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What Unifies Major World Religions?

Essay by review  •  December 22, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  1,051 Words (5 Pages)  •  983 Views

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What Unifies Major World Religions?

“Every major religion of the world has similar ideals of love, the same goal of benefiting humanity through spiritual practice, and the same effect of making their followers into better human beings.” This quote by the Dalai Lama was in response to a book written by Jeffrey Moses, titled Oneness: Great Principles Shared by all Religions. The book talks about sixty five different principles that most major religions share.

All religions sets guide lines in which on should live. Rules that show people how to live righteous are commonly called cosmic law. In the Christian faith there are the Ten Commandments and the teachings of Jesus Christ. In Buddhism there are the three jewels, Buddha, dharma, and sangha. Buddha, the enlightened one, teaches cosmic law which is dharma. The sangha is the order of Buddha’s disciples. Buddha teachings revolved around the “Four Noble Truths.” The “Four Noble Truths” are centered on suffering and how to reach nirvana. The golden rule applies to religion. No matter how it is translated, religion teaches, love, compassion, wisdom, family, marriage, and what if situations.

Not all religions believe in a certain deity. What is common is that a spirit exists and can be revealed with an open heart and mind. In most cases the spirit or the soul never dies. There are many different beliefs of what happens after one dies. Karma is a big factor if a person’s soul will reach liberation. Although the word karma is not used in every religion but the concept exists. If you do bad you will be punished, if you do good you will be rewarded. Karma is the consequence of every action and thought. Good karma will result in breaking the cycle of samsara or reaching heaven.

Suffering and reaching a state of nirvana, a path to liberation or to heaven is the trials of religion. We all go through dukha, a form of suffering. Grief, pain, old age, and death are some examples of dukha. No one likes to suffer and in religion, it is taught if you have faith that you can be liberated. Nirvana can be achieved, which does not only include a heavenly realm after death, but to find a path beyond the passions and desires of the world. Another way to speak of karma is sin. Sin can be compared to bad karma and can result in more suffering and depending on which faith is being recognized you can be spending eternity in hell or keep your place in samsara.

Religious text, holy days, and devotional are a very important in culture. This is how religion stays alive. The Bible, the Torah, and the Brahmajala Sutra, are written testaments to there respective religions. They are used during devotionals and as a teaching tool since Jesus, Buddha, or any or there profits are not on earth anymore. This is all used to spread there word. Text is one of the best tools besides your actions to spread the word through missionaries which was pioneered by Buddhism. Holy days or holidays which is the English translation, are sacred. Holidays mostly celebrate the major forces in a particular religion. Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. The Thursday before Easter is called Maundy Thursday when the last supper took place and Good Friday is when Jesus was crucified. Christ’s resurrection is celebrated with Easter. The ascension is when Christ ascended to heaven forty days after his resurrection. The Buddhist tradition has a similar holiday; it is called Visaka Puja, which is the holiest day of the year. They celebrate the birth, life, and death of Buddha. There are other holidays in Christianity, like Epiphany, Ash Wednesday, and Palm Sunday, but they can not be compared to any religion that was studied. Festivals are another way

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