Comparison of Reason.
18. Comparison of Reason.
Similarly the word reason too has a different connotation in the two religious systems. In Christianity and Islam, reason was denied from the very beginning. But when it surfaced again, we found it as the handmaid of faith. It was ‘apologetics’, used for proving the superiority of their religion, revelation, prophet and dogmas. In this way reason was denatured and prostituted. In the West, people had to wage a grim battle against Christianity in order to liberate reason from its shackles. The Islamic world has yet to fight this struggle and free its mind. It has yet to learn to evaluate its religious dogmas, its history, its book, its prophet, his personality and his revelation in the light of reason, both secular as well as spiritual. In short, it has yet to undertake self-introspection.
In Hinduism, reason was not seen in this light. Here reason has its own svadharma, its own nature, which should be allowed its free play. It should be allowed to question, to investigate, to doubt, to dare, to speculate. Of course, for higher spiritual purpose, and its free, untrammeled working in the higher spiritual domain, it should also be purified so that it is not at the disposal of man’s lower mind, his passions, prejudices and preferences.
In this respect, Hinduism represents the spirit of the new age in which reason has acquired a new importance and when things will not be taken for granted, and yet when there is also a search for something more deep and meaningful. Hinduism can eminently fulfil the West’s religious urge without doing violence to its hard-own possession, rationality. Hinduism can raise both faith as well as reason.