Inter-Faith &
Religious Tolerance

"My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind." Albert Einstein


"As long as space exists
And as long as beings endure
May I too remain
To dispel the misery of the world."

Bodhicharyavatara by

May I become at all times, both now and forever
A protector for those without protection
A guide for those who have lost their way
A ship for those with oceans to cross
A sanctuary for those in danger
A lamp for those in need of light
A refuge for those in need of shelter
And a servant to all those in need.

- Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from Ethics for a New Millenium

The Bodhisattva is like the mightiest of warriors; but his enemies are not common foes of flesh and bone. His fight is with the inner delusions, the afflictions of self-

cherishing and ego grasping. Those most terrible of demons that catch living beings in the snare of confusion and cause them forever to wander in pain, frustration and sorrow.

His mission is to harm ignorance and delusion, never living beings. These he looks upon with kindness, patience and empathy. Cherishing them like a mother cherishes her only child, he is the real hero, calmly facing any hardship in order to bring peace, happiness and liberation to the world.

The Thirteenth Dalai Lama
(translated by Glenn Mullen

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness” – Dalai Lama

Interview with Dalai Lama, Robert Thurman - May 2001

What do you think about the relationship of religion and politics?

I think politics is a technique or method to serve the community and to lead society. And what is the meaning of "religion"? Broadly speaking, religion is the warm heart. All human activities are furthered by the warm heart - the compassionate heart. Every human activity can be positive and also can be a religious activity.

As for politics, unfortunately, some people consider that, in politics, there is no morality it's just ties, bullying, cheating. That's not genuine politics. It's just savagery. Even religious teaching, when conducted with motivation to deceive, exploit or dominate, is also quite immoral.

On a general level in the West, religion means to believe in God the Creator, and with the motivation of serving God, one serves society and engages in politics, serves humanity or society morally as well as politically, and so there is no contradiction.

So in the Westen dialogue about church and state...

Ah! That's different. "Church" means the religious institution. Of course that should be separate. Combining them causes too many difficulties. The spirit of democracy, competition and contest, as in the United States, is very important, so if religious leaders were to engage in such contests, it would lead to difficulties. Religious institutions should not get involved in the democratic competition - only individuals.

........Real unity and stability can only come from fairness and peacefulness.

The Rolling Stone interview: The Dalai Lama (Rolling Stone) New York May 24, 2001 Author: Robert Thurman . Full Article -


In the words of Carl Jung however: "So long as religion is only faith and outward form, and the religious function is not experienced in our own souls, nothing of any importance has happened. It has yet to be understood that the mysterium magnum is not only an actuality, but is first and foremost rooted in the human psyche. The man who does not know this from his own experience may be a most learned theologian, but he has no idea of religion and still less of education." The philosophy of mysticism and individual revelation, however, is a unifying philosophy in as much as it recognises the right of every individual to this state of harmony, bliss and union with the divine, which can only be experienced by the individual as an internalised phenomena.

Which ones right? Does it Matter?

The Purpose of Religion
by Lama Thubten Yeshe

Lama Yeshe gave this teaching in Brisbane, Australia, in April, 1975.
Edited by Nicholas Ribush.

