Are All Religions Same?
Some Hindus think that all religions are same, some say Jainism Buddhism and Hindu dharma are same. Here I share what I understand.
- Those who (mostly the so called Hindus) say that the Vedas says that all the paths lead to the same god. Therefore all religions are same. This is their misinterpretation of the Vedic words. When the Vedas talked about “all the paths,” there was no other dharma than the Vedic dharma on this planet. Therefore, “all the paths” in the Vedas mean all the Vedic paths like karma yoga, gyan yoga, bhakti yoga, dhyaan yoga, worship of the devas (Indra, VaruNa, etc but mainly Shiva, Uma, Ganesh, sUrya, Hanuman) and Vishnu (Krishna) ultimately lead to the same god.
- The behavior of different people with different religions is quite different. If you study the real history of these groups you will notice stark difference. For example, Christians think that god is jealous and he has a competitor – Satan. If all religions lead to same god, then the history of these groups should be similar. It is not. Some are aggressive, some are tolerant, and some are totally intolerant to other faiths.
- Those who say all religions are same are mostly the so called Hindus, and they say it to the Hindus only. They do not take the responsibility to convince it to the Christians or the Muslims. And they do not give up Hindu dharma. If all religions are same, then there should not be any denial to give up one religion and accept another.
- No Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jain, or Jew etc says all religions are same. So, then why the Hindus show should say it when it is not true? To say it is sheer foolishness. They sing asato maa sat gamaya, but they lie when they say all religions are same, and they do not know it is a lie.
- Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism are the offshoots from Hindu dharma (Vedic dharma). Being so, there is a lot common among them and the Hindu dharma. However, the differences should be understood.
- Buddha is accepted as an incarnation of Vishnu. The avatar is predicted in Bhagavatam, and it happened. In the time of Buddha, the brahmanas were misinterpreting the Vedas and were doing violent yagnas, killing animals in yagnas and eating meat. Buddha said this is adharma. He revolted against them. They would not listen, saying it is in the Vedas. So, finally, Buddha said, “I do not accept the authority of the Vedas.” Forget the Vedas, he said. Ahimsa paramo dharma, he said. Give up animal killing, he said. Sri Prabhupada explains that one cannot advance spiritually if one eats meat. Therefore, becoming a vegetarian is the first essential step if one wants spiritual advancement.
- However, Buddhism failed in two ways:
- i. In his time and after it spread so much in Bharat, that even the children boys and girls began becoming Buddhist monks intending to live in celibacy in monasteries. This is hard, and male and female monks in math would engage in sex secretly. Also, the social system of the nation began to crumble. Then came Adi Shankaracharya. He propagated advaita vada (also known as gyan yoga) described in the Vedas. It spread in Bharat and thus Buddhism died in Bharat. It however spread out of Bharat – in orient.
- ii. Today we see that no Buddhist country is without having an army. If ahimsaa paramo dharma, then no army is required. Dalai Lama, a Buddha incarnate, as is believed, ran out of his homeland Tibet in 1959, and lives exiled in Bharat. China forcibly occupied Tibet, and is killing Buddhism there. Dalai Lama cannot do anything. He the Buddha cannot stop China (the communist) from killing and occupying Tibet. He cannot do it with ahimsaa. He requests the “international community” to help stop China. So, note that ahimsa cannot solve the problem against China, Russia, Saddam Husain’s, Ben Ladins, or Hitlers. It works against the Hindus and Paarsis (Zoroastrians). So, ahimsa is not paramo dharma, not an absolute principle. If it were, it should be able to solve the problem of Dalai Lama. In contrast Hindu dharma includes kshatriya dharma. Therefore, Krishna recommends Arjun to fight, even when Arjun says (in Gita) he does not want to fight.
- Jainism is perverted version of the dharma given by the Rishabh Dev incarnation of Vishnu. Srimad Bhagavatam talks about it in detail. The Jains originally were Hindus who were vaishyas (traders, baniyas). Trading or business is not possible when there is fighting and fear or anarchy in the society. They chose not to fight, and want to avoid himsa at all costs. The first Vaishnav aacharya – Ramanuj – challenged Jain siddhanta. The greatest Jain aacharyas of his time came to debate with him. The debate continued in the darbaar of a king in South India for days. The Jains could not win the debate. Instead of giving up Jainism and accepting Ramanuj as their guru per the Vedic tradition, they just waked out of the debate. (Now I saw that some Jains in Vadodra have formally become Vaishnavas.) Jains choose to live in the Vedic land and with the Vedic people. No Jain opens his shop or business in a Muslim country like Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan. They say there is no god, just follow and live like arihantas (the great personalities.) They say the particles of bad karma stick with the soul permanently and there is no way out except following ahimsa and fasting. They do believe in re-incarnation like Buddhists. Because there is no god for them, their sins cannot be washed out. They need to suffer the reactions of their sins. In contrast, the Vedic dharma has god. God or His advanced devotees can wipe out sins of one who surrenders to them completely. Now a days I see that Jains tend to accept Krishna as one of their arihantas. This is good, going back to the roots.
- Where as the merchants who had no ability to fight became Jains, the farmers of Punjab chose to fight with the invading Muslims. Sikh dharma was born thus. Guru Nanak was a great saint. The Hindus of Punjab had to fight constantly against the invading Muslims coming from northwest. Guru Nanak created a dharma that he thought will be more palatable to the Muslims. Muslims say Allah has no form. So, Nanak accepted advaita siddhanta from the Vedas. And he accepted the kshatriya dharma from the Varnaasrama dharma. So, the Sikhs believe that God has no form, but god is all merciful in contrast to Allah that is not merciful to non-believers. They will fight with any one who does asuric things or tries to take away others’ rights or property. So, they are armed farmers. Now, Jains are unarmed traders. They rely on the Hindus for their protection. They donate to the fighters. Bhaamaashaa is an example.
This is all about knowing and understanding the truth. Truth is one, so it could unite when understood. Please see the videos (a pravachan by a swami) at these links:
Hindus : STOP preaching all religions are equal 1/2
Hindus : STOP preaching all religions are equal 2/2
Jai Sri Krishna.