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Article # 254
Divine Service

Author: Webmaster    Posted on: Thursday, August 16, 2007
General Article | 0 comments  | Post your comment

Divine Service

[Divine Service is being held as a Programme of the Grand Lodge of India. M.W. Grand Master of Grand Lodge of India had presented a paper on the Divine Service some time ago in a distinguished gathering of  M.W. Grand Masters of 100 Grand Lodges at the 8th World Conference of Masonic Grand Lodges in Paris.  Brethren of various countries have been evincing interest in the Divine Service and many have requested us for posting the Divine Service in this website.  Divine  Service was conducted in Chennai by  M.W. Bro. Justice Devinder Gupta O.S.M., our M.W. Grand Master, few weeks ago in a distinguished gathering of Freemasons, their family members and a galaxy of special invitees, with the Hon’ble Chief Justice of the State High Court as the Chief Guest. Portions of the Scriptures were read and translated, all but one, by the Ladies of the Masonic Family. Divine Service commenced with an introduction by M.W.Grand Master, followed by the reading and translations of the Scriptures and a brilliant and illuminating address by the Chief Guest (which has been posted as Article No.253). Since, India is a secular state and there are different religions, all co existing in peace and brotherhood, all the five Sacred Books namely Srimad Bhagavad Gita, the Book of the Hindus, Holy Bible, the Book of the Christians, Holy Quran, the Book of the Muslims, Guru Granth Sahib, the Book of the Sikhs and Zend Avastha, the Book of the Parsees are kept in the Altar. Portions from all those Sacred Books were read and translated during Divine Service. There are also Freemasons’ Prayer and Prayer for the Future. We are all very thankful and beholden to M.W.Grand Master for having conducted the Divine Service in Chennai as part of the celebrations on the completion of 500 th Meeting of our Lodge, Sri Brahadeeswara (No.150)]

 

Divine Service

( M.W.Grand Master, together with the Chief Guest, R.W.Regional Grand Master, Grand Chaplain and the Bearers of Sacred Laws led by the Grand Director of Ceremonies entered in procession and took position. All the five Sacred Books were kept on the Altar and were opened. All those present stood to order. After M.W.Grand Master took his seat, all were seated )

M.W.Grand Master : “ I welcome you all to this Divine Service of Freemasonry.

Unfortunately, not  much is known to the general public about Freemasonry and what little is known, is also based mostly on misinformation, with the result, it is often considered to be a Secret Society.  Let me assure you that Freemasonry is not a Secret Society.  There is nothing secret or secretive about Freemasonry. No doubt it has some secrets, but these relate to the mode of recognition amongst Freemasons and are no different from the use of passwords in accessing internet or the secret code required while using Credit Cards, which are precautionary measures to prevent misuse and ensure privacy. Our meetings, like meetings of many other social and professional associations, are private occasions open only to members. Freemasonry does not conceal the time and place of its meeting, nor does a member hide the fact of his membership. Freemasons are encouraged to speak openly about their membership, while remembering that they undertake not to use it for their own or anyone else's advancement.

Let me give to you some introduction to our organisation. Freemasonry is one of the world's oldest secular fraternal Organizations, which believes in the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man.  It is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. It seeks to make good men better and there by make the world a better place to live. It is characterized by such things as equality, fairness, dignity, forgiveness, generosity, respect for the rights of the individuals and building for a better tomorrow. It in fact is a way of life.

Freemasonry in an organised form has been in existence for nearly 280 years in the world and for over 266 years in India. However, the Grand Lodge of India was consecrated as a Sovereign Grand Lodge on 24th of November 1961.

There are number of prominent Indians from all walks of life, who have been Freemasons. To name a few,  Swami Vivekananda, Shri C. Rajagopalachari, Shri Moti Lal Nehru, President Dr. Rajendra Prasad, President Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, President Shri Fakhrudin Ali Ahmed, J.R.D. Tata,  Prof M.S.Thacker,  Sir C.P. Ramaswamy Iyer, Sir Chimanlal Setalvad, Sir Dorabji Jamshedji Tata, as also several serving and retired judges of Supreme Court and High Courts, serving and retired Defence Personnel and Civilian Officers besides many Industrialists, Business men, Business Executives and other Professionals like Doctors, Engineers, Chartered Accountants etc.

