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Bhagavan Baba is the embodiment in human form of the essence of all religions. He always exhorts everyone to follow their own religion but in its true spirit, hence, He says that a Hindu should become a better Hindu, a Christain a better Christian and so on. His message of “Love All Serve All” and “Help Ever Hurt Never” is as universal as the Sun and the stars. Through this quiz, let us try to understand these religions better in the light of Bhagavan’s teachings.

1.The Zoroastrian or Parsi religion is symbolised by the flaming fireplace. Also known as the Fire of Wisdom, what does the fire symbolize?


2. The Jewish religion has the “Menora” as its symbol. This consists of seven branches of lamps indicating that God created the world in six days, with the central shaft representing the Sabbath, the seventh day for rest.

On which Jewish holiday is this Menorah lit?


3. The Buddhist Wheel which stands for the wheel of time, the wheel of samsaar - the phenomenal world cycle, and most importantly for the wheel of righteousness, which is the key to the release from bondage to Time.

Bhagavan has given us the spiritual meaning of the Buddhist wheel as follows: ‘Remember the wheel of cause and consequence and the wheel of dharma that rights them all.’

What other figurative representation does the wheel symbolize?


4. The Jain religion is symbolised by an outstretched palm of the right hand bearing the word Ahimsa or non-violence, which is the cornerstone of the Jain faith. On top of the hand is the Swasthika with four sides.

What do the four sides of the Swasthika represent?


5. The Christian cross symbolises self-sacrifice by crossing out, or removing the ego. Bhagavan tells us that the spiritual meaning of the cross is: Cut the ‘I’ feeling clean across and let your ego die on the cross, to endow on you Eternity.”

Bhagavan also stresses: “The highest and the most fruitful sacrifice is that of the ego. Crucify it and be free. Dedicate it to God and be rich beyond all dreams. Prepare yourself for this supreme status, by engaging in holy karma, that is to say, karma cleansed in the crucible of dharma, and attain Brahman (the One Indivisible Absolute), which appears as all this multifarious Universe.

You too have undertaken this birth for this very mission: the mission of crucifying the ego on the cross of _________”.


6.The Islamic Crescent moon with a star is an inspiration for firm and steady faith in, and unflinching loyalty to God. The changes of the moon are interconnected to vagaries of the mind. Fixing the mind that is filled with Love on the supreme Lord captures the spirit of Islam. It means the one who understands the connection between the mind of fixed faith and Love reaches the highest abode.

Bhagavan has given us the meaning of the crescent moon and star symbol of Islam as: ‘Be like the star which never wavers from the crescent but is steady in fixed faith.’

Since the moon plays an integral part in all religions, in a Divine Discourse from 1983 delivered during Ramzan, Swami expounds on the rituals of fasting: “Islam gives importance to the moon…with the darshan of the new moon, the Ramzan fast begins….”

During which phase of the moon does the Ramzan fast end?


7. The Sikh symbol is known as the ‘khanda’, which symbolizes God's Universal and Eternal Power.

The khanda is a very important symbol in Sikhism and is commonly seen in Gurdwaras (Sikh Temples) and on the Sikh flag. It consists of a double-edged sword surrounded by a circular wheel, called chakra, held up by a sword on each side called kirpans.

The double-edged sword is the creative power of God, which controls the destiny of the whole creation. It is the sovereign power over life and death. The right edge of the double-edged sword symbolizes freedom and authority governed by moral and spiritual values. The left edge of the double-edged sword symbolizes divine justice and morality, which chastises and punishes the wicked oppressors.

What does the Chakra signify?


8. All these and other religions are sourced and therefore headed by the Ancient, Eternal, Universal Religion, Sanathana Dharma, symbolised by the sacred syllable Om, also known as the Pranava.

The sound of creation and beginning of knowledge is ‘Om’. Bhagawan says, “Listen to the primeval Pranava resounding in your heart as well as in the heart of the Universe. Om is the symbol of the unchanging, eternal, universal, supreme God. Om is the sound of the movement of the stars in the firmament; it is the sound that manifested when the dawn of creative Will stirred the Niraakaara (the Attributeless) into activity. As a matter of fact, every little disturbance of equilibrium produces sound, however minute. The meeting of the eyelids when the eye winks, results in sound; however faint. There are infinitesimally faint sounds, which no ear can hear. So, you can understand that when the Elements originated and Creation started, the sound Om was produced. That sound is the primal, the primeval One.”

What method does Bhagavan prescribe to hear this sacred sound of Om?


9. One commonly used symbol of the Bahá'í Faith is a nine-pointed star. In the Bahá'í Sacred Writings, the numbers nine and nineteen have symbolic meaning. The Bab, the Founder of the Babi Faith, and Bahá'u'lláh, the Founder of the Bahá'í Faith, often used the numerical value of words to symbolize concepts.

What does the number Nine symbolize?


10. In the Shinto religion, worshippers use the wooden plaque ema for worship of the kami (spirits or gods). These plaques tend to be fairly uniform in size and shape, but many have different pictures painted on them, of animals or other Shinto imagery, and they often have the word gan'i, meaning "wish", written along the side.

What is this plaque ema used for?


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- Heart2Heart Team

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Vol 7 Issue 02 - FEBRUARY 2009
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