Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ ON INDIAN FREEMASONRY (by R.W.Bro. V.Rajendran, OSM, P.Dy.G.M)
Q). What is Freemasonry?
- Is one of the world oldest caring societies.
- Is a unique society concerned with moral and spiritual values
- Seeks to make good men better
- Teaches morality through symbolism
- Uses ancient ceremonies to instruct its members
Q). Who are the Freemasons?
A). Ordinary people in the community who care about the welfare of others.
Q). Are you a secret society ?
A). No…. until recently, our policy was to be rather discreet about ourselves, our community work, and even our membership. However times have changed …and so have we! Today Masons will often talk freely aout their activities and their membership. Lodge rooms are often opened to visitors and enquiries about Masons and their valuable community work are always welcomed.
Q). Why do you have secrets at all?
A). The “Secrets” of Freemasonry are the traditional modes of recognition, just like pin numbers and computer passwords. And today these are widely known through many books & available on the internet.
Q). Is its religion?
A). No. freemasonry does not instruct its members in what their religion beliefs should be, nor it is a substitute for religion.
Q). Who was the first Indian Mason?
A). Omdat-ul-Omrah, the Nawab of Carnatic. The second Indian Mason was M. Bandeh Ali Khan, initiated in Marine Lodge, Calcutta in 1812.
Q). What do you believe in?
- Have a common belief in a supreme being
- Believe in high moral standards
- Believe in honesty in everyday life
Q). What do you wear?
A). Just like your local club, Freemasons have a dress code at their meetings.
Q). Why do you wear an Apron?
A). It is a traditional and ceremonial form of recognition within the membership.
Q). Where do you meet?
A). Upwards of five millions Freemasons meet world wide in buildings known as Lodges. The word “Lodge” has been a traditional name for a meeting place since the middle ages. Most Masonic lodges can be found in prominent locations in the community.
Q). What do you do at meetings?
A). The same as the business meeting of any other organization. Instruction is the given in the form of ancient ceremonies which teach the value of high moral standards. We also have social gatherings which promote fellowship.
Q). I have heard that some of your ceremonies are embarrassing?
A). No, the ceremonies are not embarrassing to members. In fact they are memorial experiences which members treasure and respect.
Q). I am told that if I am a Freemason, it will be an advantage in my job, is that true?
A). NO. Masons are under a strict obligation not to use their connections to obtain any personal advantage, but of course, being known as a Freemason means that you will be recognized as a person of integrity who can be relied upon.
Q). How much does it cost?
A). Certain fees are expected of members, however, the fees are structured so as not to exclude any member of society.
Q). How old is freemasonry?
A). It dates from the middle ages in Europe. It’s present form began in the 18th century, in Britain, and came to India in 1728. There are many books available to the general public on the subject of Freemasonry.
Q). How much time do I need to devote?
A). Initially perhaps two night a month. As you progress, further time may be needed – but this is optional.
Q). Why can women not join?
A). Traditionally Freemasonry has been just for men. However within the Masonic family there are various other activities, social and charitable, which cater to all members of the family.
Q). Are you like Lions or Rotary?
A). In some respects we are similar, such as in our charitable works, but Masonry can be distinguished from service organizations by the emphasis on the traditional manner in which it passes on its ancient beliefs.