Every Religion a Unique Flower
in the Totality of Expression
That Makes Up:



Religion: Re (Latin, back); Lig (Latin, bind) - To Bind Back to God.

"Every Religion is a Path to God"     Ramakrishna

The Cosmic Spirit is one only, though it may be called by many names and worshipped in varied forms.

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Diverse Expressions of One Great Truth

St Marks Cathedral, Venice
When rain pours down from the sky, its pure water falls on the earth, mountains, rivers, and the sea. but the pure rain water acquires the colour and taste of the region or spot where it falls. Likewise, prophets and messiahs, coming down in different parts of the world at different times, imparted their message in terms appropriate to the time, the place and the conditions of the people concerned. Religions cannot be considered different from each other for this reason. All religions have taught only what is good for humanity. Religion should be practised with this awareness. If the minds are pure, how can religion be bad?

Great Malvern Priory - Worcestershire,  England
Truth is one. It is beyond mind and speech. It transcends the categories of time and space. Innumerable seekers have pursued different paths to recognise this Truth. There are notable differences among the seekers of Truth. These differences do not affect the nature of the universe. On the contrary, these differences must be viewed as different stages in the understanding of the Cosmic process. It is the existence of these differences that has prompted the continuous search for a unifying principle.
All faiths are inter-related and mutually indebted to each other for the principles they teach and the disciplines they recommend. The Vedic Religion was the first in time; Buddhism which appeared about 2800 years ago, was its son; Christianity, which was influenced much by the Orient was its grand-son. And Islam, which has the Prophets of Christianity as its base was like the great-grandson. All have Love as the Fundamental Discipline of the Mind, in order to chasten it and merge man with the Divine.
Vishnavata temple of Shiva. Khajuraho, India
The followers of every religion, in their own way and style, call upon the one God who is omnipresent. It is the same God who confers upon all mankind health, prosperity, peace, and happiness. No religion has a separate God showering grace upon those who profess to abide by that faith alone. God is one, whatever the name or form in which he is worshipped. God blesses a devotee according to the depth of his devotion, without regard to the name or form used for worship. It is not mentioned anywhere that the Grace of God is available only for certain classes or races or grades of people. From the smallest to the biggest all are entitled to it. The Lord is everywhere, everything.
The Great Teachers belong to mankind. It is wrong to believe that Jesus belongs only to the Christians and that Christmas is a Holy Festival for the West only. To accept One of them as one's own and discard the rest as belonging to others, is a sign of pettiness. Christ, Rama, Krishna, - they are for all men everywhere.

Blue Mosque. Istanbul, Turkey
Let the different faiths exist. Let them flourish and let the glory of God be sung in all the languages of the world and in a variety of tunes. Respect the differences between the faiths and recognise them as valid as long as they do not extinguish the flame of unity.

M42 Orion Nebula
Paths are Many,
But the Goal is One
Trk 3, Floating Thru Heaven (Requires Real Audio)

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Nature of the Divine

Mormon Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah
God cannot be identified with one Name and one Form. He is all Names and all Forms. All Names are His; all Forms are His. Your Names too are His, you are His Forms. You appear as separate individual bodies because the eye that sees them seeks only bodies, the outer encasements. When you clarify your Vision and look at them through the Atmic eye, the eye that penetrates behind the physical (with all its attributes and appurtenances), then you will see others as Waves on the Ocean of the Absolute, as the "thousand heads, the thousand eyes, thousand feet of the Supreme Soverign person or 'Purusha' sung in the Rgveda. Strive to win that Vision and to saturate yourself with that Bliss.

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El Kasneh. Petra, Jordan
God is the giver of the fruits of your actions. He is like a postman who delivers letters in different homes. In one house the letter brings grief. In another the letter causes joy. Is the postman responsible for joy in one home or the grief in another? It is the message contained in the letters that is responsible for the different reactions. In the same manner, the Lord is an impartial witness. He merely hands over the fruits of each one's actions according to their deserts. In case the consequence is unpleasant, God may interfere to get the pain reduced by proper propitiation. That authority he Has.

