Discovering A New Perspective, A Paradigm of Evolutionary Change. Exploring pathways toward appreciation by fostering an ever-developing interconnected intercultural comunication.
A Paradigm for Peace
From Divine to Divided
Investigating the Case for a Lasting World Peace as seen through prayer, meditation, interfaith study and faith.
Within a Counterpoint of Cultural Contrasts
From the Divine to the Divided
" God, the Almighty, has created all mankind from the dust of earth. He has fashioned them all from the same elements; they are descended from the same race and live upon the same globe. He has created them to dwell beneath the one heaven. As members of the human family and His children He has endowed them with equal susceptibilities. He maintains, protects and is kind to all. He has made no distinction in mercies and graces among His children. With impartial love and wisdom He has sent forth His Prophets and divine teachings. His teachings are the means of establishing union and fellowship among mankind and awakening love and kindness in human hearts. He proclaims the oneness of the kingdom of humanity. He rebukes those things which create differences and destroy harmony; He commends and praises every means that will conduce to the solidarity of the human race. He encourages man in every step of advancement which leads to ultimate union. The Prophets of God have been inspired with the message of love and unity. The Books of God have been revealed for the upbuilding of fellowship and union. The Prophets of God have been the servants of reality; Their teachings constitute the science of reality. Reality is one; it does not admit plurality. We conclude, therefore, that the foundation of the religions of God is one foundation. Notwithstanding this, certain forms and imitations have been persistently adhered to which have nothing to do with the foundation of the teachings of the Prophets of God. As these imitations are various and different, contention and strife prevail among the people of religious beliefs, and the foundation of the religion of God has become obscured. Like beasts of prey, men are warring and killing each other, destroying cities and homes, devastating countries and kingdoms." ( Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 297)
Do we heed the Word or follow the preachings of men?
One theme repeated time and again in religious history is an initial split into two fundamental major groupingss over a core element of faith or some question of succession or authority. These then go on to refine core rituals, creeds and observances ; often splitting off into more sects within sects. Many times conflicts beween two or more elements within a given faith are observed, much as is witnessed between different faiths themselves.
But it must be asked; Would the Masters of these Faiths themselves endorse such behavior? Would they even encourage worship of/in their own name? Are we, as a species, continiously taking original sublime messages, as givem in many major faiths, and distorting them for our own ends?; A unifying truth of peace succumbing time and again to the destructive divisiveness of human design.
Assuredly the history of oppression, violence and cruelty found in different faiths cannot be the result of the Will of God! Yet,each faith has its own "special claim" to the Almighty. Each sees itself as the most complete purest light of truth, the one offering the most direct paved road to Salvation.
On this page five recognized Faiths are outlined with an eye of:
1: establishing a point of Revelation as found in their own Scripture.
2: a brief outline of " What Has Man Wrought?"
Once it is established that adherants of Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hindu, and Judaism all worship one and the same God and that apparent differences result from time, place, language, culture and politics of humankind; not the Will of God; Then, perhaps, a major step towards World Peace can be taken.
Note: To help avoid bias and miss-information, writings and historys of specific faiths are taken from faith adherants themselves, or, when possible, directly quoted from their own Scripture. It is very difficult to obtain trustworthy reliable information about one faith via another; such as Islam from a Church, Christianity from a Mosque etc. URL links to the respective websites are included for further dtudy. This is simply a brief introduction to make a point.
Muhammad was born and raised in Mecca. When he was nearly 40, he used to spend many hours alone in prayer and speculating over the aspects of creation. He was concerned with the social unrest, injustice, widespread discrimination (particularly against women), fighting among tribes and abuse of tribal authorities prevalent in pre-Islamic Arabia. The moral degeneration of his fellow people, and his own quest for a true religion further lent fuel to this, with the result that he now began to withdraw periodically to a cave named Mount Hira, three miles north of Mecca, for contemplation and reflection. Islamic tradition holds that Muhammad during this period began to have dreams replete with spiritual significance which were fulfilled according to their true import; and this was the commencement of his divine revelation.This created inclination in him to engage himself in solitary worshipping.
