Universal Teachings

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 RamakrishnaI 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 MotherIf 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 VivekanandaThis 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.

BuddhaGoodwill toward all beings is the true religion; cherish in your hearts boundless goodwill to all that lives.

Guru NanakGod is one, but He has innumerable forms. He is the Creator of all and He Himself takes the human form.

Jesus ChristBut 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.

JudaismYou 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.

KrishnaHe who sees the Supreme Lord abiding alike in all beings, and not perishing when they perish - verily, he alone sees.

Mohammed All God's creatures are His family; and he is the most beloved of God who tries to do most good to God's creatures.

Native AmericanEvery 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.

RamaIt is the shadow of the Paramatman that you see reflected in all the living beings as the Jivatman. Don't you see the great sky reflected in each and every lake or river?

SankaraVishnu 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.

VedasThe wise man beholds all beings in the Self, and the Self in all beings; for that reason he does not hate anyone.

ZoroasterForget self and identify Ahura Mazda in every being and in everything.

God is Within You

Sri RamakrishnaDo 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 MotherWhen one realizes God, He grants knowledge and illumination from within; one knows it oneself. In the fullness of one's spiritual realization one will find that He who resides in one's heart, resides in the hearts of others as well - the oppressed, the persecuted, the untouchable, and the outcast.

Swami VivekanandaIt 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 within ourselves.

BuddhaThe 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 NanakAs fragrance abides in the flower,
As the reflection is within the mirror,
So doth thy Lord abide within thee,
Why search Him without?

Jesus ChristBeing 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."

JudaismCreate 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.

KrishnaI am the Self, O Gudekesa, seated in the hearts of all creatures. I am the beginning, the middle, and the end of all beings.

MohammedHe who knows his own self, knows God.

Native AmericanThe 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.

RamaThink 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.

SankaraCherish your Guru's 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.

VedasThere 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.

ZoroasterOne 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 one's own heart.

Persevere in Your Search for God

Sri RamakrishnaThere 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 MotherContinue to pray without losing heart. Everything will happen in time.

Swami VivekanandaTo 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.

BuddhaSearch with sincerity and persevere in your search. In the end you will find the Truth.

Guru NanakDwell on Him day after day, That thou mergest imperceptibly in His Name.

Jesus ChristAnd 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'."

JudaismBlessed 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.

KrishnaI am easy of access to that ever steadfast yogi who, O Partha, constantly meditates on Me and gives no thought to anything else.

MohammedSeek knowledge from the cradle to the grave.

Native AmericanIt 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.

RamaKeeping 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 devotion.

SankaraThe 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.

VedasThis 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.

ZoroasterExert ceaselessly for the Glory of Ahura Mazda and for the good of the Universe.

Trust Completely in God

Sri RamakrishnaWhat 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 MotherIf anyone surrenders himself totally at his feet, the Master will see that everything is set right.

Swami VivekanandaStand up for God; let the world go.

BuddhaSurrender 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 NanakHe who gives himself up to His supreme will, wins the goal. No other action counts in achieving this end.

Jesus ChristTherefore 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.

JudaismThe 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.

KrishnaFixing 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.

MohammedIf 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 AmericanAll 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!

RamaDo 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.

SankaraI 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.

VedasChildren 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.

ZoroasterTrust in God and do the Right.

Love of God is Essential

Sri RamakrishnaUnalloyed love of God is the essential thing. All else is unreal.

Holy MotherOne's love of God depends entirely upon one's inner feelings. Love of God is the essential thing.

Swami VivekanandaGiving 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.

BuddhaThat which is most needed is a loving heart.

Guru NanakGod 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 man's 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."

JudaismHear, 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.

KrishnaBut 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.

MohammedWhoever loves to meet God, God loves to meet him.

Native AmericanWakan-Tanka, help us to walk the sacred path of life without difficulty, with our minds and hearts continually fixed on You!

RamaDevotion 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.

SankaraAmong things conducive to liberation, devotion alone holds the supreme place. The seeking after one's real nature is designated as devotion.

VedasUnder 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.

ZoroasterAs the Fire on the censer consumes sandalwood so let the Fire burning within you consume your heart with love for Ahura Mazda.

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