The One God is our Father; we all are the
children of the One God (sggs 611).

Water may manifest as waves on the surface of ocean; or as ripples; or as a surf foam or bubbles; or as raindrops or icebergs — but in these various forms it is water just the same. Similarly, although there are numerous human beings on this earth who look different from each other in many ways, but we all have come from the same One Light. This outer world of plurality, cognized by our limited material vehicle of body-mind-intellect, is all a play of names-and-forms upon this Infinite Consciousness, the One Unconditioned Substratum. That One Homogeneous Whole ("Saabat") is the Changeless in changing phenomena, like the same gold in numerous ornaments, the same ocean in countless waves, the same clay in various pots, the same thread in several pearls of a necklace, the same sun in infinite rays and the same moon reflecting in many pitchers filled with water.

  • ਏਕੋ ਹਰਿ ਰਵਿਆ ਸ੍ਰਬ ਥਾਇ ॥: Eko hari raviaa sarab thaai: The One God is permeating and pervading all places (sggs 1177).
  • ਏਕ ਅਨੇਕ ਬਿਆਪਕ ਪੂਰਕ ਜਤ ਦੇਖਉ ਤਤ ਸੋਈ ॥ ਮਾਇਆ ਚਿਤ੍ਰ ਬਚਿਤ੍ਰ ਬਿਮੋਹਿਤ ਬਿਰਲਾ ਬੂਝੈ ਕੋਈ ॥੧॥ ਸਭੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ਹੈ ਸਭੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ਹੈ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਕੋਈ ॥ ਸੂਤੁ ਏਕੁ ਮਣਿ ਸਤ ਸਹੰਸ ਜੈਸੇ ਓਤਿ ਪੋਤਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਸੋਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਜਲ ਤਰੰਗ ਅਰੁ ਫੇਨ ਬੁਦਬੁਦਾ ਜਲ ਤੇ ਭਿੰਨ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥ ਇਹੁ ਪਰਪੰਚੁ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਕੀ ਲੀਲਾ ਬਿਚਰਤ ਆਨ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥੨॥ ਮਿਥਿਆ ਭਰਮੁ ਅਰੁ ਸੁਪਨ ਮਨੋਰਥ ਸਤਿ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥ ਸੁਕ੍ਰਿਤ ਮਨਸਾ ਗੁਰ ਉਪਦੇਸੀ ਜਾਗਤ ਹੀ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ ॥੩॥ ਕਹਤ ਨਾਮਦੇਉ ਹਰਿ ਕੀ ਰਚਨਾ ਦੇਖਹੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਬੀਚਾਰੀ ॥ ਘਟ ਘਟ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸਰਬ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਕੇਵਲ ਏਕ ਮੁਰਾਰੀ ॥੪॥੧॥: Ek anek biaapak poorak jatt dekho tatt soee... (sggs 485).
  • Truth is one, sages call it by various names (Rig Veda). One alone is God; there cannot be a second (Yajur Veda).
  • Prajnanam Brahma: Consciouness is God (Rig Veda).
  • The Supreme Truth is the Support of everything (Gita 15:17).
  • Within man He dwells, and with all other beings (Veda, Shawetaashvatra Upanishad 3.8).
  • For God is He Who gives (all) Support — Lord of Power — steadfast (Quran, Li:58). God! There is no god but He — the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal (Quran, ii: 255). To God belongs the East and the West: whithersoever you turn, there is the Presence of God. For God is All-pervading, All-knowing (Quran, ii:115).
  • Jehovah is the Spirit (Bible, 2Co 3:17).
  • Experience shows that the Spirit is nothing but Awareness (Sufi Jallaludin Rumi).
  • Parabhu vyapak sarvatra samaanaa, prem te prakat hohin main jaanaa: The Lord pervades everything equally. We can awaken Him with love, and thus realize Him (Ramaayan).

Although the Universal Spirit is One, the conceptions held by human beings about this One Spirit (also called God, Self, Awareness, etc.), however, are biased by each person's self-created veil of delusion through which all his perceptions, feelings and thoughts are filtered. Thus, for these various temperaments, mentalities, or dispositions there arose a variety of formal religions or paths for various expressions of the same one Truth. Hence, the Soul of all genuine religions is the same — One Truth. The various religious systems are but many ways to experience the same One Pure Awareness through one's own inclinations or nature.

