Religion is regarded as sacred and real by the common people, by the wise as false and by the rulers as useful.
Religion was introduced in the past for the populace which was unable to grasp higher truth and bereft of the old creed. So for them, new religion may be concocted to suit their temperament and capacity.
Plunging into the mind and seeing the whole world in it mentally and grasping the fact that all the diversity is created and sustained by the soul and finally dissolves as the soul. Therefore,there is no second thing other than the soul in the experience of diversity. Thus, the unity in diversity is possible only by perfect understanding. The physical journey such as yoga and religion, paths and theories are for those who are incapable of performing the mental journey. Individual happiness is sought by religion, whereas Truth seeks universal happiness.
Religion is a means whereby one keeps society within a certain order. Those however who refuse to wait for the next world but want the comfort here and now, are likely to follow the atheism.
In the past religion was encouraged by the rich and the rulers because of the fear atheism because it may lead the masses to attack them and to rebel against the established order of property and cause unrest in society. The poor are promised a better life in the next world. Yet the religion is needed for the populace without it, they might arise and rebel and become a cause of concern: there would be no settled order, no stable peaceful society.
The Kings of the past with the help of the sages had invented the religion and idea of god and injected it on people because they can give the people an opiate and keep them better under control.
Science has been opening the eyes of the people and exposed many myths of religious claims. The religion propagates its fables instead of facts. The religious myth of the next life and next-world keeps one believing the illusory duality as a reality. Instead of making the practical world a heaven, the religionists are making the world hell in order to reach the paradise by causing the terror attacks in the name of God and the religion.
West will gradually follow the path of the east, and imitate the east, and vice versa, which will result in the decay of all religion. The eastern religion like all religions cannot produce enduring good results; only the universal truth can do that. Therefore, universal truth is necessary to eradicate the unrest of the world caused in the name of religion and god.
The word "I” used in the eastern scriptures is not the individual me as one imagines, but the soul, which is the true self. Since everyone thinks the ‘I’ is self only the body is not self and base their theory and understanding on the base of ‘I’ as the self. It is very difficult for them to accept the fact that the ‘I’ itself is not the self. If this is understood the truth pursuit becomes easier.
The rituals and worship of idols are only for mental children not for the seekers of truth. Religion renders ethical services to humanity.
There is no need to criticize religion, yoga etc. They are helpful in some way for those who is not in the pursuit of truth, but one has to understand the fact that they are no the means to self-realization. "Know the Truth through soulcentric reasoning is the only means to acquire nondual wisdom.”
The very fact that, religions differ proves that each religion is a man made. Many in the West are giving up religion. That is inevitable owing to the decay of religious organizations. But their mistake is to rest satisfied with such negative inner life and not to aspire to something higher than religion after giving it up because there lean towards materialistic life.
Religion is a matter which must be left to individual feelings, not to intelligence. Religions keep mass mindset within moral bounds; without their help, there would have been no hope for mankind. That is, religions prevent the masses from becoming even more beastly than they already are. The people cannot give up religious ideas in one day. It will have to be a gradual process by making them aware of the universal truth.
The credulous and unintelligent masses must have a religion, but those who bestow serious seekers of truth need none.
As per the Indian religion the three "Ashrams" or stages in life were originally intended for three grades of intelligence thus:
v Religion:~ low intellects had to do 'karmas' works, ritual actions, chanting of mantras and indulging in bhajans and prayers etc.
v Middle intellects:~ Yoga: taking yellow robes, going to forest and mountain caves, ashrams etc.
v High intellects:~ Philosophy: who wanted truth are concerned with no external rites or sanyasa, but depend solely on intelligent inquiry for their path.
In India, in the past, the male birth is regarded as superior because a father of the male child can more easily renounce the home and become a Sannyasin than a woman who is tied down by the care of her children.
Nondualistic or Advaitic wisdom can be attained by any householder without disturbing his family life and that this path is easier; there is no need to renounce and take Sanyasa, which however is harder. Only it needs no distractions and more concentration. It is better to have the married status and lead the normal pleasures of life to have to learn to evaluate sex at its proper worth instead of hankering always after sex so that the mind may pass on undisturbed and become more receptive to grasp and realize the Advaitic truth.
Ashtavakra Gita which says: "For the wise man there is nothing to be renounced." He knows that everything is unreal, hence, cannot be given up.
Yoga and meditation recommended as a temporary discipline to those who lack self-control. It will act as an antidote, counteract their inherent tendency, but the man who is already sufficiently level-headed and calm needs no such external discipline. In any case yoga and meditation is to be recommended only until the practitioner achieves some degree of self-control after which he may relinquish his old habits.
Yoga and meditation are a temporary discipline and for the training of the mind, for the mind to become achieve external peace, remaining unaffected amid troubles. It has no other purpose.
The mystic or yogi who objects to adopt inquiry and reasoning into the quest has an attitude of not allowing anything other than his accepted truth.