WHAT ARE THE TRAITS OF A GOOD RELIGIOUS PREACHER WHO COULD INFLUENCE AND EDUCATE THE TARGETED AUDIENCE?
It has been observed that whenever we attend religious discourses or congregations, our intention evidently is to get spiritual benefits thereof. Many a times, some of us feel seemingly very disappointed when we are not able to understand the intricate discourses / sermons which are being given by learned preachers. This to say the least is a sorry state of affairs.
The objective of writing on this topic dawned on me, a few days before, when I liberty to ask, just casually, to one of the ladies co-passengers as to where they had gone. He replied that they had gone to a Satsang on Bhagwat Gita (A discourse on Bhagwat Gita). When I asked what he actually learned from the said discourse/lecture, he mentioned that it was sermon on Karma. Subsequently, I again queried him as to what does Karma stand for? He was felt confused and could not reply clearly. The others too could not explain exactly what Karma meant in real sense of terms. I introspected, what was the purpose of the visit to the discourses when they could not get what they intended! Why waste time in such discourses when nothing tangible is attained?
Then a question popped in my mind, what was the purpose of attending sermons when we are not clear about what the preacher intended to preach.The preachers have, it is worthwhile to mention, they’ll have to be more thoughtful and should not take the audiences for granted or consider them as erudite / knowledgeable. Their (preachers’) main responsibility is to think the audiences/ seekers as the greenhorns who are to be imparted proper lessons for better results. It should always be noted that they (audiences) should feel a difference after they come out of the place of religious discourses and not go out with more confusion. The task of the preacher is bit complicated but if put to practice in right earnest could make difference to the audiences enlightenment / insight.
Under such scenario, it is evident that till such time we are clear about the information being imparted through different lectures, the real import or purpose of the same will not be realized by us. Then question arises, should not the discourses given at the congregations be meaningful, concise being being simple so that it could be understood by every devotee irrespective of qualifications or experiences gained over a period of time.
Axiomatically, attend the congregations simply to garner knowledge so as to get spiritual awakening and every sermon should make difference and clear our path for our deliverance. But if instead of clearing cobwebs / contradictions it tends to make us more confused, then, sure enough, we would be where we started after covering so long a distance and wasting our precious time by attending each congregations but with no fruitful results!
A person who intends to increase his/her know-how about spiritualism but fails to get what that person wants then whole the exercise of discourses gets defeated. I think preachers should keep the following points into consideration while giving the same:-
(a)One subject at a time should be covered. There are preachers, who while delivering lecture on a particular subject, just skip to another subject without clearly explaining the subject matter being dealt with, start discourse on other one and then another; which certainly confuses the audiences. They are neither here nor there – in total puzzled state of mind hence a wastage of time and effort.
(b Language used should be simple to comprehend. If intricate language is used, as given in the scriptures, then the same should be clarified by using simple language, sentences and phrases, if possible, in the language the audiences could understand fully.
(c) Clarifications to be offered if and when required. If clarification is asked by audience, then, surely it should be given voluntarily even during ongoing discourse, without reservation or without standing on ceremony. Or alternatively, the same could be individually clarified to the individual concerned after the end of programme.
Importantly, no formal qualification is required for a seeker / devotee for connecting with God. It is also a fact that those giving discourses must have gone through different training sessions, intense penance over a period of to make themselves able to deliver lectures. It is because learning the discourses from religious scriptures requires a lot of effort should be accurate and to be point. Otherwise the purpose of lecture gets defeated. They should keep in mind that they are delivering lecture(s) to the mixed lots – educated, semi-educated and ignorant ones etc. They should give their lectures in such a way which could be understood by all irrespective of their education attainments including standing in society etc. The audiences or the seekers should also have eagerness to learn.
It should be kept in mind that our Creator is omnipotent and omniscient and He knows our inner feelings/emotions. Therefore, no formal qualification or experience is required to establish connectivity with Him. He requires our love only in simple form. Even entering into a religious and registering in the religious place is sufficient. It goes to show that God accepts all the prayers which are done with pure heart and for that qualification or no qualification is a must.
Conclusively, it could be said that learning anything is interplay of keen audiences and compassionate preachers besides understanding between them as learner and expert lecturer is a must. Here formal qualifications of the learner though bestow some benefits yet is not everything in order to establish connectivity with our Creator. The relationship of preachers (Gurus) and the audiences (devotees) are akin to teachers and their pupils and have the stamp of devoutness.