According to Islamic tradition, during one such occasion while he was in contemplation, the archangel Gabriel appeared before him in the year 610 CE and said, ‘Recite’, upon which he replied, ‘I am unable to recite’. Thereupon the angel caught hold of him and embraced him heavily. This happened two more times after which the angel commanded Muhammad to recite the following verses :Proclaim! (or read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created- Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood: Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful,- Who taught (the use of) the pen,- Taught man that which he knew not. (Quran, Sura: 96 ayat 1-5)
In this present time a major firebrand used to light the torch of fanaticism is the perpetually media-fueled idealogical clashing of swords between Suni, Shia Islam and Jewish/Christian verses Muslim Empires. Each considers the other as a squatter or simply savage and brutal. But, it must be remebered, all sides have done their historical fair share in the theatre of terrorism. Yet, if one looks at the Qur'an and accepted Hadiths of Islam the message is quite clear:..
In Islam, the Way of God is Peace.
"But Allah doth call to the Home of Peace: He doth guide whom He pleaseth to a way that is straight. To those who do right is a goodly (reward) -- yea, more (than in measure)! No darkness nor shame shall cover their faces! They are Companions of the Garden; they will abide therein (for aye)!" (The Qur'an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 10:25-26)
(In this next verse The term"Book" in the Qur'an includes all of the Bible and the Qur'an.) "O ye people of the Book! our Apostle has come to you to explain to you much of what ye had hidden of the Book, and to pardon much. There has come to you from God a light, and a perspicuous Book; God guides thereby those who follow His pleasure to the way of peace, and brings them into a right way.
Of Mercy: "And when those who believe in our signs come to thee, say, 'Peace be on you! God hath prescribed for Himself mercy; verily, he of you who does evil in ignorance, and then turns again and does right,-verily, He is forgiving and merciful. (The Qur'an (E.H. Palmer tr), Sura 6 - Cattle)
Of Justice: ( Be prepared but be ever ready to accept
Have we followed God's pleasure in the way of peace as stated in the Quran?
What has man wrought?
With Muhammad's death in AD 632, disagreement broke out over who should succeed him as leader of the Muslim community. None of Muhammad's sons survived into adulthood, therefore direct hereditary succession was never an option.
Muslims eventually split into two groups, Sunni and Shia. Sunnis assert that even though Muhammad never appointed a successor, Abu Bakr was elected first caliph by the Muslim community. The Sunnis recognize the first four caliphs as Muhammad's rightful successors. Shias believe that Muhammad explicitly named his successor Ali at Ghadir Khumm and Muslim leadership belonged to him who had been determined by divine order
Ali was killed as a result of intrigues, violence and civil wars which marred his caliphate. His sons, Hassan and Hussein, were denied what they thought was their legitimate right of accession to caliphate. Hassan is believed to have been poisoned by Muawiyah, the first caliph (leader of Muslims) of the Umayyad dynasty.
His brother, Hussein, was killed on the battlefield along with members of his family, after being invited by supporters to Kufa (the seat of caliphate of Ali) where they promised to swear allegiance to him.
Here is a brief outline of conflicts soon after the death of Mohammed.
632-633 Wars of ridda (apostasy) restore allegiance to Islam
633 Muslim conquests (Futuhat) begin.
633-642 Muslim armies take the Fertile Crescent (Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia), North African coast, parts of Persian and Byzantine Empires
656 Uthman is murdered; Ali becomes fourth caliph.
657 Battle of Siffin. Mu'awiya, governor of Syria, claims the caliphate.
659 Arbitration at Adruh is opposed by Ali's supporters.
661-750 Ali is murdered; Mu'awiya becomes caliph. Beginning of Umayyad Caliphate .
680 Death of Husayn marks beginning of the Shi'at Ali ("party of Ali") or Shi'a sect.
Late 600s Ruling classes in East and West Africa convert to Islam.
700-800s Groups of ascetics and mystics begin to form.
710 Arab armies enter Spain from North Africa
Have we followed God's pleasure in the way of peace as stated in the Qu'ran?
Online resources used for Islam research: ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad's_first_revelation ) ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Succession_to_Muhammad ) ( http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-16047709 ) ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caliphate ) ( http://www.religionfacts.com/islam/timeline.htm )
"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." ( Luke 2:10-14 KJB)
" And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: " (King James Bible, 3:15-16 Luke)
" Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased." (King James Bible, 3:21-22 Luke)
" And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. " (King James Bible, 3:16-17 Matthew)
The Beatitudes: Mystical Teachings of Jesus in a nutshell.
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (Matthew 5:3-12)
Further Bible teachings for further contemplation:
"And thou, child, shalt becalled the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." (King James Bible, Luke 1:76-79)
" These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John: 16:33)
"These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (King James Bible, John 17:1-3))
What Has Man Wrought?
