The Truth in Many Paths
As men approach me, so I receive them. All paths, Arjuna, lead to me.
Hinduism.Bhagavad Gita 4.11
Confucius said...”In the world there are many different roads but the destination is the same. There are a hundred deliberations but the result is one.”
Confucianism. I Ching, Appended Remarks 2.5
They have called him Indra, Mitra, Varuna, Agni,
And the divine fine-winged Garuda;
They speak of Indra, Yama, Matrarisvan:
The One Being sages call by many names.
Hinduism. Rig Veda 1.164.46
The Hindus and the Muslims have but one and the same God,What can mullah or a Sheikh do?
Sikhism. Adi Granth, Bhairo, p. 1158
Sometimes I (the Buddha) spoke of myself, sometimes of others; sometimes I presented myself, sometimes others; sometimes I showed my own actions, sometimes those of others. All my doctrines are true and none are false.
Buddhism. Lotus Sutra 16
Say, we believe in God, and in what has been revealed to us, and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and in what was given to Moses, Jesus, and the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to God do we submit.
Islam. Qur‛an 3.84
There can be no doubt that whatever the peoples of the world, of whatever race or religion, they derive their inspiration from one heavenly Source, and are the subjects of one God. The difference between the ordinances under which they abide should be attributed to the varying requirements and exigencies of the age in which they were revealed. All of them, except for a few which are the outcome of human perversity, were ordained of God, and are a reflection of His Will and Purpose.
Bahá'í Faith. Gleanings from the Writings of Baha¹u¹llah 111
Rabbi Joshua said, “There are righteous men among the nations who have a share in the world to come.”
Judaism. Tosefta Sanhedrin 13.2
And there never was a people, without a warner having lived among them.
Islam. Qur’an 35.24
There is not a single place in all the corners of the world where God is absent.
Omoto Kyo. Michi-no-Shiori
For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.
Judaism and Christianity. Malachi 1.11
Some call on the Lord, “Rama,” some cry, ”Khuda,” Some bow to Him as Gosain, some Allah; He is called the Ground of Grounds and also the Bountiful, The Compassionate One and Gracious. Hindus bathe in holy waters for His sake; Muslims make the pilgrimage to Mecca .
The Hindus perform puja; others bow their heads in namaz.
There are those who read the Vedas and others -Christians, Jews, Muslims - who read the Semitic scriptures. Some wear blue, some white robes, Some call themselves Muslims, others Hindus. Some Aspire to bahishat (Muslim heaven), some to swarga (Hindu heaven).
Says Nanak, Whoever realizes the will of the Lord, He will find out the Lord’s secrets.
Sikhism. Adi Granth, Ramkali, M.5, p 885
Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai said, “Just as the sin-offering atones for Israel , so righteousness atones for the people of the world.”
Judahism. Talmud, Baba Batra 10b
And Peter opened his mouth and said, “Truly I perceive that God shows no partiality, but in every nation any one who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.”
Christianity. Acts 10.34-35
Let some worship the Truthful One (a Taoist deity), and revere the Northern Constellation, while others bow before the Buddha and recite sutras. P’an Ch’ung-mou says, “What is to be avoided most in our life is vacillation and frivolity; what is most excellent is a reverential heart. Therefore, we Confucians endeavor ton preserve sincerity of heart and consider reverence as most essential. It is needless to say that sincerity and reverence makes us companions of heaven and earth, gods and spirits. There is, however, another class of people who adopt Buddhism as their guidance. They bow before Buddha and recite his sutras, always bent on preserving reverence and awe. They will never relax the vigilant guard over the heart, which will by degrees become pure and bright, free from evil thoughts and ready to do good. This enlightenment is called their most happy land. What is necessary, then, for Buddhists as well as Confucians is to avoid vacillation and frivolity, which will render you unreliable. Kee0p the heart always restrained by reverence and awe. Otherwise what can be the use of the recitation of sutras or the discourses of Confucius?”
Taoism. Tract of the Quiet Way
Tolerance and Respect for All Believers: There is no compulsion in religion.
