10 Teachings Common in every Religion

Give the topic of religion some thought and you’ll realise that we are all a tad bit Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, and Jain.

What is religion? Religion is a set of beliefs that acts as a guide to a mortal’s life. And quite naturally belonging to one species, humans can’t differ much from each other. Though some religions have entirely different places of origin, they all agree on the same principles of life.  After all there is just one way to live.

The following ten teachings are indeed common to every religion:-

10. God is watching over us


Source: Atharva Veda, Hinduism

Muslims will tell you that “Allah is one” and that he paves way for those who fear him. And Christians do only that which pleases their God. The existence of God plays a major role in blurring the line between religion and science. Most religions have their own God, the creator of the Universe. The followers of these religions believe that God is responsible for both rewarding and punishing them whenever their actions call for it. No man but he can make the judgement, for he is the all-knowing, eternal being.

Having a supreme being look after us sure does give us a sense of security.

9. Disciplining one’s mind


Source: The Bible, Christianity

All religions are at one on the topic of discipline. “Calmness, gentleness, silence, self-restraint, and purity” are termed as disciplines of the mind according to the Bhagavad Gita. Once a person is disciplined he or she can be sculpted into any form. Therefore, it is equivalent to half the work done. Buddha, too, believed that nothing could be more disobedient than an undisciplined mind.

Only those who have mastered the art of self-discipline are fully aware of boundaries and limits. They do not need a third person yelling at them unnecessarily.

8. What goes around comes back around


Source: The Bible, Christianity

The law of Karma, meaning action operates like Newton’s third law: every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Except that the action here implies ‘the actions of a man’. And though not termed as Karma, the same teachings prevail in Christianity. Karma is simple. It makes us introspect. Why should we harm another? Would we like it if someone else harmed us in the same manner?

“For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head,” is another quote from the Bible that throws light on Karma.

7. Contempt for wealth in every religion


Source: The Bible, Christianity

To make salary one’s sole object is considered nothing less than shameful in Christianity. Likewise Mahavira had told the Jains that in order to achieve perfection of the soul they need to take the vow of non-possession. Even Confucius and Buddha laid stress on the correct means of attaining wealth. So it is quite evident that no religion associates money with happiness and satisfaction. In fact the accumulation of money is looked down upon in all religions. Wealth instead is encouraged to be spent on the needy and on charitable activity.

Perhaps we have our religions to thank for being the generous souls, however little we might be.

6. Treating both the impostors the same


Source: The Quran, Islam

Hinduism is on the same page as Islam on this front. Lord Krishna tells Arjuna to treat joy and sorrow, victory and defeat, gain and loss alike and prepare for battle. Only a person who can stay firm and not be affected deeply by both “Triumph and Disaster” will emerge victorious.

Many a man is aware of this phenomenon, it’s time that we became conscious too.

5. Emphasising the diabolical character of ego


Source: The Quran, Islam

There’s an interesting account of a man’s encounter with Gautam Buddha. It goes like this. A sorrowful man once met Buddha and said, “I want happiness.” To this Buddha replied,” First remove ‘I’ that’s ego, then remove ‘want’ that’s desire. See now you are left with only happiness.” No religion teaches us to become self-conceited or be swallowed in one’s ahamkar (ego).

A religion as we know it has certain rules and guidelines. And if our egos come in the way, we might begin to disregard these rules. Moreover we may begin to disregard everything that comes our way from an elder’s suggestion to a peer’s affection.

4. Being a Knowledge Seeker


Source: The Quran, Islam

The Gita, too, stresses the importance of knowledge. Ignorance it seems is despised by Gods of all religions. And it should be too. This I say not with an authoritative tone, but with a certain understanding. Ignorance is a trait that hampers your development so to speak. Thus our religions are merely trying to tell us that knowledge is not only a shield but is also the weapon that will protects us from intellectual evil on this planet.

3. Choosing what to leave behind


Source: The Bible, Christianity

The Bhagavad Gita belonging to Hinduism tells us that “the soul neither destroys, nor can be destroyed.” The soul is nothing but a metaphor for the reminiscences that we leave behind. The stories that remain on the planet when our bodies cease to exist. Given that we possess the selfish gene, we all would like to leave something behind. And that something being good.

The soul is said to reunite with God in all religions if and only if we do good in our lives. This is merely a strategy albeit a good one to keep us on our toes at all times.

2.Perseverance is the Key


Source: The Bhagavad Gita, Hinduism

And Islam does not differ. The Quran personifies ‘Perseverance’. And gives it the adjective ‘patient’.  Muslims believe that only those who patiently persevere are guided by Allah. Of course nothing is achieved in the blink of an eye. And more importantly we have no other option but to persevere for God will not suddenly appear from the heavens to solve all our problems.

1. Love as a powerful, binding source


Source: The Bible, Christianity

No living soul, believer or atheist is oblivious to the power of love. The wise simply love. They expect nothing in return. Those working for the welfare of others have love thrust upon them. Isn’t peace and love all that we require on this planet? Haruki Murakami puts it perfectly,”There’s no war that ends all war.” Without love, life would be chaotic and unfit for humanity. This is precisely what our scriptures have been trying to tell us all along. That people should be “doers of good.” Or as Buddha said, “Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.”

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Bhavya Sinha

An economics student at Delhi University, Bhavya has but catholic interests ranging from writing, karate, art to binge watching endless movies and TV shows. Writing helps her vent out things bottled up inside.