Was the Pagan World More
Spiritual Than the Post-Pagan World?
According to Hindus
generally speaking it was. The pre-Christian Greeks and Romans were
generally more spiritual than what they became after adapting
Christianity, which as an exclusive religion opposed the great
spiritual, philosophical and occult traditions that existed in the
pagan world. The many pagan temples, deities, festivals and
religious observances were obliterated or made to go underground.
While we have been given the
image of the degenerate pagans offering Christians to the lions
(which has been highly exaggerated), a more accurate image is of
fanatical Christians smashing pagan temples, forcing conversion of
pagans, and sometimes killing pagan religious leaders. A study of
the last pagans and the early history of the church reveals this
(particularly in the fourth and fifth centuries).
The pre-Islamic Arabs also
had a great culture and were not simply barbarians. They were known
for tolerance and for great spiritual traditions of their own. It is
wrong to think that before Islam the Arabs had no spirituality.
We should not divide
humanity into the believers and non-believers. The non-believers
also have their religions, which have generally been more tolerant,
kind and diverse than those of the true believers. We should not
close off our human heritage around a belief. All humane culture and
religion belongs to us and until we have reclaimed the whole of it
we are not truly human or humane. This is the meaning of Sanatana
Dharma or a universal tradition.