Unity of The World’s Religions

“Between degrading superstition and still more degrading brutal materialism the white dove of truth has hardly room where to rest her weary unwelcome foot. . . . It’s time that Theosophy should enter the arena.” – The Letter from the Maha Chohan
“Between degrading superstition and still more degrading brutal materialism the white dove of truth has hardly room where to rest her weary unwelcome foot. . . . It’s time that Theosophy should enter the arena.” – The Letter from the Maha Chohan

“Our duty is to keep alive in man his spiritual intuitions. To oppose and counteract – after due investigation and proof of its irrational nature – bigotry in every form, religious, scientific, or social, and cant above all, whether as religious sectarianism or as belief in miracles or anything supernatural. What we have to do is to seek to obtain knowledge of all the laws of nature, and to diffuse it. To encourage the study of those laws least understood by modern people, the so-called Occult Sciences, based on the true knowledge of nature, instead of, as at present, on superstitious beliefs based on blind faith and authority.”

– H. P. Blavatsky, “The Key to Theosophy” p. 48

“It is perhaps desirable to state unequivocally that the teachings, however fragmentary and incomplete, contained in these volumes, belong neither to the Hindu, the Zoroastrian, the Chaldean, nor the Egyptian religion, neither to Buddhism, Islam, Judaism nor Christianity exclusively. The Secret Doctrine is the essence of all these. Sprung from it in their origins, the various religious schemes are now made to merge back into their original element, out of which every mystery and dogma has grown, developed, and become materialised.”

– H. P. Blavatsky, “The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 1, p. viii

“The Esoteric philosophy is alone calculated to withstand, in this age of crass and illogical materialism, the repeated attacks on all and everything man holds most dear and sacred, in his inner spiritual life. The true philosopher, the student of the Esoteric Wisdom, entirely loses sight of personalities, dogmatic beliefs and special religions. Moreover, Esoteric philosophy reconciles all religions, strips every one of its outward, human garments, and shows the root of each to be identical with that of every other great religion. It proves the necessity of an absolute Divine Principle in nature. It denies Deity no more than it does the Sun. Esoteric philosophy has never rejected God in Nature, nor Deity as the absolute and abstract Ens. It only refuses to accept any of the gods of the so-called monotheistic religions, gods created by man in his own image and likeness, a blasphemous and sorry caricature of the Ever Unknowable.”

– H. P. Blavatsky, “The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 1, p. xx

“The three personalities of Krishna, Gautama, and Jesus appeared like true gods, each in his epoch, and bequeathed to humanity three religions built on the imperishable rock of ages. That all three, especially the Christian faith, have in time become adulterated, and the latter almost unrecognizable, is no fault of either of the noble Reformers. It is the priestly self-styled husbandmen of the “vine of the Lord” who must be held to account by future generations. Purify the three systems of the dross of human dogmas, the pure essence remaining will be found identical.”

– H. P. Blavatsky, “Isis Unveiled” Vol. 2, p. 536

“Be this as it may, the religion of the ancients is the religion of the future. A few centuries more, and there will linger no sectarian beliefs in either of the great religions of humanity. Brahmanism [i.e. Hinduism] and Buddhism, Christianity and Mahometanism [i.e. Islam] will all disappear before the mighty rush of facts. . . . But this can only come to pass when the world returns to the grand religion of the past; the knowledge of those majestic systems which preceded, by far, Brahmanism, and even the primitive monotheism of the ancient Chaldeans.”

– H. P. Blavatsky, “Isis Unveiled” Vol. 1, p. 613

It is well known that the first main objective for which the modern Theosophical Movement was founded was to bring about the actualisation of Universal Brotherhood, without distinction of race, religion, creed, colour, caste, or gender. This can only be achieved by recognising that Universal Brotherhood is not merely a noble and lofty ideal but is actually an eternal fact in Nature, due to the Oneness and Divineness of all life. It is already the case that we are all One in terms of our source and origin, our inner spiritual essence, and our ultimate destiny. But this needs to be recognised, accepted, and acted upon.

