A Prophetic Criticism of “Great” Religions – Adi Da Samraj

The following is an adaptation of Adi Da Samraj’s essay in

Beyond the Beginner’s Spiritual Way of Saint Jesus and the Traditions of Mystical Cosmic Ascent via Spirit-Breath


A Prophetic Criticism of “Great” Religions (original essay)

The religious awareness and experience of the Western world is trapped within an archaic structure of myths, dogmas, and irreducible social conflicts that no longer serve the true religious and Spiritual process of humankind. These myths, dogmas, and irreducible social conflicts are, even now, being forcedly perpetuated by the large-scale cultural, political, and economic dominance of the religions of the ancient world.

Human beings themselves cannot awaken to the esoteric process that fulfills their Spiritual heart-impulse until the spell of mythological and ego-possessed thinking is broken. And a unified, whole bodily culture of humankind, in which East and West will realize a new cultural synthesis, cannot take place until all the old religions are submitted to the Principle of Truth Itself or to the Universal Principle of Prior Unity and the Inherently egoless Transcendental Spiritual Principle That Is Reality Itself. 

Religion is, in general, an exoteric cultic phenomenon that controls the thought and behavior of individuals through external and psychologically manipulative techniques. Thus, the principal religious phenomenon that is common in the world is not true  religious awareness and benign behavioral habits on the part of individuals.

The power of the “great” traditional religious institutions is, for the most part, a worldly power. That is to say, these institutions are actually political and broadly social agencies that manipulate the political, social, and economic motivations of the citizens of all nations.

In the popular media of the present time, small, non-“establishment” religious groups are often called “cults” thus making such groups “fair game” for hostile and suppressive commentaries. 

Why is it that “great” religious institutions, which seem to be founded on the greater human and cultural persuasions, ultimately become the primary basis of social conflict and even personal neurosis? The reason is that “great” religious institutions are obliged to include masses of immature people who have very little will or capability for the practical personal and cultural exercise of true religious or, otherwise, Spiritual life. As a result, the institutions of “great” religion develop much like the institutions of State develop under the same conditions of universal human immaturity and, indeed, because of that likeness, “great” religions are, characteristically, “bonded” to the State in which they are “established”. 

True religion is a universal and ego-transcending psycho-physical motivation of human beings. However, up to the present stage in human history, only relatively few individuals in any generation have been willing and able to make the gesture that is true religion. In their great numbers, most people have, up to now, never yet been ready or willing to adapt to the true practical, moral, devotional, Spiritual, and Transcendental Wisdom-culture of right life.

An authentic true religious institution must be devoted entirely to both the communication and the practice of religious Truth and the relentless demand for right and always greater human transformation. Historically, only relatively few people in any generation of humankind have been interested in accepting that Truth-message!

An authentic true religious institution must never subordinate itself or its message to either the pattern and the demands of egoity itself or to the stream of daily secular or worldly society. Indeed, until humankind in general is able to become truly religious, true religion must remain largely prophetic in its function. That is to say, true religion must accept the role of critic in the world and true religion must never become like the world in order to become powerful and “great” in the world.


A Prophetic Criticism of “Great” Religions (original essay)

Beyond the Beginner’s Spiritual Way of Saint Jesus and the Traditions of Mystical Cosmic Ascent via Spirit-Breath

By The Avataric Great Sage, Adi Da Samraj

(this book was later published as Pneumaton )

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