The Grand Lodge of South India’s relations with other Masonic bodies
This explains the Grand Lodge of South India’s relations with other Masonic bodies.
Freemasonry is practiced under many independent Grand Lodges with principles or standards similar to those set by the United Grand Lodge of England, which was the first Grand Lodge in the world, throughout its history. The Grand Lodge of South India follows its example.
To be recognised as regular by The United Grand Lodge of England, a Grand Lodge must meet the following standards. The Grand Lodge of South India adopts the same principles.
- It must have been lawfully established by a regular Grand Lodge or by three or more private Lodges, each warranted by a regular Grand Lodge.
- It must be truly independent and self-governing, with undisputed authority over Craft-or-basic Freemasonry (i.e. the symbolic degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason) within its jurisdiction, and not subject in any other way to or sharing power with any other Masonic body.
- Freemasons under its jurisdiction must be men, and its Lodges must have no Masonic contact with Lodges which admit women to membership.
- Freemasons under its jurisdiction must take their obligations on or in full view of the Volumes of the Sacred Law (i.e., the Bible) or the book held sacred by the man concerned.
- The three Great Lights of Freemasonry (i.e. the Volume of the Sacred Law, the Square and the Compasses) must be on display when the Grand Lodge or its Subordinate Lodges are open.
- The discussion of religion and politics within its Lodges must be prohibited.
- It must adhere to the established principles and tenets (the ‘Ancient Landmarks’) and customs of the Craft, and insist on their being observed within its Lodges.
Irregular or unrecognised Grand Lodges
There are some self-styled masonic bodies which do not meet these standards, e.g. which do not require a belief in a Supreme Being, or which allow or encourage their members to participate as such in political matters. These bodies are not recognised by the Grand Lodge of South India as being Masonically regular, and Masonic contact with them is forbidden.
A Freemason is encouraged to do his duty first to his God (by whatever name he is known) through his faith and religious practice; and then, without detriment to his family and those dependent on him, to his neighbour through charity and service.
None of these ideas are exclusively Masonic, but all should be universally acceptable. Freemasons are expected to follow them.
Brethren are to note that they should not make any Masonic contacts with Masons of other Jurisdictions without having ascertained from the Grand Secretary the existence of Regular Masonry in the country concerned, and the address to which Masonic enquiries should be directed.