Is Jesus the Only Way to God?

Exploring the rising tide of universalism.

In 2002, Bishop Carlton Pearson was the epitome of success in the Christian world. His South Tulsa megachurch, Higher Dimensions Family Church, boasted more than 6,000 members, he served on the board of trustees at Oral Roberts University, he was a guest host on the Trinity Broadcast Network and he was one of a few black religious leaders advising President Bush. That was before he discovered “the Gospel of Inclusion.”

Pearson began preaching that Christ’s death provided salvation for everyone and that no one will spend eternity tormented in hell. While this message may sound sweet to some, his church family was not so accepting. Over the last few years, his congregation has diminished to a few hundred faithful, his church buses have been banned from the ORU campus and his church property has been lost to foreclosure.

Bishop Pearson is not alone. A recent Pew Study, for example, found that “70 percent of Americans with a religious affiliation say that many religions—not just their own—can lead to eternal life.” And in a more specific study, LifeWay Research asked a niche of Protestant churchgoers whether they believed a person could obtain eternal life through “religions other than Christianity.” Shockingly, 31 percent of respondents still agreed.

Salvation for All?

Universalism, or the belief that everyone will eventually be reconciled to God, is neither new nor novel. Early church fathers like Origen and Clement of Alexandria held to universal salvation, although it was later deemed heresy at the fifth ecumenical council in 553 AD. In America, founding fathers like Benjamin Rush also held to this view, and did so without apology. Rush once said, “A belief in God’s universal love to all his creatures, and that he will finally restore all of them that are miserable to happiness, is a polar truth.” Today, you might find the theological descendants of Origen and Rush in a Universalist Church.

“True Christianity is not so much about doctrines that we believe in. It is about following the way of Jesus,” says Eric Stetson, Executive Director of the Christian Universalist Association (CUA) and author of Christian Universalism: God’s Good News for All People. “A Buddhist, Hindu or Muslim may not see Christ the same way, but if they live in a way that reflects Christ—even if they don’t know Him—it will affect their eternal fate.” These people may be called 'anonymous Christians.'”

Hell is, surprisingly, a real place in Stetson’s view, although he nervously avoids using that word. “We believe there is an afterlife, and we do believe there is a reality of judgment of punishment for sin because we reap what we sow. But ultimately, every person will come into harmony with God at some point,” he says. “God’s anger doesn’t last forever. It is His mercy that endures forever.”

Stetson is an ordained Charismatic minister, and on his board of directors sit people from various denominations, including the United Church of Christ, Southern Baptist Convention and several charismatic traditions. More than a third of the members of his association are ordained ministers and local church leaders. They have come together to unite around one thing: “the universal salvation of all people and the all-inclusive love of God.”

The One and Only

Clearly, there is a mammoth difference between Christianity as Scripture describes and the Christian Universalist’s variation. And it is not simply a matter of preference; it is a matter of Scripture. “Anyone who affirms universalism has a problem with biblical authority and ultimately with Jesus, Peter and Paul,” says Daniel Akin, President of Southeastern Seminary and author of A Theology for the Church. “The Bible provides no theological support apart from special revelation, and nothing that would support the anonymous and eventual views. That is more the wistful musings of liberal theologians.”
Darrel Bock, New Testament scholar and author of Dethroning Jesus: Exposing Popular Culture’s Quest to Unseat the Biblical Christ, agrees with Akin that Universalism fails to understand the core message of the scriptures. “If a person says they embrace Jesus and the revelation from God about Him in the Bible, which is our only real access to what He taught, then to believe everyone is saved denies fundamental parts of Jesus’ message and warning,” he says.

Furthermore, Universalism is irreconcilable with many critical scriptural lynchpins. For example, if God will eventually save all, the New Testament’s emphasis on evangelism is confusing at best. More importantly, if Jesus’ life was simply a wonderful example of how we must live, the cross becomes unnecessary. “To believe everyone is saved denies fundamental parts of Jesus’ message and warning,” Bock says. “In many ways, it risks making the cross very irrelevant, as well as the message Jesus taught and commissioned the apostles to preach and write about to the world.”

