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 Blooming Stars

Monopoly on Holiness

             We learn about holiness from sacred scriptures, seers and sages, their writings and discourses, the lives of holy men and women, their speculations, meditations, reflections, and intuitions. The special pearls of wisdom have to be discovered in the thick forest of theories, hair-splitting distinctions, and intellectual gymnastics. These special persons made acquiring holiness their main task, and went about it with enthusiasm, passion, and undivided attention. They devoted their entire energy to it, and got immersed in it with single purpose. Yet they can only provide some guidance or glimpses about the infinite and basically unknowable Supreme Being or God who is solely our object of faith. Acquiring holiness, as mentioned before, is not a difficult task.

            Nobody has monopoly on holiness. We have to digest what is available from the treasury of human heritage. We still have to grope in the darkness with fear and trembling. In this groping some have a better vision or lead than others. That is all. We are all essentially like the four blind men of India experiencing the elephant in four distinct ways and quarrelling about it as Buddha said. Holiness is not the preserve of a few. All have access to it without any mediation, legislated, ritualistic intervention, or special arrangement. Nobody is authorized to dole it out to the privileged few or to those chosen at someone’s whim. A just God does not choose anyone for special privilege or holiness. The special elect of God is a self-perpetuating myth to claim special status or benefits; it is foreign to true spirituality and holiness. No one needs to explain God’s inscrutable ways to favor some group of persons. Before putting down some simple and clear criteria that anyone can use to live a holy life and acquire holiness, let me examine the requirements of a realized, therefore holy, person in Hinduism and Christianity.


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