Many people misunderstand Buddhism. Even some professors of Buddhist studies look at just the words and interpret what the Buddha taught very literally. They don't understand his methods, which are the real essence of his teachings. In my opinion, the most important aspect of any religion is its methods: how to put that religion into your own experience. The better you understand that, the more effective your religion becomes. Your practice becomes so natural, so realistic; you easily come to understand your own nature, your own mind, and you don't get surprised by whatever you find in it. Then, when you understand the nature of your own mind, you'll be able to control it naturally; you won't have to push so hard; understanding naturally brings control.
Many people will imagine that control of the mind is some kind of tight, restrictive bondage. Actually, control is a natural state. But you're not going to say that, are you? You're going to say that the mind is uncontrolled by nature, that it is natural for the mind to be uncontrolled. But it's not. When you realize the nature of your uncontrolled mind, control comes as naturally as your present uncontrolled state arises. Moreover, the only way to gain control over your mind is to understand its nature. You can never force your mind, your internal world, to change. Nor can you purify your mind, by punishing yourself physically, by beating your body. That's totally impossible. Impurity, sin, negativity or whatever else you want to call it is psychological, a mental phenomenon, so you can't stop it physically. Purification requires a skillful combination of method and wisdom.
To purify your mind, you don't have to believe in something special up there—God, or Buddha. Don't worry about that. When you truly realize the up and down nature of your everyday life, the characteristic nature of your own mental attitude, you'll automatically want to implement a solution.
These days, many people are disillusioned with religion; they seem to think it doesn't work. Religion works. It offers fantastic solutions to all your problems. The problem is that people don't understand the characteristic nature of religion, so they don't have the will to implement its methods.
Consider the materialistic life. It's a state of complete agitation and conflict. You can never fix things to be the way you want. You can't just wake up in the morning and decide exactly how you want your day to unfold. Forget about weeks, months, or years; you can't even predetermine one day. If I were to ask you right now if can you get up in the morning and set exactly how your day was going to go, how you were going to feel each moment, what would you say? There's no way you can do that, is there?
No matter how much you make yourself materially comfortable, no matter how you arrange your house—you have this, you have that; you put one thing here, you put another there—you can never manipulate your mind in the same way. You can never determine the way you're going to feel all day. How can you fix your mind like that? How can you say, "Today I'm going to be like this"? I can tell you with absolute certainty, as long as your mind is uncontrolled, agitated and dualistic, there's no way; it's impossible. When I say this, I'm not putting you down; I'm just talking about the way the mind works.
What all this goes to show is that no matter how much you tell yourself, "Oh, this makes me happy, today I'm going to be happy all day long," it's impossible to predetermine your life like that. Automatically, your feelings keep changing, changing, changing. This demonstrates clearly that the materialistic life doesn't work. However, I don't mean that you should renounce the worldly life and become ascetics. That's not what I'm saying. My point is that if you understand spiritual principles correctly and act accordingly, you will find much greater satisfaction and meaning in your life than you will by relying on the sense world alone. The sense world alone cannot satisfy the human mind.
Thus, the only purpose for the existence of what we call religion is for us to understand the nature of our own psyche, our own mind, our own feelings. Whatever name we give to our spiritual path, the most important thing is that we get to know our own experiences, our own feelings. Therefore, the lamas' experience of Buddhism is that instead of emphasizing belief, it places prime importance on personal experimentation, putting Dharma methods into action and assessing the effect they have on our minds: do these methods help? Have our minds changed or are they just as uncontrolled as they ever were? This is Buddhism, and this method of checking the mind is called meditation.
It's an individual thing; you can't generalize. It all comes down to personal understanding, personal experience. If your path is not providing solutions to your problems, answers to your questions, satisfaction to your mind, you must check up. Perhaps there's something wrong with your point of view, your understanding. You can't necessarily conclude that there's something wrong with your religion just because you tried it and it didn't work. Different individuals have their own ideas, views, and understanding of religion, and can make mistakes.
Therefore, make sure that the way you understand your religion's ideas and methods is correct. If you make the right effort on the basis of right understanding, you will experience deep inner satisfaction. Thus, you'll prove to yourself that satisfaction does not depend on anything external. True satisfaction comes from the mind.

Similarities between World Religions

God is Love, Awareness and Playfulness. His disguise as the authoritarian God of the Jews is no longer needed. This is bound to upset those who value their old scriptures more than life, love and laughter. God is not in any scripture. No words from any dead prophet are relevant to the extraordinary events of the Great Change.

The problem for simple believers is their scriptures. They are so deeply conditioned to unquestioning belief that they have lost their intelligence. They seem to think God has given their religion a special message, strangely He has given different special instructions to every religion. How can you be certain your scriptures are better than the others? Just because you believe they are? Grow up a little and try to understand:

God is Love, Awareness and Playfulness. If you insist on clinging to your scriptures you are in for a very sharp surprise. All immature believers in any religion are not prepared to face the light of God when it transforms all people. If you are a believer try to get the point of this book.

Maitreya Ishwara

"The fundamental principle enunciated by Bahá'u'lláh, the followers of His Faith firmly believe, is that religious truth is not absolute but relative, that Divine Revelation is a continuous and progressive process, that all the great religions of the world are divine in origin, that their basic principles are in complete harmony, that their aims and purposes are one and the same, that their teachings are but facets of one truth, that their functions are complementary, that they differ only in the nonessential aspects of their doctrines, and that their missions represent successive stages in the spiritual evolution of human society.3 "

Shoghi Effendi


The principles which guide Bahá'ís in their interactions with the outside world are the same high moral values that have been taught in all of the world's major religions: love, compassion, courtesy, charity, faithfulness, honesty, trustworthiness, and humility.

For Bahá'ís, the purpose of life is to know and love God, and thus to progress spiritually. As in most other religions, prayer and meditation are primary tools for spiritual development.

Bahá'u'lláh Himself wrote hundreds of prayers. There are prayers for general use, for healing, for spiritual growth, for facing difficulties, for marriage, for community life, and for humanity itself.

