Shared Visions

Shared Visions is an ongoing project that reminds us how the world’s religions share many core values. At Tanenbaum, we work to put interreligious understanding into practice. And we have found that an important part of understanding is to learn – not only how and why we differ – but also, how we are similar. We can’t control belief, but we can control our behavior.

This project highlights excerpts from different faith communities’ holy texts showing the common threads weaving between different faith communities.

The Golden Rule

Baha’i
And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbor that which thou choosest for thyself. Lawh’i ‘Ibn’i Dhib, “Epistle to the Son of the Wolf” 30

Buddhism
Hurt not others in ways you yourself would find hurtful. Udana-Varga, 5:18

Christianity
In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.Matthew 7:12

Confucianism
Do not unto others what you do not want them to do to you. Analects 15:13

Hinduism
This is the sum of duty: do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you. The Mahabharata, 5:1517

Islam
Not one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself. Fortieth Hadith of an-Nawawi 13

Jainism
A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated. Sutrakritanga 1:11:33

Judaism
What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor: that is the whole of the Torah; all the rest of it is commentary. Talmud, Shabbat 31a

Native American
Respect for all life is the foundation. The Great Law of Peace

Sikhism
Don’t create enmity with anyone as God is within everyone. Guru Granth Sahib, page 259

Taoism
Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss. T’ai Shang Kan Ying P’ien

Zoroastrianism
That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself.Dadistan-I-Dinik, 94:5

Charity

Our shared humanitarian impulse – to reach out across the globe to care for those in need – is a deep-seated human drive. And it finds voice in our diverse religious traditions:

Baha’i:
For in … teachings [of all religions] we seek the spirit of charity and love to bind the hearts of men together. The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 328

Buddhism:
There are three kinds of persons existing in the world: one is like a drought, one who rains locally, and one who pours down everywhere.

How is a person like a drought? He gives nothing to all alike, not giving food and drink, clothing and vehicle, flowers, scents and unguents, bed, lodging and light, neither to recluses and Brahmins nor to wretched and needy beggars. …

How is a person like a local rainfall? he is a giver to some, but to others he gives not. … How does a person rain down everywhere? He gives to all, but they recluses and Brahmins or wretched, needy beggars; he is a giver of food and drink, clothing…lodging and lights. In this way a person rains down everywhere. Itivuttaka 65

Christianity
[A]s a matter of equality your abundance at the present time should supply their want, so that their abundance may supply your want. 2 Corinthians 8:14

Confucianism
The accumulation of wealth is the way to scatter the people, and the letting it  be scattered among them is the way to collect the people. Great Learning 10:9

Hinduism
Let the rich man satisfy one who seeks help
and let him look upon the long view:
For wealth revolves like the wheels of a chariot,
Coming now to one, now to another. Rig Veda 10:117:5

Islam
Every person’s every joint must perform a charity every day the sun comes up: to act justly between two people is a charity; to help a man with his mount, lifting him onto it or hoisting up his belongings onto it is a charity; a good word is a charity; every step you take in prayers is a charity; and removing a harmful thing from the road is a charity. Forty Hadith of an-Nawawi

Jainis
Charity–to be moved at the sight of the thirsty, the hungry, and the miserable and to offer relief to them out of pity–is the spring of virtue. Kundakunda, Pancastikaya 137

Judaism
“Ye shall walk after the Lord your God [Deutreonomy 13:4]. But how can a man walk after God who is a devouring fire? [Deuteronomy 4:24]. It means, walk after God’s attributes: clothe the naked, visit the sick, comfort the mourner, bury the dead. Talmud, Sota 14a

Judaism & Christianity
Blessed is he who considers the poor; the Lord delivers him in the day of trouble. Psalm 41:1

Shinto
Those who do not abandon mercy will not be abandoned by me. Oracle of the Kami of Itsukushima

Sikhism
He who earns by his own exertions,
And gives something out of his earnings in charity,
Nanak, has found the way to the Lord. Guru I, Sarang Rag

