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 My God Versus Your God?

 

Religion has been at the forefront of controversy, hatred and wars throughout all of recorded history. And there is no issue that has been more contentious than the name of The Creator.

Each of the major religions has, at its very core, the fundamental concept of an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Creator that is beyond the understanding of the limited minds of mankind.

Since these diverse cultures all agree that there is One Creator, a Creator whom we all honor, and whose ways we all strive to learn to live in harmony with, then isn't that a common bond that we should all share and celebrate?

Who can claim to know the "true" name of the That Which is beyond name and form? Is it even meaningful to try to name That Which is beyond name and form?

God, Khoda, Allah, Alaha, El, Elohim, Elat, Om, Jehovah, Jah, Yahweh, Brahman, Ram, Krishna, Ahura Mazda, Tao... and many more, have all been used to refer to That Which is beyond name and form.

Nonetheless, words and names are only metaphors that we use to refer to something. The meaning is not inherent in the word, rather the meaning is something that is agreed upon. For example, each language has its own words for mother and father and for hot and cold... is it surprising then that each culture should have its own words to refer to the One?

There is only one God, and for those who find it difficult to say the name Allah, it may be helpful to note that in the Semitic language of Aramaic that Jesus probably spoke, the Aramaic name that is translated as God in the European bible was actually Alaha. Indeed, Allah of the Qur'an and Alaha of Jesus are the same One, there is only one God (and Arabic was largely derived from the earlier Aramaic, much the same as Aramaic was derived from the earlier Hebrew). However, the name God is a relatively new, and perhaps unfortunate, European invention that has been the source of much misunderstanding, fear and hatred.

Throughout recorded history, the differences of mankind have been used as excuses for crusades, wars and hatred. Must every generation fall prey to the same old foolishness, or is it finally time for a new understanding, an understanding based on The One who dwells in the inner depths of every human being?

May we all learn to celebrate the glory of the Divine Flame that glows in the heart of all beings.

May we learn as one great nation of mankind to celebrate the glory of our Beloved, the One who has created us all, rather than quarrel over our differences of opinion.


Wishing you love, harmony and beauty,
     wahiduddin