NINETEEN TOPICS

Quotes from the Sacred Writings of the World's Religions

on Essential Religious Subjects



1. ACQUIRING KNOWLEDGE


BAHA'I

Knowledge is as wings to man's life, and a ladder for his ascent. Its acquisition is incumbent upon everyone.—Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 51


BUDDHISM

He who in early days was unwise but later found wisdom, he sheds a light over the world like that of the moon when freed from clouds.—Dhammapada 13:172


CHRISTIANITY

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God...—1 John 4:1


HINDUISM

In this world, there is no purifier like knowledge.—Bhagavad Gita 4:38


ISLAM

To acquire knowledge is binding on all believers, both men and women.—Hadith (Ibn Maja)


JUDAISM

Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to words of knowledge.—Proverbs 23:12



2. DETACHMENT FROM THE MATERIAL WORLD


BAHA'I

No man shall attain the shores of the ocean of true understanding except he be detached from all that is in heaven and on earth.—Kitab-i-Iqan, p.3


BUDDHISM

Empty the boat of your life, O man; when empty it will swiftly sail.—Dhammapada 25:369


CHRISTIANITY

None of you can be a disciple of mine without parting with all his possessions.—Luke 14:33


HINDUISM

He unto whom all desires enter as waters of the sea, which, though ever being filled is ever motionless, attains to peace and not he who hugs his desires.—Bhagavad Gita 2:70


ISLAM

What little has been given you is only for a while: but that which is with God is greater and more lasting.—Qur'an 42:36


ZOROASTRIANISM

Do not rely upon property and the goods of this world, for property and the goods of this world are like a bird that flies from one tree to another and stays on none.—Pahlavi Texts



3. DOING WHAT IS GOOD 


BAHA'I

Forsake all evil, hold fast that which is good.—Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p.138


BUDDHISM

Do not what is evil. Do what is good.—Dhammapada 14:183


CHRISTISNITY

Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.—Romans 12:9


JUDAISM

Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live.—Amos 5:14


ZOROASTRIANISM

Do whatever you know to be good and do not do anything that you know to be not good.—Pahlavi Texts



4. THE ESSENCE OF FAITH


BAHA'I

The essence of faith is fewness of words and abundance of deeds.—Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 156


BUDDHISM

If a man speaks many holy words but he speaks and does not, this thoughtless man cannot enjoy a life of holiness...—Dhammapada 1:19


CHRISTIANITY

Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action is dead.—James 2:17


ISLAM

God does not accept belief if it is not expressed in deed, and does not accept deed if it does not conform to belief.—Hadith, Prophet Muhammad and His Mission, p. 83


JUDAISM

Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed.—1 Samuel 2:3



5. EVERLASTING LIFE


BAHA'I

All the favors of God have been sent down, as a token of His grace. The waters of everlasting life have, in their fullness, been proffered unto men.—Gleanings P.34


CHRISTIANITY

Whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.... I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.—John 11:26, 10:28


HINDUISM

To one that is born death is certain, and birth is certain for one that has died...—Bhagavad Gita 2:27


ISLAM

Witness the reddening sunset, witness the chariot of night as it drives on, witness the moon as it waxes, verily, ye too shall pass from stage to stage.—Qur'an 84:16-19 


JUDAISM

The day of death is better than the day of birth.—Ecclesiastes 7:1


ZOROASTRIANISM

Your gift is the life never-dying and continuous health Your possession.—Gathas, Yasna 33:8



6. FAULT FINDING  


BAHA'I

The tongue I have designed for the mention of Me, defile it not with detraction. If the fire of self overcome you, remember your own faults and not the faults of My creatures, inasmuch as every one of you knoweth his own self better than he knoweth others.—The Hidden Words, Persian #66


BUDDHISM

It is easy to see the faults of others, but difficult to see one's own faults. One shows the faults of others like chaff winnowed in the wind, but one conceals one's own faults as a cunning gambler conceals his dice.—Dhammapada 18:252


CHRISTIANITY

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye, with never a thought for the great plank in your own?—Matthew 7:3



