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Scriptures Exerpts > God Loves All Beings
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Preface

We are living in an era that is heavily influenced by a pervasive scientific mind-set and a devaluation of religion. For example, I myself did not have a religious upbringing. Indeed, in my youth, I had no urge to associate myself with any faith, and thought of religion as just ancient superstition. Fortunately, when I was in my mid-twenties, Professor Fang Dongmei, a great philosopher of profound insight who was to completely change how I saw religion began to teach me. It was Professor Fang who opened the door for me to the world of faith, and for this I am eternally grateful. He generously tutored me personally in his home. My course constituted a comprehensive introduction to philosophy beginning with the western tradition ranging from Plato to Kant, and concluding with all the great philosophical traditions of the East.

I was 26 when I first met Professor Fang and became his student. Now, in the blink of an eye, I am 92! Inspired and encouraged by Professor Fang, I have been studying Buddhist scriptures for more than six decades and also have been studying the classical scriptures of the world's religions for around twenty years, and all these have brought me to an ever-deeper realisation of the truth first taught to me so many years ago. The founders of all the world's faiths were enlightened social educators. Not only were they the greatest teachers of their time, but we can still benefit from their profound and compassionate teachings today.

True religious education is fundamental, and may even be essential to the very survival of humanity. The British historian, Arnold Toynbee, reflecting upon his lifelong study of the rise and fall of human civilisations, warns us that when we review human history, we will realise that the higher religions have had a longer hold on a greater number of minds and hearts than any other institutions known to us to date, and that when people lose the traditional faith embodied in religion, human civilisation will be on the path to destruction.

For many years, we have enjoyed continual dialogue with representatives of the great faiths of the world and studied their scriptures. As a result of this, we have come to an ever-deepening realisation that all the traditions share one divine origin. The core of all religious teachings is love. The essence of all true religious education is to guide us to love sincerely, selflessly, and unconditionally and to extend this love to all people, all living beings, and ultimately to the whole of creation. Love is the principal virtue of our true nature.

Today, in a world of constant turmoil, the One God, Heaven will appear on earth. I believe that all of us have a responsibility to help bring heavenly order to the suffering world.

In recent years, we have devoted our efforts to the revival of religious education and the active promotion of religious harmony through word and action. From our first efforts it has become clear that the establishment of harmony between various faith communities has a significant impact on the harmony and prosperity of the broader society. If we can show how religious harmony can be established between the faith communities of even a small town, we may then see how this can be extended to a city, a nation, or, ultimately to the whole world, progressively realizing the ideal of harmonious co-existence and unity amongst all peoples of the world.

Our years of practice and experience have shown us how a deepening of religious harmony can be fostered through a respectful study of each other's scriptures. Through such a study, teachers and adherents of all faiths may come to recognise all that they have in common: that they share the same divine origin in unconditional and universal love, and that they are all children of the same God.

This same God manifested in different forms to different nations which were once so geographically distant, but now form part of one global village. However, behind all of these apparent differences is the same message: that we should love one another; abandon wrongdoing; live a wholesome and moral life, and work for the benefit of all humankind. Only this deeper understanding of the common divine origin of all religions can provide a true basis for lasting religious harmony.

In view of the vital importance of studying and learning from the sacred texts of all faiths, we have humbly selected some core excerpts from the scriptures of eleven of the world's religions for this book. We hope that by reading this small selection it will become clear that all religions have their origin in the universal love of the One God. Furthermore, we hope that through studying these texts readers will come to understand that the whole of creation is in fact One; that the divine love of the One God dwells within the true mind and true self of all beings, and that all existence in the universe are interconnected, mutually inclusive and inseparable within God's divine love - which is, in fact , our true heart and true soul.

To demonstrate the common divine wisdom expounded in the sacred texts of all faiths, the excerpts in God Loves All Beings mainly focus on four aspects: 1) how all faiths demonstrate universal love; 2) how all faiths, by the means of religious education, hoped to guide humankind to abandon wrongdoing and perform wholesome deeds, to respect and love each other, and to live in harmony; 3) that the existence of the true divinity pervades the whole universe and transcends time and space; and 4) that the true self, or true mind, of all humankind and the True God are One, sharing one Being out of which flows all virtues and good actions.

We hope that this book will help people to foster within themselves that same unconditional love manifested by all faiths: to love one another and to live in harmony. We pray that the world will attain everlasting peace and stability and that all people in the world will lead happy lives. We also pray that we may put into practice the sacred teachings of the scriptures, elevate ourselves spiritually, and use this spiritual inspiration to work for the benefit of all humankind. This undertaking is to restore religion as an education, to help people lead truly happy and peaceful lives through the sacred wisdom of religion, and nourish the whole world with the true love of God.