Taoism
Relieve people in distress as speedily as you must release a fish from a dry rill [lest he die]. Deliver people from danger as quickly as you must free a sparrow from a tight noose. Be compassionate to orphans and relieve widows. Respect the old and help the poor. Tract of the Quiet Way

Compassion

African Indigenous Religions
It is not always physical bravery that counts. One must have the courage to face life as it is, to go through sorrows and always sacrifice oneself for the sake of others.  African Traditional Religions Kipsigis Saying (Kenya)

Baha’i
Take pride not in love for yourselves but in love for your fellow-creatures.  Glory not in love for your country, but in love for all mankind.  Bahau’ullah, Tablets of Wisdom

Buddhism
Compassion is not at all weak. It is the strength that arises out of seeing the true nature of suffering in the world. Compassion allows us to bear witness to that suffering, whether it is in ourselves or others, without fear; it allows us to name injustice without hesitation, and to act strongly, with all the skill at our disposal. To develop this mind state of compassion…is to learn to live, as the Buddha put it, with sympathy for all living beings, without exception.  Tenzin Gyatso, The 14th Dalai Lama

Christianity
All of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.  1 Peter 3:8

Confucianism
All you have to do is take this very heart here and apply it to what is over there. Hence one who extends his bounty can bring peace to the Four Seas; one who does not cannot bring peace even to his own family.  Confucianism: Mencius I.A.7

Hinduism
Find and follow the good path and be ruled by compassion. For if the various ways are examined, compassion will prove the means to liberation.  Tirukkural 25: 241-242

Humanism
There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Islam
A man once asked the Prophet what was the best thing in Islam, and the latter replied, “It is to fed the hungry and to give the greeting of peace both to those one knows and to those one does not know.” Hadith of Bukhari

Jainism
Have benevolence toward all living beings joy at the sight of the virtuous, compassion and sympathy for the afflicted, and tolerance towards the indolent and ill-behaved.  Tattvartha Sutra 7.11

Judaism
Deeds of loving-kindness are greater than charity.  Sukkah, 49

Native American
Work together for the benefit of all Mankind. Give assistance and kindness wherever needed. Law of the Great Spirit

Shinto
To be helpful to others and in the world at large through deeds of service without thought of rewards, and to seek the advancement of the world as one whose life mediates the will of Kami.  Jinja Shinto Principle

Sikhism
Compassion-mercy and religion are the support of the entire world. Japji (Sahib)

Taoism
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. Lao Tzu

Zoroastrianism
Doing good to others is not a duty, it is a joy, for it increases our own health and happiness. Zoroaster

Education

Baha’i
The spiritually learned are lamps of guidance among the nations, and stars of good fortune shining from the horizons of humankind. Abdu’l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization, page 33

Buddhism
A good, all-round education, appreciation of the arts, a highly trained discipline and pleasant speech;this is the highest blessing. Sutta Nipata, verse 261

Christianity
Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting get understanding.Proverbs 4:7

Confucianism
The principle of learning consists in preserving man’s clear character. In giving new life to the people and in dwelling in perfection, or the ultimate good. Ta Hsueh (The Great Learning)

Hinduism
The raft of knowledge ferries even the worst to safety. Bhagavad Gita 4:36

Islam
The learned are the heirs of the Prophets and the Prophets do not leave an inheritance of dirhams and dinars, but only of knowledge. he who acquires  knowledge acquires a vast portion. Hadith of the Prophet Mohammed

Judaism
[Wisdom] is a tree of life to those who grasp her, and whoever holds on to her is happy. Proverbs 3:18

Sikhism
True learning induces in the mind service of mankind. Adi Granth, Raga Asa, page 356

Taoism
For these four things are most useful to men, wisdom (combined with) courage, vision (combined with) knowledge, wealth (combined with) generosity, and good words (combined with) good deeds. Adarbad Mahraspandan, The Teachings of the Magi

Environment

African Traditional Religion (Idoma Prayer)
They gave the sacrifice to the East,
the East said, “Give it to the West,”
the West said, “Give it to God,”
God said, “Give it to Earth, for Earth is senior.”

