Guru Arjan Sahib was here at a very difficult time in the religious history of India, and during those drastic days He collected the words of the True Masters into a comprehensive omnibus - a work which can truly be called a banquet hall of Spirituality. He named it the Sri Adi Granth (i.e., "supreme sacred scripture") although it is now called the Sri Guru Granth Sahib. This monumental work serves as proof that although They spoke in different languages, yet all Masters have said the same things, and have given the same teaching to mankind: that all human beings are one, for God Himself made man, giving the same privileges to all; so none are different. It is man who has made the religions and encompassed them in a variety of customs and rituals. Whenever Masters came, They revised the ordinances to meet the mode of the age, thereby affording continuance of Their missions; and as long as These Realized Souls were here, peace and happiness lasted. Unrest and unhappiness returned some time after They left the scene. For want of Them, the formations which were made for a noble purpose dwindled down into stagnation, which resulted in deterioration.
Truly, when we enter any religion we join the Army of God, and thus all become God's people, with no difference one from another. While the Master is here, there is right understanding that first we are human beings, and also that each one is a soul in the human form. Furthermore, the soul's caste is that of God, only He is the Life Sustainer, and we are all His devotees. As long as this right understanding was prevalent, man had right thoughts, which followed through with right speech and right actions, and peace reigned because of it. When man forgets this right understanding, the only solution is for the Master to come again to revive it; it is the saving grace.
During the religious troubles of the Muslims and Hindus in India, Kabir, Guru Nanak, Guru Arjan, and others came. The need is none the less great today, for in those days there were principally two religions, whereas today they are numerous - one on top of another. But, He who sees becomes one in thought. Regardless of language or mode of expressions, whoever has seen the Truth will say the same thing, for the subject remains the same.
There is a hymn of Guru Arjan Sahib which deals with this subject, which I will now take:
Get together and become one, my brothers;
Put aside your differences, with love.
Masters think of all as brothers being the children of God, and, therefore, all are brothers and sisters in God. Guru Arjan Sahib is explaining that our duality or diversity is the root cause of all our misery, and while this remains, how can we expect to be happy? One person's rigid thought against another's - this dogmatic attitude incites conflict. All variance should be removed, but how? - for each one stubbornly sticks in pride to his own views and insists that everyone else is wrong. True understanding of one's religion is the only cure, for deep in each religion one will find that every Master's teaching was the same: for the purpose of helping man to come nearer to God. All True Masters awakened mankind to the realization of oneness.
When I visited Rome, I met the Bishop in charge of the Roman Catholic Church's relationship with other religions. We had a heart-to-heart talk, and he said, "What we can all understand by sitting together cannot otherwise be understood at all." It stands to reason, if there are two charged bodies opposite to each other, there will be sparks. If they become blended in one, there will be no sparks. Sitting together in oneness avoids all that. What does it matter how many different religions, sects, or dogmas there are - we are all men and brothers and sisters in God, are we not? This is a complete and natural relationship which can never be broken; but we have forgotten it because when formations are made, the same good old customs corrupt themselves. The formations stagnate, and also the devotees of the formations deteriorate them; when this happens, another Master comes to revive the pure Truth. It is then discovered that He says the same as other Masters have said. The very same message continues to be given to the same children, age after age. The world is a room wherein the Truth dwells. But, man forgets again and again. Guru Arjan Sahib's wonderful collection of the words of the Masters is one of the world's most valuable possessions, for each One gave out the right understanding to all mankind; but on what grounds can all men sit together?
Get together in God's Name