Soon after the death of Jesus many theologies and and philosophies arose telling of the nature of Christ the Anointed One and the relationship between man. the Holy Spirit and God. From these traditions. The Emporer Constanttine, during the Council of Nicea, decided on what would be the standardized politically accepted reality of Jesus. Of course, these decisions would heavily influence the selection of books in what would come to be the Cannonized Bible. After this was done other popular sects such as the Gnostics etc would be savagely curtailed. Only the dominant view, as upheld by the Roman State was allowed.This is just one example of how people, possibly even of good will, can select and edit the Enlightened Word while using it ultimately for their own ends.
Through time, many denominations came about from questions arising out of a struggle to understand the meaning of Bible verses and, sometimes, to reconcile them with each other.
A good example of such a disparity are a couple quotes on the reality of Jesus concerning Who judges; God or the Son? "As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. (John12:47-49)
" Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son." (John 5:22)
" Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. (1 Peter 1:17)
Many may dismiss the Judgment of the Son and/or God as a minor deal but, for others, a whole theology can be built on one or the other. It does look as if (John 12:47-49) and (John 5:22) do really seem to contradict each other.
The sales pitch of many sacred organizations and institutions advertising, "put your trust in us" while marketing themselves as a sort of go-between or stepping stone toward Salvation, is a common occurrence. Churches habitually lure in a prospective client with various enticing fun activities, then teach; " you are a sinner and therefore must be saved. The way to Salvation can be found here." Hence the individual may begin to associate church doctrines and creeds as sign posts to the road of salvation itself.
Interestingly enough, The Roman Catholic Mass was most always done in Latin from at least as early as 1570 to 1962. the Church taught it was hopeless for the common man to understand the Bible. Only Priests could know the Word of God". How convenient; Cardinals and Popes could, without question, do as they wished while the poor tithe paying, non-speaking Latin, pheasant could not even understand the obligatory Mass liturgy. Thus, the Clergy became the final authority between God and Man.
Another form of confusion, as to proper worship and prayer, is evident in the many divided denominations of christendom. Jesus mentions in the Beatitudes,in Matthew 5 "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." Also in the Qur'an (17:110) it advises us to ," pray in moderation," Yet, upon walking near a church during a service I could clearly hear "Alleluias" and "amens" and other forms of sing-song chanting through the walls from inside the building. Somehow, "making a joyful noise unto the Lord" was taken as " turn up the volume". Is this Biblical?
Matthew writes “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him." (Matthew 6:5-8 NIV)
The Qur'an advises," Say: Call upon Allah or call upon, the Beneficent Allah; whichever you call upon, He has the best names; and do not utter your prayer with a very raised voice nor be silent with regard to it, and seek a way between these. (Qur'an Sura 17:110 Shakir)
It may be prudent to meditate on this:" Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Awayfrom me, you evildoers!
Within a time of two thousand years, how many acts of terror, burnings and atrocities have been commited in the name of Jesus?
Have we followed God's pleasure in the way of peace as stated in the Qu'ran and the Bible?
Let us continue.
Krishna was born in prison to devout parents – Devaki and Vasudeva. At the time, his life was in danger because the tyrant Kamsa was seeking to kill him. It had been foretold that Kamsa would be killed by Devaki’s eighth child. Since Sri Krishna was the eighth child, he was smuggled out of prison to be raised by his foster parents Nanda and Yasoda in Gokula. Nanda lived a simple lifestyle and was a chief in the local Cowherding community. The young Sri Krishna is often depicted in these days as being a mischievous child, who enjoyed playing pranks and having fun. Some worship Sri Krishna as the ideal child of innocence.
However, even in his young years, Krishna is reported to have killed demons Trinavarta and Putana. He is also said to have lifted a nearby hill – Govardhana to protect the villagers against the wrath of Indra.
The Kurushetra war was a battle between the Pandavas and Kauravas. Sri Krishna tried to mediate to avoid conflict, but once war became inevitable he offered a choice to Arjuna – either he could choose Sri Krishna himself or he could choose his armies. Arjuna choose the counsel of Sri Krishna rather than his armies. It was on the battlefield of Kurushetra that Sri Krishna gave the immortal dialogue of the Bhagavad Gita, which was an exposition of Sri Krishna’s yoga and how an aspiring seeker might seek union with God. Unlike Indian scriptures of the past, the Bhagavad Gita did not require world renunciation, but encouraged world acceptance.