The primary unit organisation of Freemasonry is a Lodge. Masonic buildings are called "temples". Master of a Lodge is selected annually by the members. Progression through the various Offices of a Lodge enables its members to develop self-confidence and improve speaking skills and promotes qualities of leadership. In a Lodge meeting there are two types of meeting agenda. The first is like the business meeting of any other organisation, The other type of meeting is one in which new members are received in solemn ritual ceremonies and stimulating lectures, which relate to the ancient traditions and principles on which Freemasonry is founded. The meetings usually conclude with an enjoyable fellowship over dinner.

Freemasonry is fundamentally based on Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, which are ethical principles acceptable to all good men.  It supports the "Golden Rule" - To do unto others as you would wish them to do unto you. It teaches each member to act and live in such a way that he will always strive to become a better man, not better than someone else, but better tomorrow than he is today.

Masonic ceremonials form the basis for teaching the Masonic philosophy. which leads to a better understanding of the purpose of life and the need for care and concern for others, care for the less fortunate and help for those in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness or any other adversity. Masonic teaching inculcates in its members. obedience to God and observance of the Laws of the country. It promotes personal growth of character and encourages Freemasons to lead an active life in the community. It flourishes in every free country and is a way of life for men of all nations.

Masons practice charity and benevolence and strive to promote human welfare. It is committed to extend the hand of fellowship & provide Relief to those in distress.  All monies raised for charity are drawn from amongst Freemasons. In India the Masonic Fraternity is involved in several charitable projects, all over the country. The General Williams Masonic Polyclinic at Janpath, New Delhi, Masonic Public School in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, Amrit Masonic Charitable Society, Noida, Masonic Medical care centre for children in Coimbatore, as also the adoption of an entire village located in backward area in Bheemlipatnam in Visakhapatnam District and another village in Srikakulam District, for all round development in Health, Sanitation, Education & Housing. & Construction of Sheds for cyclone victims in Andhra Pradesh, awarding many Scholarships and Bursaries to deserving students, helping institutions for the handicapped and the aged, holding of periodical Blood donation camps, Eye camps and other Health Camps etc., are examples of some of the socially relevant activities of Masonic organisations all over the country.

Freemasonry reinforces kindness in the home, honesty in business, courtesy in society and fairness in all things. Freemasonry is not a social club.  It however provides the means of socializing among its members, which consists of a cross section of society drawn from all walks of life, who meet on an equal footing. It also involves the families of members on such social occasions.

Freemasonry is not a political organisation. It has no political agenda. Discussion of any topic of a political nature is not permitted in Lodges.  Freemasons are urged to perform their civic duties according to the laws of the country in which they work or live.  It reminds them of the filial affection one should always have for the Land of their birth, to remain loyal to the laws of the land, which, for the time being, may be the place of their residence, or afford them protection. The use of membership of the Craft for material benefit is discouraged.

Some people confuse Masonry with a religion, because we call Masonic buildings as "temples." But we use the word in the same sense that the Court of law is called a "Temple of Justice". Although every meeting is opened and closed with a prayer, Freemasonry is not a religion, nor is it a substitute for religion.  An essential qualification for a person who wants to become a Mason is that he must have a belief in God. No atheist can ever become a Mason. A Mason is taught, as one of the first lessons of Masonry that one should pray for divine counsel and guidance before starting an important undertaking. But that does not make Masonry a "religion." Men of many different faiths are members of our organisation. While each member is encouraged to continue to follow his own religion, discussions of a religious nature are not at all encouraged in a Lodge. However, it emphasises secularism by teaching respect for and tolerance towards all religions.  In every Lodge meeting Volumes of Sacred Law are kept open on the altar or table. In the Lodges under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of India Volumes of Sacred Laws of five major religions in India viz. Bhagawad Gita, Holy Quran, The Bible, The Holy Granth Sahib and The Zend Avestha. These volumes of sacred laws are reverentially opened on the altar or table at the commencement of a meeting and are closed reverentially at the close of the meeting.

The absolute qualification for admission into membership are that a man must be over the age of 21 years; be of good character; be law abiding and profess belief in a Supreme Being without reference to casts, creed or religion. This is essential and admits of no compromise, there being no place for atheists in Freemasonry.

There is a rule in Masonry that a person must seek admission himself. Some men are surprised that no one has ever asked them to become a Mason. They may even feel that the Masons in their town don't think they are "good enough" to join. But it doesn't work that way. For hundreds of years, Masons have been forbidden to ask others to join our fraternity. We can talk to friends about Masonry. We can tell them about what Masonry does. We can tell them why we enjoy it. But we can't ask, much less pressure, anyone to join. There's a good reason for that. It isn't that we're trying to be exclusive. But becoming a Mason is a very serious thing. Joining Masonry is making a permanent life commitment to live in certain way viz. to live with honour and integrity, to be willing to share with and care about others, to trust each other, and to place ultimate trust in God. For information a person can always call the Grand Lodge/Regional Grand Lodge office and get information. The Grand Lodge of India has its website http://www.masonindia.org.  Information about Freemasonry can be had from this web site or host of other sites.

