Embracing a diversity of religious beliefs ~ 17th Karmapa

The differences between religious beliefs are relatively superficial. Although the lineages and texts differ, in essence Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, and the other religions share many similarities. This is easy to see when we consider their ethical values and their emphasis on the awakening of human beings’ highest potential.

Whether or not we think the tenets of other religions are true is not the point. The point is that if we care about others’ happiness, we can be pleased that their religion is serving to bring them some happiness. If their religion or spiritual path is contributing to their well-being, that is what really matters.

I keep copies of the scriptures of each of the major religions of the world in my room. I have a personal practice of my own that I do with them. I take each scripture from the shelf and hold it in my hands as I make the aspiration: “Many millions of people have placed their faith and hope in the teachings contained in this scripture. May these teachings become a true vehicle for those who make their own aspirations through them. May these teachings be a vehicle that brings them all happiness.

17th Karmapa

from the book The Heart Is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out

translated by Ngodup Tsering Burkhar & Damchö Diana Finnegan

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