The Nature Of The True Religious Life

by Swami Krishnananda

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Book Code: EK65
103 pages
ISBN: 8170522641
Book Dimensions: 7.00 x 4.70 x 0.20 inches
Shipping Weight: 300 grams

Table of Contents

Publisher’s Note 5
Chapter 1: We are Mysterious Somethings 11
Chapter 2: The Religious Ideal of God-Realisation 27
Chapter 3: The Foundation of Religious Philosophy 43
Chapter 4: The Definition of Religion 60
Chapter 5: Becoming Fit for Moksha 75
Chapter 6: The Purusha Sukta of the Veda 92
Chapter 7: The Doctrine of Creation in the Purusha Sukta 106
Chapter 8: Renunciation in the Isavasya Upanishad 122
Chapter 9: The Union of Knowledge and Action 138
Chapter 10: Renunciation in Religious Life 155
Chapter 11: The Importance of Holy Ritual 170
Chapter 12: Simplicity Born of Utter Goodness 184
Chapter 13: All Life is Yoga 202
Chapter 14: Yoga is an Impersonal Science 217
Chapter 15: Maintaining a Spiritual Diary 231

Publisher’s Note

We are very happy to bring out our new publication ‘The Nature of the True Religious Life’ by Param Pujya Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj on the sacred occasion of Birth Centenary Year of Pujya Sri Swamiji Maharaj.

This book consists of a series of illuminating discourses that Param Pujya Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj gave to the students of the Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy from March to May in the year 1981. Through these thought-provoking discourses, Worshipful Sri Swamiji Maharaj provides an in-depth analysis and a comprehensive exposition on some intricate spiritual themes such as the nature of God, the foundation of religious philosophy, the meaning of religion, actual renunciation versus the common misconception of it, the application of yoga in our lives, and various other topics pertaining to the subject. This is a masterly treatise on these complex themes, to be read again and again until one’s individual understanding transforms into Universal Awareness.

We hope that ‘The Nature of the True Religious Life’ will prove a great boon for all the sincere spiritual seekers. May the blessings of Worshipful Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj be upon all!


Chapter 1
We Are Mysterious Somethings

The Academy of Yoga and Vedanta has invited you for participating in a specific type of training, as you all know very well. When you applied for admission into this course, you had naturally an unintelligible feeling within that the way in which you are living in the world at present requires a streamlining and a reorientation. If this conviction or feeling were not to be there in your minds, you would not have come here. There was a sort of inadequacy and lacuna that you felt in the way in which you lived in the world, though it might not have always been clear to you what that lacuna was, and what it was that you were lacking.

Often we feel unhappy without knowing why we are unhappy. This is a phenomenon through which many people pass. Suddenly we are depressed, and we feel that something is wrong with us, or something is wrong elsewhere, though it is not easy to know what is wrong and why is it that we are in a mood of dissatisfaction. This is a psychological phenomenon that requires deep investigation because every experience and every event that takes place in the world is inseparably connected with our own being. We are affected by our experiences and the events of the world because of our relationship with them. If we are unconnected with things, nothing can affect us. If the wind blows, we are affected; if rain falls, we are affected; if somebody utters a word, we are affected. If anything happens even in a distant country, it may have some unique impact upon us. Practically there is nothing which cannot affect us. Even if something happens in a distant star which is some million light years away, the impact of this event may be felt by the Earth.

The Earth, which is this revolving planet on which we are living, is one among the many pilgrims journeying in vast space, which fact astronomers can tell us in some detail. The Earth has colleagues in the vast space, and therefore it is, in a way, related to distant things which are invisible to the eyes. As we are inhabitants of the Earth, how could it be possible that the distant stars are not affecting us?

What is it that cannot affect us? The vast space, and inscrutable time, seem to have something to say about every one of us. We have to slowly open our eyes to a new vista, or vision, of our relationship when we try to enter a school of education. We know very well how important education is. Else, we remain like animals, living instinctively. Education is an awakening to the facts of life to which we are oblivious, usually.