Having said so, now let me now turn your attention to the Divine Service for which we have assembled here today. As I said earlier, apart from trying to demystify Freemasonry to the Public, what we try to demonstrate through this ceremony you are about to witness, is the Oneness of God, though the approach to Him, by us as human beings, may be through different religions.  In fact God created Man.  He didn’t create Religion.  It is man who created Religion.  We as Freemasons believe in a Supreme Being without reference to Caste Creed or Religion.  In the Divine Service we try to identify the common thread of thoughts, sentiments and philosophy that runs through the scriptures of all the Major Religions of the World, all of which coexist in peace, amity and harmony in our country.  It is in recognition of this amity and coexistence in peace and harmony of various religions in our country that we pay respect to the religious books of all the Major Religions of the World by placing them reverentially on the Altar. As I told you earlier in order to prove the universality of Freemasonry, we respect the Srimad Bhagawad Gita, the Holy Koran, the Holy Bible, the Guru Granth Sahib and the Zend Avestha in the same manner as you find them open on the Altar. These volumes of sacred laws are reverentially opened on the altar or table before any meeting is commenced and are closed reverentially at the close of the meeting.

The Divine Service is therefore intended to project the ideals of Freemasonry to the public to enable them to appreciate the basic philosophy of Universal Brotherhood propagated by Freemasonry. For this we have involved on this occasion, for the first time ladies belonging, as far as possible, to different religions. Mrs. Dr. Bhanumathy Giridharan and Ms. Kanchana will read and translate respectively various portions from Shrimad Bhagawad Gita. Mrs. Sunita Santtosh will give renderings of various portions from The Holy Bible. Mrs. Ruksana Rafiq and Ms. Ayisha will read and translate respectively various portions from the Holy Quran. Ms.Gurmeet Kaur and Ms.Jasleen Kaur will read and translate respectively various portions from Guru Granth Sahib and  Mrs. Zarina Mistry will give renderings of various portions from The Zend Avestha as well as the translation. 

In Freemasonry we begin all our ceremonies with a solemn prayer.  Before we commence the proceedings of the day and the readers give us renderings from various portions of the five Volumes of Sacred Laws, I call upon our R.W.Bro. Dr. John Reginald, acting as Chaplain to recite The Freemasons’ Prayer.  All stood to order and  R.W.Bro.Dr.John Reginald recited the

Freemasons’ Prayer

 Almighty and ever-living God, who hast taught us to make prayers and supplications and to give thanks for all human beings, we humbly implore Thee, most mercifully, to receive these our prayers, which we offer unto Thy Divine Majesty —beseeching Thee to inspire us continually with the spirit of Truth, Unity and Concord.

 

We pray Thee also to guide, save and defend our President and the Rulers of every land in which our Brethren be, that with meek heart and reverence, aided by the principles of our Order, we may hear and obey Thy Holy Word, truly serving Thee in holiness and righteousness, all the days of our lives.

 

We most humbly beseech Thee of Thy goodness, 0 Lord, to comfort and succour all our brethren, wheresoever dispersed over land and sea, who are distressed by troubles, sorrows, needs, sicknesses or any other adversities, giving them a speedy release, if it be Thy will, from all their sufferings  and  should  they desire it,  a  safe  return to  their  native  land.

May  we  continually lift  up  our eyes to Thee,  0h!  Most  High,  from   whom  descends  light,  love,  peace,  goodness and  salvation.

                                                                                          So mote it be.

( All were seated)

M.W.G.M :- “After the beautiful Prayer for the welfare of all Freemasons wherever they are spread, wishing them speedy relief, if it be His Will, from their distress, trouble, sorrows, needs, sickness or any other adversities or sufferings, we will now proceed to invoke the presence of the Supreme Being and see how our scriptures offer their Invocations.  Invocation means offering of   Prayer or an appeal. In all religions we prostrate ourselves before God, to seek His blessings.  We as helpless creatures look upto Him for guidance, comfort and support.”