And what of the doctrines of judgment and grace? According to Philip Gulley, author of If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person, the difference between universalism and Orthodoxy on these issues is not much. “I suspect the chief difference between my understanding of grace and the Orthodox understanding is one of degree,” he says. “I believe grace will ultimately triumph, working for the eternal good in all lives, while Orthodox theology believes that there are limits and boundaries in God’s love for us.”

But in reality, the chasm between Universalism and Christianity on judgment and grace is not one of degree but  of definition. “What is amazing about grace is that it completely removes the huge debt of sin we rack up before God and transforms us into a new way of life where we can be what God created us to be, not simply go on as we were,” Bock says. “A savior who confronts me about the realities about myself and my utter need for God does me a favor. And I can love Him with all my heart because He has literally given me a new lease on life.”

Indeed, one must make several scriptural leapfrogs in order to arrive at Universal salvation. First, there is Jesus’ assertion that “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me” (John 14:6, TNIV, emphasis added). Then, there was Paul’s statement that “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). And 1 Timothy 2:5 says, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ.” The list rolls on and on in support of one central truth: Salvation is attained only through faith in Jesus Christ.

Tough to Swallow

In the worlds of fashion, dance clubs and vacation destinations, exclusive is an attractive term. It invokes a sense of glamour and poshness. It makes one think of VIP rooms and all-you-can-eat buffets and clothes no one else has. But when it comes to salvation by faith, exclusive isn’t so pleasant.

Exclusive in this sense means that no matter how hard someone tries, they will never secure salvation without submitting to Christ. It says that the world’s most murderous dictator can make it to heaven through a deathbed conversion, but the Dali Lama still needs Jesus Christ. This type of exclusivity means that your best friend who is a Buddhist and your atheist co-worker may be in serious trouble, and no matter how good your father was up until he died, he didn’t go to heaven if he didn’t accept Christ. As sour as it may taste, that is the belief that is overwhelmingly supported by the scriptures and has been historically held by Orthodox Christianity.

The Christian message, therefore, can be a tough message to swallow in a world where inclusivity is king. We live in a culture where Little League baseball associations mandate that every child gets equal playing time and every opinion is considered equally valid.  Salvation through Christ alone “is not a popular message in our pluralistic world,” Bock says. “It sounds arrogant, but it is like saying to someone if you jump off a building on your own strength gravity will get you and you will die. You can’t fly on your own, even though you can picture that possibility in your mind.”

Followers of Christ must come to realize that our message can unite in supernatural ways, but it can also be terribly divisive. If this doesn’t sound right, check out Jesus’ words in Luke 12:49–57 when He says He didn’t come to bring peace and warns that Christianity would cause division even within families. “Jesus told us that Christian truth would be divisive,” says David Wells, author of Above All Earthly Powers: Christ in a Postmodern World. “He said it will divide families, and that is what has always happened. When people hold up as the norm that something cannot be true if it divides, it tells us how far they are drifting from a biblical understanding.“

 By its very definition, “salvation” assumes that one is being saved from something. Though it can be unpopular in our culture, the message that salvation is found exclusively through faith in Christ is the only one that Scripture supports. But this message is not one of judgment and doom. It is one of humble hope.

“We should be as committed as Christians to making such efforts in our presentation of Jesus’ message—the difficult bits as well as the nice parts—because that is offering genuine help to those in dire need, a need every human shares,” Bock says. “If we were more humble about our dire need for God, we just might cling to Him more tightly.” Now that’s a salvation worth having.

This article originally appeared in the Nov/Dec 2008 issue of RELEVANT.

82 Comments

SoyCapitan

35

SoyCapitan commented…

"...but the Dali Lama still needs Jesus Christ. This type of exclusivity means that your best friend who is a Buddhist and your atheist co-worker may be in serious trouble...."

Ughh, I hate that.

