When Jesus said ‘[No man comes to the Father] except through me’ he was speaking of the Self, not the body, but people have misunderstood this.
On another occasion Jesus said, ‘The kingdom of heaven is within you’. He did not mean that it is within the body. This ‘you’ Jesus spoke of is the Self, infinite consciousness.
Although a sage who has stabilized in the Self may use the word ‘me’, we should not make the mistake of thinking he is the body.
In the absolute, single, formless, immanent consciousness, where is Jesus or any other jnani [one who knows the ultimate Truth]? All is one in consciousness…
Many Christians take that phrase ‘No man comes to the Father except through me’ to mean through the form of Jesus Christ alone. Because of this interpretation they condemn all other concepts of God and all other religions.
In essence all religions are one.
Annamalai Swami from
Living By The Words Of Bhagavan
by David Godman
The Vedic world view is universal. There is nothing in the Veda that contradicts the truth of Christianity or Judaism, Islam or Buddhism. In fact, though not itself a religion, the Veda supports the basic truths of nearly all religions.
The Veda says there is only one thing. This one thing is consciousness. Everything of this universe, everything in this universe is an expression of this one consciousness.
Those religions that speak of God say there is only one God (though He or She may appear in different forms). They say further that God is omnipresent – every place and every time. There is nothing that is not-God. God is all that there is.
Where is the difference?
When we seek to be separate, there are plenty of details to distinguish one religion from another, and that can give me permission to not love someone, to see them as ‘alien’; but if we seek to know ourselves as this oneness, we will find instead those things that call us together, and that give us permission to love those who might seem to be against us, who might call us sinners, who may even call for our destruction. We will find our way to see beyond the differences to the truth of Self that is within each of us; the truth of Self that is the basis of all that is.
If we need to protect ourselves, and need to recognize those who do not wish us well, we will do so. We’ve had a lot of practice in this regard. We all have practiced fighting. We all have been engaged in the game of survival, to greater or lesser degrees depending on our circumstances; and life, as it is expressed through us, will make sure of its own survival, which of course means our continued survival.
What we could use practice with is loving those who seem different from ourselves, those who call God by another name. As we practice loving those we would rather dismiss, we will find ourselves more able to love those closest to us, those most like us.
And maybe, if we can love enough, perhaps we will find that our world becomes a less dangerous place, for us as well as for all those others.
Today I will look past the differences in the people around me, in the people in the news, in order that I may recognize the truth of Self that lives deep within every man and woman on this planet; and as I recognize this truth of Self within others, I more easily will be able to feel this truth of Self within myself.