When we are born from the mother’s womb, we come with no knowledge. Everything is dark, and some blind instincts such as hunger, sleep, etc., begin to operate. Our parents put us in school, saying that we require education. What do they mean by that? What is wrong with our stay in our own house? Why do we go to an educational institution? It is because the need is felt that an understanding of the intricate relationships that obtain between us and others should be available to us; otherwise, we live like frogs in a well. When we are small children, we know nothing except our family members. This is our father, our mother, our brother and sister; that is all, and we are not concerned with anything else.

When we begin to get introduced into our relationship with the community outside, education starts. Education begins the moment we begin to realise that we are not confined only to the family—parents, brothers, sisters, etc. The art of conducting ourselves harmoniously in relation to the community and to the people outside the family may be said to be the beginning of education. We know very well how important it is to be harmoniously coordinated with people outside the family also.

Then education expands. It is not enough if we know only our little community. We are introduced into the larger background of the geography and the history of the place in which we are living. Our comprehension expands in two ways. When we go to school and start our educational career, geographical and historical studies are primary. Go back to your school days and remember what you learnt at the very outset. I do not think you studied physics, chemistry and mathematics at the very beginning. There were simpler things, but very important things—a description of the physical location of your own personality: the area, the district, the province in which you live. You were gradually introduced into the geography of your country, and did not study world geography first. Then you were introduced into the historical antecedents of your life—this is India, this is America, this is Europe, etc. So many people lived before you, not only a few family members. You were awakened to a larger dimension of your relationship to people who were before you, and also to the area of land that is around you. This is the kindergarten form, as it were, of the educational career, the beginning or seed form.

As I commenced by saying, our relationships do not exhaust themselves merely with human history, which we may study in our schools and colleges, because the Earth does not contain only human beings. We already know very well that this Earth is inhabited by things other than humans. When I say “things other than humans”, I do not mean merely animals and plants. There are more things on Earth than humans, animals and plants. There are invisible things. Forces which compel the Earth to rotate on its axis and revolve around the Sun are invisible to the eyes. You can imagine the importance of this atmosphere in which you are living. What is it that compels the Earth to move? What is this motive force? Where is the dynamo that pushes it? If the Earth could be pushed with such vehemence by a power or a force that you cannot see with your eyes, can you say that you are not being impacted by this force when you are crawling like an ant on the surface of the Earth? Who can say that this invisible force is not impinging upon you? Can you say that your life is controlled by only your family members or historical personages, or even by the geographical atmosphere?

This little history of humanity, this geography, this family, these great things that are spoken of as world problems and world issues, look so small, petty, meaningless and laughable when we awaken ourselves to the presence of the terrible forces which can push the very Earth in a particular direction. And when the Earth can be pushed with such force, what about human history? Where are our great people, our Napoleons and Caesars? They go like a wisp of wind. They can be blown off like an ant. The great importance that we attach to the phenomenon of human processes called history looks meaningless before these giant forces which we cannot see with our eyes but can only infer by logical deduction.

Education is not merely studying things which we can see with our eyes. That is a gross form of education, but there is a subtle form, which is a study of inferences. For example, mathematics is not an object that we see as something visible to the eyes. We cannot see mathematics with our eyes, but we can conceive what it is. This conceptual learning which is mathematics is more valuable to our lives than the gross things that we see with our eyes. We know very well how important mathematics is in life. This is one example I place before you to indicate that conceptual things and invisible things may be more important than visible things.

Logic and mathematics are the principle sciences, but they are not connected with physical objects. We can be logical and mathematical even with closed eyes, without seeing anything, without hearing anything, without having any physical contact with any object. These conceptual sciences are, in a way, inferential sciences. We conclude that if two and two make four, the multiples will also be commensurate with this calculation. We cannot see this, but we can infer it from a certain logical deduction drawn by syllogism.

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