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Religious Diversity: Introduction + Table of Contents

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In this section we try to bring together articles and sayings which point to the unity and diversity in religions.


Table of Contents:


Religious Diversity – by the Dalai Lama

Bridging Unbridgeable Gaps between Religions

God of goden?

Religious Harmony and Cooperation from a Theosophical Point of View

The Common Root of Religions (Lecture for a Peace Conference)



One of the topics strongly promoted by Theosophy is to proof the unity as well as the diversity of human thought. It is a fundamental theosophical teaching that there is but one primordial religion, known by the gods or those who are the teachers and examples of humanity. They have helped humanity in various ways in its evolutionary and intellectual development and continue to do so, and will do so in the future.

In different times, in different stages of human mental and spiritual awakening they have provided us with keynotes of universal knowledge. The keynotes are always the same, but have been presented in the form of religions and spiritual philosophies, and are usually packed within a large body of ethical and social teaching proper for the time and situation in which they were presented. Thus the human mind and spirituality are awakened and trained within a great ‘divine plan’, a lay-out based not on theory, but on real knowledge of the cycles of evolution and the inner constitution of man and the cosmos.

The various religions were initiated in times that world communication as we know it today was non-existent. When a particular culture or group of people had reached a stage in which at least a sufficient number of individuals it would be susceptible for new truths and extended development, and would be able to carry the message contained in a new impulse further into future generations, the gods – together often designated as the ‘Order of Compassion’ or ‘Hierarchy of Compassion’ – would initiate an effort by sending into incarnation a great preceptor, many of whom would later become recognized as a founder of a great religion.

In our centuries, and especially the last century, partly due to enhanced communication and travel, religions have sometimes  clashed and emphasized their differences rather that their unity. Even learned people often failed to see the unity within the diversity. We are all aware that this has lead to wars, terrorism, many prejudices, and many forms of human suffering.

One of the points strongly underlined by the modern theosophical movement is brotherhood and unity of religions. Among the objects of the Theosophical societies is to promote comparative study of religions. This will lead to respect, understanding, and ultimately to the recognition of a common universal source.

This common universal source is not a new kind of religion (which would only lead to more strife and separation), and is not to be found ready-made in any fundamental theosophical text. The purpose of the modern Theosophical Movement is to stimulate people to think for themselves, make their own conclusions, and enhance the quality of human development. We support every effort to bring people and cultures closer together in brotherly respect and understanding – not efforts to create a new religion ‘above all others’  The evolution of humanity has taken and will take many millions of years, and the modern Theosophical effort – just one of the innumerable genuine efforts of past and future – is to promote peace, understanding, respect, spiritual and intellectual awakening and progress.


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