Question. I have been pondering the unity of religions or the universality of religions, specifically how the essence is the same although the external aspects may differ. Can you shed some light on this?
Answer by Romapada Swami: The principles of any bona fide religion would be based on certain universal regulative principles primary of which are austerity, cleanliness, mercy and truthfulness and not on any man made dogmas. By adopting such principles under the expert guidance of a fully realized soul, the conditioned Jiva soul reawakens to his original identity as a loving servant of God. Any authorized process which brings the soul to this end is a bona fide religion. The details, traditions, costume or practices may differ but the essential principles must be the same.
Further, these principle can be adopted at various levels of realization just as mathematics can be understood at various levels from primary school to PhD depending on the capability and previous training of the student in the subject. Similarly the principles of religion are presented to various people in progressive stages according to their ability to accept and comprehend them by the prophets who are compassionate representatives of God, who fully understand the mentalities and spiritual needs of the people whom they address.