Wise Religious Quotes – Real Religion is in Realization, not in Blind Faith or Dogma, but in Rationally Striving to Attain the Truth
Words of Wisdom || Wise Religious Quotes
Welcome to the Spiritual Bee’s collection of Wise Religious Quotes!
“Religion deals with Truths of the metaphysical world, just as chemistry and the other natural sciences deal with Truths of the physical world.”
– Swami Vivekananda
It is a little-noticed fact that the major religions of the world have more in common with each other, than differences.
To begin with, all the leading religions of the world, including Hinduism, have their foundation in the theory of one God, who is infinite in His existence, eternal and without form.
In addition the prophets (Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Guru Nanak, etc.) all unanimously preached the same universal ideals of love, compassion, truth, peace and justice; in fact they were living embodiments of these values.
“It is our desires that limit the scope of our self-realisation, hinder our extension of consciousness, and give rise to sin, which is the innermost barrier that keeps us apart from God.
For sin is not one mere action, it is an attitude of life which takes for granted that we are not all essentially One, but exist each for his own separate individual existence.”
– Rabindranath Tagore
Today the unifying spiritual messages of these great teachers have been lost in narrow religious sectarianism.
We forget that religion is only the path; realizing God i.e. embodying his qualities so that we can evolve to become more like Him is the goal. Living in a Universe which is infinitely creative, it is but natural that the paths will be many, but they all lead to the same ocean of Truth.
How can we know an infinite God, if we confine our spirit within the finite boundaries of a race, religion or nation? The only way to really know God is to let go of all limiting identifications, and let our spirits soar in union with the Creator and his beautiful and varied Creation.
We are all Hindus.
We are all Christians.
We are all Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and Atheists.
We are all citizens of this beautiful world.
We are one and the same, because the same God, who is in my soul, also resides in everyone else’s. We are all sparks of the same infinite, divine flame.
Just as a mother’s blood flows in her child, so does the same Supreme Spirit flow through each of us. We are all interconnected, like threads in a piece of cloth. When we hate or hurt another, in reality we are hurting not only God but ourselves.
Quotes About Religion by Topic
Presented below is an insightful collection of wise religious quotes. These quotes on religion have been categorized under the following subheadings and are best read sequentially from top to bottom.
I hope these wise religious sayings fill your heart with peace and understanding.
The Role of Religion – Why Does Religion Exist?
Religion exists to provide us with a road-map to exploring our innate spirituality. Religion is the path, spiritual development is the goal. The path exists so that we can each realize the Supreme Truth – that God who is the Soul of all souls, resides within all. The same God, who is in me, is also in my neighbor although he/she may follow a different religious path to arrive at the same Truth.
The basic idea underlying religion is to create an atmosphere for the spiritual development of the individual.
B.R. Ambedkar, author of India’s Constitution (1891-1956).
Religion consists in the endeavor of men to cultivate and express those qualities which are inherent in the nature of Man the Eternal, and to have faith in him.
We begin our history with all the original promptings of our brute nature which helps us to fulfill those vital needs of ours that are immediate. But deeper within us there is a current of tendencies which runs in many ways in a contrary direction – the life current of universal humanity. Religion has its function in reconciling the contradiction, by subordinating the brute nature to what we consider as the Truth of Man.
A quote about religion, from the book “The Religion of Man” by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941). His breathtaking literary works (which can be freely downloaded from our website) are a must read, for any seeker of spiritual wisdom.
Only for man there can be religion because his evolution is from efficiency in nature towards the perfection of spirit.
Rabindranath Tagore in his book “The Religion of Man”.
The Goal of Religion
The goal of Religion is to lead us to Truth – that God is not some alien entity who resides only in temples, churches, or mosques; nor does he reside in a separate heaven far above the clouds; but that he is immanent in this Universe. He is in everything. It is He who manifests as both the material Universe (stars, galaxies and planets) and Consciousness. We may climb the highest mountain and God will still be there, because he is within us, he is in our very souls.
The only way to realize God is by expanding our consciousness, by increasing our awareness of his presence in all his Creation, by extending ourselves in love, harmony and service, by overcoming our base instincts of greed and exploitation and cultivating an attitude of caretaking for God’s most wonderful Creation – Planet Earth.
The ultimate goal of all mankind, the aim and end of all religions, is but one. Reunion with God, or, what amounts to the same, reconnecting with your innate divinity which is every man’s true nature.
Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902).
The goal of human life is to realize God, and the purpose of religion is to teach one how to manifest the divinity within. How does one manifest the divinity within? We can do so through four yoga’s, where the word yoga signifies the union of our individual soul with the Cosmic Soul:
Karma yoga, the path of unselfish action,
Jnana yoga, the path of knowledge,
Raja yoga, the path of meditation, and
Bhakti yoga, the path of devotion.
There is but one eternal religion and that is the perception of the Divine within; the rest is mere froth.
All Religions Express the Same Truth
All religions of the world express the same Truth in different languages and in various ways. As different rivers originate from different sources but mingle in the ocean, losing their names and forms, so all the various religious paths lead to God i.e. the Truth.
All who have actually attained any real religious experience never wrangle over the form in which the different religions are expressed. They know that the soul of all religions is the same and so they have no quarrel with anybody just because he/she does not speak in the same tongue.
I believe in the fundamental Truth of all the great religions of the world. I believe that they are all God given. I came to the conclusion long ago that all religions were true and also that all had some error in them.
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948).
