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Interfaith Summit Canberra ACT 2005

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Readings from various faith groups on theme: “LIGHT OF THE WORLD”

 

Collated by Uniting Church IFFACT member.

The Canberra Time front page Group
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Anglican, Jewish, Sikh, Ngunnawal, Sukyo Mahikari, Muslim

Sukyo Mahikari:

 

In Praise of the Creator -  From the Sukyo Mahikari Prayer book 1976.

The Origin of the earth is one; the origin of the world is one; the origin of all mankind is one; the origin of all religions is one.  Day by day, the power of Positive Light is being reinforced by the manifesting might of God.
Oh Children of God, can't you see the holy form of God giving the test of choosing the way to true freedom.  If clouds of illusion can be swept away, the summit of Divine Truth will be found shining in the brilliance of God's Light.
In this Holy 21st Century,
Paradise
on earth can be established in the civilisation of the Light of God with overflowing Health, Harmony and Prosperity.
Rejoice!  Ring out the Jingle Bells to proclaim the dawn of the Civilisation of God's Light.  Oh how joyous that we are now on the threshold of this Holy Century of God's Light, which has been yearned for during many thousands of years.

Sikh:

 

Sikhs believe in one God, we Meditate on his name, only bow before him and only pray to him. We believe in the path that our first Guru, Guru Nanak has shown:

 

Upon that cosmic plate of the sky, the sun and the moon are the lamps. The stars and their orbs are the studded pearls.

The fragrance of sandalwood in the air is the temple incense, and the wind is the fan. All the plants of the world are the altar flowers in offering to You, O Luminous Lord. ||1||

What a beautiful Aartee, lamp-lit worship service this is! O Destroyer of Fear, this is Your Ceremony of Light

The Unstruck Sound-current of the Shabad is the vibration of the temple drums. ||1||Pause||

Amongst all is the Light-You are that Light.

By this Illumination, that Light is radiant within all.

Through the Guru's Teachings, the Light shines forth.

That which is pleasing to Him is the lamp-lit worship service. ||3||

 

Sathya Sai

 

When we meditate we focus on light to still the mind. This light is carried gradually throughout our body to purify and to guide. Meditation ends with seeing the Light in family, friends and strangers, even enemies.

 

From the unreal - the untruth, lead me to the real - the Truth
From darkness lead me to the Light
From death lead me to Immortality.

 
This contemplates on the Light that pervades all the worlds and the Grace that flows from it, and prays for liberation through awakening the innate intelligence that pervades the universe as LIGHT.

 

Muslim

 

Holy Qur’an 24.35  God is the Light of the heavens and the earth.

The parable of His light is, as it were, that of a niche containing a lamp;

The lamp is [enclosed] in glass, the glass [shining] like a radiant star:

[a  lamp] lit from a blessed tree - an olive-tree that is neither of the east nor of the west - the oil whereof [is so bright that it] would well-nigh give light [of itself] even though fire had not touched it: light upon light!

God guides unto His light him that wills [to be guided]; and [to this end] God propounds parables unto men, since God [alone] has full knowledge of all things.

 

Jewish - Hebrew Bible

From the Torah: Genesis 1: 1-5

 

From the beginning G-d created the heaven and the earth.

And the earth was once confused and turmoiled and darkness was over the turmoil, and a breath of G-d hovered over the turmoil.

And G-d said: "Let there be light" And there was light.

G-d saw the light, that it was good, and G-d separated the light from the darkness.

And G-d called to the light "Day" and to the darkness He called "Night" And it was evening and it was morning: one day.

 

From the Prophets: Isaiah 60. 1-3.

 

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has shone upon you.

For behold darkness shall cover the earth and a gross darkness, the kingdoms, and the Lord shall shine upon you, and His glory shall appear over you.

And nations shall go by your light and kings by the brilliance of your shine.

 

Hindu

Fix your mind on My light, be devoted to Me, give your all to Me, bow down to My light, let My Light be your guide, then surely you will come to me.

Letting go of everything else, with your whole heart take refuge under My light, then you will be free from everything that causes you pain. Then there is no need for fear or worry.

Whoever seeks refuge of My light, full of devotion and free from doubt, shall live in the blessed world of those who perform noble acts.

He dwells deep in the hearts of us all, the light of all lights, forever beyond darkness. This wisdom is the goal of all knowledge and one who knows this mystery is free.