INVOCATION

 

Shrimad Bhagavad Gita


 

With my very being tainted by the vice of faint-heartedness and my mind puzzled with regard to duty, I am asking You. Tell me that which is decidedly good; I am Your disciple. Pray, instruct me, who have put myself into Your hands.                                                                                                             (2:7)

 

Holy Bible

Lead me, 0 Lord, in Thy righteousness because of mine enemies ; make Thy way straight before my face.

For there is no faithfulness in their mouth ; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their  tongue.

But let all those that put their trust in Thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because Thou defendest them: let them also that love Thy name, be joyful in Thee.                                          (Psalms 5: 8-9, 11)

Holy Quran




In the name of Allah, the Beneficient, the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds, The Beneficient, the Merciful, Owner of the Day of Judgment

Thee alone we worship. Thee alone we ask for help. Show us the straight path.

The Path of  those whom Thou hast favoured.   Not the path of those, who earn

Thine anger, nor of those, who go astray.                                          1: 1-7

 

Guru Granth Sahib



Millions of our sins YOU annul   and   in  innumerable ways instruct us.

Without  knowledge of  little  understanding as are we :

Pray,  YOU    fulfil  YOUR  Honour

With  YOU,   we  seek  shelter, in YOU lies our Hope.

YOU  alone  our  friend  and  Cherisher.

LORD Compassionate, Saviour ! Save Nanak, slave of YOUR House.

 

Zend  Avestha




1.  To the Glory of Ahura Mazda Ashem Vohu

2.  In the name of Ahura Mazda, the LORD GOD, the beneficient, May HIS Glory

and  HIS Radiance increase.  May the Creator Ahura Mazda, the Resplendent, the  Glorious, The Most Spiritual in the Spiritual World, the SUPREME,

be Gracious to us.

                                                                                              Ahura Mazda Yasht

                                

M.W.G.M : 

I hope all of you were able to appreciate how the Invocation in all religions are similar in their approach, showing that all paths lead, but to the same goal.  We will now turn our attention to another aspect to see how Adoration is offered to God. Adoration means expressing our deep love and bestowing of deep affection and worshipping of Supreme Being.  The more we have faith, the more we can have Hope.  

Praising God and expressing adoration for Him reinforces our faith and rids us of our doubts and our anxieties, in the sure belief that He is there to guide us.  It is our adoration towards God, which leads us to worship Him. It brings intimacy with God. It leads to a deeper relationship with Him. Hence, the spiritual adoration for God is inherent in us. When we realize this natural instinct in us and yield to it, it changes us. All things were created through Him and for Him. Our spiritual adoration will make us worship Him with spirit and truth. Let us adore Him.

 

Adoration

Srimad Bhagavad Gita




 

YOU are the Father, nay, the greatest teacher of this moving and unmoving creation

and worthy of adoration.

O LORD of incomparable might, in all the three worlds there is none else even equal to YOU, how then any better?

Therefore LORD, prostrating my body at YOUR feet and bowing low, I seek to propitiate YOU, the ruler of all and worthy of all praise.

It behoves YOU to bear with me, even as a father bears with son, a friend with his friend and a husband with his beloved spouse.

 

Holy Bible

 

HE disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands can not perform their enterprises.

Happy is the man, whom GOD correcteth ; therefore despise not thou, the chastening of the Almighty.

For HE maketh sore and bindeth up : HE woundeth and HIS hands make whole.

                                                                                                                   Job 5:12, 17 & 18.

Holy Quran




 

All  that  is  in  heaven  and  earth  glorify  ALLAH.  HE  is  the  Mighty, the Wise One. HIS  is  the  Sovereignty of  the Heavens and  Earth.  He  ordains  life and death and has power  over  all  things. He  is  the  first  and  last,  the  visible  and  the  unseen. HE  has knowledge  of  all  things.

Guru Granth Sahib.




THOU art Father, mother, friend, brother, with THEE as succourer in all places

What fear do have  I .

By THY Grace, THEE have I realized, THOU my shelter, my esteem

Nothing other that Thee exists.

All existence, the theatre of THY play.

 

Zend Avastha.

 




Praise be to THEE, O LORD Supreme, Merciful Master, with THY Name I begin. 

Ever existed THEE and shall ever be. O INVISIBLE ! THOU art fearless and free.   Powerful and Wise O LORD OF CREATION.THOU nourisher and preserver full of perfection. Protector is THEE, who forgiveth everyone O Almighty LORD, THOPU perfect in Judgment.

