THE ALETHEON – Adi Da Samraj

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“A Prophetic Criticism of “Great Religions”
(pages 77 – 83)” From THE ALETHEON (Final
Ruchira-Sannyasin-Order-Authorized Edition) –







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 right
“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 Intrinsically
egoless Transcendental Spiritual Principle (or Self-Nature,
Self-Condition, and Self-State) That Is Reality Itself. As a
matter of urgent necessity (for the sake of global
cooperative order and peace), it must be universally
accepted that every human being, and every collective human
manifestation—and, thus, every
“religion”—must be always held subordinate
and accountable to the Self-Evident (and Universally
Self-Manifested) Truth That Is Reality Itself.

People tend to think of “religion” as a benign
influence on individual thought and behavior—and this
is, indeed, the case when the more benign aspects of
“religious” awareness and “experience”
begin to inform the thought and behavior of any individual.
Yet, in the context of the larger “world” of the
collective of all of humankind, “religion” is only
rarely found to be functioning on the basis of its benign
aspects—and, indeed, most characteristically, the
ego-based and even negative aspects of “religion”
are most apparent in the collective (and inherently
non-sectarian) larger “world” of
all-of-humankind-together. And, at large, it is certainly
the case that very few individuals become truly creative
personalities, mystics, Saints, or even reliably good men or
women as a result of their “religious” beliefs and

“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” at large is not true (or free)
“religious” awareness and benign behavioral habits
on the part of individuals. The principal phenomenon of
“religion” is all the separate and separative
institutions that contain and otherwise manipulate broad and
massive segments of the human population.

The primary institution within any “religious”
tradition is (itself) the “religion”—insofar
as any “religion” affects the “world” at
large. And large-scale (or “great”) institutional
“religion” is—because of its
“worldly” public status—not primarily a
benign power in human society. One has only to look at the
cultural and political conflicts in the total
“world” of today to see that the immense
institutions of ancient “religion” have now
become, for the most part, contentious, absolutist, and the
perennial sources of irreducible social conflicts. And
“great religions” characteristically are
“established” (and their power legitimized) by a
nearly indivisible union with the State (or the otherwise
secular national power). And the problematic nature of all
of this is made extreme by the immensity of these
“great religious” institutions, each of which
controls even many millions of people.

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. The only public
alternative is control of the people by exclusively secular
political institutions, which tend to suppress and exclude
not only “religious” institutions but also every
kind of benign “religious” (and, otherwise,
esoteric) awareness, “experience”, practice, and
association—and this pattern of enforced secularization
has also begun to spread to many areas of the Earth that
have, traditionally, been under the powerful influence of
“religious” institutions.

In the popular media of the present time, small,
“non-establishment religious groups” are often
(with negative and “demonizing” intent) called
“cults”—thus making such groups “fair
game” for hostile and suppressive commentaries.
Nevertheless, any “religious” (or, otherwise,
esoteric) group (or non-“orthodox” sect, or even
“great religion”) may appropriately be called a
“cult”, if the word “cult” is intended
simply to mean a system and a culture of devotion to a
particular “subject”. Therefore, all exoteric
“religions” and all esoteric sects (or cultural
entities) are cults—and to use the word
“cult” with bad intentions is nothing but a
power-game, whereby “established” cults (and the
agencies, within the larger society, which support the
dominance of the local “established” cults) make
suppressive efforts to subordinate, de-legitimize, and
exclude the non-“established” cults. Indeed, the
fact of the matter is that, in general,
non-“establishment” cults (or minority sects) are,
characteristically, oriented toward the promotion of a more
universal (or de-provincialized, and non-“tribal”,
and not at all “bonded-to-the-State”) form of the
“religious” (or, otherwise, esoteric) practice of
life. Truly, the “worldly” domain of the
“establishment” of so-called “great”
institutional religions”—and not the small-scale
(and, especially, esoteric) domain of
“non-establishment religions” and otherwise sacred
institutions—represents the more direct and practical
threat to human development, and (ultimately) to the
communication of the Truth of Reality Itself.

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” (or popular, and, necessarily,
public-oriented, and even State-“bonded”)
“religious” institutions are (because of their
orientation) obliged to include (and identify with, and even
to pander to) masses of immature people who have very little
will or capability for the practical personal and cultural
exercise of right “religious” or (otherwise)
Spiritual (or esoteric) 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” (and even all
“establishment” institutions) are, characteristically,
“bonded” to the State in which they are
“established” (and by which their public power is
legitimized). Thus, right “religious” practice
(or, otherwise, esotericism in general) characteristically
eschews mere popularism, and all subordination to
“establishment” cults, and all tendencies toward
the non-separation between “religion” and

Every popular (or even “great”)
“religious” institution tends—except during
periods of renewal by living Adept-Realizers—to become
more and more dogmatic, and, eventually, to become
irrevocably associated with fixed ideas that, in one manner
or another (and to one or another degree), deny the very
(and, necessarily, esoteric, recondite, and intensively
demanding) Truth relative to Which all “religions”
(and all mere ideas) are mere pointers. Likewise, the
fixed-mindedness of dogmatic popular “religiosity”
also tends to vigorously (and in a presumptuous
“culturally superior” manner) deny the
“religious” authenticity or “religious”
completeness of people who belong to other
“religious” institutions or cultures. The
conventional (or ego-based, and ordinary, or merely
public-oriented, and, therefore, less than Truth-oriented)
“religious” institution, like any other mortal (or
inherently threatened) entity in the “world”,
tends to become more and more centered in itself—and
more and more devoted (more or less exclusively) to its own
survival (and its own public power).