Sri Krishna is the central figure of the Hindu Bhagavad Gita. Sri Krishna is widely considered to be an Avatar – a direct descent of God. Krishna is one of the many names of Lord Vishnu, and Sri Krishan is considered to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
The hindu's common texts are vedas, a Sanskrit word means knowledge. This is also called vedic religion.
Online resource for Hindu Spirituality ( http://www.biographyonline.net/spiritual/sri-krishna.html )
What Has Man Wrought?
Hinduism mainly consists of the sects Vaishnavts and another Shaivats. Those who worship Mahavishnu and His incarnations are called Vaishavats. Those who worship Shiva are called Shaivats.
" Vaishnavism (Vaisnava dharma) is one of the major branches of Hinduism along with Shaivism, Smartism, and Shaktism. It is focused on the veneration of Vishnu. Vaishnavites, or the followers of the Vishnu, lead a way of life promoting monotheism, which gives importance to Vishnu and his ten incarnations. Followers worship Vishnu, the Supreme Lord and preserver of the Hindu Trimurti ('three images', the Trinity), and his ten incarnations, including Rama and Krishna. The adherents of this sect are generally non-ascetic, monastic and devoted to meditative practice and ecstatic chanting. Vaishnavites believe that both monism and dualism fail to explain reality accurately, and are of the understanding that God is inconceivably and simultaneously different from and nondifferent from everything else in reality (In Sanskrit this view is referred to as Acintya Bhedabheda Tattva). They are deeply devotional. Their religion is rich in saints, temples and scriptures. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaishnavism )
Shaivism or Saivism is one of the four most widely followed sects of Hinduism, which reveres the God Shiva as the Supreme Being. It is also known as śaiva paṁtha (Sanskrit: शैव पंथ; lit. "pantha associated with Shiva") and Saivam (Tamil: சைவம்). Followers of Shaivam are called "Shaivas" (also "Saivas", "Shaivites" or "Saivarkal"). They believe that Shiva is All and in all, the creator, preserver, destroyer, revealer and concealer of all that is." ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaivism ) (Yes, there was conflict between these two sects too: Somewhat like Christianity and its Triune God? )
Sri aadi Sankaraacharya , Jagadguru, strived so hard to unite people and bring back the Vedic Based ADWAITA by defeating so many non-Vedic saampradaayas and beliefs. But People were so adamant after some time .They used to believe that the Lord they prayed IS THE SUPREME and other Gods are inferior. During 11th and 12 th centuries the differences between the two sects Saivaites and Vashanavaites increased to a peak level.
One can not even utter the Shiva naamam before a Vishna va and similarly theVaishanavites Vishnu naamam before Saivites.This small incident led to blood
shed.Heads rolled down to ground.
The different Vaishnava schools (sampradayas) and the principle teachers (acharyas) connected with them are as follows:based on SAME VEDAS , the differences still are existing here and there. Let us hope this will disappear and Every one pray his or her own chosen GOD or Goddess and think or realize that all the names and Forms are GIVEN BY US .Actually HE is Formless and shapeless and Nameless and simultaneously all names , forms and shapes are HE ONLY. ( Taken from a dialogue between Hindu adherants.
Have we followed God's pleasure in the way of peace as stated in the Bible, Quran and the Bhagavad-gita?
Gautama Buddha, also known as Siddhārtha Gautama, Shakyamuni, or simply the Buddha, was a sage on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. He is believed to have lived and taught mostly in eastern India sometime between the sixth and fourth centuries BCE.
The word Buddha means "awakened one" or "the enlightened one". "Buddha" is also used as a title for the first awakened being in an era. In most Buddhist traditions, Siddhartha Gautama is regarded as the Supreme Buddha (Pali sammāsambuddha, Sanskrit samyaksaṃbuddha) of our age.[note 5] Gautama taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and the severe asceticism found in the Sramana (renunciation) movement common in his region. He later taught throughout regions of eastern India such as Magadha and Kośala.
Gautama is the primary figure in Buddhism and accounts of his life, discourses, and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarized after his death and memorized by his followers. Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition and first committed to writing about 400 years later." ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gautama_Buddha )
Under the Bodhi Tree
At Bodh Gaya, in the modern Indian state of Bihar, Siddhartha Gautama sat beneath a sacred fig (Ficus religiosa) and began to meditate. According to some traditions he realized enlightenment in one night. Others say three days and three nights; while others say 45 days.
