Hinduism: its spiritual significance5The ideal of Hinduism is to see all in the Self and the Self in all. A Hindu believes that each individual is a conscious manifestation of God. The spirit of selfless service is his supreme secret. A Hindu unmistakably feels that God is manifesting and perfecting Himself through each human being. Each individual soul represents a type of divinity projected by the Supreme. Each human being has a mission to fulfil on earth, and he does it at God's choice hour.
The breath of Hinduism is spirituality. Whatever a Hindu does, he does as a means to this end. It is true, as with any other individual, that he wants to accomplish all that he can here on earth. But the important thing is that he does not and cannot do anything at the cost of his spiritual life. To him, the spiritual life is the only life that will eventually garland him with the victory of perfect perfection.
In the spiritual life, people very often use the word 'sin'. Here I must say that a Hindu has nothing to do with sin. He takes into consideration only two things, namely, ignorance and light. With his Soul's light, he wants to swim across the sea of ignorance and also wants to transform the lower self into the higher Self.
Tena tyaktena bhunjita: "Enjoy through renunciation." This is the life-giving message of the Hindu seers. What is to be renounced is the train of our desires and nothing more and nothing less. In renouncing all our earth-bound desires, we can have the taste of true divine fulfilment.
I have already told you that the breath of Hinduism is spirituality. In the spiritual life, the control of the senses plays a great part. Since such is the case, let us try to have a clear conception of the senses. A devout Hindu feels that his senses are not meant for mortification. Senses are his instruments. Their assistance is indispensable. The senses should and must function divinely in full vigour, for the divine purpose of an all-fulfilling, integral wholeness. Then alone can true divinity dawn in human life. Self-indulgence ends in utter frustration. Poor man, he is so lavish in using and exhausting the pleasures of the body which is composed of five elements. Certainly he is not so lavish in his life in anything else as he is with his self-indulgence. Alas, to his utter surprise, before the exhaustion of the pleasure of the body, his very life exhausts itself into futile nothingness. It is high time for the brute in man to give place to the divine in him. Brutality does not conquer. It kills.
Spirituality is the all-embracing love. This love conquers man to make him conscious of this true, inner divinity, so that he can fulfil himself and can become a perfect channel to God's manifestation. This love, or the bond of love, one can create within oneself in order to bind or unite oneself with other individuals, other nationals, other internationals. This is what a devout Hindu feels.
No movement, no progress. But movement needs guidance. Guidance is knowledge. But man has to know that mental knowledge can only help man to a certain extent. With its help, he can go nowhere near the Goal. It is the knowledge of the soul that grants man his God-realisation.
The vision of Hinduism is unity in diversity. Firstly, it lovingly embraces all alien elements; secondly it tries to assimilate them; thirdly, it tries to expand itself as a whole, with a view to serving humanity and nature. Indeed, this is the sign of its life's meaningful, dynamic aspiration.
This talk was given by Sri Chinmoy on 23 October 1966 at the invitation of the Adult Class on Comparative Religion, Chaim Weizmann Chapter of Hadassah, West Hempstead, Long Island, New York.↩