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Inner Sincerity

It seems that the most important aspect of a religious life is forgotten – and on the whole this happens in the practical structuring of every religion. First – unless this is not already the case – one has to become a completely open, straightforward, honest human being, without mental crookedness or deceitfulness; be totally frank. This inner sincerity is what allows the essence, the authentic in a religion to grow and develop, and as long as this inner sincerity is there, we have “classic” religion. A complete acceptance of oneself – be it as a righteous, orderly citizen, a criminal or a saint – with all consequences – is the sole prerequisite for a man to be able to lead a life as himself and then really be able to devote his life to God. When the inner courage, the earnest, free daring is missing from the outset, the entire religious development is doomed to end up in a miserable desire to sneak away, in awful escapism, in mental deformity – and this is the actual degradation to which the individuals and the churches, the sects and the religious organizations have irretrievably given way – in the West as well as in the East.
Svami Sadananda Dasa

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