Many Scriptures One Wisdom (Treasures from The Sacred Texts)

Item Code: NAI473
Author: Dada J. P. Vaswani
Publisher: Hay House
Language: English
Edition: 2013
ISBN: 9789381398449
Pages: 362
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Weight 360 gm
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Book Description
About the Book

Do we really have time to go back to the scriptures today? And not just to the scriptures of the faiths to which we belong, but to all scriptures of all faiths? The grave mistake we have all made in our generation is turning away from the sacred texts, Rev. Dada J.P. Vaswani tells us. To them we must return, so that our lives may be meaningful, worthwhile and beneficial, both to us and others. They make us feel that nothing is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.

This is not another compendium or anthology. Rev. Dada J.P. Vaswani has always rejected the titles of teacher or scholar, and chosen to refer to himself as a pilgrim on the path of life. As a friend and fellow-pilgrim, as one who places the highest worth on brotherhood, mutual understanding, loving tolerance and respect for all, he has selected sacred texts from world faiths which have influenced his life, and shares his insights on these scriptures with us.

Not for scholars, neither for the uninitiated; not for the initiated, nor the argumentative; this is a book for men and women who wish to make God's presence real in their lives. We may call Him by many names and worship Him in many ways. But He is One; and He is the Goal of our lives!

About the Author

Dada J.P. Vaswani is one of India's greatly beloved and revered spiritual leaders. He is the life-force at the helm of the renowned Sadhu Vaswani Mission, an international, non-profit, social welfare and service organization with its headquarters in Pune, and active centres all over the world. A fluent, powerful and witty speaker and an inspired writer, Dada has authored over a hundred books and booklets. Spiritual leader, educationist, philosopher and mystic, Dada represents the very quintessence of India's wisdom and universal spirit.


There is a story told to us of a temple built atop a mountain. Everyday, hundreds of devout people came to worship at the temple. Some climbed up the steep steps on the eastern slope of the mountain; a few walked up the gradient on the western face of the mountain; some people took the long winding road across the northern slopes; yet others climbed up the wooded slopes on the southern side. Ultimately, they all came to pray at the same temple.

Different religions, different faiths, different margas are all different paths that lead us to God. Let us follow the path that we are drawn to - for we are sure to arrive at the same destination. Each religion offers its own guiding wisdom to its followers in the form of sacred texts, the revealed scriptures of the faith. These books contain the essence, the distilled wisdom of the faith, either uttered by their illustrious founders or given to evolved souls as divine revelations. These sacred texts are thus the greatest spiritual treasures that have been carefully preserved for us, thanks to the selfless efforts of our forefathers.

Today, most of us are placed in a system of education, where God is conspicuous by His absence. We are proud of a 'liberal', modern, progressive, comprehensive, all-round education that is provided in our schools and colleges. We want to walk and talk and work as global citizens.

I have nothing against global citizens! My only desire is that in the emerging fascination for globalism, we should not lose our sense of basic identity and faith. Unless we are firmly 'rooted' in our own identity, how can we aspire to become whole beings? Professions and business and money making alone will not suffice; we need to know our true selves; we need to drink deep in the eternal springs of the faith that nourished the spirits of our forefathers.

I do not wish to disparage the youth: but it is a fact that many young men and women today are not really conversant with the very source of their faiths - their sacred scriptures. They feel that they don't need such knowledge. They think that it does not 'add value' to their resumes; it has no practical utility or relevance.

I beg to differ! We live in a world where moral ambivalence is fast slipping into moral turpitude. Parents are becoming aggrieved by offspring who do not have a sense of right and wrong, good and evil. And who will teach us the right, the good and the morally and ethically acceptable norms by which we can live?

I humbly submit that it is our great scriptures alone that can teach us the right way to live. Even our consciences may trick us! Vested interests and bigoted 'scholars' may mislead and misinterpret doctrines of faith to achieve their own narrow objectives. As the Bible points out to us, even the devil can cite scriptures for its own purposes. Therefore, we return to the sources; we become acquainted with our scriptures first hand; we reflect on the truths they enshrine; we reflect and inquire; we ask questions and we arrive at the truth.

Swadhyaya (study for self-improvement) is a sacred duty enjoined on all Hindus. Not a day in our lives should pass without our having read and reflected on at least one verse, one line from our scriptures. How many of us fulfill this sacred duty?

And if we are not reading our own scriptures, what am I doing by offering you a collection of multiple sacred texts?

Let me explain. So many religions are so many ways to the One Reality which is God! God is One; we don't have separate Gods a Hindu God, a Muslim God, a Christian God and so on. God is One and all the religions are ways that lead to the One. Let each of us follow the path that suits us best. But let us learn to respect others and the paths they follow to reach the One God. If some of my readers are encouraged by this collection to reach out and make an effort to read their own scriptures and the scriptures of at least one or two other faiths, I would indeed be happy with such a modest beginning! For as the Sage of China tells us, 'Even the journey of a thousand miles must begin with the first step!'