Canterbury Cathedral
"I am immanent in every being. People forget Me as if I were without them. They are not aware that I am the inner core of every being. They are then tempted to believe that the phenomenal world is true. Pursuing worldly pleasures, they fall into grief and pain. If they would concentrate all attention on Me, recognising that the Lord has willed everything and everyone, I would then bless them by revealing to them that they are I, and I am they."

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The Process of Unfoldment

St. Sophia. Istanbul, Turkey
Love is God. Live in Love. You may choose any form of worship or pursue any spiritual path you like. Whatever delights your heart will please God. Follow the dictates of your conscience, fill your hearts with love and immerse yourselves in the bliss of the Divine. The Lord is the Sun and when His rays fall upon your heart, unimpeded by egoism, the lotus bud of the heart blooms and the petals unfold. Remember, only the buds that are ready will bloom;. the rest have to wait patiently.

Chandi Lava Temple. Java
After long searches here and there in temples and in churches, at last you come back completing the circle from where you started, and find that he for whom you have been seeking all over the world, for whom you have been weeping and praying in churches and temples, on whom you were looking as the mystery of all mysteries, is the nearest of the near.... your very self....the reality of your life, body and soul.      Assert it!     Manifest it!
Many people keep saying, "I want peace. I want peace. I want peace." How may words are in the sentence, "I want peace"? There are three words. "I", "want", and "peace." "I" is the ego. "Want" is desire. If you remove ego and desire, then you will be left with peace.
Reims Cathedral. France
Man is both an animal and divine being. He has risen from the animal level and is on his way to reveal his divinity. He should be vigilant that he does not slide into animal again. Man alone can rise into God-hood, for he is equipped with the endowment needed for the achievement. I refuse to call anyone an atheist or an unbeliever, for all are the Creations of the Lord and repositories of the Grace. In everyone's heart there is a spring of Love, a rock of Truth. That Love is God, that Truth is God. Divinity is there in the depths of everyone's Inner Being.
Move forward towards the light and the shadow falls behind,
move away from the light and you have to follow your own shadow.
Church of Ocotlan. Mexico
You are not one person but three - the one you think you are, the one others think you are, and the one you really are. You think of yourself as your body and its sense cravings, others think of you as a personality. You are truly Infinite Spirit Divine. You should constantly remind yourself, "I am God" "I am God" "I am God". The day you see yourself as God, you become God. Recognise the fact that the whole universe is within you. You have all the powers in you. They are derived from the Divine Spirit within you. It is the Divinity which endows you with a Free Will. Forgetting the supreme power of the Spirit, people place their reliance on the powers of the body, the mind, and the intellect.

Karlskirsche Cathedral. Vienna
You as body, mind or soul are a dream. But what you really are is pure existence, knowledge, bliss. You are the God of this universe. You are creating this whole universe and drawing it in. To gain the Infinite, the miserable little prison individuality must go.... Follow the heart. A pure heart seeks beyond the intellect. It gets inspired.... Within you is the real happiness. Within you is the mighty ocean of nectar divine. Seek it within you. Feel it. Feel it. It is here, the self. It is not the body, the mind, the intellect. All these are simply manifestations. Above all these you ARE. You appear as the smiling flower, as the twinkling stars. What is there in the world which can make you desire anything?

Relationship to God - Story of a Rich Man

There was once a rich man who had four wives. Each expressed what they wished him to get during a trip abroad. The first wife, who was spiritually enlightened prayed for his safe return. The second wife wanted him to bring some sacred books. The third wife, who was ailing, wanted him to get some medicines. The fourth wife, who was a 'modern' asked him to get her sarees and jewelry. The merchant on his return, gave the three wives what they wanted and stayed with the first wife because she had no other desire except to have him back. God responds to the prayers of his devotees in the same manner. To those who aspire for wealth, He gives wealth. Those who seek knowledge, he will help them acquire it. Those who are ailing and pray to God will get the relief they pray for. Those who pray for oneness with Him, will realise Him. This is the way God responds to the four kinds of devotees.