Baha’i
We cannot segregate the human heart from the environment outside us and say that once one of these is reformed everything will be improved. Man is organic with the world.  Baha’ullah (Secretary of Shoghi Effendi, from a letter dated 17 February 1933 to an individual believer)

Nature in its essence is the embodiment of My Name, the Maker, the Creator. Its manifestations are diversified by varying causes, and in this diversity there are signs for men of discernment. Nature is God’s Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world. It is a dispensation of Providence ordained by the Ordainer, the All-Wise  Bahau’ullah, Tablets of Wisdom

Buddhism
Let creatures all, all things that live,
All beings of whatever kind,
See nothing that will bode them ill!
May naught of evil come to them!
Vinaya Pitaka

Christianity
For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving.  1 Timothy 4:4

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.  1 Corinthians 10:26 (also found in Psalm 24:1)

Confucianism
The natural world is not an object of our manipulation. It is a community of living, sentient beings that suffers or rejoices according to how it is treated by human beings. The scriptures teach that, for those who have eyes to see, nature is exquisitely sensitive to the spirit and attitude of people. The creation ‘groans in travail’ when it is misused and defiled, and rejoices when it can serve God through serving the children of God. Indeed, the virtuous person brings redemption to nature.  Analects 4.1

Hinduism
The mode of living which is founded upon a total harmlessness towards all living creatures is of the highest morality.  Mahabharata, Shantiparva

Islam
Do no mischief on the earth after it hath been set in order, but call on him with fear and longing in your hearts: for the Mercy of God is always near to those who do good.
Qur’an 7:56

To Him belongs what is in the heavens and on earth and all between them and all beneath the soil. Ayatul Kursi 020.006.

He it is who sends down water from the sky, and therewith we bring forth buds of every kind; we bring forth the green blade from which we bring forth the thick-clustered grain; and from the date-palm, from the pollen thereof, spring pendant bunches; and gardens of grapes, and the olive and the pomegranate, alike and unlike. Look upon the fruit thereof, when they bear fruit, and upon its ripening. Lo! herein verily are signs for a people who believe.  Qur’an 6:99

Jainism
Have benevolence towards all living beings.  Tattvarthasutra

One should not injure, subjugate, enslave, torture, or kill any animal, living being, organism, or sentient being. This doctrine of nonviolence is immaculate, immutable, and eternal. Just as suffering is painful to you, in the same way it is painful, disquieting, and terrifying to all animals, living beings, organisms, and sentient beings.  Acaranga Sutra 4.25-26

Judaism
When God created Adam, he showed him all the trees of the Garden of Eden and said to him: See my works, how lovely they are, how fine they are. All I have created, I created for you. Take care not to corrupt and destroy my universe, for if you destroy it, no one will come after you to put it right. Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7

Judaism and Christianity
The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein.
Psalm 24:1

Native American (Okanagon Creation Story)
Thus all living beings came from the earth. When we look around, we see part of our Mother everywhere.

Native American (Suquamish Tribe)
Every part of this country is sacred to my people.
Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove
has been hallowed by some fond memory
or some sad experience of my tribe.
Even the rocks,
which seem to lie dumb as they swelter in the sun
along the silent shore in solemn grandeur
thrill with memories of past events
connected with the fate of my people
Chief Sealth, 1887

Shinto
Even in a single leaf of a tree, or a tender blade of grass, the awe-inspiring Deity manifests Itself. Urabe-no-Kanekuni

Sikhism
The earth is a garden,
The Lord its gardener,
Cherishing all, none neglected.
Adi Granth, Mahj Ashtpadi 1, M.3, p.118

Taoism
Humanity follows the Earth, the Earth follows Heaven, Heaven follows the Dao, and the Dao follows what is natural.  Tao Te Ching

Forgiveness

Baha’i
Let not your heart be offended with anyone. If someone commits an error and wrong toward you, you must instantly forgive him. The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p.453.