 

M.W.Grand Master :

I trust you were able to see the commonality of approach in expressing Adoration of the Supreme Being, in all the Scriptures.  All of us irrespective of the religion, to which we belong, pray humbly and fervently to God, which aspect is called Supplication. Supplication means pleading or petitioning humbly. Supplication is the most common form of prayer, wherein a person asks the Supreme Being to provide something, either for the person who is praying or for someone else on whose behalf a prayer of supplication is being made. The concept is perfectly at home with secular use. The supplicant may also be described as a suppliant but the former word is more commonly used. The key meaning is of a request by the lesser person in an acknowledged unequal relationship. Portions from the Scriptures on this aspect will now be read out.

Supplication

Srimad Bhagavad Gita




YOU are Vayu, the wind God,  Yama, the God of death, Agni, the God of Fire,

The Moon God, Brahma, the Lord of Creation, nay, the father of Brahma himself,

Hail, Hail to YOU a thousand times; salutations, repeated salutations to YOU, once again.

O LORD of Infinite Prowess, my salutations to YOU, from before and from behind. O soul of all, my obeisance to YOU, from all sides indeed. YOU, who possess limitless might, pervade all ; therefore, YOU are all.

Holy Bible

Greater love hath no man than this,  that a man lay down his life for his friends.

And now, I am no more in the world, but these are in the world and I come to THEE, HOLY FATHER, keep through THINE own name, those whom THOU has given me, that they may be one, as we are.

I pray not that THOU shouldest take them out of the world, but that THOU shouldest keep them from the evil.

                                                                                                                        John 17 :11 :15.

Holy Quran




LORD, accept from us, YOU are the hearing, the knowing. LORD, make us submissive to YOU, make of our descendants a nation, that will submit to YOU. Teach us our rites of worship and turn us mercifully. YOU are the forgiving, the Merciful. LORD send forth to, them an apostle of their own people, who shall declare to them YOUR revelations  and instruct them in the Book and in wisdom and purify them of sin. YOU are the mighty, the wise one.                                                                                                                     (127-8)

Guru Granth Sahib




Nothing outside  THY WILL happens, THOU CREATOR , dost behold and know about all.

What may we say, beyond expression in THY might. All that is in manifestation of THY will. All our prayers to THEE are addressed. Whom else should we supplicate?

All that we utter or hear is THY  UTTERANCE alone. THOU  alone knowest all.              THOU,  Master of all marvels.

HIMSELF   HE creates, HIMSELF knows, Saith  Nanak.

Creation and Dissolution HE accomplishes and beholds.

 

Zend Avestha

 




For my house, ardently here I wish. Obedience over defiance may always succeed !

Preach that is lasting with serenity remain—generosity over miserliness firmly domain!

Reverence and respect remain with cheer. Truth spoken speech to false will defeat. Righteousness over falsehood shall ever prevail.

M.W.Grand  Master :

As I said earlier, we prostate ourselves before God and plead for his Divine blessings.  Hence, we accept his Omnipresence, Omnipotence and Omniscience totally and surrender ourselves to His Will.  I am sure, you will all agree, that hardly there can be any difference in approach when we pray humbly and fervently for His blessings, which is what we saw in the portions of the Scriptures just read.    There can be no half measure in believing in Him.  We have to totally surrender ourselves to his Will, knowing that He knows best, what is good for us.  Dedicating our life to Him means devoting our life in such pursuits, which are congenial for the good of all living things.  It implies the whole of gamut of good conduct in terms of charity in thought, word and deeds. 

As a Freemason we are taught that we should so conduct our life that when one is said to be a Freemason, the world may know, that he is one to whom the burdened heart may pour forth its sorrow, to whom the distressed may prefer their suit, whose heart is expanded by benevolence and whose hand is guided by justice.  It is thus that Freemasons dedicate their life to spread the message of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, which is our motto.

We now turn our attention to the aspect of Dedication, which means the process of conveying our devotion to the Supreme Being and dedicating our life to His service. We, as human beings pledge our faith in Him and to see how different religions approach this aspect. Portions from the Scriptures on this aspect will now be read and translated.

Srimad Bhagavad Gita




                                                                                                                         ( 9-34 )

Fix your mind on ME.  Be devoted to ME, worship ME and make obeisance to ME;

Thus linking yourself with ME and entirely depending on ME, you shall come to ME.

 

Holy Bible

 

If any man will come after ME, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow ME, for, whomsoever will save his life shall lose it and whomsoever will lose his life for MY sake, shall find it.

 

For what is a man profitted, if he shall gain the world and lose his own soul or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul ?

                                                                                                          Mathew 16 ; 24 – 26

 

Holy Quran

 




In  the  Name  of   ALLAH,  the  Beneficient, the Merciful.