Conventional “religious” (or even esoteric)
institutions learn how to survive by serving and
manipulating a massive membership that is largely incapable
of right “religious” (or, otherwise, esoteric)
responsibility in practice. This is done by minimizing the
right “religious” (or, otherwise, esoteric) demand
for literal and personal conversion of mind and action, and
replacing that difficult demand with the “easier”
(less rigorous) and more secular demand for mere allegiance
to systems of myth, belief, ritual, dogma, and rote practice
of ego-supportive “methods” and ego-reinforcing
“techniques”. Thus, the condition for membership
in most institutions of “great” (or merely
public-oriented and society-bound) “religion” is
allegiance to fixed ideas and other outward (or superficial)
signs of belonging to the cult—whereas right
“religious” (or, otherwise, esoteric) practice is
founded on active conversion of body and mind to the Divine
Reality, and on the acceptance of behavioral disciplines
that (at the very least) make the individual an outwardly
benign (or socially “self”-restrained)

Of course, “great” institutional
“religions” do recommend various “social
morality” attitudes, but the practice of
“self”-restraint is not made a condition of
membership—except, perhaps, in the case of a few
selected acts that are, often for absurd reasons, taboo.
Furthermore, institutionalized “morality” tends to
be associated with archaic, neurotic, and petty sexual and
social taboos, rather than with the truly human obligations
of ego-transcending love, service, and compassion. Likewise,
most “religious” institutions today have abandoned
the detailed (and even ancient) “religious”
disciplines associated with “right
life”—including, for example, the ancient
recommendations relative to personal disciplines of a
healthful dietary nature, such as the obligation to avoid
meat or other killed food, impure food, toxic stimulants,
and so forth. And the esoteric and universal Spiritual
teachings that are the only real significance of
“religion” have been almost totally abandoned and
even lost by the non-esoteric “orthodoxy” of the
“great religions”.

In the conventional affair of popular
“religion”, the communication of rigorous demands
(and, also, of esoteric understanding and practice) is
avoided, because conventional “religious”
institutions are trying to survive (and, also, to achieve
or, otherwise, maintain public power) by acquiring and
maintaining massive memberships. Thus, conventional (or
popular, public-oriented) “religion” is promoted
and sold by hyped appeals to the non-discriminating mind of

In contrast to conventional popular “religion”,
esotericism is a superior human impulse, founded in
“self”-understanding and profound psycho-physical
conversion (or change). However, over time, it tends to be
more and more the case that only false and merely exoteric
(or popular, and public-oriented) “religious”
inventions are communicated by so-called “great
religions”. And, at last, not only is the esoteric
Truth and practice of the esoteric Way eliminated as the
core of “religious” instruction, but the survival
pressures of dogmatic popularism tend to make both Truth and
right practice unacceptable. Thus, over time, “great
religions” tend, in fact, to make right
“religious” practice secondary to
“membership”—and, likewise, “great”
(popular) “religions” (or “cults” of
dogmatic belief) tend to become the enemies of authentic
esotericism (or of the “experiential knowledge”
and the “gnosis”, or the tacit
“knowledge-beyond-mind”, that makes both mere
belief and mere ideas obsolete).

This was the situation that confronted Jesus of
Galilee—and it was (and is) the situation confronted by
all prophets of right “religious” life and all
Realizers within esoteric schools and traditions.

Since actual and mature (and both true and right)
“religious” practice has been generally (or
popularly) replaced by outward adherence to false (or
deluding) exoteric beliefs and merely superficial behavioral
modifications, the true esoteric core of
“religion” has lost its use within the
“great” traditional “cults” that exist
today. The entire affair of traditional
“religious” institutions has become (in a sense)
dangerous, because such “religious” institutions
long ago abandoned the practice of making right
“religious” or (otherwise) esoteric participation
a condition of membership within the “official”
domain of popular “religious” institutions. If the
demand for authentic (or wholly true and right)
participation had, historically, been continued, the
institutions of “religion” that are now, as a
matter of convention, called “great” would likely
have remained small esoteric communities (if they survived
at all). However, the ancient “religious”
institutions chose gross survival and “worldly”
power, to the exclusion of Truth—and, therefore, they
adapted to the “world”, rather than persist in the
demand that the “world” change itself.

Right “religious” (and even esoteric) practice
is a universal and (necessarily) 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 such right practice. In their great
numbers, most people have, up to now, never yet been ready
or willing to adapt to the true (and progressive) practical,
moral, devotional, Spiritual, and Transcendental
Wisdom-culture of right life.

An authentic “religious” (or, otherwise,
esoteric) institution must be devoted entirely to both the
communication and the practice of “religious” (or,
otherwise, esoteric) Truth and the unrelenting demand for
right and always greater human transformation (and,
ultimately, Perfect Truth-Realization). Historically, only
relatively few people in any generation of humankind have
been interested in accepting that Truth-message!

An authentic “religious” (or, otherwise,
esoteric) 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 embrace right “religious”
practice (or, otherwise, to become Really Awake), right
“religion” (or, otherwise, right esotericism) must
remain largely prophetic in its function. That is to say,
right “religion” (or, otherwise, right
esotericism) must (even always) accept the role of critic
(and, thus, of the “outsider”) in the (public and
popular) “world”—and right
“religion” (or, otherwise, right esotericism) must
never become like the “world” (or function as an
“insider” within the “world”) in order
to become powerful and “great” in the



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Adi Da, Ramana Maharshi, Nityananda, Shridi Sai Baba, Upasani Baba,  Seshadri Swamigal , Meher Baba, Sivananda, Ramsuratkumar
“The perfect
among the sages is identical with Me. There is absolutely no
difference between us”
Chap XX,

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