Those who are acquainted in any way with Theosophy and the Theosophical Movement are aware that it places constant emphasis on the unity of all religions. This theme has gained ever increasing recognition and publicity since the time of H. P. Blavatsky and today much progress has been made in terms of religious tolerance, acceptance and study of others’ religions, celebration of religious diversity, and interfaith communications. In this respect, humanity has come a very long way in a very short time.

But this is NOT exactly the kind of thing HPB and the Masters had in mind when they spoke and wrote of the unity of world religions.

What has just been described is undeniably something good and which should be actively encouraged but are peaceful and harmonious relations between the different religions of any real or lasting good if the souls involved are still immersed in ignorance, superstition, or inner separativeness? An outer, external, objective unity actually means very little if it is not recognised, understood, and appreciated by all concerned that all religions are the same in their esoteric essence.

That essence is the Universal Truth which underlies all the world’s religions and which pre-dates and transcends them all, being the primeval and archaic source and fountainhead of all the elements of truth which can be found amongst the many elements of falsehood and unphilosophical dogma.

“What we desire to prove is, that underlying every ancient popular religion was the same ancient wisdom-doctrine, one and identical, professed and practiced by the initiates of every country, who alone were aware of its existence and importance. To ascertain its origin, and the precise age in which it was matured, is now beyond human possibility. A single glance, however, is enough to assure one that it could not have attained the marvellous perfection in which we find it pictured to us in the relics of the various esoteric systems, except after a succession of ages. A philosophy so profound, a moral code so ennobling, and practical results so conclusive and so uniformly demonstrable is not the growth of a generation, or even a single epoch. Fact must have been piled upon fact, deduction upon deduction, science have begotten science, and myriads of the brightest human intellects have reflected upon the laws of nature, before this ancient doctrine had taken concrete shape. The proofs of this identity of fundamental doctrine in the old religions are found in the prevalence of a system of initiation; in the secret sacerdotal castes who had the guardianship of mystical words of power, and a public display of a phenomenal control over natural forces, indicating association with preterhuman beings.”

– H. P. Blavatsky, “Isis Unveiled” Vol. 2, p. 99

In the article Theosophy: The Ancient Wisdom, we said, “Theosophy is the Ancient Wisdom. H. P. Blavatsky did not invent it; she merely fulfilled her mission and duty and transmitted it. Utilising thousands of supporting references from a multitudinous array of the most diverse and distant sources, she proved the timelessness, reliability, and universality of her doctrines, even those which seemed at first glance to be the most peculiar.”

The most ancient scripture – and most ancient book – known to the world at large is the Rig Veda of Hinduism. It famously declares that “Truth is One, though the Sages call it by many names.” The more fainthearted and sentimentally oriented among spiritual people today, who are afraid of proffering the slightest criticism of anything for fear that they are being uncharitable or unloving, have characteristically misread and misunderstood this verse and taken it to mean that “Everything is Truth.”

But this is patently not what it says. It says that there is only one Truth, which finds expression under many different forms and systems, but not that all is Truth.

The Master K.H. wrote, “Truth is One and cannot admit of diametrically opposite views.” This One Universal Truth is that Esoteric Teaching which underlies all the world’s religions and which has been presented, or re-presented, to the world in recent times under the name of “Theosophy” which comes from the Greek term “Theosophia,” meaning “Divine Wisdom.”

Over the course of thousands of pages and with the aid of thousands of supporting references, Madame Blavatsky showed, proved, and demonstrated that whilst religions may be very different from one another in their external form, they are all the same in their esoteric essence, all deriving their respective degrees of Truth from one “parent doctrine,” which she described in the preface to her very first book “Isis Unveiled” as “the anciently universal Wisdom-Religion.”

No-one need wonder, doubt, or be sceptical about this. It is all there in her books and can be discovered and verified by those who are willing to make the effort to read and study them. If people cannot be bothered to do this or are content to merely rely on other people’s interpretations and summaries of her writings, they then only have themselves to blame for their continued lack of knowledge and understanding.

