Encountering the Divine in the World’s Religions

The following quotes offer a thimbleful from the oceans of words that people have reached for to express the inexpressible, incomprehensible Source of All.


1
Truth is one;
the sages call it by many names.
(Hinduism, The Rig Veda)

2
There are
many paths
to the top of
the mountain,
but the view
is always the same.
(Chinese Proverb)

3
You may follow one stream.
Know that it leads to the Ocean,
but do not mistake the stream for the Ocean.
(Jan-Fishan)

4
God is one, but his names are many.
Religion is one, but its ways are many.
Spirituality is one, but religions are many.
Humanity is one, but human beings are many.
(poem, author unknown)

5
O Mother of all things,
who dost pervade the universe:
You appear with form,
to him who loves You as a Person;
You are the Absolute,
to him who worships formless Truth.
Each one, according to his measure,
makes his image of the Truth,
calling to it the highest Brahman.
Beyond this shines the Indescribable.
O Mother of all things,
who dost pervade the universe,
Every one of these is You!
(Hindu Devotional Song)

6
He to whom you pray
is nearer to you
than the neck of your camel.
(Muhammad, Islam)

7
There is a spirit in the soul,
untouched by time and flesh,
flowing from the Spirit,
remaining in the Spirit…
In this principle is God,
ever verdant, ever flowering
in all the joy and glory
of His actual Self.
(Meister Eckhart, Christianity)

8
The souls of all that live
are the splendor of the Divine.
(Judaism)

9
Meditating on the lotus of your heart,
in the center is the untainted;
the exquisitely pure, clear, and sorrowless;
the inconceivable;
the unmanifest, of infinite form;
blissful, tranquil, immortal;
the womb of Brahma.
(Kaivalyopanishad, Hinduism)

10
The kingdom of God is within you.
(Christianity)

11
The deity is immanent in man
and man is inherent in the deity.
(Shinto Tradition)

12
Cherish that of God within you.
(Christianity, Quaker, author unknown)

13
Seated in my higher mind,
I live in communion with God
and within me rings ever
the unstruck Music (of Bliss).
(Sikhism, The Holy Guru Granth Sahib)

14
There is not a single place
in all the corners of the world
where God is absent.
(Omoto Kyo)

15
It is said that when you take
only one step toward Him,
He advances ten steps toward you.
But the complete truth is that
God is always with you.
(Muhammad, Islam)

16
In the beginning was God,
Today is God
Tomorrow will be God.
 (African Traditional Religions)

17
When one comes to the Essence of Being,
the shining Wisdom of Reality
illumines all like the cloudless sky.
(Milarepa, Tibetan Buddhism)

18
The destination of all is to God.
(Islam)

19
God hugs you.
You are encircled by the arms
of the mystery of God.
(Hildegarde of Bingen, Christianity)

20
My mind is hushed in a wide and endless light.
(Sri Aurobindo, Hinduism)


NOTES

1.   From the ancient Hindu scripture, The Rig Veda, Book No. 1, Hymn No. 164, verse 46.

2.   http://chinese-sayings.com/?s=view+is+always+the+same

3.  Poem read at the Sarva-Dharma-Sammelana at Bengalore — “Visions of an Interfaith Future”

4.   Quoted in Essential Sufism, ed. James Fadiman, Robert Frager (1999).

5.   Devotional song from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, by M., tr. Swami Nikhilanda.

6.   From the Hadith (Sayings of Muhammad), www.aworldholistic.com/peace_of_hadith.html.

7.  Quoted in Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy (Harper & Row, 1945).

8.   From a reading at a Yom Kippur morning service.

9.   From Kerry Brown, ed., The Essential Teachings of Hinduism: Daily Readings from the Sacred Texts (London, Arrow Books Ltd., 1990; originally published by Rider, 1988).

10.  From Christianity’s Bible, Luke 17:21 (NIV).

11.   Quoted in World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts, ed. Dr. Andrew Wilson, International Religious Foundation, 1991.

12.   From Questions and Counsel, 1988, the Society of Friends (Quaker).

13.   Sri Rag Var, Shloka M. 3, the Holy Guru Granth Sahib (the sacred scripture of Sikhism).

14.   Omoto Kyo, Michi-no-Shiori, quoted in World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts (see citation above).

15.   Quoted in Essential Sufism, ed. James Fadiman and Robert Frager (1999).

16.  Pygmy Hymn, Zaire, quoted in World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts (see citation above).

17.  The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, tr. Garma C.C. Chang (abridged edition, New York: Harper, 1962).

18.  The Qur’an, Surah 35:18.

19.  Quoted at http://koti.mbnet.fi/amoira/women/bingen1.htm.

20.  Quoted in 1,001 Pearls of Buddhist Wisdom, ed. Desmond Biddulph (San Francisco, Chronicle Books, 2007).


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