Unity in Diversity: God is One  

Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Torah, part of the Hebrew Bible. 

Published: 04th June 2023 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st June 2023 09:59 PM   |  A+A-

When we look closely at the epics of different religions, we find some common principles expressed in diverse ways. One such principle is that god is one. The Bhagavad Gita repeatedly asserts that god is ‘all-pervading’. Other books of Hinduism express similar thoughts. Chapter 6 of Svetasvatara Upanishad, part of the Black Yajurveda, has the following shloka:

Eko devah sarvabhuteshu gudhah,
Sarvavyapi sarvabhutantaratma,
Karmadhyakshah sarvabhutadhivasah
Sakshi cheta kevalo nirgunashcha

God, who is one only, is hidden in all beings. He is all-pervading, and is the inner self of all creatures. He presides over all actions, and all beings reside in him. He is the witness and pure consciousness, free from the three gunas of nature.

Christianity and Judaism also lay stress on one god. ‘Epistle to the Ephesians’ is a letter written by Saint Paul, one of the apostles of Christianity, while he was in prison in Rome. 

It is the 10th book of the New Testament, the second part of the Bible after the Old Testament. In the book, it is said, “There is one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Torah, part of the Hebrew Bible. 

It consists of three sermons delivered to the Israelites by Prophet Moses just before they were to enter the promised land of Israel. It says, “Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the Lord Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.”

The concept of one god has a central importance in Sikhism. This is encapsulated in the first verse of the Guru Granth Sahib, called the mool mantar—basic belief. It says, “Ik onkar, satnam, karta purakh, nirbhau, nir vair, aakaal murat, ajooni saibhang gur parsaad.” It means: There is only one God, Eternal truth is His name. He is the creator, fearless, without hatred, of timeless form, unborn, self-existent, and known by the Guru’s grace. Baha’ism is a religion based on the teachings of Baha’-u’llah. It was founded in the 19th century. Baha’ism accepts all religions as true and believes in the unity of mankind. It has a teaching that says, “He, in truth, hath, throughout eternity, been one in His Essence, one in His attributes, one in His works.”

When all religions believe in One God, it seems foolish to fight each other over who is the true god and who is not. We would do well to remember what the Upanishads say, ‘Ekam sat viprah bahudha vadanti’—truth is one. The wise describe it in various ways.


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