In September 2017, the Association of Master Chin Kung's Friends at UNESCO was established at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris and I was invited to be the association's permanent honorary chairman. I am very pleased that many UNESCO ambassadors wish to use the Association as a platform for positively contributing to the revival of religious education, for fostering religious cohesion in the world and for realising everlasting peace of human society. God Loves All Beings is the first publication by the Association. We hope that this little book will serve as a catalyst, drawing people's attention to the wisdom of sacred scriptures of all faiths. We look forward to exchanging ideas with the ambassadors and guests over a cup of tea, and studying the excerpts in the book together. We pray that from the sacred texts we may obtain profound inspiration and true wisdom, and learn to practise their teachings in our daily lives. Also, in the office of the Association, we look forward to more practical discussions as to how we might implement religious education to lead today's world to everlasting peace and stability.

During the process of working with and learning from the world faiths in the past decades, we have come to appreciate how much every faith has its own rich religious heritage accumulated over countless generations and embedded in the long history of its native culture. With regard to this vast cultural history, we can only have a very limited understanding. What we know is only a drop in the ocean. Therefore, we pray that in the following years we may earnestly learn from the teachers and followers of all faiths, recognize more precious wisdom, obtain more spiritual inspiration, and learn to see, ever more clearly, the same loving and compassionate God working through them all.

Chin Kung
President of the Pure Land Learning College, Australia
Hon. Professor of the University of Queensland and of Griffith University, Australia
Hon. Doctorate of Syarif Hidayatullah Islamic State University, Indonesia




G ods purpose in sending His Prophets unto men is twofold. The first is to liberate the children of men from the darkness of ignorance, and guide them to the light of true understanding. The second is to ensure the peace and tranquility of mankind, and provide all the means by which they can be established.




  1 | 
Source : sec. XXXIV  








Y ou are all the leaves of one tree and the drops of one ocean.




  2 | 
Source : Tablets of Bahaullah revealed after the Kitab-i-Aqdas, chap. 8: Ishraqat (Splendors)  








H e Who is your Lord, the All-Merciful, cherisheth in His heart the desire of beholding the entire human race as one soul and one body.




  3 | 
Source : sec. CVII  








T rue peace and tranquility will only be realized when every soul will have become the well-wisher of all mankind.




  4 | 
Source : The Tabernacle of Unity 1:9  








T he children of men are all brothers . . . one should wish for ones brother that which one wisheth for oneself.




  5 | 
Source : The Tabernacle of Unity 2:39  








B e ye ever mindful to serve any soul of mankind. Attach no importance to self-seeking . . . Love is light in whatsoever house it may shine and enmity is darkness in whatsoever abode it dwell. -Abdul-Baha




  6 | 
Source : excerpted from Selected Writings of Bahaullah and Abdul-Baha, US Bahai Publishing Trust, 1976 edition, pp.217  








L ay not on any soul a load which ye would not wish to be laid upon you, and desire not for anyone the things ye would not desire for yourselves. This is My best counsel unto you, did ye but observe it.




  7 | 
Source : sec. LXVI  








T hou didst cause Me, through Thy kindness, to reach Thy holy precincts and didst suffer Me, through Thy tender mercy, to dwell within the court of fellowship, until I discerned therein that which I witnessed of the clear tokens of Thy mercifulness, the compelling evidences of Thy oneness, the effulgent splendors of Thy majesty, the source of Thy supreme singleness, the heights of Thy transcendent sovereignty . . .




  8 | 
Source : Selections from the Writings of the Bab, chap. 7 : Prayers and Meditations  








I f thou be of the inmates of this city within the ocean of divine unity, thou wilt view all the Prophets and Messengers of God as one soul and one body, as one light and one spirit, in such wise that the first among them would be last and the last would be first.




  9 | 
Source : Gems of Divine Mysteries (Javahirul-Asrar), sec. 44  








I t is evident that the divine prophets have appeared in the world to establish love and agreement among mankind. . . . Divine religion is not a cause for discord and disagreement. . . . Therefore in this day the divine teachings must be sought, for they are the remedies for the present conditions of the world of humanity.




  10 | 
Source : excerpted from Foundations of World Unity, US Bahai Publishing Trust, 1979 sixth printing, pp.22-23  








T here can be no doubt whatever that the peoples of the world, of whatever race or religion, derive their inspiration from one heavenly Source, and are the subjects of one God.




  11 | 
Source : sec. CXI  








B e united in counsel, be one in thought. . . . and cling unto that which profiteth mankind, whether young or old, whether high or low.




  12 | 
Source : Tablets of Bahaullah revealed after the Kitab-i-Aqdas, chap. 9: Lawh. -i-H. ikmat (Tablet of Wisdom)  








T he Purpose of the one true God, exalted be His glory, in revealing Himself unto men is to lay bare those gems that lie hidden within the mine of their true and inmost selves. 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 the 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.




