In 1963 when Maharishi Mahesh Yogi published Science of Being & Art of Living, Religions had lost much of their traction and pull. Maharishi said that this is because they had strayed from their own traditions of transcendental meditation and were(& are) relying solely on dogma. In The Science of Being & The Art of Living, Maharishi said, “The dogmatic aspects of religion are certainly necessary because, for the soul to be, the body has to be.” Meaning that the rules are there to keep the body in an optimal state so that one can transcend via meditation and not overwhelm their system with spirit. It is a delicate balance of body, mind, and spirit and organized religions have been missing the mark in the spirit department.The Fulfillment of religion lies in the realization of God-consciousness through direct experience of transcendence.
The main purpose of religion should be to elevate people and infuse divinity into their everyday lives. If a proper environment is cultivated for one to realize themselves through regular meditation practice, making right decisions or taking right action will occur naturally, as the universe intends. The universe has an underlying order of things. Transcendental meditation allows an individual to experience this universal order firsthand within themselves. This makes doing the right thing a given and not doing bad things effortless. Fulfillment and dissipation of fear will come as naturally as breathing.
Another issue with religion is that people have the faith but since they aren’t experiencing the underlying field of consciousness or their own pure Being, they have remnants of fear and doubt that create a theme of hesitance in their life. The whole point is to empower oneself from within in order to spread beauty in the outer world. “The life of a religious man should have all right and dynamic activity on the surface of life, and underneath, should have the unshakable eternal peace that lies at the depths of the ocean.” Faith without purpose or direction is a waste of energy because there will be no genuine conviction.
As the perennial philosophy suggests, there are underlying conceptions that can be found in the basis of every religion. Maharishi believed that Transcendental meditation belongs to the spirit of every religion, and that the practice will enliven the churches, temples, mosques, and pagodas, as well as those who reside in them. The point is to transform from seeing oneself as a temporal being to knowing oneself as an inseparable part of the ephemeral creation of the universe. “To err is human, to be free from error is divine.” Self actualization leaves no room for suffering. On the level of Being, all religions are the same.