Excerpts from scriptures of major world religions. Every major tradition has made a unique contribution to wards human evolution. It is not wise to see one tradition as better than another. The wisdom in all the religions of the world belongs to everyone. They all advocate the basic human values of truth, peace and service.
When attention is given to spiritual aspect of one's life. It brings resposiblity a senses of belongingness and compassion. It breaks down the boundries of caste, creed, religion and nationality. This is the only way that wars can be eliminated and human rights restored in the world today.
The Art of Living Foundation is an international non –profit educational and humanitarian organization, active in over 140 countries. The Foundation is dedicated to creating peace from the level of the individual and fostering human values within the global community. Our programs eliminate stress, create a sense of belonging, restore human values, and encourage people from all backgrounds religions and cultural traditions to come together in celebration and service.
All great religions in the world have, and still revere, their sacred whether they be the Vedas of Hinduism, the Dharmmapada of Buddhism, the Bible of Christianity, the Torah of Judaism, the Qur'an of Islam or the Adi Granch of Sikhism. They have a great historical significance –not only have they influenced the lives of billions of people in the past; they continue to do so in today's society. These words of truth form the core beliefs of religion and thus have shaped civilization as we see it today.
While these sacred texts have served to mould the identity of communications, they have also become points of seperatesness among religions. As long as our world remained divided into discrete sphere of culture with little exchange among socities, each scripture could be affirmed as unique and exclusive without causing conflict. Time was when Christian in America, a Buddhist in Thailand, a Hindu in India or Moslem in Arabia hardly ever met someone of each other's culture. Each would consider the other as a heathen who needed to be brought into the Knowledge so that his condition could be improved. This mindset, fueled by political considerations, only served to widen the gap between communities.
Although all great religious profess human values like peace, harmony love, compassion etc. it is unfortunate to see the strong correlation that exists between religion and conflict. In too many instances, misinterperation of religion and its belifs, has led to division and conflict.
Today the explosion of media and globalization of the economy has made geographical boundries less relivant. The need of the hour is to transform the mindset of exvlusively and the lone claimer of salavation into one of understanding and acceptance.
As His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishankar Says, "Religion is like the banana peel, Spirtiually is like the banana. We are holding onto the peel and have thrown the banana". Spiritually – the basis of all religion – is what can provide the solution to the problem facing mankind. What is needed in the world today is a better appreciation of this unifying outlook which comes out of a through understanding of our own self coupled with a healthy respect for all humanity.
The first step towards promoting peace is to appreciates the spiritual depth in each religion. Each religion has a unique, and sometimes complementary, way of dealing with life's situations. The variety of outlook and difference in perspective should serve as means of emphasizing the diversity in nature. Each time and space has had its share of the spiritual knowledge which every prophet or founder of a religion has professed. However each religion does stand testimony to the existence of the One Absolute Reality.
It is the ignorance of each other's scriptures which is the cause of lack of respect. This book is an attempt to provide basic understanding about various religious scrioptures are enormous and it has been a huge, but necessary, task to choose some from them, otherwise this book would have run into several volumes.
Many dedicated individuals have contributed to bring out this timeless wisdom.
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