The devotees should consider God alone as important and not other mundane desires. If you have God with you, all other things are got easily. So God is your real wealth, your real health.

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Nature of Religions

Sagrada Basilica. Spain
All religions exhort man to cleanse the heart of malice, greed, hate and anger. All religions hold out the gift of Grace as the prize for success in this cleansing process. Ideas of superiority and inferiority arise only in a heart corrupted by egoism. If someone argues that he is higher or that his religion is holier, it is proof that he has missed the very core of his faith. Sadhana (spiritual discipline) will reveal the unity in the fundamental teachings of all religions.
How did differences arise within each religion? After the passing of the founders of these religions, the followers violated the teachings of the founders and quarelled among themselves on account of their selfish interests. With the passage of time, schisms developed in each religion and separate sects were formed. This is the result of individual, selfish motives and not the fault of the original founders.

Jesuit Church. Quito, Ecuador
Today religion is regarded as the cause of all conflict, violence, and bitterness in the world. But, religion is not the cause. Selfish minds are responsible for all the conflict. Are there not conflicts in countries with only one religion? People in Iran and Iraq profess the same Islamic faith. What is the reason for the conflict between them? What is the reason for conflicts between countries which profess Christianity? In Bharat (India), all are Bharatiyas. But why is there discord amongst them? When we examine this question deeply, we find that religions are not the real reason for these conflicts. Only selfish minds are the cause. Wearing the garb of religion, selfish persons are inciting conflict among the people.

Church of San Giorgio.  Sicily
It is a mark of ignorance to consider one religion as superior and another as inferior and develop religious difference on this basis. The teachings of all religions are sacred. The basic doctrines are founded on Truth. The truth of the Spirit is the essence of religions, the message of the scriptures and the basis of all metaphysics. The primary duty of human beings is to recognise that paths (religions) may vary, but the goal is one. Today there are numerous sects within Christianity all of which are engaged in propagating their respective doctrines. While this preaching goes on, there is very little of practice in daily life. Practice is most important. People may be entitled to propagate their creed. But that does not achieve anything lasting. Only practical example matters. When you practice what you preach, others will be inspired by your example. No one will care for the teachings of a person who does not practice what he preaches.

It's good to be born in a church but it is not good to die in it. Grow and rescue yourselves from the limits and regulations, the doctrines that fence in your freedom of thought, the ceremonials and rites that restrict and direct. Reach the point where churches do not matter, where all roads end, from where all roads run.

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Application of Religion

Ely Cathedral. England
Every human being should deem self-realisation as the main purpose of life and dedicate all his activities to the service of his fellow-beings, with constant remembrance of God as the indweller of all. This is the way to redeem one's life.
God dwells in everyone's heart as God incarnate. The goal of life is to recognise this truth and share your love with those around you.
A truly great man is the one who has mastery over his senses and mind. A man with a good heart is more likely to be helpful to mankind than a hundred intelligent scholars.

Hands that Help are Holier than Lips that Pray.

Whatever talent a person has should be dedicated to the rest of humanity indeed to all living beings. Therein lies fulfillment. All men are kin. They are of the same likeness, the same build, molded out of the same material, with the same divine essence in each. Service to man will help your divinity to blossom, for it will gladden your heart and make you feel that life has been worth while. Service to man is service to God, for He is in every man, and every living being, in every stone and stump. Offer your talents at the feet of God. Let every act be a flower, free from the creeping worms of envy and egoism and full of the fragrance of love and sacrifice.

There are two duties to be performed by man. One is to work for the good of the world. The other is to work for the liberation of consciousness. The former will drop away once you become spiritually ripe.

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The foregoing statements on Religion were compiled from the public discourses of Sathya Sai Baba

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Potala. Lhasa, Tibet. Photo-Galen Rowell Potala-Dalai Lama's former residence
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