85,058

johnny commented…

I'm a hopeful dogmatic universalist, but if someone was an assured universalist they'd be an a rabbit and an ass to teach it. Only through Jesus can someone be saved. However, if we take Romans 5:12-21, 1 cor 15:22-28, Isiah 45:23, Romans 9-11 then there's some hope but there's also daniel 12:2, Matthew 25:47 that teach eternal torment, I'm not a liberal when it comes to the Bible, I believe the earth is less than 7,000 years old but at the end of the day there's a degree of tension in the text and we should just leave it at that.

85,058

Dianesower commented…

I'm a universalist, and I do not believe the atonement is the only way to God. In fact, I believe it didn't have to happen.

85,058

Dianesower commented…

I don't personally believe hell and damnation were a part of the original church. We don't see it in greek and hebrew, but, when latin came on board, that's when all the fire came into play.

85,058

Anonymous commented…

How is Vedic religion different from Hinduism?

Several reasons:

- Even if you consider Vedic religion to have anything to do with the
4 Vedas, the word Hinduism is nowhere present there. Its a very recent
term. Vedas thus remain a parent of Hinduism.

- Hinduism has a variety of interpretations including loyalty towards
Hindusthan aka Indian subcontinent and its culture. But Vedic religion
is for every human being be he or she belong to India, or Zambia, or
Sweden or Saudi Arabia.

- It is true that core essence of Hinduism is derived from Vedic
religion. But one would still continue to be called Vedic even if he or
she has never visited India or read any Indian text but still follows
the basic tenet of rejecting falsehood and accepting truth.

In short, a true Hindu is Vedic but all Vedics need not necessarily be Hindu.

Can one refuse to believe in 4 Vedas and yet be follower of Vedic religion?

Yes. And several reasons for this.

- There is not one single mantra in entire Vedas that even remotely
say that only those who believe in 4 Vedas are following Vedic religion.
Yes, there are mantras that explain and lead us to conclude that Vedic
religion and content of the 4 Vedas both refer to same thing.

- The 4 Vedas contain codes of higher levels of truth. They are like
detailed texts of Physics that contain very obvious concepts as well as
more subtle concepts that can be mastered only after thorough practice
and understanding. They are the foundation or first source of this Vedic
religion. But just as a student of Class 6 claiming to know Physics
merely because he mugged up the Einstein Paper on Theory of Relativity
(that can be easily downloaded from google) would only be a subject of
our laughter, in same vein, if someone claims to believe in 4 Vedas
without actually knowing what Vedas mean would be equally laughable.

Most people claiming adherence to Vedic religion today actually fall
in this category. And that is why despite their tall claims, they remain
in miserable state in terms of their strength and impact on society.

An honest smart Vedic follower would simply assert that if we
logically analyze the available information, we can conclude that Vedas
are not some random creations by certain human beings and instead
contain storehouse of basic to most advanced level of knowledge. And if
that not be considered, then every other theory would have blatant
contradictions and confusions to an extent that it would be impossible
to decide what is right and what is wrong. And hence we should endeavor
to explore the meaning of Vedas.

But this would come ONLY as a conclusion of a thought process and not as a blind dogma to begin with.

- There may be several reasons previous knowledge, past
experiences, thinking capacity, preferences etc that would color the
thinking process of an individual and hence it would not be as obvious
for everyone to accept Vedas as divine or ultimate texts, as it may be
for a few of us.

- Swami Dayanand once said that not everyone can be scholars but
everyone can be Dharmic (honest) for sure. So if one is honest to his or
her best intentions by denying infallibility of Vedas, he or she is
STILL Vedic. In fact they are MORE Vedic than those blind herds who follow Vedas simply because they were told so.
Had such blind followers would have been born in some other location,
they may well have become blind followers of some other texts.

- If believing in Vedas be necessary to be follower of Vedic
religion, it would mean that those who could not get access to books of 4
Vedas due to geography or poverty etc can never be followers of Vedic
religion. Thus Vedic religion becomes religion of ONLY the fortunate
ones. And hence, the claim of Supreme in Vedas itself that the knowledge
of Vedas is for all human beings regardless of gender or profession or
birth goes wrong!