Most of us who are believers swear by the sanctity of the tenets of our faith. We firmly believe that ours is the right way, ours are the right beliefs and values. Justice, love, compassion, goodness - we think these are our own prerogatives. Christians swear by the concepts of love and charity; Muslims assert the values of compassion and justice; Hindus claim the virtues of tolerance and mutual respect.

I ask you in all humility: are we living in a state of mutual respect, love, tolerance, understanding and compassion?

We proclaim loudly of our 'progress', 'development' and 'advancement: But all around us, civilization seems to be regressing towards the dark ages! Man's inhumanity to man has exceeded all conceivable limits today. In my generation, people spoke of the atrocities of the Holocaust, the inhumane treatment of Prisoners of War and the ultimate horror of the H-Bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, for the Second World War revealed the depths to which our wounded civilization could sink.

But the post-war, postmodern era has seen the horrors continue unabated. Mass-murderers and aggressors call themselves freedom-fighters; violence and bloodshed are justified in the name of religion; and governments stoop so low as to indulge in the genocide of their own people.

We talk of the world shrinking and becoming a global village; indeed, all of us are only too eager to buy and sell, do business with all corners of the world, but underneath, deep distrust and prejudice prevails. Modern scholars call it fear of 'the other; prejudice against, even hatred of people who are not like us - people with a different colour of skin, people speaking a different language, people professing a different faith are not to be trusted; worse, they are actively targeted and vilified.

Today, man is losing faith in religion, because religion has been separated from life. Quarrels, discord, hatred and strife have entered the sphere of religion. Sad to say, religion, which was meant to be a bond of union, has become a source of sectarian strife and violence.

In the name of secularism, we are making the tragic mistake of discarding religion from our lives. We have 'sanitized' our schools and colleges by keeping God out of education. How can such education work?

Today, religion is discredited by 'liberals' and 'intellectuals'. I would like to say to them: It is not religion that has failed us; it is we who have failed religion. We talk of religion a great deal; but we do not bear witness to religion in deeds of daily living. We pay no heed to the teachings of the great saints and prophets of humanity.

Live and let live! This is peaceful coexistence at its best. Why should I expect my neighbour to think and work and speak and worship as I do? Let me accept that all of us are different and let me respect the difference. For all our differences, for all our diversity in language, culture and religion, we share but one world. Therefore, let us accept differences nay, celebrate all differences, and take delight in them!

In my view, politics sweeps only on the surface; it is only religion that goes to the very root, and transforms the lives of individuals, their thinking, their morals, their conduct and character. Politics is the product of the mind and the intellect and these are often instruments of division. True religion is born of intuition and higher understanding and these are essentially unitive. This is why I affirm that we need a new unitive vision of the spirit. We must turn our attention from the machines and money to the soul of humanity. And where is the soul of humanity but in those sacred texts that shaped and ordered human civilization?

The great historian Arnold J. Toynbee, surveying the situation of civilization in the twentieth century, pointed out that the world's hope is not in money and power, but in the spiritual qualities of justice, tolerance, sympathy and self-offering to the Eternal. Are not these the very same qualities emphasized by the scriptures of all faiths?

Truth is not the monopoly of anyone religion! Truth is a complex whole, and every religion has one or other aspect of truth to teach us. By all means let us be true to the religion in which we were born, but let us cultivate respect for every religion!

It is only because we are not acquainted with the wisdom that is to be found in scriptures of other religions that we become intolerant and lacking in respect for others. This little book attempts to provide basic understanding about various religious scriptures in the hope that men and women of diverse faiths might be brought closer together in a common bond of understanding and friendship.

I was blessed and privileged to grow up in the nurturing shadow of a great saint who saw the vision of the One in the many. Gurudev Sadhu Vaswani taught me that the various creeds and religions of humanity are but different ways of attaining one goal. Different religions are but branches of one religion the Religion of the Spirit. No matter how widely they may differ in their externals, they are all born out of one common and universal spiritual need -the need to unite the entire world in a spiritual brotherhood of man. For this is the vision that should inspire us; the vision that will move us onward, forward, Godward!

He said to us repeatedly (and, may I say to you, his life bore witness to his words), 'There are so many who can believe only one thing at a time. I am so made as to rejoice in the many and behold the beauty of the One in the many. Hence my natural affinity to many religions. In them all I see is revelations of the One Spirit. And deep in my heart is the conviction that I am a servant of all Prophets'.


Section I
The Scriptures of the World's Major Faiths
1The Sacred Scriptures of the Baha'I Faith17
2The Sacred Scriptures of the Buddhist Faith32
3The Sacred Scriptures of Christianity60
4The Sacred Scriptures of the Hindu Faith94
5The Sacred Scriptures of the Islam Faith153
6The Sacred Scriptures of Jainism172
7The Sacred Scriptures of Judaism192
8The Sacred Scriptures of Sikhism224
9The Sacred Scriptures of Zoroastrianism260
Section II
Offshoots: The Paths Less Travelled
Section III
The Sacred Scriptures of the Sindhis: The Nuri Granth325
Section IV
Talking to God: Some of My Favourite Prayers341
The Paths are Many : The Truth is One351
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