Truth (about all religions) is a pre-condition for harmony

Quest For Harmony
by Valson Thampu
18 May, 2003


The stark truth is this: communal harmony is a logical impossibility. Otherwise, we would have attained it by now; or, at least, made some progress in that direction. Instead, we seem to be going from bad to worse. As a matter of fact, the idea of"communal harmony"seems to be a logical contradiction. Harmony can never be communal; for communalism — the word"communal"being the adjective in the Indian context — is necessarily disharmonious. What we ought to seek is not"communal", but"spiritual harmony."

Harmony among religions is possible, provided we are willing to shift from religion to spirituality. The seed of communalism is inherent in religion as religion. One indication is the inner decay of religions indicated by the growing gulf between their scriptural ideals and the norms that shape the lives of religious communities. Our practical life contradicts the spiritual ideals we endorse in theory. The spirit of negativity dominates the inter-religious space and shapes religious attitudes. It is this that leads us to mistake our neighbours to be the enemies of our faith. Though all religions recommend values such as generosity, selflessness and charity, increasingly people resort to religion only to secure limitless and unmerited advantages in this world and the next. It is this covetousness that fuels corruption in public life and communalises politics. Selfishness is the source of injustice, cruelty and exploitation. Today the more religious zeal a person has, the more selfish and heartless he is apt to be.

Only those who are at the wrong end of the communal stick care for communal harmony. That, in itself, proves that we do not deem harmony among religions to be basic to our spirituality. It is only an indulgence in nice sentiments in times of difficulty. Come normality, it is business as usual; and all it matters is that we must thrive at all costs and every game plan, communal or otherwise, that helps is welcome. Our commitment to inter-faith harmony remains unconvincing. For all our sentimental endorsement of this ideal, it is doubtful if anyone is willing to make any adjustment to attain it.

There are two essentials for spiritual harmony. The first is to spiritually renew and reform religions. This involves bridging the gulf between scriptural and spiritual values on the one hand, and the practices, values and goals of the religious communities concerned, on the other. Secondly, the practitioners of a religion have to develop adequate sensitivity and due respect for the religious practices and sentiments of others. Rather than glory in our differences as the markers of our superiority over others, we need to handle our spiritual heritage with humility and self-denial. There is an urgent need to evolve an inter-religious code through mutual consultation, within a framework that can accommodate the genius of each religion and minimise the offence of what is unique and different.

India has been a confluence of religious plurality for over two millennia. But we are still far away from developing an integrative, inter-religious spirituality. Each religious constituency has remained until recently self-enclosed, except in respect of festivals. The rise of rabid communalism now threatens to disrupt even this modicum of religious interaction. The time has come for us to work earnestly towards evolving a shared spirituality as consonant with the demands of a secular democracy blessed or burdened with religious plurality. The alternative to this is the slow but steady communalisation of the State apparatus, with unthinkable consequences for all citizens, especially the minorities. The bulwark again the communalist collapse of Indian democracy is the spiritual renewal of all religions, which has to be a prime inter-religious agenda.

It is customary, in interfaith exercises, to play up commonalities and to sweep differences under the carpet. This is escapism and self-delusion. Differences are as significant and valuable as the sameness we share. The specific business of spirituality is to enable us to accept and, at the same time, transcend differences, which is the opposite of glossing over them. within a framework of spirituality, differences cease to be stumbling blocks and become a source of stimulation and enrichment. The problem is not in diversity or differences; the problem is in being infected by the communal spirit of negativity that disables us from relating to diversities harmoniously. The ability to welcome and celebrate differences is a sign of spiritual robustness. Unless this is achieved, the foundation for religious harmony cannot be laid.

The task of paving the way for spiritual harmony has to address also the need to regenerate our culture of governance. Communalism is the alternative to good governance. It implies a reductive redefinition of the political discourse in terms of communal loyalties in order to deflect the attention of the people from their basic needs and to make them turn against their own welfare. It is when a political party fails in respect of good governance that it resorts to the desperate remedy of playing the communal card. What is involved here is the prostitution of bhakti (spiritual devotion), which is the most sacred sentiment humans are capable of. Because of the decay in religion, people mistake bhakti for blind devotion. Blind devotion makes people vulnerable to manipulation by the religious and ruling elite. This is the logic for the marriage between the political and religious vested interests, and communal discord is the monstrous birth from this marriage of convenience.

