Overture: Quotes On Religious Unity

Many Paths to God

Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
God can be realized through all paths. All religions are true. The important thing is to reach the roof. You can reach it by stone stairs or by wooden stairs or by bamboo steps or by a rope. You can also climb up by a bamboo pole.
You may say there are many errors and superstitions in another religion. I should reply: Suppose there are. Every religion has errors. Everyone thinks that his watch alone gives the correct time. It is enough to have yearning for God. It is enough to love Him and feel attracted to Him. Don't you know that God is the Inner Guide? He sees the longing of our heart and the yearning of our soul. Suppose a man has several sons. The older boys address him distinctly as 'Baba' or 'Papa,' but babies can at best call him 'Ba' or 'Pa.' Now, will the father be angry with those who address him in this indistinct way? The father knows that they too are calling him, only they cannot pronounce his name well. All children are the same to the father. Likewise, the devotees call on God alone, though by many different names. They call on one Person only. God is one, but His names are many.

The Secret of Dharma

Hindu scripture; citation lost
Logic is fickle. Srutis are contradictory. There is no sage who does not differ from others in his views and who can be taken as an authority. The secret of Dharma is hidden in the cave of the heart. The road to It is one trodden by the great ones.

Avoid Controversy

Narada 74-75
It is not proper for one to enter into a controversy about God, or other spiritual truths, or about comparative merits of different devotees.
For there is plenty of room for diversity in views, and no one view, based upon mere reason, is conclusive in itself.

The Way that Can be Named

Lao Tzu 1
Tao can be talked about, but not the Eternal Tao. Names can be named, but not the Eternal Name.

Levels of Truth

Sufi: Hakim Sanai
What appears to be truth is a worldly distortion of objective truth.


John Shade, in Pale Fire, by Vladimir Nabokov (Commentary on Line 894)

Resemblances are the shadows of differences.

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Copyright 1996 by Joseph Morales