When his mind was purified by concentration, it is said he acquired the Three Knowledges. The first knowledge was that of his past lives and the past lives of all beings. The second knowledge was of the laws of karma. The third knowledge was that he was free of all obstacles and released from attachments.
When he realized release from samsara, the awakened Buddha exclaimed," House-builder, you're seen! You will not build a house again. All your rafters broken, the ridge pole destroyed, gone to the Unformed, the mind has come to the end of craving." [Dhammapada, verse 154]http://buddhism.about.com/od/buddha/fl/The-Enlightenment-of-the-Buddha.htm
"During a full-moon night in May, Siddhartha went into deep meditation. As the morning star appeared in the eastern sky, he became an enlightened one, a Buddha. He was thirty five years old.
What Has Man Wrought?
Once again, a two-way split, as in other faiths, occured as followers struggled with the Dharma. Creed. Applications in Buddhism include the Theravada (Minayana) and mahayana. " These two major schools of Buddhism, Theravada and the Mahayana, are to be understood as different expressions of the same teaching of the historical Buddha. Because, in fact, they agree upon and practice the core teachings of the Buddha’s Dharma. And while there was a schism after the first council on the death of the Buddha, it was largely over the monastic rules and academic points such as whether an enlightened person could lapse or not. Time, culture and customs in the countries in Asia which adopted the Buddha-dharma have more to do with the apparent differences, as you will not find any animosity between the two major schools, other than that created by healthy debate on the expression of and the implementation of the Buddha's Teachings.
Theravada may be called the most orthodox school of Buddhism. This school admits the human characteristics of the Buddha, and is characterised by a psychological understanding of human nature; and emphasises a meditative approach to the transformation of consciousness.
The teaching of the Buddha according to this school is very plain. He asks us to ‘abstain from all kinds of evil, to accumulate all that is good and to purify our mind’. These can be accomplished by The Three Trainings: the development of ethical conduct, meditation and insight-wisdom.
The Mahayana is more of an umbrella body for a great variety of schools, from the Tantra school (the secret teaching of Yoga) whose essential teaching is that salvation can be attained only through absolute trust in the saving power of Amitabha, longing to be reborn in his paradise through his grace,
It is generally accepted, that what we know today as the Mahayana arose from the Mahasanghikas sect who were the earliest seceders, and the forerunners of the Mahayana. They took up the cause of their new sect with zeal and enthusiasm and in a few decades grew remarkably in power and popularity. They adapted the existing monastic rules and thus revolutionised the Buddhist Order of Monks. Moreover, they made alterations in the arrangements and interpretation of the Sutra (Discourses) and the Vinaya (Rules) texts. And they rejected certain portions of the canon which had been accepted in the First Council." ( http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhistworld/schools1.htm )
Have we followed God's pleasure in the way of peace as stated in the Bible, Quran, Bhagavad-gita and Dhammapada?
Moses and the Burning Bush
" Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am."
“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father,[a] the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?
And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” (Exodus 3-12 NIV)
What Has Man Wrought?
"Perhaps the oldest records we have of a formal difference of religious opinion among Jews dates back to the time of the Maccabean revolt. . At that time, the land of Israel was under the relatively benevolent control of Greece, and was deeply influenced by Greek culture. As the Seleucid Greeks began to oppress the Jews, war broke out and the Jewish people united in their opposition to the Greeks.The war continued for 25 years, and the Jewish people remained united in purpose. But after the war ended, the Jewish people became divided into three groups: the Essenes, the Sadducees (Tzedukim in Hebrew) and the Pharisees.
The Essenes were an ascetic and mystical group devoted to strict discipline. They lived in isolation from the world. The Dead Sea Scrolls are believed to be the product of an Essene sect. Some scholars believe that early Christianity was influenced by the mystical and hermetical teachings of the Essenes.
The Sadducees evolved out of the Hellenistic elements of Judaism. The movement was made up of the priests and the aristocrats of Jewish society. They were religiously conservative but socially liberal. The Sadducees believed in a strict, narrow and unchanging interpretation of the written Torah, and they did not believe in oral Torah. The Temple and its sacrificial services were at the center of their worship. Socially, they adopted the ways of the neighboring Greek culture.
