I have had occasions to speak at congresses of all faiths, and I have found them invariably to be non-productive.
If unity is ever to be possible among the religions of the world, then religion has to be lifted out of the category of separate and separating dogmas.
For many centuries, people believed that the earth was flat. But belief didn’t make it so. It was discovered later that the earth is round.
One can say the same about religion too. Experience alone can truly unite the religions of the world.
Religion deals with universal truths. The history of religion shows great masters correcting imbalances in people’s understanding of those truths, but it never shows true masters disagreeing with one another.
For example, the Buddha came to get people to go beyond karmakand – practising rites to please gods and win favours from them. And so he didn’t speak of God – not because he didn’t believe in Him, but because he wanted the people to take greater responsibility for their own uplift.
My guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, came to show that the central teachings of all religions are very true. He taught that if
one rises above dogmas and simply loves his Maker, one will find Him. God has no idealistic prejudices.
Yogananda said that the future religion of the world will be self-realisation. This principle very well could be the underlying religion of the whole universe.
(Edited extract from Paramhansa Yogananda: A Biography, by the writer)