Share the wisdom of  My light with others who have devotion and perform service.

 Sri Bhugwut Gita : 18/65 - 71

 

Indigenous

 

Personal Experience

 

Christian:  New Testament

 

          John 1.1-5. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

          John 8.12. Jesus said, “…Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”

          Matthew 5.14 [Jesus said] “You are the light of the world...”

          I John 1.5-7. This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in the darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another.

 

Buddhist:

 

Thank you for your openness with willingness to listen to view points from other religions.  However, instead of telling you something expert from my religion, Buddhism, I wish to ask you a question based on Buddhist history.

 

Buddha teaches the compassion and detachment as the path to happiness and fulfilment. His teaching became famous for its deep philosophical values. Buddha’s cousin, named “Deva-Datta” realised this value of Buddha’s teaching and wanted to protect and manage the ownership of the Buddhism. His motivation based on attachment and pride made him to become Buddha’s main opponent. He wanted the Buddhism to be reserved for social elites and seek political power to win respect.

 

As you see, Deva-Datta’s motivation with pride, possessiveness and arrogance is the exact opposite to Buddha’s teaching of compassion and detachment.  Buddha’s teaching is called “Buddhism”. Deva-Datta’s motivation is also called the “Buddhism”. What we have realised from this history is that Buddhism exists with its own exact opposite even since the birth of this great religion, sharing the same name. I cannot see any difference today.

My question I would like to raise today is based on that “unfair” reality of the world.

 

Can any other religion coexist with its own exact opposite?  Can a religion teach unconditional love in coexistence with a motivation to seek power and wealth? Can a religion teach peace in coexistence with a motivation to call for a war?  Can a religion built on innocence and social moral in coexistence with a motivation to insult people and casting them? If that be so, can anybody follow any religion blinded by pride preventing them the ability to separate the core values from its own exact opposite stays within?

 

Brahma Kumaris

 

Being of Light:

In my essence, I am a subtle being of pure spiritual light…a soul

When I am conscious of this eternal form… when I detach for a few moments from the physical world …. I can reach upward into the home of light …. into the land of eternal silence.

In this dimension of light, I become aware of a radiant Being of Light.

I allow myself to be touched, enfolded by that Light; I absorb the purest love of the Benevolent One,  

In this communion with God, all darkness within my consciousness is dispelled.

In this pure awareness of myself in my form of light, I realize that the greatest gifts I can share with those around me is the light of love… the light of peace… the light of truth…..

In this subtle state of pure being I radiate good wishes, pure thoughts, pure feelings for each soul …

I radiate God's light into the world …………………Om Shanti

                                                Adapted from: In the Light of Meditation by Mike George

 

Baha’i

           

Know thou of a certainty that love is the secret of God’s holy dispensation, the manifestation of the All-Merciful, the fountain of spiritual outpourings.  Love is heaven’s kindly light, the Holy Spirit’s eternal breath that vivifieth the human soul.  Love is the cause of God’s revelation unto man, the vital bond inherent, in accordance with the divine creation, in the realities of things.  Love is the one means that ensureth true felicity both in this world and the next.  Love is the light that guideth in darkness, the living link that uniteth God with man, that assureth the progress of every illumined soul.  Love is the most great law that ruleth this mighty and heavenly cycle, the unique power that bindeth together the divers elements of this material world, the supreme magnetic force that directeth the movements of the spheres in the celestial realms.  Love revealeth with unfailing and limitless power the mysteries latent in the universe.  Love is the spirit of life unto the adorned body of mankind, the establisher of true civilization in this mortal world, and the shedder of imperishable glory upon every high-aiming race and nation.

           

O ye beloved of the Lord!  Strive to become the manifestations of the love of God, the lamps of divine guidance shining amongst the kindreds of the earth with the light of love and concord.                                                            - Abdu’l-Baha

 

These readings were presented in alphatical order but are listed here Z-A 

Socialising after the Readings
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Ngunnawal, Sukyo Mahikari, Jew, Sikh

ACT IFF ~ Interfaith Forum in Canberra ~ IFFACT

IFF ACT is supported by members of Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian Denominations, Muslim, Sikh, Baha'i, Sathya Sai, Brahma Kumaris, & Sukyo Mahikari communities.