- In reality, the whole concept of 4 Vedas is that the knowledge
within them is already within us in same manner as spokes are attached
to center of a wheel. By exercising the powers of our mind smartly, we
reveal the knowledge that already lies within us! Refer Yajurveda 34.5.
So the study of 4 Vedas externally is also a way to unravel the
knowledge within. One can do so by mugging up 4 external Vedas or
shouting Kalmas asserting ones loyalty towards it. Or start
with the most innate trait of rejecting falsehood proactively, keep
gaining knowledge and performing worthwhile actions to build the basic
foundation. And then guided by the inner voice, move ahead to
master even the external 4 Vedas or whatever else is deemed necessary
for achieving higher echelons of truth by a smarter soul.

In todays context, this later way is much more natural and practical
for most of us. Even someone like Swami Dayanand had to follow this
approach to be the most renowned scholar of Vedas.

- While many mantras of Vedas have fairly intuitive meanings that are
easy to be grasped by most of us, yet all mantras do contain deeper
meanings that can be unraveled only with further and further mind
control. There is a mantra that states that just as a loyal wife only
comes close to her husband, in same manner meaning of Vedic mantras are
understood only by the deserving. So no one on earth can claim to have
understood the Vedas properly. Everyone is just a preliminary student.
And hence, no one is competent enough in first place to put precondition
of allegiance to Vedas the ultimate benchmarks for someone to adopt
Vedic religion. This would be as foolish as refusing someone admission
in primary school because he did not admit that sin^2y + cos^2y = 1!

So yes, belief in 4 Vedas as divine or benchmarks of wisdom
may be a natural conclusion for many of us. But this is NOT a
precondition to be admitted to school of Vedic religion.

The precondition is only ONE Accept truth by rejecting falsehood!

Can one refuse to believe in God and still be follower of Vedic religion?

Yes, and the reasons are almost same as above. Further there is an additional reason:

- Vedic God is different from God of Bible, Quran or Purans. Most
people when they refuse to believe in God are actually refusing to
accept superstitions in name of God as propagated in name of religion.
The anathema of West against God is only for the God of Bible. This is
justifiable because God of Bible has many contradictory properties and
at times acts like a mortal human being. But Vedic God is different. In
fact God may not be the right word to denote the Vedic concept of
Supreme.

The Vedic concept is much more intuitive and natural that there is a
source of unchangeable laws of the world that govern this world and us.
Physicists may simply call it Law of Nature. Now a smart Vedic follower
adds a dash of positivity into this and says that this source of
unchangeable laws is acting in a manner that we can enhance our
happiness through right actions. We are neither left in lurch like
orphans nor allowed to escape fruits of our action. So there is a
well-founded optimism that the laws of nature ensure justice and
support. We believe so because we see this very obvious in world around
and in our innate tendencies.

But someone intellectual who was nurtured in a society that had
completely different notions of a Supreme entity an anthropomorphic
entity, or a moody emperor, or a magician etc may find such a God hard
to digest. And it would be difficult for him to dissociate word God
from this meaning and give it a new meaning in perspective of Vedas. For
example, Arya is a very noble word. But in Germany, people would
somehow try to link it with some sort of racism because of the Hitler
episode. These words trigger certain emotions due to their previous
associations and hence difficult for many to appreciate any new meaning
easily.

Thus atheism is a natural and rightly-directed aversion of a
truth-seeker from what his mind considers as unfounded notions. So in
being atheist, he or she is STILL acting as a loyal follower of Vedic
religion.

In other words, a truth-seeking atheist or agnostic or even a
superstitious believer in some other notion of God is STILL a Vedic
person, if he or she believes in these notions honestly after whatever
experience, expertise, intellect that they possess at a given moment in
time.

What about Havan, Sandhya etc? Can one be Vedic without adopting these healthy practices?

