Religion and materialism has become one of a kind. Religion preaches that God cannot be known and hence must remain an object of faith
whereas materialism says that the existence of God cannot be proved, so, it does not exist. Neither of the two can prove their claims. Religion,
of which there are over three hundred, all indulging in the adoration of God, yet there is only ONE God but so many Religions. The purpose of
Religion is to take us “back to God” and in the years of my presence on this planet, I have not known any religion to have given God Realisation
to any individual, neither have I known anyone throughout history who may have attained to that exalting state of God Realisation or Spiritual
Enlightenment through any religious institution. That makes religion, as far as I am concerned, obsolete.
The next question then is, how can one come to realise their True nature in this very lifetime? The answer to this question is through Spirituality,
which is not concerned with any confined institution, ritual, dogmas, chanting, recitation of scriptures, worship of any deity or any individual who
claims to a Mastership through lineage. Spirituality cannot be inherited like the transfer of property or acquiring wealth after someone passes away.
Spirituality is an expansion of awareness, it is the revelation of the Divine Light and Divine Sound, called by different names in different world scriptures.
It has nothing to do with spiritualism or seances. It is a definite revelation, not information, imagination or visualisation, but the placing of the individual
on to a spiritual plane, transcendental, where the True Spiritual Path begins. That Master has to be Enlightened himself and proved himself that he/she has
This mystery has been hidden not only in the Indian traditions, but in many other cultures in the East. One such tradition exists in the Chines classic called
The Tao Te Ching. The TAO is the mystery about which Lao Tsu talks in that great classic.
“The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth.”
The TAO is beyond words, beyond expression and cannot be named, because it defies description and is transcendental. Hence it cannot be spoken of and has
no name, it is the source of heaven and earth. The whole of creation arises from that Tao.
“The Tao is an empty vessel; it is used but never filled.
Oh, unfathomable source of ten thousand things!”
The Tao is like an empty vessel, means it is empty, nothing in it but is also full because it is always used but never needs filling as it is inexhaustible. Its depth cannot
be fathomed because it has no beginnings or endings, it is the source of everything in creation, referred to as the “ten thousand things.
Further on, the sage explains that:
“Oh, hidden deep but ever present !
I do not know from whence it comes.
It is the forefather of the emperors.”
The Tao is hidden deep because it is not visible to the naked eye as it is beyond senses, but is always present because it is the support of everything. The origin of it is not
known because it is beyond knowing and transcendental. It is the forefather of the emperors because it cannot be owned and is the ancient being which exists before everything.
The following verse of the Tao Te Ching really sums it up:
“Look, it cannot be seen – it is beyond form.
Listen, it cannot be heard – it is beyond sound.
Grasp, it cannot be held – it is intangible;
These three are indefinable
Therefore they are joined in one.
From above it is not bright;
From below it is not dark:
An unbroken thread beyond description.
It returns to nothingness.
The form of the formless,
The image of the imageless,
It is called indefinable and beyond imagination.
Stand before it and there is no beginning.
Follow it and there is no end.
Stay with the ancient Tao,
Move with the present.
Knowing the ancient beginning is the essence of Tao.”
That is a total summary of the nature of the Tao. The ancient, no beginning and no ending. Religions cannot reveal it because it cannot be comprehended but only revealed. I take the last three lines to be very crucial in a spiritual quest. “Stay with the ancient Tao. Move with the present.” My understanding is to seek the ancient Tao by moving in the present is indicative of the presence of an Enlightened Perfect Master who can reveal the Tao. “Knowing the ancient beginning is the essence of the Tao” seems a contradiction to the ordinary mind as we have stated that the ancient Tao has no beginning, then we talk of it at the same time. I will emphasise this point again, that knowing the ancient beginning is the essence of the Tao simply means that the “spiritual journey” to Enlightenment or God Realisation begins with the REVELATION of the TAO. No scriptures can help us, no matter how well they are written. They can only point the way, even then, the scriptures instruct to go and find an Enlightened Perfect Master who claims that he is Enlightened and can Enlighten you too in this very lifetime, since he/she knows fully well that there is only one lifetime. He will not discriminate between men and women, in fact, proves that God Realisation is not gender biased, it is for all those who desire it and will make the commitment as instructed by the Master or Guru. The time is of the essence, and those seeking this exalting state may leave their details requesting information about how to begin this journey.
I am indebted to Gia – Fu Feng and Jane English for the Translation of Tao Te Ching which has provided me with the verses quoted in this blog.