Unity of religions: certainly no confusion

Executive Director of the Planetary Development Institute


Единство религий или путаницаThe principle of Sarva Dharma Sambhava also contains the idea that the Truth is one, but there are many ways to achieve it. In reality, there is one Truth and many paths to it. However, this does not mean that all paths must lead to truth. There are ways that lead to false goals, or lead only to partial truths. Religion, which does not teach any empirical way to Self-realization, can not lead to truth. It can only lead to the idea of ??heaven or salvation, which is its declared goal. The idea of ??the unity of Truth can not be limited to any specific monotheism, but it must take into account all spiritual aspirations, whatever forms they acquire. The unity of Truth is not identical with the essence of monotheism, as faith in one single God and the only doctrine of it are unequal. Monotheism often manifests itself so categorically and radically that it divides mankind into believers and unbelievers and refuses to accept the truth that transcends his dogma.The correct term for a common Western idea of ??religion, which is a special belief, in Hindu thought is not Dharma, but Mata, which means opinion. There is no such possible statement as Sarva Mata Sambhava or equality and unity of all opinions. Opinions are as diverse as the minds of beings. We also do not want all opinions to be the same. A variety of opinions is necessary as part of freedom in the search for truth. Opinions are different and even contradictory. Some may be right, others may be wrong. These are speculative views that must be proven in practice. If someone has an opinion that the fire does not burn, we should not respect this idea in order to preserve the universality of all Dharmas. We must allow everyone to have their own opinion about religion, because the minds of human beings are unique and move in different ways and directions, but we do not need to sanction all religious views as true ones to do it.

Единство религий или путаницаThe religions that we see in the Western world say that the truth belongs to a certain person, group, holy book or God's name, and that those who do not share this faith are mistaken, sinning or possessing malicious intent to distort the truth. If all religions follow the same Dharma, let all religious leaders understand that they accept the law of karma as real and self-fulfilling, as the real goal of life.

Consequently, religious exclusivity is a real serious obstacle to establishing harmony between different religious groups. Fortunately, not all religions insist on their exclusivity, which allows them to co-exist in peace with others. They combine some notions of exclusivity with more tolerant traditions. Although there is much adharma in the social evil that has arisen in the context of Hindu religion, there is no adharma in its basic formulation that surpasses time, place and man and emphasizes eternity over the historical property of religion. They do not require an exclusive formulation of the truth, but are open to diversity and multiplicity, in fact welcoming it. The social effect of Sarva Dharma Sambhava led to the fact that this spiritual principle became a political principle in India: in order to create social harmony, we should honor all religions as equivalent, so that religious differences do not stir up social conflicts. Unfortunately, religious conflicts continued because the agreement to treat religions as equivalent was only superficial, formal, which did not remove the problem of real differences and misunderstandings between their adherents. Hence we can urge Christian or Islamic spiritual leaders to resist this statement and agree that Hinduism, Buddhism or other dharmic traditions are as good as their religions, and therefore all attempts to disprove the teachings of the Dharmic religions are erroneous. Sarva Dharma Sambhava was used to protect the favor of various religious groups and defend votes based on religious beliefs. Often the effect of a one-way street was obtained. The Hindus were urged to accept Sarva Dharma Sambhava, which means that they should not object if Hindus convert to Christianity and Islam, and to avoid criticizing these religions, even if some of their elements are a violation of what the Hindus believe is true. On the other hand, by the same principle, Muslims and Christians should not reciprocate, stop their conversion efforts or become Hindus. As a result, Sarva Dharma Sambhava only undermined the Hindu idea of ??truth and urged the Hindus to abandon their critical abilities in matters of religion. This contradicts the spirit of yogis and spiritual Gurus , in which all sorts of disputes were encouraged to reach the truth. Please pay attention to Shad Darshana, six systems of Hindu philosophy, to such a tradition of free, lively and friendly discussion. Although we should all strive to be kind and respectful people and not interfere in the religious views of others, this does not mean that we should stop thinking about how to do this. To create social harmony, people should not refuse to defend their religion or critically examine religions that oppose them. The logical result of the consistent implementation of the principle of Sarva Dharma Sambhava may mean that Hindus should completely abandon their religion. However, whenever the Hindus try to protect their religion, which is still under siege even in India, they are accused of violating Sarva's principle of Dharma Sambhava. On the other hand, when other religious groups violate this principle - and this is, in fact, the practice of all missionary transformations - they are little criticized for it.