Sri Ramakrishna, the God-man of Nineteenth Century India, is regarded as the Prophet of
the Harmony of Religions. The Great Master's teachings, "As many faiths, so many
paths," echoes the ancient words of Vedanta, "Truth is one, sages call It by
different names" (Rig-Veda). Ramakrishna Order Centers all over the world are at the
forefront of interfaith understanding and cooperation. Vedanta Centers of the Order teach
the spiritual unity of humankind and harmony of religions and draw inspiration from the
universal truths of all traditions. Following are a number of the teachings of different
faiths which reflect the universal ideas of Vedanta.
SEE GOD IN ALL
Sri Ramakrishna -- I have now come to a stage of
realization in which I see that God is walking in every human form and manifesting Himself
alike through the sage and the sinner, the virtuous and the vicious. Therefore when I meet
different people I say to myself, "God in the form of the saint, God in the form of
the sinner, God in the form of the righteous, God in the form of the unrighteous."
Holy Mother -- If you want peace of mind, do not
find fault with others. Rather see your own faults. Learn to make the whole world your
own. No one is a stranger, my child; the whole world is your own.
Swami Vivekananda -- This is the gist of all worship
-- to be pure and to do good to others. He who sees Siva in the poor, in the weak, and in
the diseased, really worships Siva, and if he sees Siva only in the image, his worship is
but preliminary. He who has served and helped one poor man seeing Siva in him, without
thinking of his cast, creed, or race, or anything, with him Siva is more pleased than with
the man who sees Him only in temples.
Buddha -- Goodwill toward all beings is the true
religion; cherish in your hearts boundless goodwill to all that lives.
Guru Nanak -- God is one, but He has innumerable
forms. He is the Creator of all and He Himself takes the human form.
Jesus Christ -- But I say unto you, love your
enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which
despitefully use you, and persecute you. That you may be the children of your Father which
is in heaven; for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on
the just and on the unjust.
Judaism -- You shall not hate your brother
in your heart, but you shall reason with your neighbor, lest you bear in sin because of
him. You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people,
but you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Krishna -- He who sees the Supreme Lord
abiding alike in all beings, and not perishing when they perish - verily, he alone sees.
Mohammed -- All Gods creatures are His
family; and he is the most beloved of God who tries to do most good to Gods
Native American -- Every dawn as it comes is
a holy event, and every day is holy, for the light comes from your Father, Wakan-Tanka;
and also always remember that the two-leggeds and all other peoples who stand upon this
earth are sacred and should be treated as such.
Rama -- It is the shadow of the Paramatman
that you see reflected in all the living beings as the Jivatman. Dont you see the
great sky reflected in each and every lake or river?
Sankara -- Vishnu alone it is who dwells in
you, in me, in everything; Empty of meaning is your wrath, and the impatience you reveal.
Seeing yourself in everyone, have done with all diversity.
Vedas -- The wise man beholds all beings in
the Self, and the Self in all beings; for that reason he does not hate anyone.
Zoroaster -- Forget self and identify Ahura
Mazda in every being and in everything.
GOD IS WITHIN YOU
Sri Ramakrishna -- Do you know what I see? I see Him
as all. Men and other creatures appear to me only as hollow forms, moving their heads and
hands and feet, but within is the Lord Himself.
Holy Mother -- When one realizes God, He grants
knowledge and illumination from within; one knows it oneself. In the fullness of
ones spiritual realization one will find that He who resides in ones heart,
resides in the hearts of others as well - the oppressed, the persecuted, the untouchable,
and the outcast.
Swami Vivekananda -- It is impossible to find God
outside of ourselves. Our own souls contribute all of the divinity that is outside of us.
We are the greatest temple. The objectification is only a faint imitation of what we see
Buddha -- The subject on which I meditate is truth.
The practice to which I devote myself is the truth. The topic of my conversation is truth.
My thoughts are always in truth. For lo! my self has become the truth.
Guru Nanak -- As fragrance abides in the flower,
As the reflection is within the mirror,
So doth thy Lord abide within thee,
Why search Him without?