 

 Ye, who believe ! Be careful of your duty to ALLAH and be with the truthful.

 

Guru Granth Sahib




Mind, body, all that we possess is THINE

THOU our LORD, Master Sovereign

Life and body is all THY property,

All might is to THINE

 

Eternally do THOU Confer Joy,

At THY feet, in low obedience, I offer homage,

To win THY favour is directed all my doing

As it pleases THEE, this to grant.

 

Zend Avastha

 




Truth that is best, ever thou adopt-for only in truth thou seeth God. Keep piety of mind and truthful speech. Have good actions, best results to reap.

Through highest-Righteousness thy vision I behold, for, it is my aim to approach Thee. Upto thy domain I desire to come. To be with infinite and  be one.

M.W.Grand Master :

I do hope, that all of you were not only able to appreciate the similarity of approach for Dedication in all the religions, but also once again able to appreciate, what I had emphasized earlier about the common thread running through all the religions in their approach to God, which is what Freemasonry also believes.

I trust, what you have heard so far would have made a favourable impression in all of you about Freemasonry. I hope therefore that you will readily agree to Affirm with me as follows:

All stood and recited the Affirmation as under:-

We Affirm Our Common Faith. That The Lives Of All Human Beings Are In The Hands Of God And That He Is Wherever Living Beings Are.

M.W.Grand Master :

Thank you for joining me in the Affirmation.  I now call upon our Chaplain to conclude this Divine Service by offering a Prayer for the Future of Freemasonry.

Chaplain :

PRAYER FOR THE FUTURE:

Pour out, O! God, we beseech Thee, Thy spirit upon the craft, that all its members may be given a new vision, new life and new fellowship both with one another and the world at large. Send us out and through us send out many others to proclaim the message of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. Open our hearts that we may receive Thy power. Open our eyes that we may see Thine outstretched hands to bless. Do with us that Thou wilt and not what we may desire, so shall the earth be filled with the knowledge of Thyself as the waters cover the sea, to whose Honour and Glory we and all human beings live.

                                                                                                                                  So mote it be

M.W.Grand Master :

With that Prayer we come to the end of this Divine Service.  As mentioned by me in my opening remarks, the purpose of this Divine Service was to bring to your notice the Philosophy of Freemasonry, which believes in the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man, irrespective of caste, creed or religion.  Before I conclude, I would also like to add for your information that a few months ago I had attended the 8th World Conference of Masonic Grand Lodges in Paris, where nearly 100 Grand Masters from the Grand Lodges of various countries were present.  On behalf of the Grand Lodge of India I had the privilege of sharing with those present in the Conference, the salient features of our Unique Masonic Divine Service, which traces the common thread running through all the major religions of the world in their approach to God.  I am happy to inform you that the presentation was not only very well received, but also without exception all present considered it to be one of the most practical ways of demonstrating the Universal Principles of Freemasonry.

When Mr. Venkatachalapathi Samuldrala, Parma, Ohio, USA. the first Hindu priest ever to give opening prayer in the U.S. Congress recited his opening prayer on Sept 14, 2000 the U.S. Congressmen said that the prayer reminds us that while we may differ in culture and traditions, we are alike in the basic aspiration for peace and righteousness.

You are omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient.

You are in everything and nothing is beyond you.

You are our Mother and Father and we are all your children.

Whatever you do is for our good.

You are the ocean of mercy and you forgive our errors.

You are our teacher and you guide us unto righteousness.

Today, in this great hall, are assembled the elected representatives of the people of this Nation. They are ready to perform their duties. God, please guide them in their thoughts and actions so they can achieve the greatest good for all.

The priest finished this invocation with a prayer from the ancient scriptures of India:

May all be happy;

May all be free from disease;

May all realize what is good;

May none be subject to misery;

Peace, Peace, Peace Be Unto All!  

“ I sincerely thank you for participating in this Solemn Event. I now request the Chief Guest Hon’ble Justice A.P.Shah, The Chief Justice, High Court Madras to give us the benefit of his Address and his impression about the Divine Service.  However before doing so, I will request W.Bro. R.Gandhi,  to introduce him formally to you all.” 

After the formal Introduction of the Chief Guest, he delivered a brilliant and illuminating address ( Already posted as Article No.253 in the General Section of this Website), all present stood to order and the Sacred Books were closed. National Anthem was then rendered

M.W.Grand Master and the Chief Guest accompanied by the Officers then retired in procession, while the audience remained upstanding.

 



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