By Dittakavi Subrahamanya Sarma

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According to the canons of interpretation, anything that is inconsistent with Shruti — and the Ishopanishad is a Shruti — is to be rejected altogether. Harijan, 30-1-’37, p. 407 III (From the speech at Kottayam) Latterly I have been endeavouring to describe to vast assemblages of men and women I have adderssed what I regard as the essence of Hinduism, and I have been suggesting to them one incredibly simple mantra of the Ishopanishad, and as you know it is one of the Upanishads that enjoy the sanctity of the Vedas.

Who is the best interpreter? No learned men surely. Learning there must be. But religion does not live by it. It lives in the experiences of its saints and seers, in their lives and sayings. When all the most learned commentators of the scriptures are utterly forgotten, the accumulated experience of the sages and saints will abide and be an inspiration for ages to come. Caste has nothing to do with religion. It is a custom whose origin I do not know and do not need to know for the satisfication of my spiritual hunger.

The number of schools, colleges, dispensaries, hospitals and orphanages admirably served by their religious institution bear eloquent testimony to the quality of faith that is in them. It is not a theology and philosophy which they possess but the self-sacrificing service which they render in abundant measure towards all that is contrast to the service rendered by the temples and maths. What are the uses of the wealth of temples and maths? Are not these weapons of superstition and oppression? The heads of these maths live princely lives with vast endowments, and when they care to stir out there is a huge retinue of palanquins, cars, elephants, camels and a host of AS OTHERS SEE US 15 disciples descending on unhappy villages and towns, like locusts, for further collections.

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