Apparently in most religions of the world there is a continuous activity of proselytization or conversion from other religions to one’s own na- tive creed or faith. This sort of ceaseless conver- sion effort is glorified to be carried on with much zeal and intensity.
Yet in the mainstream of HINDUISM, this is conspicuous by its absence across the ages. So called such effort is largely confined to the spread of the light of knowledge for the elevation of the being and not so much for conversion from other faiths.
As a corollary to this predominant feature Hinduism is found to be all tolerant, forbearing and to an extent even accommodative of other faiths; to the point that others can find something of value or meaning to their own selves. So much so, this has come to be known or accepted more as a way of life for the larger masses, much more a vibrant, living mode that accommodates every other aspect of life, be it even from alien sects, meaning other than the native Hindu system. The reason for such coexistence being the underlying commonality contained in our Hindu system to reach all kinds of populace.
Though this overwhelming tolerance or all accepting forbearance is at times put to test or come under much strain for obvious historic rea- sons. Even so this survived each time renewing itself coming forth with new vibrant meaning and interpretations. Such external influence only morphed into new intensity like the ‘Bhakti’ cult and so on; thereby enriching the all absorbing Hindu way.
This is nearly the essence that is well con- tained in AMMA’S aphorism -“Sarva Matha Sammathame Naa Matham”. This may be put in somewhat closer English as – “My faith conforms to all faiths”. Thereby HER message or ministry is acceptable to one and all sans restrictions of the person’s original moorings of whatever faith or religion. Equally this is also the essence of the all absorbing Hindu mode, system, creed and way of life. AMMA placed it on a much more open, secular, universal podium that is widely accept
This mode induces the person more to live within and not without. The gross is subordinated or relegated to the subtle. There is a relentless quest for the eternal timeless subtle truth, which is embedded in the subtle domains and not in the tangible, physical reality that is visibly seen. The hidden meaning is while the external, physical reality may vary with local dimension and environs over time though not at times perceptible immediately, the internal intangible unseen reality persists all through and is changeless with respect to time or dimension.
Therefore the unchanging is the timeless truth “Nithya” while that which changes is untrue for all times, the so – called “Anithya”. Simple logic or explanation being when the fact or given reality changes by dimension or across or in the wake of time, it cannot be accepted as everlasting essence or the eternal truth.
To elaborate this premise further, all religions in so far as they harp upon the changing physical reality by dimension or time, are not addressing the eternal truth. They are dealing with the changing phenomena and the subject’s perspectives too are restricted accordingly to the changing physical environments. Such a blinkered approach quite likely ends in missing the real underlying, truly causative timeless truth.
The one, who is concerned with the chang- ing dimensions in the physical world, is overtaken by the aspects relating to the sphere of passing activities of the seen gross elements around. The timeless or the eternal need ever react, respond or be swayed by the fleeting, changing phenom- ena or passing objects that are in a state of con- stant flux. This process is termed “Mithya” by our ancients.
Here again AMMA has given it a new mean- ing by expounding that “Mithya” shall not be con- strued as nonexistent, but merely changing. If so, the world exists but is subject to change. To move in AMMA’S parlance “The world is physically dulgence. real in the sensory world but is ever changing”. Hence falls short of the timeless truth. By this very nature of transience it cannot be termed as true eternally.
Now to put this equation into the context of Hindu religion this keynote of timeless essence tends to be the intrinsic crux of its overwhelming tolerance or forbearance. The fact of the situa- tion is most faiths reflect on the physical aspects and their creed is largely confined to the same.
In so far as the religious faith sets the laws of physical reality and biological life, the scope is confined to the external living simply. If so, such a system shall be deemed largely as given ethical order that does not yield a clue to the timeless truth. Nor does it hold the cue to access the un- seen reality that sways the cosmic process al- way continually.
Even if there are passing references to eter- nity, there is no pronounced urge or compulsion to move to the intrinsic, subtle changeless essence of the universe. Nor does it unfold the path to such ageless, eternal truth.
While this is largely so, the Hindu way is much more pronounced in this direction, never unduly concerned with the ephemeral world, but ever pointing to the timeless. Even the human life and the body are merely deemed the instruments in such pursuit and path.
Human body is the only instrument to gain the access to eternity or emancipation from the passing, changing confines or the so called bond age. Hence human birth is glorified in the order of evolution. Thus the Sanskrit adage reads “Sariram Adyam Khalu Dharma Sadhanam” The body is only meant as an instrument for such attainment of lasting truth and infinite reality, which frees the self and not so much for sensuous in
AMMA encapsulated all this wisdom in simple aphorisms for one and all to appreciate. Having come as the mother, SHE took upon HERSELF the joy of feeding and caring for HER countless children, who eventually shall be shepherded towards the ultimate realization or truth sooner or later each as per his grain. In AMMA’S diction, positive bliss awaits all, though with a varying time lag.
SHE gave us the much needed living, loving comfort (which is otherwise feared to be deprived of or verily missing) on this path or in this course; by caring and nurturing us catering equally both to the needs of the mind, body or body and soul together.
While this being so, moving again to the domain of ‘Sanathana Dharma’ we do not find so much of the so – called missionary activity. When we dig into our sacred epics of Ramayana, Mahabharatha, Bhagavatham and so on, service activity is not made a specific agenda but included and contained in the overeaching concept of Dharma. Even the path finding Upanishads dwell on the higher reality, knowledge of Brahman, realization and so on and not the specific humanitarian service.