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ignore nurturing the soil of culture in our seeking of the unlimited beyond. Hinduism with
its broad spiritual culture offers this ground on which to grow. It contains the abundant
creative forces and variety of nature itself. Unfortunately, certain religions hold that
they alone are true and that other religions are unholy or dangerous.
This divisive and
exclusive idea of religion is the real problem, not religion per se, which is a necessary
part of human culture. Yet this narrow idea of religion has so dominated the western world
that most people take it for granted as representing what religion really is, which makes
Hinduism with all of its diversity seem almost incomprehensible.
Religion, in the original meaning of the word, means to link together. It should
provide us tools for self-realization, enabling us to unfold our full divine potential. In
this process we will probably need to follow a certain teaching, with specific disciplines
and practices. We cannot follow all religions any more than we can eat all food or perform
all jobs. We will probably also become part of a spiritual group or family. We cannot have
everyone as a mother or father. We usually have our lineage and our transmission in the
spiritual life, just as in other aspects of life.