Bahá'u'lláh also asked His followers to choose one of three "obligatory" prayers for recitation each day. The shortest of these prayers is just three sentences long. It says much about the relationship between God and humanity. It reads:

"I bear witness, O my God, that Thou has created me to know Thee and to worship Thee. I testify, at this moment, to my powerlessness and to Thy might, to my poverty and to Thy wealth. There is none other God but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting."

In reality, there is only one religion, the religion of God. This one religion is continually evolving, and each particular religious system represents a stage in the evolution of the whole. The Bahá'í Faith represents the current stage in the evolution of religion. To emphasize the idea that all of the teachings and actions of the Manifestation are directed by God and do not originate from natural, human sources, Bahá'u'lláh used the term "revelation" to describe the phenomenon that occurs each time a Manifestation appears. In particular, the writings of the Manifestation represent the infallible Word of God. Because these writings remain long after the earthly life of the Manifestation is finished, they constitute an especially important part of the phenomenon of revelation. So much is this so, that the term "revelation" is sometimes used in a restricted sense to refer to the writings and words of the Manifestation.

Religious history is seen as a succession of revelations from God and the term "progressive revelation" is used to describe this process. Thus, according to Bahá'ís, progressive revelation is the motive force of human progress, and the Manifestation Bahá'u'lláh is the most recent instance of revelation.

Bahá'u'lláh explained that the fundamental, spiritual role of religion is to enable people to achieve a true understanding of their own nature and of God's will and purpose for them. The spiritual teachings sent down by God through the Messengers or Manifestations of God serve to guide us to a proper comprehension of the spiritual dynamics of life. These principles enable us to understand the laws of existence. Moreover, the very efforts we must make to conform to the teachings of the Manifestations serve to develop our spiritual capacities.

For example, when one makes an effort to rid oneself of prejudice and superstition in response to the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh, the result is an increased knowledge of and love for other human beings, and this, in turn, helps the individual to live life more effectively. Bahá'u'lláh stressed that, without the coming of the Manifestations and their revelation of God's laws and teachings, we would not be able to grow and develop spiritually. The spiritual meaning of life would remain hidden from us, even if we made great efforts to discover it. This is why revealed religion is seen by Bahá'ís as the necessary key to successful spiritual living.

A rewrite from the second edition of Biography of a Buddha

Monistic Multiplicity

There are three elemental cosmologies postulated by different religions. The monotheistic understanding that God is separate from the world and created humans in His own image, means that He is a very powerful being who looks a bit like us. He is our father in heaven. The creator is separate from, and transcendental to the creation. Indian cosmology has two main understandings that are both based on enlightened experience. Buddha, Osho and many enlightened Indians say existence is eternal and self-created. They are scientists of the inner world and stick to their own experience. They have attained the highest enlightened consciousness and dissolved in the ocean of existence - which they believe is made of eternal divine consciousness that is intrinsically intelligent. Divinity is only immanent, or omnipresent in existence, not transcendental to it. This understanding is pantheistic, it means existence is God - and since Buddhas are the highest flowering of consciousness in existence - it is only aware of itself through them. Hence many Indian gurus are deified and worshipped as a god by their devotees. Their experience of conscious oneness is perfect but their logic and understanding of monistic multiplicity are both flawed.

Advaita cosmology is monistic: there is only one force animating all existence. It shares Buddha's experience of conscious oneness, but agrees with modern science that the universe had a beginning and therefore must have an unknown source. That source cannot be existence because the intrinsic intelligence of the universe requires a source with a superior intelligence to design and create it. Existence is just that which exists. It is the universe plus the energy, astral, psychic realms and the Self or Being. The universe is created along with the rest of existence by the eternal, intelligent consciousness of the void of non-existence, or God. Only God, the beyond has the power and intelligence to design, create and sustain the universe and the rest of existence, which are made from the mysterious consciousness of God's ultimate reality.

Advaita means 'not two'. Existence and its source, non-existence, are one indivisible consciousness with an infinite multiplicity of manifestations. This monistic multiplicity is irrefutable, either by reason or enlightened experience - and in fact, it rests on both. Monistic multiplicity means that God is both immanent and transcendental. He is simultaneously existence and its mysterious source. This insight relieves Buddhas of their promotion to god on Earth that is so common in India. Buddhas are the highest human consciousness, but their limited nervous systems can only accommodate a tiny drop of the ocean of intelligent awareness that is both the void of creation and all existence.

