Welcome to Freemasonry

Masons, also known as Freemasons, belong to the oldest and largest fraternal organization in the world. Masons represent virtually every occupation and profession, yet within the fraternity, all meet as equals. Masons come from diverse political ideologies, yet meet as friends. Masons come from varied religious beliefs and creeds, yet all believe in one God. One of the most fascinating aspects of Freemasonry is how so many men, from so many walks of life, can meet together in peace, always conducting their affairs in harmony and friendship and calling each other "Brother".

Freemasonry is a fraternal order whose basic tenets are brotherly love, relief (philanthropy), and truth. We strive to enjoy the company of our brother Masons, assist them in times of personal trouble, and reinforce essential moral values. There is an old proverb that Masonry "takes good men and makes them better", which is our goal. It has often been observed that men are the products of everything they come into contact with during their lifetime.

Masonry offers a man an opportunity to come into regular, enjoyable contact with men of good character, thus reinforcing his own personal moral development. Of course, Masonry is also meant to be enjoyed by its membership, so the order should not be viewed simply as a philosophical club, but rather a vibrant fellowship of men who seek to enjoy each other's company, a fraternity. To maintain this fraternity, discussion of religion and politics within the Lodge is forbidden, as these subjects are those which have often divided men in the past. Masons cover the spectrum of both religious and political beliefs and encourages a man to be religious without advocating a particular religion, and to be active in his community without advocating a particular medium of political expression.

While there probably are some actual stone-workers who are Masons, Masonry does not teach its member the literal techniques of stonework. Rather, it takes the actual "operative" work of Medieval Masons and uses it as an allegory for moral development. Thus, the symbols of Masonry are the common tools that were used by medieval stonemasons: the gavel, the rule, the compass, the square, the level, etc. Each of these has a symbolic meaning in Masonry. For example, Masons are said to meet "on the level", meaning that all Masons are brothers, regardless of social status, personal wealth, or office within the Lodge or in the world at large. Similar symbolism exists for other tools.

The above explains Freemasonry as it is practiced under the Grand Lodge of India (GLI), which administers Lodges of Freemasons in India.