Real Religion Lies in Realization, Not in Blind Faith or Dogma, but in Rationally Striving to Attain the Truth
The great poet Rabindranath Tagore once wrote “the reason why the teachings of our greatest prophets give rise to endless disputations is because we try to understand them by following their words and not by realising them in our own lives. The more vital a man’s thoughts the more his words need to be explained by the context of his life. Those who seek to know his meaning by the aid of the dictionary only technically reach the house, for they are stopped by the outside wall and find no entrance to the hall.”
Today the teachings of the great prophets (Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, etc.) are not followed in action; their words are sadly not a part of our lived experience. This is why the world has degenerated into war, hatred, violence and apathy. The prophets universal messages of Love, Peace, Harmony and Brotherhood have been lost in religious intolerance and narrow and dogmatic interpretations of scriptures. We forget that Jesus did not just preach peace, he actually lived it, he did not just talk forgiveness, he gave up his life for it.
Religion is realization; not talk, nor doctrine, nor theories, however beautiful they may be. It is being and becoming, not hearing or acknowledging; it is the whole soul becoming changed into what it believes. That is religion.
Religion does not reside in books, what good will it do if you just read it but do not feel or understand it?
The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, or the fear of death, or blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955).
Religion must mainly be a matter of principles only. It cannot be a matter of rules. The moment it degenerates into rules, it ceases to be a religion, as it kills responsibility which is an essence of the true religious act.
Religion is not going to church, or putting marks on the forehead, or dressing in a peculiar fashion; you may paint yourselves all the colors of the rainbow, but if the heart has not been opened, if you have not realised God it is all vain.
We must not forget that colors and all these things are good so far as they help, so far they are all welcome but they are apt to degenerate, and instead of helping they retard; and a man identifies religion with externalities. Going to the temple becomes tantamount to spiritual life. Giving something to a priest becomes tantamount to religious life.
He who realises the transcendental truth, he who realises the Atman (the Infinite Divine Soul) in his own nature, he who comes face to face with God, sees God alone in everything, has become a Rishi ( a person who has realized Truth).
So long as there is selfishness in the heart, so long is love of God impossible; it is nothing but shop-keeping: I give you something, Lord, you give me something.
It is in love that religion exists and not in ceremony; in the pure and sincere love in the heart.
God has no religion.
Religion is not a fractional thing that can be doled out in fixed weekly or daily measures as one among various subjects in the school syllabus. It is the truth of our complete being, the consciousness of our personal relationship with the infinite; it is the true center of gravity of our life.
This we can attain during our childhood by daily living in a place where the truth of the spiritual world is not obscured by a crowd of necessities assuming artificial importance; where life is simple, surrounded by fullness of leisure, by ample space and pure air and profound peace of nature; and where men live with a perfect faith in the eternal life before them.
A quote on religion from the book “Personality” by Rabindranath Tagore.
Religion, like poetry, is not a mere idea, it is expression. The self-expression of God is in the endless variety of Creation; and our attitude toward the Infinite Being must also in its expression have a variety of individuality ceaseless and unending.
Those sects which jealously build their boundaries with too rigid creeds, excluding all spontaneous movement of the living spirit, may hoard their theology but they kill religion.
Those institutions which are static in their nature, raise walls of division; this is why, in the history of religions, priesthood has always maintained dissensions and hindered the freedom of man. But the principle of life unites; it deals with the varied, and seeks unity.
I find in every nation that, in spite of priests and superstition, the divine within lives and asserts itself.
A quote on religion from the book “From Colombo to Almora” by Swami Vivekananda.
So long as man thinks he has to cower before another strong being, there will be priests to claim rights and privileges.
Almost the first words the great Buddha uttered were — “What you think, that you are, what you shall think, that you shall be.” Do not teach yourself that you are nothing – that you cannot do anything unless you are helped by somebody who does not live here, who sits above the damp-clouds.
The result will be that you will be more and more weakened everyday; the result will be “we are very impure, Lord, make us pure,” and you will hypnotise yourselves that way into all sorts of vices. Priestcraft and tyranny will go hand in hand.
A quote about religion from the book “From Colombo to Almora” by Swami Vivekananda.
The most heinous and the most cruel crimes of which history has record have been committed under the cover of religion or equally noble motives.
I would rather see every one of you rank atheists than superstitious fools, for the atheist is alive: you can make something out of him; he is not dead. But if superstition enters, the brain is gone, the brain is softened, and degradation has seized upon the life.
That brain which cannot think of higher and nobler thoughts which has lost all power of originality, which has lost all vigour, that brain which is always poisoning itself with all sorts of little superstitions passing under the name of religion, we must beware of.
Faith must be based on reason. When faith becomes blind it dies.
Do not believe what you have heard. Do not believe in a thing because you have read about it in a book. Do not believe in tradition because it is handed down many generations. Do not believe in anything that has been spoken of many times. Do not believe in conjecture. Do not believe in the authority of teachers.
Find out the Truth for yourself. After careful observation and analysis, when it agrees with reason and when it benefits one and all, then accept it and live by it. That is realization.
A Note on Hinduism:
Hinduism too is based on the theory of one God. The many personal Gods (for example: Goddess Saraswati and Lord Ganesh) represent aspects or subsets (knowledge and wisdom, respectively) of the Supreme God. They are presented as personifications so that people can meditate and focus on certain specific attributes of the Infinite. For the mind to concentrate on the formless infinite is difficult, a picture helps bridge the gap. These various personal God’s, along with the individual soul and the manifested Universe, are all contained within One Final Absolute Existence – the Supreme Soul i.e. God. For more see this post: Understanding the Many Gods in Hinduism.
I hope you enjoyed reading these religious quotes as much as I did researching them! Be sure to explore more such quotes from the outstanding Words of Wisdom collection.
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