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There cannot be life without freedom. Total freedom leads to perfection. We call that perfect being, who is Master of nature, omnipotent and omniscient, God. He is everything. He is life, He is death, He is good and He is bad, He is terrible and He is merciful. Bondage and liberty, light and shadow, good and evil, He is all. This universal consciousness is the ultimate end. Reaching which nothing remains to be achieved. This then is true religion.

How do we differentiate the living from the dead?

In the living there is freedom, there is intelligence, in the dead all is bound and no freedom is possible, because there is no intelligence. This freedom that distinguishes us from mere machines is what we are all striving for. To be more free is the goal of all our efforts, for only in perfect freedom can there be perfection.

 

What is the need for the concept of God?

 

This longing for freedom produces the idea of a Being, who is absolutely free. The embodiment of freedom, the Master of Nature, is what we call God. You cannot deny Him. No, because you cannot move or live without the idea of freedom. It is a fact, as much so as the other fact that you cannot apparently get over, the fact of being under nature. The whole of nature is worship of God. Wherever there is life, there is this search for freedom, and that freedom is the same as God. Mastery (of nature) alone is making us strong and if there be some being entirely free and master of nature, that being must have a perfect knowledge of nature, must be omnipresent, omniscient.

 

What is the nature of God?

 

Blessedness, eternal peace, arising from perfect freedom, is the highest concept of religion underlying all the ideas of God in Vedanta - absolutely free Existence, not bound by anything, no change, no nature, nothing that can produce a change in Him. God is still established upon His own majestic changeless Self. You and I try to be one with Him, but mistakenly plant ourselves upon nature, upon the trifles of daily life, on money, on fame, on human love, and all these changing forms in nature which makes for bondage.

God is self evident, impersonal, omniscient, the Knower and Master of nature, the Lord of all. He is behind all worship and it is being done according to Him, whether we know it or not. That which we call evil is His worship too. This too is a part of freedom. When you are doing evil, the impulse behind is also that freedom. It may have been misguided or misled, but it was there. Freedom breathes in the throb of the universe. Such is the conception of the Lord in the Upanishads. It rises even higher, presenting to us an ideal - that we are in essence one with God.

He who gives us life is the power within us. He whose shadow is death, His shadow is immortality also. What is death? What are terrors? Do you not see the Lord's face in them? Fly from evil or terror or misery and they will follow you. Face them and they will flee. I preach a God of virtue and a God of sin in one. Take Him if you dare - that is the one way to salvation; then alone will come to us the Truth

Ultimate which comes from the idea of oneness.

 

What then is the true religion?

 

The nearer we approach the law of freedom, the more we shall come under the Lord and troubles will vanish. Let us be no more the worshippers of creeds or sects with small limited notions of God, but see Him in everything in the universe. No one is to blame for our miseries but ourselves. The nectar is there and for every man who strives to reach it. The Lord himself tells us, "Give up all these paths and struggles. Do thou take refuge in Me. I will take thee to the other shore, be not afraid." Life is infinite, one chapter of which is , "They will be done", and unless we realize all the chapters we cannot realize the whole. "Thy will be done"- every moment the traitor mind rebels against it, yet it must be said again and again; if we are to conquer the lower self."