The Pharisees believed that G-d gave the Jews both a written Torah and an oral Torah, both of which were equally binding and both of which were open to interpretation by the rabbis, people with sufficient education to make such decisions. The Pharisees were devoted to study of the Torah and education for all." ( http://www.jewfaq.org/movement.htm )
Have we followed God's pleasure in the way of peace as stated in the Bible, Quran, Bhagavad-gita, Dhammapada and Torah?
Point of Revelation and the Call for unity
Bahá'u'lláh proclaims to NASIRI'D-DIN SHAH:
"O King! I was but a man like others, asleep upon My couch, when lo, the breezes of the All-Glorious were wafted over Me, and taught Me the knowledge of all that hath been. This thing is not from Me, but from One Who is Almighty and All-Knowing. And He bade Me lift up My voice between earth and heaven, and for this there befell Me what hath caused the tears of every man of understanding to flow. The learning current amongst men I studied not; their schools I entered not. Ask of the city wherein I dwelt, that thou mayest be well assured that I am not of them who speak falsely. This is but a leaf which the winds of the will of thy Lord, the Almighty, the All-Praised, have stirred. Can it be still when the tempestuous winds are blowing? Nay, by Him Who is the Lord of all Names and Attributes! They move it as they list. The evanescent is as nothing before Him Who is the Ever-Abiding. His all-compelling summons hath reached Me, and caused Me to speak His praise amidst all people. I was indeed as one dead when His behest was uttered. The hand of the will of thy Lord, the Compassionate, the Merciful, transformed Me."
Now is the moment in which to cleanse thyself with the waters of detachment that have flowed out from the Supreme Pen, and to ponder, wholly for the sake of God, those things which, time and again, have been sent down or manifested, and then to strive, as much as lieth in thee, to quench, through the power of wisdom and the force of thy utterance, the fire of enmity and hatred which smouldereth in the hearts of the peoples of the world. The Divine Messengers have been sent down, and their Books were revealed, for the purpose of promoting the knowledge of God, and of furthering unity and fellowship amongst men. But now behold, how they have made the Law of God a cause and pretext for perversity and hatred. How pitiful, how regrettable, that most men are cleaving fast to, and have busied themselves with, the things they possess, and are unaware of, and shut out as by a veil from, the things God possesseth!
Say: "O God, my God! Attire mine head with the crown of justice, and my temple with the ornament of equity. Thou, verily, art the Possessor of all gifts and bounties."
Justice and equity are twin Guardians that watch over men. From them are revealed such blessed and perspicuous words as are the cause of the well-being of the world and the protection of the nations.
These words have streamed from the pen of this Wronged One in one of His Tablets: "The purpose of the one true God, exalted be His glory, hath been to bring forth the Mystic Gems out of the mine of man -- they Who are the Dawning-Places of His Cause and the Repositories of the pearls of His knowledge; for, God Himself, glorified be He, is the Unseen, the One concealed and hidden from the eyes of men. Consider what the Merciful hath revealed in the Qur'án: No vision taketh in Him, but He taketh in all vision, and He is the Subtile, the All-Informed!"
That the divers communions of the earth, and the manifold systems of religious belief, should never be allowed to foster the feelings of animosity among men, is, in this Day, of the essence of the Faith of God and His Religion. These principles and laws, these firmly-established and mighty systems, have proceeded from one Source, and are rays of one Light. That they differ one from another is to be attributed to the varying requirements of the ages in which they were promulgated.
Gird up the loins of your endeavor, O people of Baha, that haply the tumult of religious dissension and strife that agitateth the peoples of the earth may be stilled, that every trace of it may be completely obliterated. For the love of God, and them that serve Him, arise to aid this sublime and momentous Revelation. Religious fanaticism and hatred are a world-devouring fire, whose violence none can quench. The Hand of Divine power can, alone, deliver mankind from this desolating affliction. Consider the war that hath involved the two Nations, how both sides have renounced their possessions and their lives. How many the villages that were completely wiped out!
The utterance of God is a lamp, whose light is these words: Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship. He Who is the Daystar of Truth beareth Me witness! So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth. The One true God, He Who knoweth all things, Himself testifieth to the truth of these words." (Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 11- 13)
Notwithstanding this clear message, Mirza Husayn Ali ( Bahá'u'lláh) ended up sacrificing his life for this Call of God. Bahá'u'lláh was attacked and perseucuted by the Islamic Clerics of his time, much as Jesus was attacked by the Jewish Temple Priests (nearly 2000 years earlier) in their day.