Let the scripture be your guide in determining what should be done and what should not be done. You should perform your duty following the scriptural injunction. (16.24)

                The Ten Commandments of Hinduism according to sage Patanjali (PYS 2.30-2.32), are: (1) Nonviolence, (2) Truthfulness, (3) Non-steal­ing, (4) Celibacy or sense control, (5) Non-greed, (6) Purity of thought, word, and deed, (7) Contentment, (8) Austerity or renuncia­tion, (9) Study of scriptures, and (10) Surrendering to God with faith­ful loving devotion.

                Compare these with the ten basic teachings of the Bible: (1) Thou shall not kill, (2) Do not lie, (3) Do not steal, (4) Do not commit adultery, (5) Do not covet, (6) Do not divorce your wife, (7) Do for others what you want them to do for you, (8) If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other cheek, (9) Love your neighbor as yourself, and (10) Love the Lord with all thy heart.

                The Eightfold Noble Path of Buddhism is: Right view, right thought, right speech, right deeds, right livelihood, right effort, right resolve, and right meditation. Abstinence from all evil, performance of good acts, and purification of the mind is the doctrine of Buddha.

                The five cardinal principles of Islam are: (1) Faith in God, His message, and His messengers; (2) Meditation and prayer on the glory, greatness, and the message of God for spiritual growth; (3) Helping others by giving charity; (4) Austerity for self-purification by fasting in the month of Ramadan; and (5) Pilgrimage to the holy places.

                All great masters have given us Truth revealed by the Supreme. Krishna taught us to feel spiritual oneness by seeing divinity in each and everyone. Buddha taught us to purify ourselves and have compassion for all creatures. Christ asked us to love all beings as we love ourselves. Muhammad taught us to submit to the will of God and act like His instruments.

                In some religions, however, only the members of one’s own sect are considered favorites of God, and others are consid­ered infidels. The Vedas teach not only mere religious tolerance but the acceptance of all other religions and prophets as analogous to one’s own. The Vedas say: Let noble thoughts come to us from everywhere (RV 1.89.01). Different religious teachings are but different ex­pressions of the Supreme. They are to be respected, not regarded as instruments of division. The dignity and welfare of humanity lie in the unity of races and religion (Swami Harihar). True knowledge of relig­ion breaks down all barriers, including the barriers between faiths (Gandhi). Any religion that creates walls of conflict and hatred among people in the name of God is not a religion, but selfish politics in disguise. We have no right to criticize any religion, sect, or cult in any way. Differences in human interpretation of scriptures ¾ the transcendent voice ¾ are due to taking the literal meaning, prejudice, ignorance, taking lines out of context, as well as distortion, misinterpretation, and interpolation with personal selfish motives.

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The seers have separately described the creation and the Creator in different ways in the Vedic hymns and also in the conclusive and convincing verses of other scriptures. (13.04)

            The Gita also expounds on the truths of other scrip­tures. All scriptures, as well as saints and sages of all religions, draw the water of truth from the same ocean of Spirit. Their accent var­ies with the need of the individual and the society at the time.

Humility, modesty, nonviolence, forgiveness, honesty, service to guru, purity of thought, word, and deed, steadfastness, self-control, aversion for sense objects, absence of ego, constant reflection on the pain and suffering inherent in birth, old age, disease, and death; (13.07-08)

            Verse 13.08 of the Gita formed the foundation of Buddhism. The constant contemplation and understanding of agony and suffering inherent in birth, old age, disease, and death are called the understanding of the Fourfold Noble Truth in Buddhism. A clear understanding of this truth is necessary before starting the spiritual journey. A disgust and discontent for the meaninglessness and unreal­ity of the world and its objects become a necessary prelude to the spiritual journey. As birds seek the shelter of a tree when tired, simi­larly, human beings seek the divine shelter after discovering the frus­trations and joylessness of material existence.

This excerpt is from our 4th edition Bhagavad Gita, our hardcover Gita.