Jesus Christ -- Being asked by the Pharisees when
the kingdom of God was coming, he answered them, "The kingdom of God is not coming
with signs to be observed; nor will they say, Lo, here it is! or
There! for behold, the kingdom of God is within you."
Judaism -- Create in me a clean heart, O God, and
put a new and right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not the
holy Spirit from me.
Krishna -- I am the Self, O Gudekesa, seated in the
hearts of all creatures. I am the beginning, the middle, and the end of all beings.
Mohammed -- He who knows his own self, knows God.
Native American -- The first peace, which is most
important, is that which comes within the souls of men when they realize their
relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its Powers, and when they realize
that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka, and that this center is really
everywhere, it is within each of us. This is the real Peace, and the others are but
reflections of this. The second peace is that which is made between two individuals, and
the third is that which is made between two nations. But above all you should understand
that there can never be peace between nations until there is first known that true peace
which, as I have often said, is within the souls of men.
Rama -- Think that you are Parabrahman, you have no
attachment, you are all-knowing and you are pure. Always feel like this and establish your
oneness with the Paramatman and derive bliss within yourself without caring to know what
is outside of you.
Sankara -- Cherish your Gurus lotus feet and
free yourself without delay from the enslavement to this world. Curb your senses and your
mind and see the Lord within your heart.
Vedas -- There is one Supreme Ruler, the inmost Self
of all beings, who makes His one form manifold. Eternal happiness belongs to the wise, who
perceive Him within themselves - not to others.
Zoroaster -- One need not scale the heights of the
heavens nor travel along the highways of the world to find Ahura Mazda. With purity of
mind and holiness of heart one can find Him in ones own heart.
PERSEVERE IN YOUR SEARCH FOR GOD
Sri Ramakrishna -- There are pearls in the deep sea,
but one must hazard all to find them. If diving once does not bring you pearls, you need
not therefore conclude that the sea is without them. Dive again and again. You are sure to
be rewarded in the end. So is it with the finding of the Lord in this world. If your first
attempt proves fruitless, do not lose heart. Persevere in your efforts. You are sure to
realize Him at last.
Holy Mother -- Continue to pray without losing
heart. Everything will happen in time.
Swami Vivekananda -- To succeed, you must have
tremendous perseverance, tremendous will. "I will drink the ocean," says the
persevering soul, "at my will mountains will crumble up." Have that sort of
energy, that sort of will, work hard, and you will reach the goal.
Buddha -- Search with sincerity and persevere in
your search. In the end you will find the Truth.
Guru Nanak -- Dwell on Him day after day, That thou
mergest imperceptibly in His Name.
Jesus Christ -- And he told them a parable, to the
effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, "In a certain city
there was a judge who neither feared God nor regarded man; and there was a widow in that
city who kept coming to him and saying, Vindicate me against my adversary. For
a while he refused; but afterward he said to himself, Though I neither fear God nor
regard man, yet because the widow bothers me, I will vindicate her, or she will wear me
out by her continual coming."
Judaism -- Blessed is the man who walks not in the
counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is
like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf
does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
Krishna -- I am easy of access to that ever
steadfast yogi who, O Partha, constantly meditates on Me and gives no thought to anything
Mohammed -- Seek knowledge from the cradle to the
Native American -- It may be that we shall receive
no vision or message from the Great Spirit the first time that we lament [cry for a
vision], yet we may try many times, for we should remember that Wakan-Tanka is always
anxious to aid those who seek Him with a pure heart. But of course much depends on the
nature of the person who cries for a vision, and upon the degree to which he has purified
and prepared himself.
Rama -- Keeping company with My devotees, always
serving Me and My Bhaktas, fasting on Ekadasi, celebrating the festivals connected with
Me, hearing, reading and expounding My glories, worshipping Me with continuous devotion,
and singing of My excellences: If one follows these precepts daily, one gets pure
Sankara -- The Atman that is Absolute Existence and
Knowledge, can not be realized without constant practice. So one seeking Knowledge should
meditate upon Brahman for the attainment of the desired goal.
Vedas -- This Atman, resplendent and pure, whom the
sinless sannyasins behold residing within the body, is attained by unceasing practice of
truthfulness, austerity, right knowledge, and continence.
