What lies at the basis of religion is a Knowledge as subtle as life itself, because that is what religion is all about—life itself. All other fields of study—physics, biology, economics, and fine arts—are subsets of religion. Some people think religion is the easiest field of study to figure out. In actuality, it’s the hardest. Almost everyone has a firm opinion about religion and those opinions usually clash with one another.
People become identified with words of their religion, though they do not fully understand them. The words are passed down from generation to generation. With every generation, the understanding becomes more and more compromised. At the source of every great religion is an enlightened wise Master. But the meaning of the Master’s words is not understood. This leaves us in a quandary. What should we do with those words? On the one hand, they are the most precious gift of our heritage. The seed of religion contains all knowledge and wisdom of life.
On the other hand, they are a hollow shell of what they once were. People are too quick to think they understand what religion is all about. The knowledge is subtle and easily lost. To understand one’s religion is a lifelong, elusive study. Humility is the key.
Commonly, the truth underlying a profound spiritual teaching is referred to as a secret doctrine. What is meant by secret doctrines is that the true meaning of those doctrines remains a secret even to those who have read, memorized, and studied them for decades. So, you see, we have a paradox. On the one hand, religion is the fountainhead of all the wisdom and knowledge passed down from generation to generation throughout the ages. On the other hand, it’s like the old clothing of a being that was indeed great, but no longer walks the earth.
Reviving the Knowledge
It is the task of every generation to revive the Knowledge contained within the Master’s words. But that can only be attained by awakening the individuals to the only place that Knowledge truly resides, within the depth of their being.
We function from our conditioning. Our life experiences condition our awareness and feelings to function a certain way. So, when you read the teachings of a great enlightened Master, you perceive onto them and say, “Oh yeah, I get that.”
The teachings are viewed through your conditioning. Thereby, the Master’s words are heard on a superficial level. We decide that we understand something simply because we intellectually understand it. In that manner, Knowledge is lost. True Knowledge is found as one awakens to one’s inner essence. Knowledge does not come from out to in. True Knowledge is attained from within and radiates out.
Once that happens, spirituality is understood to be the container that holds all fields of knowledge, and brings them together in seamless harmony. This happens only when the physiology shifts—only when the integration of rationality and spirituality is directly experienced. Areas of thought that were seen as mutually exclusive or in conflict are brought together by understanding, through direct experience, their shared essence.
Several Vedic scholars were asked to interpret the same line from the Veda. The interpretations were very different, though tangentially related. This emphasizes the fact that the Veda is a field of abstraction – nature is based upon profound abstraction. It’s not concrete. It’s not well defined. Abstraction is all-encompassing and it is all pervasive.
It’s just like with an electron. An electron is a probability cloud. Only when we grab onto it and reduce it down to a point, do we interact with it. Through that interaction, it is compromised.
All of life is that way. Every sloka in the Veda is like that. This is because it is the actual language of the underlying essence of life – the field of pure abstraction, the nature of Mother Nature.
We try to embrace life as if it is reducible to very concrete forms, and we go through life in that manner, believing it is the truth. But it’s not consistent with Mother Nature, and it’s not consistent with our true nature.
The universe is pliable. It is dynamic. You can take an infinite number of slices through that same one pie, and they all have some validity, yet they all contradict one another.
Develop a deeper understanding of life, rather than trying to take what is said and force it into the mold of your own relationship with life as it currently is. Evolve your relationship with all of life. Commit yourself to looking deeper. That is the path of wisdom, the path of discernment, the path to enlightenment.
In this video, Michael Mamas discusses religion and cultural integrity.
Vedic Tradition & Culture
When a culture is healthy, the wisdom of the ages is passed down from one generation to the next as tradition. If a culture becomes unhealthy, the wisdom underlying the traditions becomes lost or misunderstood. Unfortunately, those echoes of the underlying Truth are still perceived and passed on as Truth.
We live in a time of logic and science. To be embraced, things must make sense. If they do not make sense, they will be rejected. This is what is happening to religions and their traditions. They have ceased to make sense to the younger generation. Having to choose between uncertain faith and logic, they choose logic.
Many find Vedic knowledge too foreign to the traditions and indoctrinations they were brought up with and therefore reject it. Interestingly enough, people who were brought up in the Vedic tradition often are simply indoctrinated into it and have not really looked at it deeply. Though they would disagree, they have not found it within themselves. It is just that the indoctrination has reached deeply within them. Their children may see it as indoctrination that makes no sense and therefore reject it, even if those parents think they are passing on pure Vedic tradition.
Vedic Knowledge, when not found within, over time reduces down to indoctrination, just another religion. In the deepest sense of the word, Veda is, by definition, Truth. Truth is revealed to the Self, by the Self, and through the Self. Each generation, each child, must find it within themself.