Principles of Interfaith

By editor - 19.5 2017

Universality of Religion

God is one – different names and methods of worship
We are all children of God
Religion is a principle of humanity
Some common principles, ideas, morals, concepts, and some practices
Basis of dialogue
The ground on which we can co-exist

The Autonomy of religious traditions

God is unlimited; He can manifest in any circumstance/culture
If we impose one religion as superior to another, this disunifies theists, takes power away from others (Vaikuntha atmosphere)
Often greatest misunderstandings come from forcing another religion into our terminology and view of reality.
Respecting others leads to receiving respect. If we want, we must give.

Freedom of Choice

No conversion
No brainwashing
Mutual respect and acceptance
Freedom of expression
No monopoly on the Absolute
NO DISCRIMMINATION
NO-ONE is EXCLUDED OR BELITTLED

Divine Guidance

No genuine spiritual-minded person will claim a monopoly on divine guidance
Saints in all religious traditions exhibit similar symptoms
ye yatha mam prapadyante…
tesam evanukampartham…

Humility, Tolerance and Respect

Silently listen – internally and externally (may use empathy)
Don’t challenge people – challenge ideas
No ego – don’t be defensive, seeking status, patronizing, condescending, etc.
Elevated philosophy BUT honest and genuine humility
Tolerate personal insult
Tolerate shortcomings, ignorance, bad habits
Respect others as devotees – kanistha, madhyama, uttama
Respect others’ rituals/culture
Know basic greetings/culture to avoid offense

Honesty

I admit that my realization is not complete
I will always be able to learn
I defend what I hold to be true
I am true to my realizations of true principles
I acknowledge and disclose appropriately that I am fallible and vulnerable
I depend upon tie Supreme Infallible for empowerment and mercy
If I want to improve something, e.g. a relationship, I HAVE TO CHANGE MYSELF

Time, Place and Circumstance

Consistency with Srila Prabhupada’s teachings and example
Strict sadhana – open to others
Empathy and sensitivity
Being well informed and down to earth
Spiritually mature (madhyama adhikari)
Open to feedback
Caution – no unnecessary risks
No fanatic attachment to rules
Krsna centered motivations

Personal Realization

Honor others’ realizations because they are dear to the heart
Encourage all sincere endeavors for God consciousness
Because our objective is self-realization, we must present Krsna conscious philosophy sensitively, according to the audience’s level of spiritual realization. Then they can assimilate Krsna consciousness in a deep, integrated manner (not superficial)

Exemplary Behavior

DO:

Acara & pracara
Vaisnava etiquette (awareness and training)
Truthful, clean, austere, merciful (4 reg’s) à peace
Respect (trnadapi sunicena…)
Friendly, kind, supportive, appreciative
People judge religion by behavior
Be natural

DON’T:

Criticize
Find fault
Smash
Be fanatic/sectarian/exclusive

Mutual Understanding

Have humility, tolerance and respect
Clarify expectations and goals
Understand others’ perspectives
Know their culture – do prior research
Find common ground
Know their NEEDS, INTERESTS and CONCERNS
Resolve prejudices/pre-conceptions
Understand their perception of us

Personal Relationships

HAVE THEM!!!
Share from your level of realizations
Be honest, humble, respectful and properly behaved
Take initiative for contact and communication (PRO-ACTIVITY)
Listening and inquiring
Giving prasadam (…)
Application of our philosophy
Basis of dialogue and human exchange

Cooperative endeavor

Have mutual understanding
Common aims/objectives
Clear expectations
Work with balance, integrity, intelligence and sensitivity
Be organized
Give time to support others
Have meetings
Review and feedback
Stay in touch