Religions are different roads converging upon the same point. What does it matter that we take different roads so long as we reach the same goal?
HS, p. 65
Belief in one God is the corner-stone of all religions. But I do not foresee a time when there would be only one religion on earth in practice. In theory, since there is one God, there can be only one religion. But in practice, no two persons I have known have had the same identical conception of God. Therefore, there will perhaps always be different religions answering to different temperaments and climate conditions.
I believe in the fundamental truth of all great religion of the world. I believe that they are all God-given and I believe that they were necessary for the people to whom these religions were revealed. And I believe that if only we could all of us read the scriptures of the different faiths from the standpoint of the followers of these faiths, we should find that they were at the bottom all one and were all helpful to one another.
H, 16 Feb.1934
I believe that all the great religions of the world are true more or less. I say more or less because I believe that everything that the human hand touches be reason of the very fact that human beings are imperfect becomes imperfect.
YI, 22 Sept. 1927
Perfection is the exclusive attribute of God and it is indescribable, untranslatable. I do believe that it is possible for every human being to become perfect even as God is perfect. It is necessary for all of us to aspire after perfection, but when that blessed state is attained, it becomes indescribable, indefinable.
YI, 22 Sept. 1927
If we had attained the full vision of but would no longer be mere seekers, but would have become one with God, for Truth is God. But being only seekers we prosecute our quest and are conscious of our imperfection. And if we are imperfect ourselves, religion as conceived by us must also be imperfect.
Y M. Chap. X
We have not realized religion in its perfection, even aw we have not realized thus imperfect, is always subject to a process of evolution and re-interpretation. Progress towards Truth, towards God is possible only because of such evolution. And if all faiths outlined by men are imperfect, the question of comparative merit does not arise.
YM, Chap. X
All faiths constitute a revelation of Truth but all are imperfect, and liable to error. Reverence for other faiths need not blind us to their faults. We must be keenly alive to the defects of our own faith also, yet not leave it on that account, but try to overcome those defects. Looking at all to religions with an equal eye, we would not only not hesitate, but would think it our duty, to blend into our faith every acceptable feature of other faiths.
Even as a tree has a single trunk but many branches and leaves, so there is one true and perfect religion but it becomes many, as it passes through the human medium.
YM, Chap. X
I came to the conclusion long ago, after prayerful search and study and discussion with as many people as I could meet, that all religions were true and also that all had some error in them, and that whilst I hold by my own, I should hold others as dear as Hinduism, from which it logically follows that we should hold all as dear as our nearest kith and kin and that we should make no distinction between them.
YI, 19 Jan. 1928
The one religion is beyond all speech. Imperfect met put it into such language as they can command, and their words are interpreted by other men equally imperfect. Whose interpretation is to be held to be the right one? Everybody is right from his own standpoint, but it is not impossible that everybody is wrong. Hence the necessity of tolerance, which does not mean indifference to one's own faith, but a more intelligent and purer love for it.
YM. Chap. X
Tolerance gives us spiritual insight, which is as far from fanaticism as the north pole from the south. True knowledge of religion breaks down the barriers between faith and faith.
It is not necessary for toleration that I must approve of what I tolerate. I heartily dislike drinking, meat-eating and smoking, but I tolerate these in Hindus, Mahomedans and Christians, even as I expect them to tolerate my abstinence from all these, although they may dislike it.
YI, 25 Feb. 1920
Religion which takes no account of practical affairs and does not help to solve them is no religion.
YI, 7 May 1925
I do not know any religion apart from human activity. It provides a moral basis to all other activities which they would otherwise lack, reducing life to maze of 'sound and fury signifying nothing'.
H, 24 Dec. 1938
For me, politics bereft of religion is absolute dirt ever to be shunned. Politics concern nations and that which concerns the welfare of nations must be one of the concerns of a man who is religiously inclined, in other words a seeker after God and Truth.
YI, 18 June 1925
For me, God and Truth are convertible terms and if anyone told me that God was a god of untruth of a god of torture I would decline to worship him. Therefore, in politics also we have to establish the Kingdom of Heaven.
YI, 18 June 1925
A good Hindu or a good Musalman should be a better Hindu or a better Musalman for being a lover of his country. There never can be any conflict between the real interest of one's country and that of one's religion. Where there appears to be any there is something wrong with one's religion, i.e., one's morals. True religion means good thought and good conduct. True patriotism also means good thought and good conduct. To set up a comparison between two synonymous things is wrong.
YI, 9 Jan. 1930
We the human families are not all philosophers. We are of the earth very earthy, and we are not satisfied with contemplating the Invisible God. somehow or other we want something which we can touch, something which we can see, some does not matter whether it is a book, of an empty stone building or a stone building inhabited by numerous figures. A Books satisfy some others, and many others will not be satisfied unless they see something inhabiting these empty buildings.
H, 23 Jan.1937
It depends on our mental condition whether we gain something or do not gain something by going to the temples. We have to approach these temples in a humble and penitent mood. They are so many homes of God. Of course God resides in every human form, indeed every particle of His creation, everything that is on this earth. But since we very fallible mortals do not appreciate the fact that God is every where we impute special sanctity to temples and think that God resides there.
H, 23 Jan. 1937
When we approach these temples we must cleanse our bodies, our minds and our hearts and we should enter them in a prayerful mood and ask God to make us purer men and purer women for having entered their portals. And if you will take this advice of an old man, these physical deliverance that you have secures will be a deliverance of the soul.
Bitter experience has taught me that all temples are not houses of God. They can be habitations of the devil. These places of worship have no value unless the keeper is a good man of God. Temples, mosques, churches are what man makes them to be.
YI, 19 May 1927
If anyone doubts the infinite mercy of God, let him have a look at these sacred places. How much hypocrisy and irreligion does the prince of yogis suffer to be perpetrated in His holy name?
Auto, p. 242
Churches, mosques and temples which cover so much hypocrisy and humbug a mockery of God and His worship when one sees the eternally renewed temple of worship under the vast blue canopy inviting every one of us to real worship, instead of abusing His name by quarreling in the name of religion.
H, 5 March 1942
Unsociability poisons Hinduism as a drop of arsenic poisons milk.
YI, 20 Dec. 1927
The 'touch-me-notís that disfigures the present day Hinduism is a morbid growth. It only betrays a woodenness of mind, a blind self-conceit. It is abhorrent alike to the spirit of religion and morality.
H, 20 April 1934
It is to mind a curse that has come to us and as long as that curse remains with us, so long as that curse remains with us, so long I think we are bound to consider that every affliction that we labour under in this sacred land is a fit and proper punishment for this great and indelible crime that we are committing.
SW, p. 387
Shall we have not the vision to see that in suppressing a sixth (or whatever the number) of ourselves, we have depressed ourselves? No man takes another down a pit without descending into it not the suppressed that sin. It is the suppressor who has to answer for his crime against these whom he suppresses.
YI, 29 March 1928
God does not punish directly. His ways are inscrutable. who knows that all our woes are not due to that one black sin?
YI, 29 March 1924
Swaraj is a meaningless term, if we desire to keep a fifth of India under perpetual subjection and deliberately deny to them the fruits of national culture. We are seeking the aid of God in this great purifying movement, but we deny to the most deserving among His creatures the rights of humanity. inhuman ourselves, we may not plead before the throne for deliverance from the inhumanity of others.
YI, May 1921