'God' is a beautiful word that has been polluted by millennia of dualistic religions and irrational dogma. It is time to redeem the word 'God' and reclaim it to mean: The eternal, intelligent awareness of the void, that is both all existence and its source. It is time to reclaim the word 'religion' from the plethora of orthodox beliefs that distort it and restore its true meaning of spiritual enquiry. And perhaps it is also time for new age seekers to transcend the beliefs they have collected that reflect a limited understanding of monistic multiplicity. As the sat yuga dawns we are moving towards a shared understanding that lays the foundation for spiritual renewal and an holistic world religion of Unity for the third millennium. Monistic multiplicity accurately reflects the cosmic reality of one power animating an infinite number of phenomenal manifestations. Its rational, unifying embrace synthesises the mutually exclusive polarities of pantheism and monotheism. We no longer need to be limited by these outdated, dualistic cosmologies. God is simultaneously immanent and transcendental. He is love, intelligence, awareness and playfulness. Very soon His light will transform the world.

Maitreya Ishwara

Religionless Religion by Osho.

Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Mohammedanism - these are only ideologies, dogmas, creeds; they are only cults. The true religion has no name, it cannot have any name. Buddha lived it, Jesus lived it - but remember, Jesus was not a Christian and Buddha was not a Buddhist, he had never heard of the word. The truly religious people have been simply religious, they have not been dogmatic. There are three hundred religions in the world - this is such an absurdity! If truth is one, how can there be three hundred religions? There is only one science, and three hundred religions? If the science that is concerned with the objective truth is one, then religion is also one because it is concerned with the subjective truth, the other side of the truth. But that religion cannot have any name, it cannot have any ideology. I teach only that religion. Hence if somebody asks you what my teaching is, in short, you will not be able to say - because I don't teach principles, ideologies, dogmas, doctrines.

I teach you a religionless religion, I teach you the taste of it. I give you the method to become receptive to the divine. I don't say anything about the divine, I simply tell you "This is the window - open it and you will see the starry night." Now, that starry night is indefinable. Once you see it through the open window you will know it.

Seeing is knowing - and seeing should be being, too. There should be no other belief. So my whole effort is existential, not intellectual at all. And the true religion is existential. It has always happened to only a few people and then it disappears from the earth because the intellectuals immediately grab it and they start making beautiful ideologies out of it - neat and clean, logical. In that very effort they destroy its beauty. They create philosophies, and religion disappears. The pundit, the scholar, the theologian, is the enemy of religion.

So remember it: you are not getting initiated into a certain religion; you are getting initiated into just religiousness. It is vast, immense, unbounded - it is like the whole sky. Even the sky is not the limit, so open your wings without any fear. This whole existence belongs to us; this is our temple, this is our scripture. Less than that is manmade, manufactured by man. Where it is manufactured does not matter much - beware of manufactured religions so that you can know the true, which is not manmade. And it is available in the trees, in the mountains, in the rivers, in the stars - in you, in people that surround you - it is available everywhere.

Science is the search for truth in the objective world and religion is the search for the truth in the subjective world. In fact, they are two wings of one bird, of one inquiry - two sides. Ultimately there is no need to have two names. My own suggestion is that "science" is a perfectly beautiful name, because it means "knowing." So science has two sides, just like every coin has two sides.

Knowing in the dimension of matter you can call objective science, and knowing in the dimension of your interiority - of your inner being, of your consciousness - you can call subjective science. There is no need for the word religion.

Science is perfectly good - and it is the same search, just the directions are different. And it will be good that we make one supreme science, which is a synthesis, a synchronicity of the outer science and the inner science. There will be no need of so many religions then, and there will be no need then even for somebody to be an atheist. When theists are gone, then there is no need for atheists - they are only reactions. There are believers in God so there are disbelievers in God. When the believers are gone, what is the need of disbelievers? There is no need to believe in anything - that is the fundamental of science. That is the scientific approach to reality: do not believe, inquire. The moment you believe, inquiry stops. Keep your mind open - neither believe nor disbelieve. Just remain alert and search and doubt everything until you come to a point which is indubitable - that's what truth is. You cannot doubt it. It is not a question of believing in it, it is a totally different phenomenon. It is so much a certainty, overwhelming you so much, that there is no way to doubt it. This is knowing. And this knowing transforms a man into a buddha, into an enlightened one.

This is the goal of all human growth.

This article was excerpted with permission from Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic by Osho. Published by St. Martin's Press. ©2000.

Coleridge's description's of the church as "compensating counterforce to the inherent and inevitable evils and defects of the state".

"Science without religion is lame.
without science is blind."
Albert Einstein


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