HINDUISM:

BHAGAVAD GITA The most popular amongst all the Hindu scriptures is the Bhagavad Gita. Consider the following verse from the Gita: “Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures.” [Bhagavad Gita 7:20]

The Gita states that people who are materialistic worship demigods i.e. ‘gods’ besides the True God. UPANISHADS: The Upanishads are considered sacred scriptures by the Hindus. The following verses from the Upanishads refer to the Concept of God:

“Ekam evadvitiyam” “He is One only without a second.” [Chandogya Upanishad 6:2:1]

“Na casya kascij janita na cadhipah.” “Of Him there are neither parents nor lord.” [Svetasvatara Upanishad 6:9]

“Na tasya pratima asti” “There is no likeness of Him.” [Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:19]

The following verses from the Upanishad allude to the inability of man to imagine God in a particular form:

“Na samdrse tisthati rupam asya, na caksusa pasyati kas canainam.” “His form is not to be seen; no one sees Him with the eye.” [Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:20]

THE VEDAS

Vedas are considered the most sacred of all the Hindu scriptures. There are four principal Vedas: Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samveda and Atharvaveda. Yajurveda The following verses from the Yajurveda echo a similar concept of God:

“na tasya pratima asti “There is no image of Him.” [Yajurveda 32:3]

“shudhama poapvidham” “He is bodyless and pure.” [Yajurveda 40:8]

“Andhatama pravishanti ye asambhuti mupaste” “They enter darkness, those who worship the natural elements” (Air, Water, Fire, etc.). “They sink deeper in darkness, those who worship sambhuti.” [Yajurveda 40:9]  Sambhuti means created things, for example table, chair, idol, etc.

The Yajurveda contains the following prayer: “Lead us to the good path and remove the sin that makes us stray and wander.” [Yajurveda 40:16]

The following verse from the Rigveda Book 8, hymn 1, verse 1 refer to the Unity and Glory of the Supreme Being:

“Ma cid anyad vi sansata sakhayo ma rishanyata” “O friends, do not worship anybody but Him, the Divine One. Praise Him alone.” [Rigveda 8:1:1]

Brahma Sutra of Hinduism: The Brahma Sutra of Hinduism is: “Ekam Brahm, dvitiya naste neh na naste kinchan” “There is only one God, not the second; not at all, not at all, not in the least bit.”

CHRISTIANITY:

A study of the Christian scriptures reveals that Jesus (pbuh) never claimed divinity. In fact there is not a single unequivocal statement in the entire Bible where Jesus (pbuh) himself says, “I am God” or where he says, “worship me”. In fact the Bible contains statements attributed to Jesus (pbuh) in which he preached quite the contrary.

The following statements in the Bible are attributed to Jesus Christ (pbuh): (i) “My Father is greater than I.” [The Bible, John 14:28]

(ii) “My Father is greater than all.” [The Bible, John 10:29]

(iii) “…I cast out devils by the Spirit of God….” [The Bible, Mathew 12:28]

(iv) “…I with the finger of God cast out devils….” [The Bible, Luke 11:20]

(v) “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgement is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” [The Bible, John 5:30]

Jesus Refuted even the Remotest Suggestion of his Divinity Consider the following incident mentioned in the Bible: “And behold, one came and said unto him, ‘Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?’ And he said unto him, ‘Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.’ ” [The Bible, Mathew 19:16-17]

The First Commandment is that God is One The Bible does not support the Christian belief in trinity at all. One of the scribes once asked Jesus (pbuh) as to which was the first commandment of all, to which Jesus (pbuh) merely repeated what Moses (pbuh) had said earlier: “Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adonai Ikhad.” This is a Hebrew quotation, which means: “Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord.” [The Bible, Mark 12:29] Jesus (pbuh) thus reiterated the message of monotheism that was given by all earlier prophets of Almighty God.

All quotations of the Bible are taken from the King James Version. III

CONCEPT OF GOD IN OLD TESTAMENT:

1. God is One The following verse from the book of Deuteronomy contains an exhortation from Moses (pbuh): “Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adna Ikhad”. It is a Hebrew quotation which means: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord” [The Bible, Deuteronomy 6:4]

2. Unity of God in the Book of Isaiah The following verses are from the Book of Isaiah:

(i) “I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.” [The Bible, Isaiah 43:11]

(ii) “I am Lord, and there is none else, there is no God besides me.” [The Bible, Isaiah 45:5]

(iii) “I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me.” [The Bible, Isaiah 46:9]

Old Testament condemns idol worship (i) Old Testament condemns idol worship in the following verses:

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:” “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.” [The Bible, Exodus 20:3-5]

(ii) A similar message is repeated in the book of Deuteronomy: “Thou shalt have none other gods before me.” “Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that in the earth beneath, or that is in the water beneath the earth.” “Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.” [The Bible, Deuteronomy 5:7-9]

SIKHISM:

The best definition that any Sikh can give regarding the concept of God in Sikhism is to quote the Mulmantra – the fundamental creed of Sikhism, which occurs at the beginning of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. It is mentioned in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, volume 1 Japuji, the first verse:

“There exists but one God, who is called The True, The Creator, Free from fear and hate, Immortal, Not begotten, Self-Existent, Great and Compassionate.”

JUDAISM:

i) The following verse from the book of Deuteronomy contains an exhortation from Moses (pbuh): “Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adna Ikhad” It is a Hebrew quotation which means: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord” [The Bible, Deuteronomy 6:4] The following verses are from the Book of Isaiah:

(ii) “I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.” [The Bible, Isaiah 43:11]

(iii) “I am Lord, and there is none else There is no God besides me.” [The Bible, Isaiah 45 : 5]

(iv) “I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me.” [The Bible, Isaiah 46:9]

(v) Judaism condemns idol worship in the following verses: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.” [The Bible, Exodus 20:3-5]

(iv) A similar message is repeated in the book of Deuteronomy: “Thou shalt have none other gods before me.” “Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that in the earth beneath, or that is in the water beneath the earth.” “Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.” [The Bible, Deuteronomy 5:7-9]

In Judaism too, we find the same thread of monotheism, that is seen in other religions.

ISLAM:

The basic Islamic creed is “La ilaha illallah, Muhammadur Rasul’ ullah” meaning there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is His Prophet.

(inputs from http://www.irf.net)

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