The Masters and HPB make it clear that Truth cannot mix with error and still remain as pure and undefiled Truth. Partial and distorted truths are little good to anyone in the long run. “If you speak of THEOSOPHY, I answer that, as it has existed eternally throughout the endless cycles upon cycles of the Past, so it will ever exist throughout the infinitudes of the Future, because Theosophy is synonymous with EVERLASTING TRUTH.” (HPB, “The Key to Theosophy” p. 304) The need, therefore, is to “theosophise” the world, beginning with the various religions.

As the passages quoted at the start of this article explain, when we “purify the [religious] systems of the dross of human dogmas, the pure essence remaining will be found identical” . . . “the various religious schemes are now made to merge back into their original element, out of which every mystery and dogma has grown, developed, and become materialised” . . . “Esoteric philosophy reconciles all religions, strips every one of its outward, human garments, and shows the root of each to be identical with that of every other great religion.”

If Theosophists do their job and actually work for the great Theosophical Cause instead of just sitting around wasting their time and energy debating, criticising, and backbiting ad nauseam on online Theosophical forums, the eventual result – albeit many years down the line – will be the end of all sectarianism and religious bigotry, which “will all disappear before the mighty rush of facts,” making the world a far better place and humanity’s future brighter and more secure. The mighty rush of what facts? The multitude of facts which have been laid out in Theosophical literature and of course many others which will come to light in various ways and at various times in the relatively near future.

It will then finally be seen that there is actually no need to belong to any religion, for “Truth is One” and thus the only religion necessary is the acknowledgement and application of the Sacred Wisdom and its timeless truths. As the motto of the modern Theosophical Movement declares: “There is no Religion higher than Truth.”

When it is implied that all religions will eventually fade out, it must be understood that this is something which will happen extremely slowly and naturally, of its own accord, and that no-one should be aiming to forcefully crush out or destroy any religion. They will all fade out of their own accord, when at long last the oneness and universality of Truth becomes so self-evident as to literally be undeniable, a result which the science of the future will eventually help to bring about.

Until then, the ideal is for all the existing religions to be educating themselves, purging themselves, purifying themselves, and moving steadily towards a consciousness of universality and open acceptance of the common origin of all religious, spiritual, and philosophical truth.

At present, these words of the Master K.H. from 1881 are still pertinent and relevant to a large extent, in spite of the increasing brotherliness and religious tolerance:

“I will point out the greatest, the chief cause of nearly two thirds of the evils that pursue humanity ever since that cause became a power. It is religion under whatever form and in whatsoever nation. It is the sacerdotal caste, the priesthood and the churches; it is in those illusions that man looks upon as sacred, that he has to search out the source of that multitude of evils which is the great curse of humanity and that almost overwhelms mankind. Ignorance created Gods and cunning took advantage of the opportunity. Look at India and look at Christendom and Islam, at Judaism and Fetichism. It is priestly imposture that rendered these Gods so terrible to man; it is religion that makes of him the selfish bigot, the fanatic that hates all mankind out of his own sect without rendering him any better or more moral for it. It is belief in God and Gods that makes two-thirds of humanity the slaves of a handful of those who deceive them under the false pretence of saving them. Is not man ever ready to commit any kind of evil if told that his God or Gods demand the crime?; voluntary victim of an illusionary God, the abject slave of his crafty ministers. The Irish, Italian and Slavonian peasant will starve himself and see his family starving and naked to feed and clothe his padre and pope. For two thousand years India groaned under the weight of caste, Brahmins alone feeding on the fat of the land, and to-day the followers of Christ and those of Mahomet are cutting each other’s throats in the names of and for the greater glory of their respective myths. Remember the sum of human misery will never be diminished unto that day when the better portion of humanity destroys in the name of Truth, morality, and universal charity, the altars of their false gods.”

Certain misguided Theosophists in “The Theosophical Society – Adyar” thought it would be good to establish a so-called “Theosophical Church” and they did so in the 1920s, naming it the Liberal Catholic Church, although it was typically plagued with scandal right from the start, as was everything else inspired by C. W. Leadbeater, who became its self-styled “Archbishop.” It is obvious from the words of HPB, William Quan Judge, and the Masters, that a “Theosophical” church, a “Theosophical” priesthood, a “Theosophical” ritualism, and “Theosophical” prayers and hymns, were the very last thing they had in mind and the very antithesis of their aims and principles.

