Gleanings – From the Pen of Shri Beni Madhab Das

Extracts from the Presidential address of the Theistic Conferences (taken from the booklet published on the occasion of his Memorial Service)

The Modern Theistic Movement

The modern Theistic Movement in India is not essentially an intellectual movement. It is not a question of intellectual assent or intellectual honesty that is at the bottom of it. It does not stand even for a school of thought with its rational interpretation of the movements of life and order of things and theoretical speculations on soul, God and immortality and on the yearnings of the heart and aspirations of the soul, which seek their satisfaction in family and social organisations, in worship and church life. Nor is it merely a movement of moral purification and uplift and social reform and reconstruction with higher ideals and the conception of the dignity of man as man with his personal rights and liberties and birth right of freedom and larger outlook on the life of humanity. It means all
these and much more. It goes deeper into the main-spring of all activities, the vital principle in all organisations. It means the awakening of the soul that goes on in quest of the Eternal and the Infinite to find its own abode and resting place – the Rock of all ages, its own light and atmosphere, and its own vitalising principle in the Supreme spirit – the Over-Soul – the Soul of souls, in which alone it lives and
has its being and perpetual growth. It means the touch of the Supreme Spirit – its descent and influx and inspiration, its self-revelation, self-realisation in and through the perpetual rebirth of the human soul. This grows from birth to birth, freshness to fresh ness, knowing no age, no conditions of time – the transcendent in the transcendent, and rebirth of humanity withal.

The Movement has another note – the note of emancipation and life Spirit, and has a message for humanity. An emphasis is to be laid on this universal note. In and through all these a deeper note comes out. If the Spirit is one and has a note of unity for all. It is One-in-Many and Many-in-One. It brings out difference out of the unity of its being and realises itself as a living organic principle in and
through differences, by organising them into one harmonious whole.

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