The more our culture of governance decays with the result of aggravating human desperation, the more the people succumb to manipulation by political and religious demagogues. What makes communalism explosive is the psychology of mass-desperation that creates the ideal climate for inventing scapegoats and hypothetical enemies. It is in such an atmosphere that minorities are easily portrayed as the enemies of the nation and of Hinduism. In this respect, the Sangh Parivar is quite right in saying that facts do not matter. It is a total culture of negativity and the anxiety contrived within it that clinches the issue.

It is because of this that caricaturing the image of other religious communities is basic to every communal agenda. In this, not only the aggressive ideologues of majoritarian communalism but also the propagators and salesmen of minority communities too are to blame. Sweeping statements have been made in the past about other faiths, especially Hinduism, without trying to understand them in depth and in truth. The tendency to play up one's faith by playing down the faiths of others must be resisted at all costs. This is not a legitimate exercise of the right to propagate one's faith, but an abuse of it. We must practise the basic courtesy of speaking the truth about each other, without which the goal of spiritual harmony shall never be attained. Truth is a pre-condition for harmony.

Quest For Harmony
By Valson Thampu




THE APOCALYPSE OF THE SPIRIT-PARACLETE
The fulfillment of the promised divine eschatological instruction
“The original meaning of the word ‘apocalypse’, derived from the Greek apokalypsis, is in fact not the cataclysmic end of the world, but an ‘unveiling’, or ‘revelation’, a means whereby one gains insight into the present.” (Kovacs, 2013, 2) An apocalypse (Greek: apokalypsis meaning “an uncovering”) is in religious contexts knowledge or revelation, a disclosure of something hidden, “a vision of heavenly secrets that can make sense of earthly realities.” (Ehrman 2014, 59)
Shri Mataji
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi (1923-2011) was Christian by birth, Hindu by marriage, and Paraclete by duty.
“The Paraclete will come (15:26; 16:7, 8, 13) as Jesus has come into the world (5:43; 16:28; 18:37)... The Paraclete will take the things of Christ (the things that are mine, ek tou emou) and declare them (16:14-15). Bishop Fison describes the humility of the Spirit, 'The true Holy Spirit of God does not advertise Herself: She effaces Herself and advertises Jesus.' ...
It is by the outgoing activity of the Spirit that the divine life communicates itself in and to the creation. The Spirit is God-in-relations. The Paraclete is the divine self-expression which will be and abide with you, and be in you (14:16-17). The Spirit's work is described in terms of utterance: teach you, didasko (14:26), remind you, hypomimnesko (14:26), testify, martyro (15:26), prove wrong, elencho (16:8), guide into truth, hodego (16:13), speak, laleo (16:13, twice), declare, anangello (16:13, 14, 15). The johannine terms describe verbal actions which intend a response in others who will receive (lambano), see (theoreo), or know (ginosko) the Spirit. Such speech-terms link the Spirit with the divine Word. The Spirit's initiatives imply God's personal engagement with humanity. The Spirit comes to be with others; the teaching Spirit implies a community of learners; forgetful persons need a prompter to remind them; one testifies expecting heed to be paid; one speaks and declares in order to be heard. The articulate Spirit is the correlative of the listening, Spirit-informed community.
The final Paraclete passage closes with a threefold repetition of the verb she will declare (anangello), 16:13-15. The Spirit will declare the things that are to come (v.13), and she will declare what is Christ's (vv. 14, 15). The things of Christ are a message that must be heralded...
The intention of the Spirit of truth is the restoration of an alienated, deceived humanity... The teaching role of the Paraclete tends to be remembered as a major emphasis of the Farewell Discourses, yet only 14:26 says She will teach you all things. (Teaching is, however, implied when 16:13-15 says that the Spirit will guide you into all truth, and will speak and declare.) Franz Mussner remarks that the word used in 14:26, didaskein, "means literally 'teach, instruct,' but in John it nearly always means to reveal.” (Stevick 2011, 292-7)
Stephen E. Witmer, Divine instruction in Early Christianity   
F. B. Meyer, Love to the Utmost Robert Kysar, John, the Maverick Gospel 
Danny Mahar, Aramaic Made EZ Lucy Reid, She Changes Everything
David Fleer, Preaching John's Gospel: The World It Imagines Berard L. Marthaler, The Creed: The Apostolic Faith in Contemporary Theology
George Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament In Spirit and Truth, Benny Thettayil
Jesus and His Own: A Commentary on John 13-17 Marianne Meye Thompson, The God of the Gospel of John
Eric Eve, The Jewish Context of Jesus' Miracles D. R. Sadananda, The Johannine Exegesis of God: an exploration into the Johannine understanding of God
Michael Welker, God the Spirit Georg Strecker, Theology of the New Testament
Tricia Gates Brown, Spirit in the writings of John Michael Welker, The work of the Spirit: pneumatology and Pentecostalism
Robert Kysar, Voyages with John: Charting the Fourth Gospel John F. Moloney, The Gospel of John
Harvey Cox, The Future of Faith Robert Kysar, John
Robert E. Picirilli, The Randall House Bible Commentary George Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament 
“The teaching of the Paraclete, as the continuation of Jesus' teaching, must also be understood as the fulfillment of the promise of eschatological divine instruction.”
Stephen E. Witmer, Divine instruction in Early Christianity