7. FORGIVENESS OF SINS


BAHA'I

Return ye to God and repent, that He, through His grace, may have mercy upon you, may wash away your sins, and forgive your trespasses.—Gleanings, p.130


CHRISTIANITY

Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men...—Mark 3:28


HINDUISM

I will make thee free from the bondage of sins. Fear no more.—Bhagavad Gita 18:66


ISLAM

Despair not of God's mercy, for all sins doth God forgive. Gracious, merciful is He. And return ye to your Lord, and to Him resign yourselves...—Qur'an 39:54-55


JUDAISM

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.—Isaiah 55:7



8. THE GLORY OF GOD 


BAHA'I

The whole earth is illuminated with the resplendent glory of God's revelation.—Gleanings, p. 96


CHRISTIANITY

Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever.—Philippians 4:20


HINDUISM

Behold the universe in the glory of God.—Isa Upanishad 1:1 


ISLAM

The earth reflecteth the glory of its Lord.—Qur'an 39:69


JUDAISM

The heavens declare the glory of God.—Psalms 19:1


ZOROASTRIANISM

The light of the sun, the sparkling dawn of the days, all this for Your praise, O Wise Lord.—Gathas, Yasna 50:10 



9. GOD, THE UNKNOWABLE ESSENCE


BAHA'I

Far, far from Thy glory be what mortal man can affirm of Thee, or attribute unto Thee.—Gleanings, p. 4


BUDDHISM

There is, O monks, an Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed.—dana


CHRISTIANITY

No one has seen God at any time...You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.—John  1:18,5:37


HINDUISM

There is no likeness of Him whose glory is infinite.—Upanishads


ISLAM

Glory be to Him! And high let Him be exalted above that which they attribute to Him!—Qur'an  6:100 


JUDAISM

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.—Isaiah  55:9



10. THE GOLDEN RULE


BAHA'I

And if thine  eye be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbor that which thou choosest for thyself.—Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p.64


BUDDHISM

Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.—Udana Varga 5:18


CHRISTIANITY

In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.—Matthew 7:12


HINDUISM

Do nothing to your neighbor which thou wouldst not have him do to thee hereafter.—Mahabharata


ISLAM

None of you is a believer if he does not like for his brother exactly that what he likes for his own self.—Hadith(Bukhari)


JUDAISM

What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman.—Talmud, Shabbat 31a


ZOROASTRIANISM

Do not unto others all that which is not well for oneself.—Shayast-na-Shayast



11. HE WHO SEEKS FINDS


BAHA'I

No man that seeketh Us will We ever disappoint, neither shall he that hath set his face towards Us be denied access unto Our court...—Gleanings, pp. 271-272


CHRISTIANITY

For everyone that asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.—Matthew 7:8 


HINDUISM

Howsoever men approach Me, even so do I seek them.—Bhagavad Gita 4:11


ISLAM

Whoso maketh efforts for Us, in Our ways will We guide them...—Qur'an 29:69


JUDAISM

And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, When ye search for Me, with all your heart.—Jeremiah 29:13



12. I DO NOTHING OF MYSELF


BAHA'I

Not of Mine own volition have I revealed Myself, but God, of His Own choosing, hath manifested Me.—Epistle to the Son of the Wolf  p. 1


CHRISTIANITY

I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.—John 8:28


ISLAM

I but follow what is revealed to Me.—Qur'an 6:50


JUDAISM

I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.—Exodus 4:12


ZOROASTRIANISM

Do Thou teach Me, O Wise Lord, to proclaim according to Thy spirit...—Gathas, Yasna 28:11



13. MIRACLES


BAHA'I

Whoso hath in bygone ages asked Us to produce the signs [miracles] of God, hath, no sooner We revealed them to him, repudiated God's truth.—Gleanings, p. 132


BUDDHISM

He who attempts to perform miracles has not understood the doctrine.—Mahaparinibbana Sutta


CHRISTIANITY

But though He had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on Him.—John 12:37


ISLAM

Signs [miracles] are in the power of God alone; and He teacheth you not thereby, only because when they were brought, ye did not believe.—Qur'an 6:109



