Part I: Questions and answers on religion

FW 208-224. Sri Chinmoy invited members of the Meditation Group to submit questions on religion which he would answer at the Group's Friday meetings. These questions were answered on 31 October and 14 November 1975.

Question: Why is there religion and what role should it play in our lives?

Sri Chinmoy: Religion plays a significant role in the life of the aspiring seeker. Religion is our spiritual home. We start in our spiritual home and then go to the Home of God. Religion is the home we live in until we enter God’s Palace and establish our conscious oneness, constant oneness with God.

It is not good to be afraid of God. God is all-loving. But if someone thinks of God only with fear, then I wish to say that it is better to think of God in this way than not to think of Him at all. Most people who are practising religion are afraid of God. If they do something wrong, they feel God will punish them. That is often why they think of God. First they approach God with fear, and only afterwards they approach God with love, innocence and oneness. This is called religion. In religion, most of the time an unknown or unconscious fear looms large in us; and this fear compels us to think of God and to pray to God. This is the situation most of the time, but not always. People follow a particular religion because they love God and they are afraid of God. But when we practise spirituality it is never out of fear. Where there is oneness, there is no fear. It is out of sheer necessity that we practise spirituality. Necessity compels us to love God. He loves us unconditionally and it is our bounden duty also to love Him.