“The idea of God and Devil would make any chela of six months smile in pity. Theosophists do not believe either in the one or in the other. They believe in the Great ALL, in Sat, i.e., absolute and infinite existence, unique and with nothing like unto it, which is neither a Being nor an anthropomorphic creature, which is, and can never not be. Theosophists see in the priest of any religion a useless if not a pernicious being. They preach against every dogmatic and ‘infallible’ religion and recognize no other deity, which dispenses suffering and recompense, than Karma, an arbiter created by their own actions. The only God which they worship is TRUTH; the only devil which they recognize and which they fight against with unabated fury is the Satan of egotism and human passions.”

– H. P. Blavatsky, “Misconceptions” (Reply to the Article “Révolution”)

“If both Church and priest could but pass out of the sight of the world as easily as their names do now from the eye of our reader, it would be a happy day for humanity.”

– H. P. Blavatsky, “Isis Unveiled” Vol. 2, p. 585

“Faith in the Gods and God, and other superstitions attracts millions of foreign influences, living entities and powerful agents around them, with which we would have to use more than ordinary exercise of power to drive them away. . . . as all in this universe is contrast so the light of the Dhyan Chohans and their pure intelligence is contrasted by the “Ma-Mo Chohans” – and their destructive intelligence. These are the gods the Hindus and Christians and Mahomed and all others of bigoted religions and sects worship; . . . The Dhyan Chohans answer to Buddh, Divine Wisdom and Life in blissful knowledge, and the Ma-mos are the personification in nature of Shiva, Jehovah and other invented monsters with Ignorance at their tail.”

– Master M., The “Prayag” Letter (published by William Q. Judge in “A Mahatma’s Message to some Brahmans”)

Theosophy has no qualm or hesitation about saying that belief in any type of personal or anthropomorphic God, and the resultant worship, prayers, and devotion offered to such a Being (including the notion of priesthood and any intermediaries between man and the Divine) is something damaging, dangerous, and destructive. It is based on ignorance, immaturity, and superstition, and poses perhaps the main barrier and hindrance to the individual and collective spiritual liberation and progress of mankind.

In the fifth and sixth chapters of Book II of B. P. Wadia’s “Studies in The Secret Doctrine,” this late great Indian Theosophist explains that, “Everywhere in the genuine Theosophical books, with great and reiterated emphasis, the delusion of the Personal-God-Notion has been attacked. In the two volumes of her Secret Doctrine, H.P.B. has exposed the fallacy. . . . Even in our so-called scientific civilization “the worshippers of a personal deity and believers in an unphilosophical paradise” (S.D. I. 266) are numbered by the million. They pray to “an extra-Cosmic and personal God, higher than whom no exoteric worship can ever soar” (S.D. II. 501), making the task of the Theosophical student most difficult. That task is to preach and promulgate the view that belief in such a God perverts human morals and deadens the action of the mind. To propagate this truth the student himself has to master it. Unless he meditates on the attacks made in The Secret Doctrine on the Personal-God-Notion, he will not be able to get rid of this deeply ingrained acquisition – for it is an acquired and not an innate idea.”

Here he is referring to the words of the Master K.H. that “We know there are planetary and other spiritual lives, and we know there is in our system no such thing as God, either personal or impersonal. Parabrahm is not a God, but absolute immutable law, and Iswar is the effect of Avidya and Maya, ignorance based upon the great delusion. The word “God” was invented to designate the unknown cause of those effects which man has either admired or dreaded without understanding them, and since we claim and that we are able to prove what we claim – i.e. the knowledge of that cause and causes we are in a position to maintain there is no God or Gods behind them. The idea of God is not an innate but an acquired notion, and we have but one thing in common with theologies – we reveal the infinite.”

That there are still many people today calling themselves Theosophists who believe in and speak about a personal God, a “Solar Logos” or “Planetary Logos” who has “love and care for His dear children,” is merely evidence of how far such well-meaning individuals have been diverted from the true Path and Teaching laid out by the Adepts and the one they called their “Direct Agent” H. P. Blavatsky. Thankfully their influence is now in constant decline as humanity is waking up to the plain facts.