Thus, call the Divine by whatever name you like; for He does not mind! Since the Divine is Infinite, His descensions are also infinite. Therefore, there can be no limitation in the choice of name. Hence, whatever part of the world one lives in or belongs to, or whatever language one speaks; everybody has a freedom to chant or meditate on whatever name appeals to him. God has no objection; for no name is superior or inferior in His eyes. All names are Divine, eternal, and perfect. To differentiate between different names and manifestations, or to put limitation upon their number is foolishness and an inexcusable offense. Because everything is manifestation of Divine Name.

  • ਤੇਰੇ ਨਾਮ ਅਨੇਕਾ ਰੂਪ ਅਨੰਤਾ ਕਹਣੁ ਨ ਜਾਹੀ ਤੇਰੇ ਗੁਣ ਕੇਤੇ ॥: Tere naam anekaa roop anantaa kahan na jaahee tere gun kete: Your Names are so many, and Your manifestations are endless. No one can tell how many Glorious Virtues You have (sggs 358).
  • ਜੇਤਾ ਕੀਤਾ ਤੇਤਾ ਨਾਉ ॥: Jetaa keetaa tetaa naau: The created Universe is the manifestation of (God's) Name (ਅਕਾਲ ਪੁਰਖ ਦਾ ਸਰੂਪ). (sggs 4).
  • ਅਨੰਤ ਨਾਮੁ ਗਾਇ ਹੋਂ ॥: Anant Naam gaai hon: Countless names are chanted (Guru Gobind Singh Jee).
  • Hari anant hari kathaa anantaa: There are countless descensions, and also countless Leelas — Divine Play (Ramaayan).

We all work our way through various evolutionary stages. Therefore, each person's interpretation of God depends solely on the level of his own inner purity or Spiritual Unfoldment. It is this reason that no two men's experiences of God can be the same; for God cannot be confined within the limits of the finite experience of our limited body-mind-intellect apparatus.

It's only because of limited understanding or restless delusion that we feel ourselves apart from the One Spirit and each other. In God's eyes, therefore, the real infidel is he who dishonors Him in any of His ennobling manifestations. In reality, there is no good or bad. We Are! Dualistic ("Doojaa Bhaav") concepts such as good and bad exist only for the deluded person. In Pure Consciousness there is no such conditioning. On account of losing Spiritual Awareness — essential Divine or godly status — one's mind takes refuge in material consciousness (false being) and comes to taste the poison of good and bad, followed by evil passions. In other words, man's forgetfulness of Eternal Law (Bhaanaa, Hukam, Will or Divine-doings) gives rise to dualistic principle wherein one sees separation and differences.

  • ਹਮ ਨਹੀ ਚੰਗੇ ਬੁਰਾ ਨਹੀ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਪ੍ਰਣਵਤਿ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਤਾਰੇ ਸੋਇ ॥੪॥੧॥੨॥: Ham nahee change buraa nahee koi. Pranavat Nanak taarae soi ||4||1||2|| (sggs 728).
  • ਖਿੰਚੋਤਾਣਿ ਵਿਗੁਚੀਐ ਬੁਰਾ ਭਲਾ ਦੁਇ ਨਾਲਿ ਜੀਉ ॥: Khinchotaan vigucheeai buraa bhalaa dui naali jeeo: By indecision and inner conflict, you will come to ruin. Good and bad both pull at you (sggs 751).
  • ਤੇਰਾ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਿਸੁ ਲਾਗੈ ਮੀਠਾ ॥ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਤਿਨਿ ਜਨਿ ਡੀਠਾ ॥ ਥਾਨਿ ਥਨੰਤਰਿ ਤੂੰਹੈ ਤੂੰਹੈ ਇਕੋ ਇਕੁ ਵਰਤਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੨॥: Teraa keetaa jis laagai meethaa. Ghati ghati paarabraham tin jan deethaa. Thaan thanantar toonhai toonhai iko ik varataavaniaa ||2||: That person, unto whom Your Bhaanaa (Your Eternal Law, Hukam, Will, Commad...) seems sweet, he comes to see You in each and every heart. You exist in all places and interspaces. You are the One and Only One, pervading everywhere ||2|| (sggs 131).

If one were to realize that "the God in me is the God in all", there would be no selfishness but only pure Love for all. Therefore, the basic truth that is to be recognized is that there is only one God or Self dwelling in all creations. If this is understood, there will be no need for anyone to hate or abuse or criticize another. To recognize "Oneness" of all beings and seeing Unity in diversity is Spirituality in itself. Such person established in his True Being remains equipoised under all circumstances.

