[an error occurred while processing this directive]
HinduNet
  
Forums Chat Annouce Calender DigiCards Recommend Remote Invites
[an error occurred while processing this directive]


Hinduism : The Eternal Tradition Sanatana Dharma
Index

Preface 

Perennial Wisdom 

Sanatana Dharma

Religion And Spirituality...

Religion Or Dharma

The Eternal View Of Hinduism

Idolatary And Dogmatism

Religion And Spirituality..

Religious And Spiritual Practices

Civilization And Social Issues

Hinduism And Sanatana Dharma

Hinduism And Other Religions

Appendices

       

Major Sections
Books By David Frawley
Arjuna

Awaken Bharata

From The River Of Heaven How I Became A Hindu
The Myth Of Aryan Invasion Of India

Hinduism : The Eternal Tradition, Sanatana Dharma

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

SANATANA DHARMA AND THE MODERN WORLD

Aren't All Religions Merely Alternative Approaches?

One may recognize the differences that exist between various religions but consider them to be merely different alternatives, just as different roads may all lead to the same goal. This is true of religious teachings that have inner values and practices of meditation and Self-realization, but differ only in outer factors of name and form, like different enlightenment or Self-realization traditions. We can consider these to be different approaches to the same Truth. But we also observe that there are religious teachings which differ in fundamental values, goals and practices, not merely in superficial names and forms. These cannot be merely different ways to the same reality.

For example, we can recognize that there are many different names for fire. Calling fire by a different name does not mean that one does not understand the nature of fire. But this is not to say that fire can differ in its essential nature and qualities, that for some people fire is hot and for other people it can be cold. While formal differences can be reconciled, substantial differences cannot. Truth must be the same. It cannot differ according to the different beliefs and opinions of human beings.

Where religious differences are merely a matter of words or forms, we can recognize a common truth behind them. If one religion calls the ultimate reality love, another calls its truth, another calls it the infinite, we can accept a common reality behind all these formulations. But when religious teachings have differences of a substantive nature we cannot accept their varying views as equally true. For example the law of karma and rebirth leading to bondage or liberation cannot be equally true as that of sin or salvation leading to heaven or hell, as the two views are substantially different.

Such views may be reconciled into lower and higher, or outer and inner truths but they cannot be given equal validity. This does not mean that we must insist that only one religious belief is valid but that we must maintain an inquiry into Universal Truth and find out the real nature of things. The goal is to discover the Truth of things, not merely to uphold religion as we know it, which is a very mixed affair, as Truth. Religion, after all, is an expedient measure to aid us in the pursuit of truth. It should never be made an end-in-itself.

 

Back ] David Frawley ] Up ] Next ]

About Sanatana Dharma And The Modern World
Should We Follow Any Religion at..? Pg1
Should We Follow Any Religion at..? Pg2
 What is the Purpose of Religion?
What is the Difference Between Religion...?
Why Tradition?
Are All Religions One?
Aren't All Religions the Same?
Aren't All Religions Merely Alternative.. ?
Isn't It Wrong for Religious People to. ?
Should We Not Combine All...?
Can I be a Follower of All Spiritual Paths?
What Do All Hindus Believe?
Isn't the Universal Tradition More Than..?
Should Not Westerners Follow ..?
Don't Westerners Require a Scientific..?
What is the Ancient Western Vedic... ?
Don't We Need Practices Designed..?
What is the Importance of a... ?
Can I Keep My Existing Religious... ?
Is Yoga Hindu?
Is not Yoga Enough, Why Should We... ?
Is Hinduism of Value for Westerners?
Aren't There Many Things Wrong With.. ?
Should One Formally Become a Hindu?
Won't A Person Lose their Western ....?
How Can We Integrate East and West?
Are Gurus Necessary?
Does One Require a Living Guru?
Should One Follow a Traditional Guru?
Can One Change Gurus?
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
HinduNet Signature Merchandise

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
More Information about HinduNet Inc.
Privacy Statement
The Hindu Universe is a HinduNet Inc., website.
Copyrighted 1994-2003, HinduNet Inc.