Buddhism
Hatreds never cease through hatred in this world, through love alone they cease. This is an eternal law.Dhammapada 3-5

Christianity
Then Peter came up and said to him, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.’ Matthew 6:14

Confucianism
The superior man tends to forgive wrongs and deals leniently with crimes. I Ching 40: Release

Hinduism
It has been said that the continuation of species is due to man being forgiving. He, indeed, is a wise and excellent person who has conquered his wrath and shows forgiveness even when insulted, oppressed and angered by a strong person…Forgiveness is holiness and by forgiveness is it that the universe is held together. Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Section XXVIII

Islam
The best deed of a great man is to forgive and forget. (Shiite) Nahjul Balagha, Saying 201

Jainism
Subvert anger by forgiveness. Samanasuttan 136

Judaism
Who takes vengeance or bears a grudge acts like one who, having cut one hand while handling a knife, avenges himself by stabbing the other hand. Jerusalem Talmud, Nadarim 9:4

Sikhism
Where there is forgiveness, there is God himself. Adi Granth, Shalok, Kabir, p. 1372

Taoism
Show endurance in humiliation and bear no grudge. Treatise of Response and Retribution

Good Deeds

Bahá’í
By faith is meant, first, conscious knowledge, and second, the practice of good deeds.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Baha’i World Faith, p. 383

Buddhism
Whoever, by a good deed, covers the evil done, such a one illumines this world like the moon freed from clouds.   Dhammapada 173

Christianity
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.   Galatians 6:9

Hinduism
The wise see knowledge and action as one; they see truly.  Bhagavad Gita 5.4, 5

Islam
(And) lo! those who believe and do good works are the best of created beings.   Qur’an 98.7 (Pickthall)

Judaism
I call heaven and earth to witness: whether Jew or Gentile, whether man or woman, whether servant or freeman, they are all equal in this: that the Holy Spirit rests upon them in accordance with their deeds!  Midrash, Seder Eliyahu Rabbah 10

Native American: Shenandoah
It is no longer good enough to cry peace, we must act peace, live peace and live in peace.  Shenandoah

Sikhism
Without good deeds heaven is not attained.   Sri Guru Granth Sahib

Taoism
Anything evil refrain ye from doing; all good deeds do!   Yin Chih Wên, The Tract of the Quiet Way

Love Your Enemy

Bahá’í
By faith is meant, first, conscious knowledge, and second, the practice of good deeds.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Baha’i World Faith, p. 383

Buddhism
Whoever, by a good deed, covers the evil done, such a one illumines this world like the moon freed from clouds.   Dhammapada 173

Christianity
You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone…For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.   James 2:24,26

Confucianism
The Teacher said, “Knowledge is the beginning of action and action is the completion of knowledge…Knowledge and action should not be separated.” Complete Works of Wang Yang-ming, Instruction for a Practical Living, 1:22b

Hinduism
The wise see knowledge and action as one; they see truly.  Bhagavad Gita 5.4, 5

Islam
Be mindful of your duty [to God], and do good works; and again, be mindful of your duty, and believe; and once again: be mindful of your duty, and do right. Allah loves those who do good to others.   Qur’an 5.93

Judaism
I call heaven and earth to witness: whether Jew or Gentile, whether man or woman, whether servant or freeman, they are all equal in this: that the Holy Spirit rests upon them in accordance with their deeds! Midrash, Seder Eliyahu Rabbah 10

Native American: Shenandoah
It is no longer good enough to cry peace, we must act peace, live peace and live in peace.  Shenandoah

Sikhism
Heaven is not attained without good deeds.   Adi Granth, Ramkali-ki-Var, M.1, p. 952

Taoism
Anything evil refrain from doing; all good deeds do!   Tract of the Quiet Way

New Year’s Resolutions

To Listen…
One must talk little and listen much.  (African Proverb)

