image by axinia
When speaking on the subject of ideal life, the words of the Prophet of Islam may be quoted, where he says, ‘Every soul has
its own religion.’ This means that every soul has a certain direction, which it has chosen, a goal to attain during life. This goal is
a certain ideal, which depends on the soul’s evolution.
Religion in the East is not made into a thing apart from one’s life, as in the West where business, profession, and other things
on the one side of life, and going to church one day in the week on the other side, together constitute religion, with a prayer
before going to rest. But, strictly speaking, life is religion. When one has that ideal before one with whatever occupation one is
concerned, business, industry, domestic life, or whatever it is, one carries it out, trying to be worthy of it, that is religion.
In the Hindu language, the same word, Dharma, means both duty and religion. Both are expressed by one word. ‘This is your
Dharma’ means: ‘This is your faith.’ How beautiful the thought is! Whatever kind of duty it is, so long as you have an ideal
before you and are performing that duty, you are walking in the path of religion.
We, with our narrowness of faith or belief, accuse others of belonging to another religion, another chapel or church. We say,
‘This temple is better, that faith is better.’ The whole world has kept on fighting and devastating itself just because it can not
understand that each form of religion is peculiar to itself. Therefore, the ideal life is in following one’s own ideal. It is not in
checking other people’s ideals. If a certain thing is one’s ideal, that does not mean that another person will agree that it is best
to offer prayers ten times a day. He may be doing better by following his religion in his shop than by going to a mosque and
offering up a prayer twenty times a day. Perhaps somebody with that ideal cannot see that the other person’s way is an ideal
also. Leave everyone to follow his own ideal. (more…)