Holy Scriptures: A Holistic Perspective – 5
By Swami Dr Snehananda Jyoti on 01-10-2014
Two of the greatest theologians – Thomas Aquinas, a Christian from the West, and Sankara, a Hindu from the East – were humble enough to admit that their rational understanding of God was worthless and useless. According to Thomas true faith is always looking for an understanding intellect (fides quaerens intellectum). But faith cannot reach an understanding mind. Mind surrenders and gives assent without understanding. For instance, a child tossed into the air by a loving father does not fear any danger. Do our authorities in religions all over the world know this truth, this surrendering without knowledge?! I think not. Because if they did, they would not be pontificating and dictating infallibly as God alone could. But even that God, who incarnated in the form of Christ as Christians believe, was tolerant enough not to stop Judas from comiting his vicious act of betrayal. In fact what he told him was: “Go and do what you have to do”. Christ did not pronounce any dogmas greater than “Love one another as I have loved you”, “There is no greater love than this that a person lays down his or her life for another person”, “Do to others what you like others to do to you”, “I have come to do my Father's business”, “I am the way to the Father”, “I live in my Father and my Father lives in me”, “The one who sees me sees my father”, “I came to proclaim the Kingdom of God”, “The Kingdom of God is within you or in your midst”, “I came to preach the good news to the poor”, “I came to free the captives and the oppresed”. Do I necessarily need to believe that Christ is God? Do I necessarily need to believe in his resurrection? Do I necessarily need to believe in an after-life?
Do I necessarily need to believe in God? I do not necessarily need to believe in anything. I am not forced to believe in any of these things. I would like to believe in them. I know God will not fault me for who I am because he created me the way I am. God knows that I try to live my life the best way that I can. God knows that I discern God's will in everything I do. I know God will not condemn me for my beliefs as long a I am sincere and faithful to my conscience. I am not at all afraid of God. I am extremely grateful for the life I have been given, for the way I am led every moment of my life. I am afraid of only those who, in their ignorance, think that they can represent God, can speak for me, can speak for God. I am only afraid of intolerant, evil humans who out of their human-conceived dogmas, religious fanaticism, or perverse ideas can kill me on account of their belief. But then Christ told to fear only the One who can throw our soul into eternal hell. I have also no hesitation in saying here that I will go where Christ went, where Gandhi went, where Buddha went, where Socrates went. (To be continued)
About The Author
Dr. John K Thekkedam (Swami Snehananda Jyoti) spent most of his life as a clinical psychologist in USA. He began his public life as a Jesuit priest. Quite attracted in distinct philosophies, he left the society and founded 'East West Awakening'.