Chakra Discussions

Do Vedas teach "All religions are same"?

by Gaurav Mittal

Posted January 28, 2005

"All religions are same" should not be literally taken. Obviously, all religions have differences. What this teaches is that it is useless to attribute superiority or inferiority to the paths which bring us closer to God. It teaches us tolerance and also respect towards other paths even though they may be contradicting our beliefs.

God loves everyone and Krishna Himself says that He is not partial to anyone. Out of His love, He resides in everyones heart. Whether a person is good or bad, whether he is clean or filthy, Paramatma is with everyone without discrimination. He is everyone's eternal friend and well wisher.

Vedas give analogy of two birds on a tree. One is eating the fruits of the tree and another one is observing the bird who is eating the fruits. The observer is Paramatma who observes the soul enjoying the results of their karma. Paramatma is waiting for the soul to look at Him. As soon as soul turns towards Paramatma, He reciprocates. This clearly shows that everyone has access to Paramatma. He hears and reciprocates whenever we turn towards Him. Anyone can turn towards Him. We don't need big philosophy, big guru or big sect to turn towards Him.

The purpose of many religion including Hinduism, Islam, Sikh or Christianity is same that to focus towards Paramatma. The prayer is important part of these religious traditions. In prayers, we turn towards paramatma. Whenever we call upon Him sincerely or call upon His name sincerely, He hears. He doesn't look for one's religious affiliation. Whenever Paramatma hears, He brings us closer to Him. Therefore, almost every religious tradition if coupled with prayer, compassion, love and tolerance towards others brings us closer to Paramatma or God. That is unity among them. They are same in that respect.

Now, another question comes which religion bring us more closer. Each religious tradition, which gives points to its followers on conversions, claims the superiority of their tradition over others. Their followers make grave mistake when they try to compare various religious traditions to prove their tradition superior.

When we call upon God, our love, sincerity, surrender etc matters. Our surrender and love decides how Paramatma reciprocates. Surrender and love is very personal and sometimes, also decided by our previous karma. Actually, religious affiliation does not decide our love and surrender. Actually, a tribe in Africa who belongs to XYZ religion can also call upon God with surrender and come closer to Paramatma than any other religious tradition. Therefore, no religion can claim superiority in bring their followers to Paramatma.

In essence, Bhagavad Gita brings us in mode of goodness where we can see the unity among various religious tradition. A true follower of Bhagavat Gita sees other religious tradition with appreciation instead of finding faults in them. Due to ahamkar or false ego, we want to be superior than others. Many followers apply the same false ego to their religious beliefs. When this false ego is gone, then there is no need to prove to ourselves or to others that our tradition is superior. Knowledge leads to unity, love, compassion, peace and happiness.