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Christian, Muslim, and Hindu Paths to God

Evil or sin is the ignorance that separates us from the word, the truth, or the ultimate consciousness that we call God. – Zhang Fu Lai

 

Our karma, which is the consequence of our thoughts, actions, and conduct, determines the extent of our separation from God. Good karma moves us closer to God and away from ignorance, and bad karma moves us closer to ignorance and away from God. In other words, that which we sew, we also reap.

 

Christians, Muslims, and Hindus disagree on the character of our separation from God as well as the path we must take in order to end the separation. Christians and Muslims believe we are literally separated from God through ignorance (sin) so that our objective is to dispel the ignorance and end the separation, i.e., go to heaven. Some Hindus (Theistic or dualist Vedantins) hold a similar view. However, many and perhaps most Hindus (Advaita or non-dualist Vedantins) believe the separation from God is illusionary, i.e., we are separated in the sense that we are already one with God but lack consciousness of it because of ignorance so that our objective is to dispel the ignorance by increasing the consciousness of the oneness with God we already have.

 

Christians, Muslims, and Hindus follow different paths to end the separation. Christians follow the path provided by Jesus; they believe we can dispel ignorance (sin), i.e., we can be saved from it, if we accept him as the incarnation of God and abide by his teachings. Muslims follow the path provided by the prophet Mohammed; they believe we can be saved from ignorance if we accept and abide by his teachings.

 

Hindus believe there are many paths to God, and we can save ourselves from ignorance by choosing the path that works best for us as individuals. They choose among a variety of paths that are based on meditation and devotion to manifestations of God, but they believe other paths lead to God as well, including the Christian path and the Muslim path.

 

Christians believe their path is the only legitimate one, and we must take it during a single lifetime or end-up separated from God forever. Muslims have a similar belief about their path. Hindus believe we must take a path of our choosing during one lifetime after another until we achieve our objective.

 

The Bible provides arguments in support of the Christian path; the Qur'an provides arguments in support of the Muslim path; and the Vedas, Upanishads, and Bhagavad-Gita provide arguments in support of the multiple-path approach of the Hindus.

 

None of the paths can be shown false, so each one is accepted or rejected on the basis of faith—faith seeking understanding. This means any attempt to rank one path superior to the others, except as a matter of individual belief, is a futile exercise in ignorance.

 

Copyright © 2022 Frank Zahn. Published in Meat for Tea: The Valley Review,

Volume 16, Issue 4 Electric, December 2022, p.105 - http://www.meatfortea.com/pdfs/meatforteav16i4.pdf.

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