Yes. We have already discussed some reasons above. Let us add a few more:

- Havan and Sandhya are very healthy practices but their nature and
method is geography and time bound. Havan means burning useful products
to purify environment. Sandhya is a form of meditation and
self-suggestion to gain stronger spiritual powers. Now Vedas do not
prescribe a specific method of conducting these. Their form and methods
have varied over ages. So to associate Vedic religion with any such
ritualistic practice would be against the very essence of Vedas.

- But yes, Havan and Sandhya are powerful techniques for a healthy
mind, body and environment being practiced since ages. Depending upon
ones intellect level and past experiences, one may take time to
understand their significance and right customized method suited to
ones own level. But till that happens, only a dogmatic mind would
outcast such a person from Vedic religion. On contrary, dogmatics have
no place in Vedic religion.

So while one can say that Havan, Sandhya, waking early,
brushing teeth, exercising, proper hygiene are hallmarks of a rational
well-intentioned person, one cannot deny admission to Vedic school to
anyone merely because his background did not allow him to appreciate the
benefits of these practices.

- Further Vedas contain hundreds of healthy recommendations for us
all. I would say that Havan and Sandhya are among the least emphasized
ones. Virtues like early morning routine, having a muscular strong body
through strenuous exercising, not compromising an inch in matters of
principles and morality, working proactively for uplift of nation and
destruction of its enemies etc are more emphasized ones. So one can then
choose another set of recommendations (like 5 mile jogging and 40
pushups daily) and start terminating Havan/ Sandhya compliant students
from school of Vedic religion!

The simple point is that all these are next levels in specific subjects, but not entry-exit criteria for Vedic religion.

So you mean Arya Samaj is not necessarily follower of Vedic religion?

Arya Samaj etymologically means a society of noble persons. So from
this perspective, all people who follow Vedic religion are also Arya
Samaji.

Now Swami Dayanand Saraswati started Arya Samaj in late 19th century
to unite intellectual people into worthy actions. Thus his criteria were
not the most preliminary but a more intermediate level so that they
could not only act as followers of right principles but as well be
teachers of these principles. So all intermediate to advanced students of Vedic religion formed the Arya Samaj. He thus formulated a 10 point principles of Arya Samaj.

But he even attempted to attract the more basic students through a
variety of means. He had in his various other ventures, even those
people who did not adopt all the principles of Arya Samaj but yet were
right-intentioned aka followers of Vedic religion. Thus his Paropkarini
Sabha had even someone like Justice Ranade who was a noble person but
not member of Arya Samaj as formulated by Swami Dayanand.

Cutting the story short, all those who sincerely understand and
believe in 10 principles of Arya Samaj are undoubtedly followers of
Vedic religion. They are in fact worthy lighthouse of society and they
proved so by initiating various social reforms and freedom movement in
India. Swami Dayanand wanted to address imminent needs of the society
and Arya Samaj represents those eligible students of Vedic religion who
had potential to act as torch bearers. Who possessed a minimal level of
intellect, knowledge and dedication. Who could act as leaders of rest of
the society.

But this does not preclude other noble souls who did not explicitly
believe in 10 principles of Arya Samaj because of a variety of reasons,
as discussed in previous sections, from being termed as great followers
of Vedic religion. Thus all freedom fighters, social reformers,
soldiers who sacrificed their lives for Mother nation are all proud
examples of Vedic religion. All scientists who put their best
efforts to unravel mysteries of nature through an honest thinking
process were also great examples of Vedic religion.

Note that it is never that someone is either follower of Vedic religion or not a follower of Vedic religion.
This is true for Christian or Muslim. One is either a Muslim or a
non-Muslim. Christian or a non-Christian. But one can be Vedic in one
aspect of life and non-Vedic in another. Further, the degree of
adherence also varies from time to time. So Vedic religion is a light.
There is hardly a place that has absolutely zero photons. But intensity
of light may vary from place to place and time to time.

