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S Radhakrishnan Thoughts on a True Religious Man

We may start with austerity; austerity will lead to tolerance; tolerance will lead to respect and we will respect what other people hold sacred. Such should be the attitude of a truly religious soul. If you have hatred in your heart, if you have ignorance in your mind, if there is superstition in the dark spaces of your heart, take it from me that you are not a religious man but pretending to be a religious man. A truly religious man will be filled with light, joy and compassion for the whole of humanity.

There is a secret dwelling place in each man’s heart, where the Divine is to be felt, is to be touched and experienced. This is what we should do. Prayers, meditations and spiritual exercises are all methods which are devices for helping us to know the deepest in us. This is what the purpose of all true religion is.

This does not mean that we should retire into monasteries or go to mountain tops, lacerate our bodies, torture our minds and give up the world. People who do so are not truly religious. Men who neglect their duties and merely utter the name, Krishna, Krishna, are the enemies of God; ignorant people who do not know what Reality is. For the sake of humanity, god himself has taken birth in this world. If He has done that, is it not our duty to express our deepest convictions in our daily life and in our national behavior.
S Radhakrishnan