  • ਜੋ ਦੀਸੈ ਸੋ ਤੇਰਾ ਰੂਪ ॥: Jo deesai so taeraa roop: Whatever is seen, O God, is Your form (sggs724).
  • ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਸਾਚਾ ਏਕੋ ਸੋਈ ॥: Sabh mahi sachaa eko soyee: The One True Lord abides in all (sggs 1350).
  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਦੀਸੈ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਸੁਣੀਐ ਏਕੁ ਏਕੁ ਵਖਾਣੀਐ ॥ ਆਤਮ ਪਸਾਰਾ ਕਰਣਹਾਰਾ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਬਿਨਾ ਨਹੀ ਜਾਣੀਐ ॥: Brahm deesai Brahm suneeyai ek ek vakhaaneeyai. Aatam pasaaraa karan haaraa parabh binaa nahee jaaneeyai: The One Unique Reality is seen everywhere, the Unstruck Celestial Music is heard everywhere, the One Creator is present in all creation; there is none else than He Himself everywhere (sggs 846).
  • God created the man in His Image" (Bible, Genesis 1:27).
  • The Truth is One in all (Gita 13:16).
  • It (Self) is blissful, self-effulgent, all-pervading and One without a second (Adhyaatma Raamaayana).

Therefore, instead of criticizing or detesting another path or point of view, one must try to understand others without first waiting to be understood; one must first truly understand the essence of his own scriptures and then try to understand the scriptures as well as the view point of other religions or faiths so that we can appreciate why other people do what they do; one must look beyond others shortcomings and take on their good qualities; one must appreciate the diversity of religions and culture for they are all part of the same One Reality; and we must develop selfless friendship, affection and understanding with all living beings — human and animals alike.

Unfortunately, we do not know our own true Self. As a result, we consider ourselves as limited and perishable entity, which leads us to identify with the body-mind-intellect apparatus. This wrong identity with the limited becomes bondage, which makes one extremely selfish. In other words, so long "I-ness" is up and active, man only deals with selfishness and evil; causing pain and suffering to himself and others. Love and Truth remain alien to those who follow such path of worldly desires and fear (attachment of the flesh); for they want something of the sense-world in exchange for their worldly love. The reason there is so much hatred, violence, intolerance, bigotry, and corruption in religions and politics in the world is that, in utter selfishness, the majority of us serve only our senses. We use our mind, body, intellect and wealth for selfish and unworthy purpose. Our so called Love for God or mankind is self-centered - man's small mindedness (ego personified individuality), or his bondage to ignorance or duality.

  • ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਨੁ ਆਪਾ ਚੀਨੈ ਮਿਟੈ ਨ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਕੀ ਕਾਈ ॥: Jan Nanak binu aapaa cheenai mitai na bhram kee kaaee: O Daas Nanak! Without Realizing one’s own self (Mool, Original, or True Nature, etc. - ਆਪਣਾ ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਪਰਖਣ ਤੋਂ ਬਿਨਾ, etc.), the moss of doubt (ignorance of one's True Nature, etc.) is not eradicated (from the mind) ||2||1|| (sggs 684).
  • Bewildered by false ego, strength, pride, lust and anger, the malicious men despise God, who dwells within them and within all others, and blaspheme against the Real Religion (Geetaa 16:18).
  • Be still and know that I am God (Bible, Psalms 46:10).
The purpose of various religions is not to divide people or compete with each other, but to unite and cooperate. At the surface, although, religions may appear different; but deep down they are essentially one. To put it in simple language, there is only one Religion of Truth that underlies all external religions; which are its varied expressions. They all exist for one ultimate purpose, goal or objective — to fulfill the soul's aspiration to Spiritualize life for uniting back with the Eternal Source. To put it otherwise, the means or paths are different, but the destination is one and the same — Spiritual-experience, God-experience, Allah-experience, Jehovah-experience, Nirvaana-experience, Raam-experience, Krishna-experience, Ahuramazdaa-experience, or call it by any other name you want. Baabaa Nanak says:
  • ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਏਕੋ ਹੈ ॥ ਏਕੋ ਹੈ ਭਾਈ ਏਕੋ ਹੈ ॥: Saahib maeraa eaeko hai. Eko hai bhaaee eko hai: My Lord is One; He is the One and Only; O brother, He is the One alone (sggs 350).
  • ਜਬ ਹਮ ਹੋਤੇ ਤਬ ਤੁਮ ਨਾਹੀ ਅਬ ਤੁਮ ਹਹੁ ਹਮ ਨਾਹੀ ॥ ਅਬ ਹਮ ਤੁਮ ਏਕ ਭਏ ਹਹਿ ਏਕੈ ਦੇਖਤ ਮਨੁ ਪਤੀਆਹੀ ॥੧॥: Jab ham hote tab tum naahee ab tum hahu ham naahee. Ab ham tum ek bhaye hahi ekai dekhat man pateeaahee ||1||: (O Lord) So long we are in Haume (ਹਉਮੈ - false ego-sense), until then You are not (awakened within - ਤਦ ਤਕ ਤੂੰ ਸਾਡੇ ਅੰਦਰ ਪਰਗਟ ਨਹੀਂ ਹੁੰਦਾ / ਆਪਣਾ ਚਾਨਣ ਨਹੀਂ ਕਰਦਾ); now that You are (awakened within), we are not in Haume (ਹਉਮੈ). Now that You and we have become one; seeing this, our minds have faith (that You and we are one and the same - ਕਿ ਤੂੰ ਹੀ ਤੂੰ ਹੈਂ, ਤੈਥੋਂ ਵੱਖਰੇ ਅਸੀ ਕੁਝ ਭੀ ਨਹੀਂ ਹਾਂ). ||1|| (sggs 339).
  • When you are with everyone but me, you're with no one. When you are with no one but me, you're with everyone. Instead of being so bound up with everyone, be everyone. When you become that many, you're nothing. Empty (Sufi Jalaluddin Rumi).

