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Understanding Scriptures

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 Blooming Stars

What is Holiness

             Holiness is living according to God’s will every moment of the day as communicated to everyone through one’s conscience. Holiness does not require any extraordinary feat. Life is difficult as it is, and God, our father and mother, wants us children to enjoy and celebrate life. Living according to God’s will can be very difficult in it, but can be truly enjoyable when we really know our purpose and mission in this world. Everyone’s conscience needs to be well-formed. There can be differences of opinion with regard to formation of a conscience depending on the value systems of persons. However, I cannot think of a single culture or tradition wherein evils such as telling lies, cheating, killing others, bearing false witness, committing adultery, enslaving others, discriminating others, disrespecting others, and violating others’ rights are valued.

            All these have happened in the history of humanity, and are still happening. But all these are not only illegal but also immoral. There are some religious authorities who evaluate a person’s conscience according to their teachings and belief systems, and consider it to be well-formed or malformed as it does or does not conform to their standard. In any case a person is going to be saved even with a “malformed conscience” as long as he/she is sincere. From that perspective even a sincere atheist is going to be saved as God is ever loving, compassionate, and merciful, and looks at one’s sincerity. That is the way God has made us. Our God is so great that God has given us freedom even to reject God. Of course, when one is in doubt with regard to vital matters, one has the obligation to do whatever is in one’s power to clear that doubt.

            Secure in one’s belief that one is a child of God, one strives to be all one can be, love God, self and others with one’s whole heart, figure out one’s purpose and mission in life, and discern God’s will and carry it out with one’s whole energy every waking moment of the day and night in one’s own circumstances with one’s given limitations. Carrying out God’s will every moment is not such a difficult proposition as it is a continuous commitment and disposition that in due time turn into an attitude and a habit, a second nature, so to speak. This second nature would have been the recognized essential part of our nature if we really know our true identity (amrutasya putrah: children of immortality). We are truly created to move (become a brahmachari, literally one who moves in God), live, and have our being in God. This is what world’s sacred scriptures propose. When we come into the world our true identity is hidden from us.

            As a result we get confused and get immersed in worldly pursuits, and go after material things, degrees, and credentials, accumulating wealth and possessions, and jockeying for power and control. Once we reclaim our true identity we stop behaving like sheep as we are truly lions who happened to be brought up with sheep. The story relates to a farmer living at the edge of a forest found a lion cub and brought it up with his sheep. The lion cub growing up with sheep learnt the ways of sheep and forgot his true identity until a wild lion from the forest came to kill a sheep for food, and noticed a lion running with the sheep to get away. The lion telling the sheep-like lion about his true identity, got frustrated, and finally brought him to a pond to convince his true identity. The sheep-like lion looked into the pond and let out the roar of a lion. That was the moment the sheep like-lion got insight and became aware of his true identity. We will have to go through similar but difficult and trying process to discover our own true identity. While in this world we are not of this world. There are discerning spiritual masters who are free, who do not have vested interests, and who are subject and answerable to God alone, and who can help us find our identity as we grow up in a world full of attractive, titillating distractions, allurements, and temptations until we become ourselves guides who can steer others to God’s shores from the tumultuous vast ocean


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