Islam. Qur’an 2.256
Will you then compel mankind, against their will, to believe? No soul can believe, except by the Will of God.
Islam. Qur’an 10.99-100
Those who praise their own doctrines and disparage the doctrines of others do not solve any problem.
Jainism. Suktrakritanga 1.1.50
The Buddha says, “To be attracted to a certain view and to look down upon other views as inferior - this the wise men call a fetter.”
Buddhism. Sutta Nipata 798
Truth has many aspects. Infinite truth has infinite expressions. Though the sages speak in diverse ways, they express one and the same Truth.
Ignorant is he who says, “What I say and know is true; others are wrong.” It is because of this attitude of the ignorant that there have been doubts and misunderstandings about God. This attitude it is that causes dispute among men. But all doubts vanish when one gains self-control and attains tranquility by realizing the heart of Truth. Thereupon dispute, too, is at an end.
Hinduism. Srimad Bhagavatam 11.15
Kapathika: “How should a wise man maintain truth?”
The Buddha: “A man has a faith. If he says ‘this is my faith,’ so far he maintains truth. But by that he cannot proceed to the absolute conclusion: ‘This alone is Truth, and everything else is false.’”
Buddhism. Majjhima Nikaya ii.176, Canki Sutta
Like the bee, gathering honey from different flowers, the wise man accepts the essence of different scriptures and sees only the good in all religions.
Hinduism. Srimad Bhagavatam 11.3
A number of disciples went to the Buddha and said, “Sir, there are living here in Savatthi many wandering hermits and scholars who indulge in constant dispute, some saying that the world is infinite and eternal and others that soul dies with the body and others that it lives on forever, and so forth. What, sir, would you say concerning them?”
The Buddha answered, “Once upon a time there was a certain raja who called to his servant and said, ‘Come, good fellow, go and gather together in on place all of the men of Savatthi who were born blind...and show them an elephant.’ ‘Very good sire,’ replied the servant, and he did as he was told. He said to the blind men assembled there, ‘Here is an elephant,’ and to one man he presented the head of the elephant, to another its ears, to another a tush, to another the trunk, the foot, back, tail, and tuft of the tail, saying to each one that that was the elephant.
“When the blind men had felt the elephant, the raja went to each of them and said to each, ‘Well, blind man, have you seen the elephant? Tell me, what sort of thing is an elephant?’
“Thereupon the men who were presented with the head answered, ‘Sir, an elephant is like a pot.’ And the men who has observed the ear replied, ‘An elephant is like a winnowing basket.’ Those who had been presented with the tusk said it was a ploughshare. Those who knew only the trunk said it was a plough; others said the body was a grainery; the foot, a pillar; the back, a mortar; the tail, a pestle, the tuft of the tail, a brush.
“Then they began to quarrel, shouting, ‘Yes it is!’ ‘No, it is not!’ ‘An elephant is not that!’ ‘Yes, its like that!’ and so on, till they came to blows over this matter.
“Brethren, the raja was delighted with the scene.
“Just so are these preachers and scholars holding various views blind and unseeing....In their ignorance they are by nature quarrelsome, wrangling, and disputatious, each maintaining reality is thus and thus.”
Then the Exalted One rendered this meaning by uttering this verse of uplift,
O how they cling and wrangle, some who claim
For each preacher and monk the honored name!
For, quarreling, each to his view they cling.
Such folk see only one side of a thing.
Jainism and Buddhism. Udana 68-69; Parable of the Blind Men and the Elephant
Do not break a promise, not that which you contracted with a non-Zoroastrian nor that with a co-religionist. Both are valid.
Zoroastrianism. Avesta, Mihir Yasht 10.2
Traces of God’s Exisitence:
Who knows this truly, and who will now declare it, what paths lead together to the gods? Only their lowest aspects of existence are seen, who exist on supreme, mystical planes.
Hinduism. Rig Veda 3.54.5
Eye cannot see him, nor words reveal him;
by the senses, austerity, or works he is not known.
