Sunday Service: One Truth, Many Paths

Week of May 24 – 30, 2015

This week we bring you a spiritual talk from our archives. We’ve published or reprinted so many spiritual talks over the years, sometimes it is good to go back and reprint some of the earlier work; this site is too deep to fully explore, so many gems can get lost or overlooked.

It is worth noting that we also have pages devoted to faiths other than Vedanta that highlight spiritual talks we have delivered in the context of those faiths. These pages include Christianity, Buddhism and Islam right now. All of our talks are in the context of Vedantic truth, of course, but these pages help bridge the gap between religions and share truth that otherwise go unnoticed in the Vedanta tradition.

So here you go.

Enjoy, and happy Sunday! Peace be unto you. Peace be unto all.

Yours in service,
Peter

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This Week’s Spiritual Talk

One Truth, Many PathsWorld Religions

By: Peter Kowalke

If you wanted to answer the big questions such as why we are here and how to live a meaningful life, and you had no preconceived notions or indoctrination, the following puzzle would confront you: The world is filled with literally millions of people who say Christianity has the answer, millions who say Islam has the answer, millions who say Buddhism has the answer, millions who say Taoism has the answer, millions who say science has the answer, et cetera.

Now many of these people might be easy to write off as stupid or unquestioning, but within each of these belief systems also are some extremely intelligent, thoughtful people who are not so easy to dismiss. How to reconcile the fact that there are intelligent men advocating a range of beliefs?

One solution is to look at commonalities—to look for common themes that emerge when all of the major schools of thought are compared. What is common among the various perspectives has a much greater chance of being true since all we really have–barring a divine sign that is seen by our own eyes–is logic, observation and best guess.

In fact, there are common themes when you look at science and world faiths. The emphasis often is different, some paths are easier than others, and a lot of culture is mixed in with the timeless truths, but universal truth such as love and selflessness emerges from every faith. Beyond the rituals and the doctrines, it turns out that the various paths lead to the same end. All major religions, practiced earnestly, lead to the same basic place eventually.

“We must learn that truth may be expressed in a hundred thousand ways, and that each of these ways is true as far as it goes,” says Swami Vivekananda, who effectively brought Vedanta to the United States in the 1890s. “We must learn that the same thing can be viewed from a hundred different standpoints, and yet be the same thing.”

He goes on:

 

(read more)

 

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videoVedanta Television

American Vedanta on YouTube

Finding lasting happiness. Applying the Bhagavad Gita to daily life. Learning about the history of Vedanta in the U.S. These are some of the topics covered at American Vedanta’s YouTube channel. We curate a list of spiritual videos that will help advance your spirituality and expand your mind. When wanting spiritual videos, give our YouTube channel a look.

We also recommend other resources such as Booksaudio lectures and web sites, among other resources.

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Spiritual Fitness

Do You have a Spiritual Routine?

Vedanta, if not practical, has no other relevancy. The key to practical Vedanta is an individualized spiritual routine.

There are six components of a good spiritual routine.

Swan1. Find a Community. If you have an existing church, temple or mosque, attend regularly. If not, join our Facebook group and see our list of recommended spiritual organizations.

2. Seek Guidance. Find a mentor within your existing spiritual community or contact us for a referral.

3. Attend Spiritual Services Regularly. If you don’t live near an appropriate spiritual community, we offer a weekly spiritual talk delivered by email, Facebook and Twitter. We also host a regular Vedanta Dinner for those who live in the New York City area.

4. Incorporate Individual Study. We keep a list of books and resources for your individual study needs.

5. Take Responsibility for Your Spiritual Life. Read our talk about listening to your own inner compass and contact us when you have a question that your spiritual community isn’t answering adequately.

6. Leverage Rituals Thoughtfully. As an example, read our essay about the power of saying grace.

Our longer talk about spiritual routine can be found here.

Happy Sunday! Peace be unto you. Peace be unto all.


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