own personal realisation. “Allah hu Akbar Mohammad Rasul Allah”!
My religion is not Hinduism, Mohammadanism, Christianity, Catholicism, or Protestantism, but it is antagonistic to none. ….
excerpt from The Story of Swami Rama