Zoroaster -- Exert ceaselessly for the Glory of
Ahura Mazda and for the good of the Universe.
TRUST COMPLETELY IN GOD
Sri Ramakrishna -- What are you to do when you are
placed in the world? Give up everything to Him, resign yourself to Him, and there will be
no more trouble for you. Then you will come to know that everything is done by His will.
Holy Mother -- If anyone surrenders himself totally
at his feet, the Master will see that everything is set right.
Swami Vivekananda -- Stand up for God; let the world
Buddha -- Surrender the grasping disposition of your
selfishness, and you will attain to that sinless calm state of mind which conveys perfect
peace, goodness, and wisdom.
Guru Nanak -- He who gives himself up to His supreme
will, wins the goal. No other action counts in achieving this end.
Jesus Christ -- Therefore do not be anxious, saying,
What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, What shall
we wear? For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that
you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things
shall be yours as well.
Judaism -- The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not
want; he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters; he restores
my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his names sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art
with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
Krishna -- Fixing your heart on Me, you will
overcome every difficulty by My grace; but if from self-conceit you do not listen to Me,
you shall perish utterly.
Mohammed -- If you rely upon God as He ought to be
relied upon, He will provide you as He provides the birds: they go out empty and hungry in
the morning and come back big-bellied at eventide.
Native American -- All things give thanks to You, O
Wakan-Tanka, who are merciful, and who help us all. We ask all this of You because we know
that You are the only One, and that You have power over all things!
Rama -- Do not be overjoyed if you get a fortune,
neither should you be dejected if you lose it. Your mind should be well balanced. I, Rama,
am the life of all souls. Your mind should be fixed on Me alone.
Sankara -- I know no Mantra, Yantra, or Stotra; I
know no invocation or contemplation; I know no stories in your praise; I know not Mudras,
not even how to cry out; I simply know that to run to you, Mother, destroys all distress.
Vedas -- Children pursue outer pleasures and fall
into the net of widespread death; but calm souls, having known what is unshakable
Immortality, do not covet any uncertain thing in this world.
Zoroaster -- Trust in God and do the Right.
LOVE OF GOD IS ESSENTIAL
Sri Ramakrishna -- Unalloyed love of God is the
essential thing. All else is unreal.
Holy Mother -- Ones love of God depends
entirely upon ones inner feelings. Love of God is the essential thing.
Swami Vivekananda -- Giving up all other thoughts,
with the whole mind day and night worship God. Thus being worshipped day and night, He
reveals himself and makes His worshippers feel His presence.
Buddha -- That which is most needed is a loving
Guru Nanak -- God is not pleased by obstinate
penance nor by many religious garbs. He who fashioned the vessel of the body and poured
into it, His ambrosial gifts, will only be satisfied with mans love and service.
Jesus Christ -- "Teacher, which is the great
commandment in the law?" And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord
your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the
great and first commandment."
Judaism -- Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the
Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your
soul, and with all your might.
Krishna -- But the great-souled men, O Partha, who
are endowed with the divine nature, worship Me with undisturbed minds, knowing that I am
immutable and the origin of all beings. Ever glorifying Me, always striving with
self-control, remaining firm in their vows, bowing before Me, they worship Me with love
and unwavering steadiness.
Mohammed -- Whoever loves to meet God, God loves to
Native American -- Wakan-Tanka, help us to walk the
sacred path of life without difficulty, with our minds and hearts continually fixed on
Rama -- Devotion is the only thing that is essential
to worship Me. It is impossible for a person to see Me by the merit of sacrifice,
austerity, charity, or by the study of Vedas or by performing the scriptural rites, if he
is devoid of devotion to Me.
Sankara -- Among things conducive to liberation,
devotion alone holds the supreme place. The seeking after ones real nature is
designated as devotion.
Vedas -- Under a golden brilliance the face of Truth
lies hidden. Do Thou, O Protector, withdraw this cover, that I, devoted to Truth alone,
may realize it.
Zoroaster -- As the Fire on the censer consumes
sandalwood so let the Fire burning within you consume your heart with love for Ahura
The Sacred Word OM