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The Essence of All Religions


Veda Vyas, Jesus Christ and Mohammed were all equally divinely empowered and inspired. Yet with divine discre­tion they revealed only as much as their audience could digest. So although the  major religious scriptures may appear to be teach­ing different principles, their essence is the same. For example,


1. All scriptures recommend the chanting of the holy names of God.

The Bible states: O Lord, Thou art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.

Islam teaches the regular chanting of the 99 names of Allah.

The Mahabharata recommends the chanting of the thousand names of Lord Vishnu (called the Vishnu-sahasra-nama).


2   All religions teach that love of God is the ultimate perfec­tion.

,The Bible states: Love Thy God with all Thy soul and all Thy might.

The very word 'Islam' means  complete surrender (Koran)

The Bhagavad-gita (18.66) states: sarva dharman parityajya mam ekam sharanam vraja "Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender to Me." (This kind of complete surrender is never  possible without love)


An analysis of the various religious scriptures reveals the fol­lowing common essential principles:

1.   There is only one God and He is the supreme object of our love.

2.Obedience to God is the ultimate religious principle.

3.Service to God is the nature of all living entities.

4.The kingdom of God is the ultimate shelter for everyone.

5.To approach God, sinful activities must be given up.

6.Chanting the Holy Names of God is the easiest way of reviv­ing God consciousness.

7.One should renounce flickering material pleasure to experi­ence everlasting spiritual happiness.

8.One needs the guidance and the mercy of a bona fide spiritual master to achieve God.


Let us now try to understand the seeming differences in the various religious scriptures. For example, consider what differ­ent religions say about meat eating. In every religion there are  restrictions against meat eating. In Islam, all animals may be eaten after ritual sacrifice except the pig and the dog. The Roman Catho­lics used to take meat every day except Friday. Today  because people are unwilling to follow even this minimal restriction, it no longer exists. In Shrimad Bhagavatam, on the other hand, it is clearly stated that meat eating is a pillar of sinful life and  that true spiritual life cannot begin until we show mercy towards all the children of God. How does one explain these differences? It is very simple. Although all empowered messengers of God  have the same mes­sage they restrict their teachings to what their audience can di­gest. For the little that Mohammed taught, he had to flee from Mecca due to threat to his life. For the three  years that Jesus preached, he was crucified. Little wonder therefore that in the Bible, He says: "There is much that I have to tell you but you cannot bear it now . " But Lord Sri Krishna tells Arjuna  in the Bhagavad-gita that He is giving him perfect knowledge:


jnanam te 'ham sa-vijnanam idam vakshyamy asheshatah

yaj jnatva neha bhuyo 'nyaj jnatavyam avashishyate


•'I shall now declare unto you in full this knowledge both phe­nomenal and numinous. This being known, nothing further shall remain for you to know." {Bhagavad-gita 7.2)