explain it? That man was inspired, no doubt, but that inspiration was, as itwere, stumbled upon. He was not a trained yogi, and did not know thereason of what he was doing. Think of what the good Mohammad did tothe world, and think of the great evil that has been done through hisfanaticism! Think of the millions massacred through his teachings, mothersbereft of their children, children made orphans, whole countries destroyed,millions upon millions of people killed!... So we see this danger bystudying the lives of great teachers like Mohammad and others. Yet wefind, at the same time, that they were all inspired. Whenever a prophetgot into the superconscious state by heightening his emotional nature, hebrought away from it not only some truths, but some fanaticism also,some superstition which injured the world as much as the greatness of theteaching helped." (I. 184)
On The Book
The central claim of Islam, as of Christianity, is that it has been given The Book,that it alone has been given The Book, that therefore it alone possesses TheTruth. That there was The Book- the Talmud, the Bible, the Koran- the Swamisaid had one effect; it helped the adherents to hold together. But apart from thatthe effect of The Book – whichever this happened to be – was baneful. Ourcommunists will not find the Swami’s verdict palatable, not the least because theSwami’s words apply to them and the fetish they made of their Book just assharply as to Islam etc.!"One of the great advantages of a book," the Swami says, "is that it crystalliseseverything in tangible and convenient form, and is the handiest of all idols. Justput a book on an altar and everyone sees it; a good book, everyone reads. I amafraid I may be considered partial. But, in my opinion, books have producedmore evil than good. They are accountable for many mischievous doctrines.Creeds all come from books, and books are alone responsible for the persecutionand fanaticism in the world. Books in modern times are making liarseverywhere. I am astonished at the number of liars abroad in every country."(IV. 44).Moreover, the Jew, the Christian, the Muslim each has his own book. The Booksare at variance. Each says his books alone are right. How is the contest to besettled? Surely it cannot be settled by using any of the Books themselves as theyardstick. It can only be settled by subjecting all of them to reason (I. 368, II.335) -- the very procedure the faithful will not allow!The Book itself is but a specific example: an instance of the claim to being thesole possessors of Truth. That is the central claim of every Semitic religion, of Islam most of all. Again I doubt if our communists will reproduce what he had tosay about this claim, if for no other reason than because once again the wordsapply so very aptly to their own claim to being the sole possessors of TheRevelation. Here it is:"Therefore we at once see why there has been so much narrow-mindedness, the part always claiming to be the whole; the little, finite unitalways laying claim to the infinite. Think of little sects, born within a fewhundred years out of fallible human brains, making this arrogant claim of knowledge of the whole of God’s infinite truth! Think of the arrogance of it!If it shows anything, it is this, how vain human beings are. And it is nowonder that such claims have always failed, and, by the mercy of theLord, are always destined to fail. In this line the Mohammedans were thebest off; every step forward was made with the sword -- the Koran in theone hand and the sword in the other: ‘Take the Koran, or you must die;there is no alternative!’ You know from history how phenomenal was theirsuccess; for six hundred years nothing could resist them, and then therecame a time when they had to cry halt. So, will it be with other religions if they follow the same methods." (II. 369-70).
On Universal Brotherhood
The claim of Islam, as of every other Semitic religion right up to and including
Myths about the Swami - Part I by Arun Shouriehttp://arunshourie.voiceofdharma.com/articles/19930131.ht3 of 68/15/2012 10:28 PM