Wadia continues, “Therefore, though Theosophy vigorously attacks the Personal-God-Notion, it is not to be inferred that its position is either atheistic or agnostic. . . . That which divides the sectarian sacerdotal religion from the unifying philosophical Religion is the Personal-God-Notion. The One Impersonal Reality thus degraded into numerous jealous and competing gods has transformed the one pure Wisdom-Religion into many conflicting creeds, one humanity into various opposing clans. . . . The great obstacle of the Personal-God-Notion in the mind of the aspirant to spiritual life has to be removed. One of the questions often asked is: “If I give up God what is the substitute?” The answer of modern science is agnostical, that of Theosophy is gnostical. Theosophy rejects miracle, accident, chance; it also rejects the view that the ultimate mystery of Life, i.e., Spirit, Mind, Matter, cannot be solved. . . . Karma, the infallible Law, is the substitute Theosophy offers in place of God. . . . In the mind as constituted today religious Names and Forms of God or Gods act not as a help but as a hindrance in glimpsing the truth about the Deity which is Law. Therefore, The Secret Doctrine mostly discards such personifications (Names) and humanizations (Forms) and reverts to metaphysical symbols, such as Space, Motion, Time, Light, a contemplation on which brings us to the answer that – God is LIFE.”

“The ever unknowable and incognizable Karana alone, the Causeless Cause of all causes, should have its shrine and altar on the holy and ever untrodden ground of our heart – invisible, intangible, unmentioned, save through “the still small voice” of our spiritual consciousness. Those who worship before it, ought to do so in the silence and the sanctified solitude of their Souls; making their spirit the sole mediator between them and the Universal Spirit, their good actions the only priests, and their sinful intentions the only visible and objective sacrificial victims to the Presence.”

– H. P. Blavatsky, “The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 1, p. 280

Regarding the inherent unity of the world’s religions and the way to bring this into widespread recognition and actualisation, HPB wrote in “The Key to Theosophy”:

“It is only by studying the various great religions and philosophies of humanity, by comparing them dispassionately and with an unbiassed mind, that men can hope to arrive at the truth. It is especially by finding out and noting their various points of agreement that we may achieve this result. For no sooner do we arrive – either by study, or by being taught by someone who knows – at their inner meaning, than we find, almost in every case, that it expresses some great truth in Nature.” (p. 59)

“There is no more fertile source of hatred and strife than religious differences. When one party or another thinks himself the sole possessor of absolute truth, it becomes only natural that he should think his neighbour absolutely in the clutches of Error or the Devil. But once get a man to see that none of them has the whole truth, but that they are mutually complementary, that the complete truth can be found only in the combined views of all, after that which is false in each of them has been sifted out – then true brotherhood in religion will be established.” (p. 45-46)

“True brotherhood in religion” – this will happen as soon as people are willing to make it happen. But this unity will not be a mere superficial and external unity based on mutual tolerance, as good as that may be. Instead, it will be the recognition and realisation of Truth itself.

~ BlavatskyTheosophy.com ~

“The doctrine we promulgate being the only true one, must, — supported by such evidence as we are preparing to give become ultimately triumphant as every other truth. . . . No messenger of truth, no prophet has ever achieved during his life time a complete triumph, not even Buddha; the Theosophical Society [Note: Read Theosophical “Movement” as there is no longer such a thing as just one Theosophical Society or organisation] was chosen as the corner stone, the foundation of the future religion of humanity. . . . Once unfettered [and] delivered from their dead weight of dogmatic interpretations, personal names, anthropomorphic conceptions and salaried priests, the fundamental doctrines of all religions will be proved identical in their esoteric meaning. Osiris, Chrishna, Buddha, Christ, will be shown as different means for one and [the] same royal highway to final bliss Nirvana. Mystical christianity, that is to say that christianity which teaches self redemption through one’s own seventh principle — the liberated Para-atma (Augoeides) called by the one Christ, by others Buddha, and equivalent to regeneration or rebirth in spirit — will be found just the same truth as the Nirvana of mystical Buddhism. All of us have to get rid of our own Ego, the illusory apparent self, to recognise our true self in a transcendental divine life.”
(The Letter from the Maha Chohan)

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