The essence of the teaching of the genuine Masters and scriptures is this: "Recognize all mankind as one family". Therefore, man of wisdom sees the same One God in all as his own true Eternal Identity. This is the highest Knowledge. But the man of ignorance does not see the same One God in all. That is the highest darkness. Thus, the emphasis of all religions should be on the One Spirit, Universal Love or God-experience, not on the nonessentials (or "error"). Because nonessentials can never affect the essential unity of the Spirit within.

  • ਮਾਨਸ ਕੀ ਜਾਤ ਸਬੈ ਏਕੈ ਪਹਚਾਨਬੋ ॥: Maanas kee jaat sabai ekai pahchaanabo: Recognize all mankind as one family (Guru Gobind Singh Jee).
  • ਏਕੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰਿ ॥:  Ek pashaanai haumai maari: Recognize One Truth by erdaicating egoism — error (sggs 1277).

Therefore, it is the sacred responsibility of those who consider themselves the custodian of religions not to preach ignorance, differences or nonessentials ("error"). But rather they should preach truth to proclaim the inner, essential Spiritual Oneness of man on the earth. Because living a Divine Life (the Gurmukh LIfestyle), truthfully is Light — Love, Spirituality, Beauty, Harmony, Peace, Spiritual Power, Knowledge, Forgiveness, Objectivity, Timelessness, Pure Being, Oneness, Detachment, Viveka, Selflessness, Fearlessness, Freedom, Stillness, God-consciousness, Naam-consciousness or Shabad-Surti, etc. To the contrary, perfuming in ignorance is darkness — ego, materiality, divided consciousness (Doojaa Bhaav or duality), fanaticism, fear, hatred, revenge, sense-slavery, reaction, "I, me, mine, you", time and space, names and forms, prejudices, differences, conflicts, divisiveness, bondage, perverted understanding, possessiveness, hurt, clouded judgment, falsehood, corruption, crookedness, misery, pain and suffering, inner restlessness, acquisition and rejection, and so on.

  • ਤਿਲਕੁ ਲਿਲਾਟਿ ਜਾਣੈ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਏਕੁ ॥ ਬੂਝੈ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਿਬੇਕੁ ॥੪॥: Tilak lilaat jaanai prabh ek. Boojhai brahm antar bibek ||4||: (O Pandit) Let the knowledge of the One God be the ceremonial mark on your forehead. Who Realizes God is within (knows what's right and what's wrong, this is the real) discrimination (discerning intellect) ||4|| (sggs 355).
  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਆਪਿ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ ॥: Brahm giaani aap Nirankaar: Man with the knowledge of God (Brahm Giaani) is himself the Formless God (sggs 274).
  • The highest knowledge is to see the One, who stays undivided in all living beings (Gita 18:20).
  • ਆਤਮ ਮਹਿ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਲਹੰਤੇ ॥: Aatam mahi paarbraham lahante: Within the Soul, find the Supreme Lord (sggs 276).
  • ਆਤਮੁ ਚੀਨੈ ਸੁ ਤਤੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੇ ॥: Aatam cheenai su tatt beechaarae: One who understands his own Soul, contemplates the essence of Reality (sggs 224).
  • ਗਿਆਨ ਵਿਹੂਣੀ ਭਵੈ ਸਬਾਈ ॥: Giaan vihoonee bhavai sabaaee: Without the Divine Knowlege, the entire world wanders about (sggs 1034).

— T. Singh