About the Book
The idea of a Personal God has obtained in almost every religion, except a very few. With the exception of the Buddhist and the Jain, perhaps all the religions of the world have the idea of a Personal God, and with it comes the idea of devotion and worship. The Buddhists and the Jains, although they have no Personal God, worship the founders of their religions in precisely the same way as others worship a Personal God. This idea of devotion and worship to some higher being who can reflect back the love to man is universal. In various religions this love and devotion is manifested in various degrees, at different manifested in various degrees, at different stages. The lowest stage is that of ritualism, when abstract ideas are almost impossible, and are dragged down to the lowest plane, and made concrete. Forms come into play, and along with them, various symbols. Throughout the history of the world, we find that man is trying to grasp the abstract through thought-forms, or symbols. All the external manifestations of religion bells, music, rituals, books, and images come under that head. Anything that appeals to the senses, anything that helps man to form a concrete image of the abstract, is taken hold of, and worshipped.
From time to time, there have been reformers in very religion who have stood against all symbols and rituals. But vain has been their opposition, for so long as man will remain as he is, the vast majority will always want something concrete to hold on to, something around which, as it were, to place their ideas, something which will be the centre of all the thought-forms in their minds. The great attempts of the Mohammedans and of the Protestants have been directed to this one end, of doing away with all rituals, and yet we find that even with them, rituals have crept in. They cannot be kept out; after long struggle, the masses simply change one symbol for another. The Mohammedan, who thinks that every ritual, every form image, or ceremony, used by a non-Mohammedan, is sinful, does not think so when he comes to his own temple at Caaba. Every religious Mohammedan, wherever he prays, must imagine that he is standing in the temple of Caaba. When he makes a pilgrimage there, he must kiss the black stone in the wall of the temple. All the kisses that have been imprinted on that stone, by millions and millions of pilgrims, will stand up as witnesses for the benefit of the faithful on the last day of judgement. Then, there is the well of Zimzim. Mohammedans believe that whoever draws a little water out of that well, will have his sins pardoned, and he will, after the day of resurrection, have a fresh body, and live for ever.
|Chapter 1||Bhakti or Devotion||3|
|Chapter 2||Love of God||33|
|Chapter 3||Religion of love||37|