Bhagavadgita -Radhakrishnan 131

The Bhagavadgita -S. Radhakrishnan

The Way of Knowledge

The Gita does not speak of this or that form of religion but speaks of the impulse which is expressed in all forms, the desire to find God and understand our relation to Him[1]

The same God is worshipped by all. The differences of conception and approach are determined by local colouring and social adaptations. All manifestations belong to the same Supreme. "Visnu is Siva and Siva is Visnu and whoever thinks they are different goes to hell.[2] "He who is known as Visnu is verily Rudra and he who is Rudra is Brahma's One entity functions as three gods that is Rudra,Tigris and Brahma. "[3] Udayandcdrya writes: "Whom the Saivas worship as Siva, the Vedantins as Brahman, the Buddhists as Buddha, the Naiyyayikas who specialize in canons of knowledge as the chief agent, the followers of the Jaina code as the ever free, the ritualists as the principle of law, may that Hari, the lord of the three worlds, grant our prayers."[4] If he had been writing in this age, he would have added "whom the Christians devoted to work as Christ and the Mohammedans as Allah,"[5]God is the rewarder of all who diligently seek Him,whatever views of God they may hold. The spiritually immature are unwilling to recognize other gods than their own. Their attachment to their creed makes them blind e larger unity of the Godhead. This is the result of egotism in the domain of religious ideas. The Gitã, on the other hand, affirms that though beliefs and practices may be many and varied, spiritual realization to which these are the means is one. A strong consciousness of one's own possession of the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth added to a con-descending anxiety for the condition of those who are in outer darkness produces a state of mind which is not remote from that of an inquisitor.


References and Context

  1. Cp. "All worship was to him sacred, since he believed that in its most degraded forms, among the most ignorant and foolish of worshippers, there has yet been some true seeking after the Divine, and that between these and the most glorious ntual or the highest philosophic certainty there lies so small a space that we may believe the Saints in paradise regard it with a smile." Elizabeth Waterhouse, Thoughts of a Tertiary; quoted in Evelyn Underhill, Worship (1937), P. I.
  2. harirupi manddevo lingarapi janardanah -isad apy antaram ndsti bhedakrm narakam vrajet. Brhannclradiya. Cp. also Maitrayani Up. sa va es ekes tridhabutah. See also AAtharva veda. The one light manifests itself in various forms 'ekam .jyotir bahudha vibhati. XIII, 3, 17.
  3. yo vai visnuh sa vai rudro yo rudrah sa pitamahah skamurtis tray diva rudravisnuPitamahah.
  4. yam saSiva samupasate Siva its &rahmeti vedantinah bauddhhah buddy its pramãnapatavat kartett naiyyayikah arhann ityatha jainasasanaratah karmeti mimdrhsakah so'yam vo vidadhatu vanchiraphalam iratlokyandtho harih.
  5. kraistvah Kristen its krzyapararatah allets mdhctmmaddh. Abul Fazl describes the spirit of Akbar's Universal Faith in these words: "0 God, in every temple I see people that seek Thee, and in every language I hear spoken, people praise Thee. Polytheism and Islam feel after Thee; each religion says `Thou art one, without equal.' If it be a mosque, people murmur the holy prayer and if it be a Christian Church, people ring the bell from Love to Thee. Sometimes I frequent the Christian cloister, sometimes the mosque But it is Thou whom I search from temple to temple. Thy elect have no dealings with either heresy or orthodoxy for neither of them stands behind the screen of Thy truth. Heresy to the heretic; and religion to the orthodox. But the dust of the rose petal belongs to the heart of the perfume seller." Blochmann, Amid akbri P. XXX