Thursday, November 26, 2009

Beliefs of All the World's Religions

Himalayan Academy

IF RELIGIONS HAVE EVER CONFUSED or confounded, take heart. The following gathers from hundreds of sources a simple summary of the world's major spiritual paths. The strength of this undertaking, brevity, is also its flaw. Complex and subtle distinctions and exceptions are consciously set aside for the sake of simplicity. There are hundreds of books addressing deeper matters, but none that have attempted a straightforward comparative summary. There is a need for a no nonsense review of religions.

  • EXAMPLE: The goal of Buddhism is nirvana, the end of all suffering, literally, "blowing out." Theravada tradition describes the indescribable as "peace and tranquility." The Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions view it as "neither existence nor nonexistence," "emptiness and the unchanging essence of the Buddha" and "ultimate reality." It is synonymous with release from the bonds of desire, ego, suffering, and rebirth. Escape to reality. Of the ultimate reality it is said, "There is an unborn, an unoriginated, an unmade, an uncompounded...if there were not, no escape from the born, originated, made, and compounded would be possible." Nirvana is peace, happiness, and reality, not annihilation.
Juxtaposing a few major beliefs can highlight how the major world religions and secular philosophies are similar and different. This section will give a good grasp of the essential truths of every major religion practiced today on the planet. It may also dispel the myth that all religions are one, that they all seek to lead by the same means to the same Ultimate Reality. They don't. The 171 beliefs in this study may lead to the realization that one is a Buddhist-Christian-Existentialist or a Taoist-New Age-Materialist... More>>