“Jesus therefore predicts that God will later send a human being to Earth to take up the role defined by John .i.e. to be a prophet who hears God's words and repeats his message to man.”
M. Bucaille, The Bible, the Qur'n, and Science

“And when Jesus foreannounced another Comforter, He must have intended a Person as distinct and helpful as He had been.”
F. B. Meyer, Love to the Utmost

“The Paraclete has a twofold function: to communicate Christ to believers and, to put the world on trial.”
Robert Kysar, John The Meverick Gospel

“But She—the Spirit, the Paraclete...—will teach you everything.”
Danny Mahar, Aramaic Made EZ)

“Grammatical nonsense but evidence of the theological desire to defeminize the Divine.”
Lucy Reid, She Changes Everything

“The functions of the Paraclete spelled out in verses 13-15... are all acts of open and bold speaking in the highest degree.”
David Fleer, Preaching John's Gospel

“The reaction of the world to the Paraclete will be much the same as the world's reaction was to Jesus.”
Berard L. Marthaler, The Creed: The Apostolic Faith in Contemporary Theology

Bultmann calls the “coming of the Redeemer an 'eschatological event,' 'the turning-point of the ages.”
G. Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament

“The Paraclete equated with the Holy Spirit, is the only mediator of the word of the exalted Christ.”
Benny Thettayil, In Spirit and Truth

“The divine Paraclete, and no lessor agency, must show the world how wrong it was about him who was in the right.”
Daniel B. Stevick , Jesus and His Own: A Commentary on John 13-17

Stephen Smalley asserts that “The Spirit-Paraclete ... in John's Gospel is understood as personal, indeed, as a person.”
Marianne Thompson, The God of the Gospel of John

“The Messiah will come and the great age of salvation will dawn (for the pious).”
Eric Eve, The Jewish context of Jesus' Miracles

“The remembrance is to relive and re-enact the Christ event, to bring about new eschatological decision in time and space.”
Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda, The Johannine Exegesis of God

“The Spirit acts in such an international situation as the revealer of 'judgment' on the powers that rule the world.”
Michael Welker, God the Spirit

The Paraclete's “Appearance means that sin, righteousness, and judgment will be revealed.”
Georg Strecker, Theology of the New Testament

“While the Spirit-Paraclete is the true broker, the brokers they rely on are impostors.”
T. G. Brown, Spirit in the writings of John

“The pneumatological activity ... of the Paraclete ... may most helpfully be considered in terms of the salvific working of the hidden Spirit.”
Michael Welker, The work of the Spirit

“The pneuma is the peculiar power by which the word becomes the words of eternal life.”
Robert Kysar, Voyages with John

