Seek the light of unity |

Seek the light of unity

I had not intended to weigh in on the subject of religion. My scriptures caution that if two people argue about religion, they’re both wrong. But in watching the barrage of smug and even hateful monograms on Christianity vs. Islam, Jesus vs. Buddha vs. Muhammad vs. Baha’u’llah, I am moved to make a rueful observation.

Whether Christ, Buddha, Muhammad, or Baha’u’llah is just a nice guy or even obsessed, as one writer suggested, is in the eye of the believer (or nonbeliever) – at least, in this world. Only God knows how deep is our folly in insisting that one of these figures is better than the others. As a Baha’i, I would say that none of them are “just great guys,” but are significantly more than that. My opinion, however, is irrelevant. What is relevant is that there is a common thread running through the teachings of these Great Guys. In a word: love.

“For never does hatred cease by hatred here below; hatred ceases by love. This is an eternal law.” – Buddha, The Dhammapada, 1:5

“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love … This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.” – Christ, John 15:10-12

“O mankind! We created you from a single pair … and made you into nations and tribes that ye may know each other not that ye may despise each other.” – Muhammad, Quran 49:13

“The utterance of God is a lamp, whose light is these words: Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship … So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth. The one true God, He Who knoweth all things, Himself testifieth to the truth of these words.” – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings CXXXII

These are words that can heal hearts and worlds. But they are quiet words. So quiet, it seems, they are not often heard above our angry shouting.

Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff

Grass Valley

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