When the mind is cleansed by the grace of wisdom,
he is seen by contemplation - the One without parts.
Hinduism. Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.8
The door of the truth is covered by a golden disc. Open it, O’Nourisher!
Remove it so that I who have been worshiping the Truth may behold it.
O Nourisher, lone Traveller of the sky! Controller!
O Sun, offspring of Prajapati! Gather your rays;
withdraw your light. I would see, through your grace,
that form of yours which is the fairest.
He, that person who dwells there - is I myself.
Hinduism. Isha Upanishad 15-16
The thing that is called Tao is eluding and vague.
Vague and eluding, there is in it the form.
Eluding and vague, in it are things.
Deep and obscure, in it is the essence.
The essence is very real; in it are evidences.
From the time of old until now, its manifestations ever remain,
By which we may see the beginnings of all things.
How do I know that the beginnings of all things are so?
Taoism. Tao Te Ching 21
Confucius said, “The power of spiritual forces in the universe - how active it is everywhere! Invisible to the eyes and impalpable to the senses, it is inherent in all things, and nothing can escape its operation.”
It is the fact that there are these forces which make men in all countries fast and purify themselves, and which solemnity of dress institute services of sacrifice and religious worship. Like the rush of mighty waters, the presence of unseen Powers is felt; sometimes above us, sometimes around us. In the Book of Songs it is said, The presence of the Spirit: It cannot be surmised, How may it be ignored!
Such is the evidence of things invisible like that it is impossible to doubt the spiritual nature of man.”
Confucianism. Doctrine of the Mean 16
There is, monks, an unborn, a not-become, a not-made, a not-compounded. If, monks, there were not this unborn, not-become, not-made, not-compounded, there would not here be an escape from the born, the become, the made, the compounded. But because there is an unborn, a not-become, a not-made, a not-compounded, therefore there is an escape from the born, the become, the made, the compounded.
Buddhism. Udana 80
The Book of Songs says:
The hawk soars to the heavens above;
Fishes dive to the depths below.
That is to say, there is no place in the highest
heavens above nor in the deepest waters below
where the moral law is not to be found.
Confucianism. Doctrine of the Mean 12
Known by the name of Protectress is the Goddess girt by Eternal Law;
by her beauty are these trees green and have put on their green garlands.
Hinduism. Atharva Veda 10.8.31
The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech,
and night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
neither is their voice heard;
yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
Judaism and Christianity. Psalm 19.1-4
And of His signs is that He created you from the dust; now behold you are human beings, ranging widely.
And of His signs is that He created you, of yourselves, spouses that you might find repose in them, and he has planted love and kindness in your hearts. Surely there are signs in this for people who reflect.
And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the variety of your tongues and hues, surely there are signs in this for people who have knowledge.
And of His signs is your slumber by night and day, and your seeking of His bounty. Surely there are sings in this for people who hear.
The lightning which he shows you for fear and hope is yet another of His signs; he sends down water from the sky, thereby reviving the earth after it is dead. Surely in this there are signs for people who understand.
And of His signs is that space and the earth stand firm by His command; then when He calls you, suddenly, from the earth you shall emerge.
Islam. Qur¹an 30.20-25
I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God.
Judaism and Christianity. Isaiah 45.5
Say, He is God, the One!
God, the eternally Besought of all!
He neither begets nor was begotten.
And there is non comparable unto Him.
Islam. Qur’an 112
He is the one God, hidden in all pervading, the Self within all beings, watching over all works, dwelling in all beings, the witness, the perceiver, the only one, free from qualities.
Hinduism. Svetasvatara Upanishad 6.11
He is the Sole Supreme Being, of eternal manifestation;
Creator, Immanent Reality; Without Fear, Without Rancor;
Timeless Form; Unincarnated; Self-existent;
Realized by the grace of the Holy Preceptor.
Sikhism. Adi Granth, Japuji, p 1: The Mul Mantra
The sage clasps the Primal Unity,
Testing by it everything under heaven.
Taoism. Tao Te Ching 22
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. To teach is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
Christianity. 1 Corinthians 12.4-7