A few weeks ago when I was asked for a lecture topic, I thought for a while and came up with “Religion of Love.” It seemed like a good title at the time; it had a nice ring to it, but I had no definite idea what I was going to talk about. I chose this title mainly because of the way we Vedantins are sometimes perceived by non-Vedantins.
In the spiritual view of life the purpose of our existence is to realise our spiritual nature, to realise God. The scriptures, saints, mystics, and wise men of all religions support this. They have prescribed four major methods, called yogas, for achieving this realisation.
Swami Vivekananda had prophesied that as a result of the advent of Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Sarada Devi, the Holy Mother, India would see “many an exalted woman, more exalted than Gargi and Maitreyi of the Vedic times.” Perhaps Swamiji had Yogin Ma and Golap Ma in mind when he made this prediction.
Native American spirituality is as vast a subject as the North American continent itself, which stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from the frozen expanses of the Arctic to the steamy jungles of southern Mexico. At this point we will only be able to gain a few impressions of the breadth and depth of the ideas and beliefs by which the First Peoples of this continent lived. We have available a staggering wealth of material on their myths, traditions, and practices, written by Native American holy men and women themselves and also by sympathetic religious scholars.