19.3.12

RAJA YOGA

CHAPTER-1; PART-1

PROLOGUE
Can Religion be made Scientific?
All real knowledge is based upon experience. Science formation its laws by bringing together all the experiences of the particulars under certain generalisations. These generalisations are formulated through are formulated through reasons based on the particulars observed. So when scientific laws are propounded, people find their truth easily, because they appeal to the experience of every human being.

Is anything like this possible in regard to religion? Generally religion is supposed to ask people to believe, i.e. accept propositions without calling for proofs of their truths, and we therefore find that religions are generally based on doctrines accepted on the basis of scriptural authority.

“Nevertheless there is a basis of universal belief in religion, governing all the different theories and all the varying ideas of different sects in different countries. Going to this basis we find that they also are based upon universal experiences... The teachers of religions saw God; they all saw their own souls; they saw their future; they saw the soul as eternal; and what they saw they preached. Only there is this difference, that these experiences are impossible at the present day; they were possible only to a few men, who were the first founders of the religions that subsequently bore their names.... This I entirely deny. If there has been one experience in this world in any particular branch of knowledge, it absolutely follows that that experience has been possible millions of times before, and will be repeated eternally. Uniformity is the law of Nature, and what happened once can happen always. The teachers of the science of Yoga, therefore, declare that religion is not only based on the experiences of ancient times but that no man can be religious until he has the same perceptions himself. Yoga is the science which teaches us how to get these perceptions.”
   
SOURCE: THE FOUR YOGAS By Swami Tapasyananda 
                     Published by Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata. 
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