“In reality, we live in everyone. I live in you. You live in me. There is no gap, no distance. We all are eternally one.”
Clashes between different religious groups seem to be on the rise, and there are more incidents of religious cleansing and abuse of religious minorities, The study says that around 33% of countries in the world have been displaying increasing religious hostility.
There are those who think that their religion is better, deeper and closer to the truth than others. However, the ones closest to God always had a different story to tell. Prophets, spiritual masters, and seekers belonging to different time periods and following diverse traditions have spoken about receiving similar visions and feeling comparable bliss. They report being one with the universe, feeling a strong positive force, developing a deep sense of meaning and purpose, experiencing transcendence, realizing the truth, appreciating the unity of the visible and invisible, moving closer to the Divine, and feeling limitless affection.
Spirituality is not identical with religion, although some use the two terms interchangeably. A person may be both religious and spiritual, or he may be religious and not spiritual, or he may be spiritual but not religious. While spirituality is the direct experience of realizing higher consciousness within, religion is an institutionalized set of beliefs, practices, and guidelines to be followed. Nonetheless, historically, every religion has had its basis in the direct experiences of a prophet or master – and followers consolidated and formulated the teachings in the form of a doctrine.
Therefore, when we look deeply, we find that all religions are devoted to the one universal consciousness and its myriad manifestations. There may be apparent differences, but the deeper essence is the same. For instance, God has expressed unmatched love and compassion through His different manifestations, incarnations, and prophets. As per Hindu mythology, during the churning of the ocean, Shiva drank poison to save creation. The Bible narrates that when Jesus was being nailed to the cross, he asked his Father to forgive his executioners. Likewise, Zarathustra forgave his assassin by throwing his prayer beads at him. Then, there are several anecdotes that describe the compassion of Prophet Muhammad towards his enemies.
Buddha once told a king that if he believed that sacrificing an animal will take him to heaven, then sacrificing a human being will perhaps help him even better. Thus, Buddha urged the king to spare the animals and accept him as a sacrifice. Guru Nanak happily accepted captivity so that he could use it as an opportunity to enlighten an emperor to set free all prisoners of war. When the enlightened ones have always spoken a language of love, harmony, kindness, peace, and oneness, why are we going in a completely opposite direction?
Psychology has time and again confirmed that human beings always interpret the incoming information based on their past experiences, judgment, personality, education, biases and cultural influences. Perhaps, while God has always spoken to us in the same language, we have interpreted it in different ways and constructed different religions. But, when it is the same force that illuminates all religions, why should we be bothered by external attributes and practices? Isn’t it better that we dissolve our prejudices, fundamentalism, and cultism and hear this language of oneness? Only then, the world will become a peaceful and joyful place.