“The gift of peace, therefore, is intimately associated with the gift of the Spirit-Paraclete.”
Francis J. Moloney, The Gospel of John

“This utopian hope, even when modestly expressed, links Jesus and the prophets to a much wider history of human longing.”
Harvey Cox, The Future of Faith

“Because of the presence of the Paraclete in the life of the believer, the blessings of the end-times—the eschaton—are already present.”
Robert Kysar, John

“They are going, by the Holy Spirit's power, to be part of the greatest miracle of all, bringing men to salvation.”
R. Picirilli, The Randall House Bible Commentary

“The Kingdom of God stands as a comprehensive term for all that the messianic salvation included... is something to be sought here and now (Mt. 6:33) and to be received as children receive a gift (Mk. 10:15 = Lk. 18:16-17).”
G. Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament


“But today is the day I declare that I am the one who has to save the humanity. I declare I am the one who is Adishakti, who is the Mother of all the Mothers, who is the Primordial Mother, the Shakti, the desire of God, who has incarnated on this Earth to give its meaning to itself; to this creation, to human beings and I am sure through My Love and patience and My powers I am going to achieve it.

I was the one who was born again and again. But now in my complete form and complete powers I have come on this Earth not only for salvation of human beings, not only for their emancipation, but for granting them the Kingdom of Heaven, the joy, the bliss that your Father wants to bestow upon you.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
December 2, 1979—London, UK


“I am the one about which Christ has talked... I am the Holy Spirit who has incarnated on this Earth for your realization.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
New York, USA—September 30, 1981


“Tell all the nations and tell all the people all over the Great Message that the Time of Resurrection is here. Now, at this time, and that you are capable of doing it.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
Cowley Manor Seminar, UK—July 31, 1982


“This is the transformation that has worked, of which Christ has talked, Mohammed Sahib has talked, everybody has talked about this particular time when people will get transformed.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Chistmas Puja, Ganapatipule, India—25 December 1997


“The Resurrection of Christ has to now be collective Resurrection. This is what is Mahayoga. Has to be the collective Resurrection.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Easter Puja, London, UK—11 April 1982


“Today, Sahaja Yaga has reached the state of Mahayoga, which is en-masse evolution manifested through it. It is this day’s Yuga Dharma. It is the way the Last Judgement is taking place. Announce it to all the seekers of truth, to all the nations of the world, so that nobody misses the blessings of the divine to achieve their meaning, their absolute, their Spirit.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
MAHA AVATAR, ISSUE 1, JUL-SEP 1980 (Date and place unknown)


“The main thing that one has to understand is that the time has come for you to get all that is promised in the scriptures, not only in the Bible but all all the scriptures of the world. The time has come today that you have to become a Christian, a Brahmin, a Pir, through your Kundalini awakening only. There is no other way. And that your Last Judgment is also now.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi


“You see, the Holy Ghost is the Mother. When they say about the Holy Ghost, She is the Mother... Now, the principle of Mother is in every, every scripture — has to be there. Now, the Mother's character is that She is the one who is the Womb, She is the one who is the Mother Earth, and She is the one who nourishes you. She nourishes us. You know that. And this Feminine thing in every human being resides as this Kundalini.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Radio Interview Oct 01 1983—Santa Cruz, USA


“It is the Mother who can awaken the Kundalini, and that the Kundalini is your own Mother. She is the Holy Ghost within you, the Adi Shakti, and She Herself achieves your transformation. By any talk, by any rationality, by anything, it cannot be done.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi


“She is your pure Mother. She is the Mother who is individually with you. Forget your concepts, and forget your identifications. Please try to understand She is your Mother, waiting for ages to give you your real birth. She is the Holy Ghost within you. She has to give you your realization, and She's just waiting and waiting to do it.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Public Program Mar 22 1981—Sydney, Australia


“The Kundalini is your own mother; your individual mother. And She has tape-recorded all your past and your aspirations. Everything! And She rises because She wants to give you your second birth. But She is your individual mother. You don't share Her with anybody else. Yours is a different, somebody else's is different because the tape-recording is different. We say She is the reflection of the Adi Shakti who is called as Holy Ghost in the Bible.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Press Conference July 08 1999—London, UK




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