  13 | 
Source : sec. CXXXII  








O true companions! All humankind are as children in a school, and the Dawning- Points of Light, the Sources of divine revelation, are the teachers, wondrous and without peer. In the school of realities they educate these sons and daughters, according to teachings from God, and foster them in the bosom of grace . . . until they make of this mortal world a widespread mirror, to reflect that other world which dieth not.




  14 | 
Source : Selections from the Writings of Abdul-Baha, sec. 102  








T he bodies of all Buddhas Are just one reality-body: One in mind, one in wisdom, The same in power and fearlessness.




  15 | 
Source : Chap. 13, Book 10  








T here is not a single sentient being who is not fully endowed with the knowledge and wisdom of Buddhas; it is just that because of deluded notions, erroneous thinking, and attachments, they are unable to realize it. If they would eradicate deluded notions, then universal knowledge, spontaneous knowledge, and unobstructed knowledge would become manifest.




  16 | 
Source : Chap. 51, Book 37-2  








T o hold all beings in high esteem, and render them respectful services, that is equal to revering and serving the Tathagatas. To make all beings happy, is to please all Tathagata. And why? Because the Great Compassionate Heart is the essence of Buddhahood. For the sake of (delivering) all beings, (the Bodhisattva) develops Great Compassion, and from the Great Compassion springs the Bodhicitta, and from Bodhicitta comes the Enlightenment.




  17 | 
Source : chap. 40, On Entering the Inconceivable State of Liberation Through the Practices and Vows of the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra  








A t that time, the Buddha, the World Honored One, in this setting, attained to supreme, correct awareness of all things . . . His knowledge entered into all times with complete equanimity; his body filled all worlds; his voice universally accorded with all lands in the ten directions. . . . Each of his hair tips was able to contain all worlds without interference, in each manifesting immeasurable spiritual powers, teaching and civilizing all sentient beings.




  18 | 
Source : Trans. Thomas Cleary, Book 1, p. 56, Shambhala  








C ountless eons of practice complete, You've become truly awake under the enlightenment tree: You appear universally to liberate beings, Like clouds filling all to the end of time. When beings have doubts, you put an end to them, Causing all to develop great faith and resolution; Everywhere removing unlimited suffering, You make all experience the peace of the Buddhas.




  19 | 
Source : Trans. Thomas Cleary, Book 2, p. 150, Shambala  








I n the ocean of sentient beings The buddha-body appears like a reflection; According to the differences in their understandings Thus do they see the Guide. . . . Buddha, with each of his bodies, Teaches in every place, Pervading the whole cosmos, Beyond the reach of thought.




  20 | 
Source : Trans. Thomas Cleary, Book 2, p.171, Shambhala  








A ll Buddhas know that all Buddhas of all times and all the beings they teach are essentially equal, definitely, without duality.




  21 | 
Source : Trans. Thomas Cleary, Book 33, p.925, Shambhala  








T hey observe all opportunities and affinities, First protecting others minds, making them noncontentious, Showing all sentient beings the place of peace; This is the path traveled by the skillful. . . . One light illumines boundlessly, Filling all lands in the ten directions, Causing all worlds to gain great brightness: This is the path of the darkness destroyers.




  22 | 
Source : Trans. Thomas Cleary, Book 21, p. 481, Shambhala  








A ll sentient beings possess within their true mind the sublime knowledge and wisdom of Buddhas. The knowledge and wisdom of Buddhas are pure, totally free from any mental discriminations, attachments and deluded notions. With this pure knowledge and wisdom, fully enlightened beings can realize the truth of all creation, understanding all phenomena of the universe. . . . Forever eradicating deluded notions, discriminations and attachments, sentient beings can see in their own bodies the knowledge and wisdom of Buddhas, no different from the Buddhas.




  23 | 
Source : Chap. 35, Book 32-3  








A ll sentient beings have the knowledge and wisdom of Buddhas but in their folly and confusion do not know them or perceive them. . . . After shedding deluded notions and attachments, sentient beings will see in their own bodies the vast knowledge and wisdom of Buddhas, no different from the Buddhas. . . . After eradicating their deluded notions, sentient beings will recover the infinite knowledge and wisdom of Buddhas, and thus become able to aid and comfort all living beings.




  24 | 
Source : Chap. 51, Book 37-2  








M ind is like an artist, Able to paint the worlds: The five clusters all are born thence; Theres nothing it doesnt make. As is the mind, so is the Buddha; As the Buddha, so living beings: Know that Buddha and mind Are in essence inexhaustible. If people know the actions of mind Create all the worlds, They will see the Buddha And understand Buddhas true nature.




  25 | 
Source : Trans. Thomas Cleary, Book 20, p.452, Shambhala  






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