14. ONENESS OF HUMANITY


BAHA'I

Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch....—Gleanings, p. 218


BUDDHISM

Many do not know that we are here in this world to live in harmony. Those who know this do not fight against each other.—Dhammapada 1:6


CHRISTIANITY

[God] has made of one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth.—Acts 3:195


HINDUISM

I command ye all to be equal under one holy command, I bring ye up all alike...Be united in your purpose, let your hearts be as one heart, minds of all as one mind so that your affairs may be cooperatively well organized.—Rig Veda 8:7


ISLAM

Ye are all parts one of another.—Qur'an 3:195


JUDAISM

Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously with one another?—Malachi 2:10



15. THE ONLY WAY 


BAHA'I

He that hath Me not is bereft of all things. Turn ye away from all that is on earth and seek none else but Me.—Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 169


BUDDHISM

This is the path. There is no other that leads to vision.—Dhammapada 20:274


CHRISTIANITY

I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.—John 14:6


HINDUISM

Abandoning all duties, come to Me alone for shelter.—Bhagavad Gita 18:66


ISLAM

Whoso seeks guidence elsewhere, God will lead him astray.—Imam'Ali, Hadith


ZOROASTRIANISM

There is only one religious way. This one way is that of good thoughts, good words, and good deeds, the way of heaven, of light and of purity, of the infinite Creator.—The Teachings of the Magi, p.22



16. PROGRESSIVE REVELATION


BAHA'I

Indeed no religion shall We ever inaugurate unless it be renewed in the days to come.—Selections from the Writings of The Bab, p. 159


BUDDHISM

I am not the first Enlightened One who came upon the earth, nor shall I be the last...in due time another Enlightened One will arise.—Mahaparinibbana Sutta


CHRISTIANITY

Think not that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them.—Matthew 5:17


HINDUISM

Whenever there is a decline of righteousness and a rise of unrighteousness,...then I send forth Myself. For the protection of the good, for destruction of the wicked and for the establishment of righteousness, I come into being from age to age.—Bhagavad Gita 4:7-8


ISLAM

Verily We have sent Thee with the Truth a Comforter and Warner; and there is not a people but a Warner hath not passed among them.—Qur'an 35:22



17. QUEST FOR PEACE


BAHA'I

These fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away and the "Most Great Peace" shall come.—Baha'u'llah, cited in "The Promissed Day is Come" by Shoghi Effendi, p. 116


BUDDHISM

Let us now abstain from taking life. That is a good thing that we may take up and do. And they will abstain from slaughter, and will continue in this good way...—Dialogues of Buddha


CHRISTIANITY

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.—Matthew 5:9 


ISLAM

The believers are but a single Brotherhood: so make peace and reconciliation between your two [contending] brothers; and fear God, that ye may receive mercy.—Qur'an 49:10


JUDAISM

...they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.—Isaiah 2:4, Micah 4:3


ZOROASTRIANISM

O God, Holy Spirit, before all I pray to you in all humility with hands uplifted, for abiding peace, that all my deeds be inspired by righteousness; and for the wisdom of a good mind, so that I may bring peace to the soul of a good mind, so that I may bring peace to the soul of existence.—-1992 Multifaith Calendar



18. REALITY OF MAN 


BAHA'I

The reality of man is his thought, not his physical body.—Abdu'l-Baha in "Paris Talks" p. 17


BUDDHISM

What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of our mind.—Dhammapada 1:1


HINDUISM

Let one therefore keep his mind pure, for What a man thinks that he becomes.—Maitri Upanishad 6:34


JUDAISM

For as a man thinks in his heart, so he is.—Proverbs 23:7



19. UNITY OF GOD


BAHA'I,

Bear thou witness that verily He is God and there is no God but Him, the King, the Protector, the Incomparable, the Omnipotent.—The Tablet of Ahmad


CHRISTIANITY

The Lord our God is one Lord.—Mark 12:29


HINDUISM

"But just how many Gods are there?" 

"One."—Upanishads


ISLAM

He is God alone: God the eternal...and there is none like unto Him.—Qur'an 112:1-2,4


JUDAISM

I am the Lord, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me—Isaiah  45:5