For sake of simplicity, we call those people as followers of Vedic
religion who proactively invite this light of wisdom in their lives
regardless of their existing darkness. Those who at least attempt to
open their windows to sunlight regardless of how tight and jam it may
be.

Coming back to Arya Samaj, in modern times, Arya Samaj has become a
very confusing word. It does etymologically represent society of noble
persons and there are many dedicated followers of 10 principles of Arya
Samaj as laid out by Swami Dayanand Saraswati. They are indeed great
examples of Vedic religion the more advanced students! However they
are individuals.

But there is also an institute or organization named Arya Samaj that
runs through huge number of Arya Samaj temples and various
organizational bodies etc. Who are very famous in Bollywood for
supplying priests for scenes of marriage. And who earn a huge income
through marriage of eloped couples. This spineless culture of Arya Samaj
is nothing more than a mockery of the legacy of Swami Dayanand and
anything but Vedic religion. They may do their Havans, Sandhyas and
shout slogans of Vedic Dharma ki Jai, and hold public meetings
attended by big-shots politicians and tycoons. But their intent is well
observable from their tangible outputs. There is a fundamental Vedic
principle that those who claim to have greater knowledge and capability
should also deserve greatest punishment. Refer http://agniveer.com/4272/manu-....

Another principle states that the frauds should be respected not even
by words. So this Arya Samaj which is nothing more than a grand
disorganized kitty party deserves the lowest marks if one were to
score the entire population on Vedic Dharma compatibility.

Our recommendation would be to stay away from kitty-parties
if you sincerely want to transform your own life and that of society
through adoption of Vedic Dharma or Vedic religion.

I do not agree to all that is written in Satyarth Prakash or
in Agniveer site. I have my differences. I find another method of
worship effective. Can I still be a follower of Vedic religion?

As we have said earlier, you have your right to differ or even
counter not only Agniveer site or Satyarth Prakash source of most of
Agniveer concepts but also the 4 Vedas. The ONLY criteria is that you
should be doing so with genuineness and without bias. The reason to
defend something should NOT be that we have been believing so for past
several months or years, or because we have given a public statement in
its favor, or because it forms basis of our profession, or because we
may be ridiculed or punished if we change our stand. The only basis of
defending something should be that we honestly believe that it is
correct. And yet we should always have one door open for any change that
may come tomorrow as we gather new information and process further.

This is a natural way that we all adopt to become mature. Or else,
after our brains had fully grown up by age of 4, we would have remained
as dumb forever! So Vedic religion is all about being in harmony with nature without bringing false ego in picture!

How is Vedic religion different from other cults or religions?

- All other cults come in package deals. You have certain core
beliefs, some books, some prophets, some priests, some rituals and some
prophecies. You have to either accept all or be out. Even if you in
reality accept only a few components of the package, you still have to
publicly announce allegiance to the entire package. So in a way,
falsehood is promoted. You must announce your loyalty to what you can
neither verify nor logically understand nor find reasonable or face
exit.

Vedic religion is made to fit. You believe in only what you find
logically sound, reasonable, intuitive and what you can understand right
now. You can refuse to claim allegiance to any book, saint, belief etc
and yet be Vedic so far you adhere to honesty.

- All other cults work on binary logic. Either you are one of them or
an outcast. Vedic religion is not a cult. You are naturally Vedic. And
as per your intents, you are less or more Vedic in various aspects of
life. Its between you and the Supreme Force (whatever label you may give
it God, Ishwar, Laws of Nature etc) and no one has right to pass
judgment on whether you believe in this religion or not.

- Vedic religion is inspired directly by the oldest text of the
humankind the 4 Vedas. It considers only eternal principles and leaves
everything that is geography or time specific to wisdom of individual
and society. Further, it does not even demand allegiance to 4 Vedas
also. Ved means knowledge or enlightenment. So any approach in life that
is knowledge seeking is Vedic religion.

- You cannot be a Muslim and Christian at the same time. But you can
be a Vedic even though you are a Christian or a Muslim or a Hindu or a
Jew or whatever.