To renounce hatred…
Let us live happily, without hate amongst those who hate. Let us dwell unhating amidst hateful men.  (Buddhism, Dhammapada 197-200)

To follow the Golden Rule…
Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.  (Christianity, 1 Corinthians 10.24)

To share…
Do not seek to benefit only yourself, but think of other people also. If you yourself have an abundance, do not say, “The others do not concern me, I need not bother about them!”  (Native American, Yamana Eskimo Initiation)

To honor work…
Set your heart upon your work, but never on its reward. Work not for a reward; but never cease to do your work.   (Bhagavat Gita, Hinduism)

To be kind…
Enjoin kindness and forbid iniquity  (Islam, Qur’an 31.17)

To forgive…
Subvert anger by forgiveness.  (Jainism, Samanasuttam 136)

To care for the needy…
Clothe the naked, visit the sick, comfort the mourner, bury the dead. (Judaism, Talmud, Sota 14a)

To be honest…
Follow honesty without fail.  (Shinto, Oracle of Amaterasu at the Kotai Shrine)

To practice peace…
No one shall cause another pain or injury;
All mankind shall live in peace together.
(Sikhism, Adi Granth, Sri Raga, M.5, p. 74)

To be selfless…
Embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness.  (Lao Tzu, Taoism)

To prosper…
Let one practice here good industry; let one make the needy prosperous.
(Zoroastrianism, Avesta Visparad 15.1)

Peacemaking

Baha’i
We call upon the manifestations of the power of God…to bestir themselves and do all in their power that haply they may banish discord from this world. Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p 130 [14]

Buddhism
bodhisattvas (enlightened beings) of great strength delight in reconciliation of conflict. Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti 8

Christianity
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Matthew 5:9

Hinduism
May we agree in mind and thought, may we not struggle with one another, in a spirit displeasing to the gods! Atharva Veda VII, 52.2

Islam
Make not Allah’s name an excuse in your oaths against doing good or acting rightly or making peace between persons. Qu’ran 2:224

Judaism
The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of promoting peace. Talmud, Gittin 59b

Secular Humanism
There lies before us, if we choose, continual progress in happiness, knowledge, and wisdom. Shall we, instead, choose death, because we cannot forget our quarrels? We appeal as human beings to human beings: Remember your humanity, and forget the rest. Bertrand Russell, Russell-Einstein Manifesto

Sikhism
Now is the gracious Lord’s ordinance promulgated, no one shall cause another pain  or injury; all mankind shall live in peace together. Adi Granth, Sri Raga, M.5

Taoism
If problems are accepted, and dealt with before they arise, they might even be prevented before confusion begins, in this way peace may be maintained. Tao-te Ching 31

Respect

Baha’i
Be kind to all people, love humanity, consider all mankind as your relations and servants of the most high God. Abdul-Baha, Foundations of World Unity, p. 73

Buddhism
The bodhisattva [enlightened being] should adopt the same attitude towards all beings, his mind should be even towards all beings, he should not handle others with an uneven mind, but with a mind which is friendly, well-disposed, helpful, free from aversions avoiding harm and hurts, he should handle others as if they were his mother, father, son, or daughter. Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines 321-22

Christianity
Love one another; even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this all men will know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 14:34-35

Confucianism
The man of perfect virtue, wishing to be established himself, seeks also to establish others; wishing to be enlarged himself, he seeks also to enlarge others. Analects 6:28:2

Hinduism
What sort of religion can it be without compassion? You need to show compassion to all living beings. Compassion is the root of all religious faiths. Basasvanna, Vachana 247

Islam
Be kind to parents, and the near kinsman, and to orphans, and to the needy, and to the neighbor who is of kin, and to the neighbor who is a stranger, and to the companion at your side, and to the traveler, and to [slaves] that your right hands own. 4:36-37

Judaism
Thou shalt neither vew a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Leviticus 22:21

Shinto
Regard heaven as your father, earth as your mother, and all things as your brothers and sisters. Oracle of the Kami of Atsuta