of Religions and Monotheism
Modern votaries of Sarva Dharma Samabhava have tried to make the
goals of different religions the same, even if these are very
different in formulation. The idea of the unity of religions has
encouraged equating all statements of oneness or unity of the Divine
given in different religions. Notably monotheism, the idea that
there is only One God, gets equated with universalism, the idea that
all is God (monism).
Monotheism, we should note, is
usually not monism. It is usually an assertion that only one
formulation of God is true, rather than a unity between all
formulations of Divinity. The goal of monism is usually mergence
into God or the Absolute, while that of most forms of Western
monotheism, is a heaven or paradise in which the soul worships God,
and from which those who don't believe in this form of God are
excluded. Monotheism, particularly in Western religions, is usually
an exclusive formulation that divides humanity into the believers
and the unbelievers and refuses to accept truth that falls outside
the boundaries of its belief.
Its One God is not a universal
principle but a singularity, not a force of unification but one of
separation. Monism is usually a product of pluralism, accepting the
value of many paths. Monotheism usually denies pluralism, insisting
upon only one true path.