- While all other religions mean blindly accepting certain
sets of assumptions, Vedic religion means being enterprisingly honest.

So your Vedic religion has no basis, no benchmarks, no
foundation. One can do whatever he or she wants and still be Vedic. Huh!
It is better to be more disciplined by following a cult like
Christianity or Islam.

This only reflects that we have become mental prisoners. A prisoner
who has been kept in a dark cell finds the sunlight of freedom
unbearable. There are true stories of convicts committing suicide
because they found free life so uncomfortable. They could not even
relieve themselves unless someone blew a whistle! Vedic religion is
definitely not for the lovers of prisons. Its all about freeing
yourself.

But Vedic religion is also not about being undisciplined. It is, on
contrary, all about being RATIONALLY disciplined. So Vedic religion is
not about succumbing to lust because you seem to find it most enjoyable
in a particular moment and ultimate truth. It is all about applying the
mind that has been bestowed to think of the consequences and perform a
what-if analysis. What-if everyone in world starts becoming lustful like
me. What-if someone becomes lustful for my own mother or sister.
What-if the way I enjoy lust, someone else enjoys murder etc etc. And
conclude that the truth is that one is the master of mind. That by
mastering the mind, one can seek enjoyment in anything he or she
desires. So as a smart master of mind, I shall seek far more enjoyment
in whatever brings me long term strength, vitality and energy and not
vice verse. I shall seek enjoyment in that in which even if all the
people of world start seeking enjoyment, still the world becomes only a
more beautiful and happy place.

This intellectual growth is far more disciplining than any cult-rituals.

How do I get started?

- You can adopt good rituals from any cult or society and still be
Vedic. Being Vedic is no way contradicting to your being a Christian or a
Muslim or an Atheist. Simply adopt the best practices and junk the
rest. You already do so. Nobody in world can follow each letter of Bible
or Quran. That is technically impossible. So you do already customize
the books as per your own requirements. Take it a step further. Instead
of performing this customization because that was inevitable, do a
customization that best fits your needs.

Question everything ruthlessly and ask yourself why do I follow
this? Simply because I was born here, or I was socially adapated to
believe so or there is something more? Keep eliminating whatever comes
as a wrong answer. Whatever does not fit reason. And then you would have
gradually come closure to truth to a unique customized religion for
yourself specially made for you.

You can keep fine-tuning this tailor-made religion forever in
life. Not only would it be a most enjoyable passion but also help you
discover the true you. In process, you would have been following Vedic
religion all the way.

So, you can start from whatever feels comfortable to you, and keep
introspecting to have not only discipline but also elegance in whatever
you do.

- Yet another way could be to collect common good points of all religions and reject the cult specific traits.
For example, all religions talk of truth, peace, honesty, compassion
etc. Grab these points together and this becomes a good starting point
to have a customized religion for yourself that is lean and effective.

- For those looking for a ready-made alternative for discipline
instead of too much of customizations to begin with, Arya Samaj
principles would be a great beginning. Grab a copy of Satyarth Prakash
or Light of Truth or contact us!

You can thus have a very rational template of disciplined routine
that not only brings discipline but also adds to your health and
intelligence. So simply download Satyarth Prakash or Light of Truth.
Review it carefully, especially Chapters 7 onwards. Also review all
articles on Agniveer. This would provide sufficient beginning material
for you to start being a master yourself. If in doubt, contact us or
post a question in Agniveer Discussions.

(Note: this is still only a recommendation and not a compulsion.
The beauty of Vedic religion is that there is no compulsion and only
enlightenment! All that these articles and Satyarth Prakash do is to
compile logical analysis of many a common questions that come in our
mind but we are afraid to ask.)
ver I aspire for. I can easily
destroy the mightiest of challenge that confronts me. I can change the
course of history and set the greatest precedence for future. All this
has happened because I have decided to follow the path of wisdom.
(Rigveda 10.119)

Please log in or register to comment

Log In