Abraham Cherian, Past Master of Lodge Kottayam No. 245 in Kerala
This might give the impression that freemasonry is a religious order that swears allegiance to the ‘Almighty Architect of the Universe’. But nothing could be further from the truth, says Abraham Cherian, Past Master of Lodge Kottayam No. 245 in Kerala.
“Freemasonry requires you to believe in one God, any God,” he says. “In foreign countries, normally only the Bible is kept in the lodge. Here, in India, in addition to the Bible, we keep the Gita, Koran, Zend Avesta and Guru Granth Sahib, so that people of different denominations can take their obligation on their book of faith. Inside a masonic temple, when a ceremony is conducted and the name of God is invoked, every person is allowed to invoke the name of his God. It is the most secular organisation ever.”
It is this flexibility and inclusiveness that make freemasonry an antidote to fundamentalism and authoritarian beliefs. Ultimately, freemasonry is nothing but a moral code to help make “good men better”.
Historian John Dickie, in his book The Craft: How the Freemasons Made the Modern World, describes it as “a way of binding males in fellowship that has been propelled across the globe and through hundreds of years of history by the force of its mystique”.
Freemasonry has a curious ability to create a powerful sense of identity in its adherents. “The emphasis is on development of the individual to the extent that freemasonry becomes a way of life,” says Abraham Markose, who was the Regional Grand Master of the Regional Grand Lodge of Southern India from 2017 to 2020. According to Markose, freemasonry has taught him to be more compassionate, liberal and broad-minded in his thought and outlook. “It has made me a better son to my parents, a better brother to my siblings, a better husband to my wife, a better toiler in my profession, a better father to my childrenì.,” he says.| The Week