Unifying Principles

At the center of every major faith you can find the same, basic human emotions that drive us each toward our individual spiritual paths in the first place.

The fundamental principles shown below are common to all faiths because they're inately present in the hearts that beat within us all.

Click the sections below to see how common ideas are represented across religious boundaries.

The Golden Rule

BAHA'I

Lay not on any soul a load that you would not wish to be laid upon you, and desire not for anyone the things you would not desire for yourself.
- Baha'u'llah, Gleanings

BUDDHISM

Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.
- The Buddha, Udana-Varga 5.18


CHRISTIANITY

In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets
- Jesus, Matthew 7:12

CONFUCIANISM

One word which sums up the basis of all good conduct...loving-kindness. Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.
- Confucious, Analects 15:23

HINDUISM

This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.
Mahabharata 5:1517

ISLAM

Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself.
- The Prophet Muhammad, Hadiths of Nawawi, 13

JAINISM

One should treat all creatures in the world as one would like to be treated.
- Mahavira, Sutrakrtanga

JUDAISM

What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. This is the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary. Go and learn it.
- Hillel, Talmud, Shabbath 31a

SKHISM

I am a stranger to no one; and no one is a stranger to me. Indeed, I am a friend to all.
- Guru Granth Sahib 1299

TAOISM

Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain and your neighbor's loss as your own loss.
- Lao T'zu, T'ai Shang Kan Ying P'ien 213-218

ZOROASTRIANISM

Do not do unto others whatever is injurious to yourself.
- Zoroaster, Shayast-na-Shayast 13:29


Compassion

BAHA'I

...knowledge alone does not feed the starving man, nor can the poor be warmed by knowledge or words in the bitter winter; we must give the practical help of Loving-kindness.
- Abdu'l-Baha, Abdu'l-Baha in London 60

BUDDHISM

He has cast away ill-will; he dwells with a heart free from ill-will; cherishing love and compassion toward all living beings, he cleanses his heart from ill-will.
- Bhddha, the Word (The Eightfold Path)

CHRISTIANITY

As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience.
- Colossians 3:12

CONFUCIANISM

Mencius said, "Benevolence means man. When these two are conjoined, the result is the Way."
- Mencius VII.B.16

HINDUISM

What sort of religion can it be without compassion? You need to show compassion to all living beings. Compassion is the root of all religious faith.
- Basavanna, Vachana 247

ISLAM

The Prophet said, "All [human] creatures are God's household, and those dearest to God are those who treat His household kindly."
- Hadith of Baihaqi

JAINISM

Have benevolence toward all living beings, joy at the sight of the virtuous, compassion and sympathy for the afflicted, and tolerance toward the indolent and ill-behaved.
- Tattvarthasutra 7.11

JUDAISM

The heart's intention is the measure of all things.
- Maimonides, Letter to Hasdai HaLevi


TAOISM

Compassion is the finest weapon and best defense. If you would establish harmony, compassion must surround you like a fortress.
- Tao Te Ching 68

ZOROASTRIANISM

Do good simply because it is good.
- The Counsels of Adhurbâdh 2:37


Forgiveness

BAHA'I

Forgive and overlook the shortcomings which have appeared in that one, for the sake of love and affection.

-Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Paith 375

BUDDHISM

"He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me" - in those who harbor such thoughts hatred will never cease...

-Dhammapada 1:3

CHRISTIANITY

Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
-Colossians 3:13

CONFUCIANISM

The superior man tends to forgive wrongs and deals leniently with crimes.

-I Ching 40: Release

HINDUISM

A religious student who retains what he has learned, who finds pleasure in the fulfillment of the law, who keeps the rules of studentship, who is upright and forgiving, attains perfection.
-Apastambra Prasna 1.2.5

ISLAM

Moses son of Imran said, "My Lord, who is the greatest of Thy servants in Thy estimation?" and received the reply, "The one who forgives when he is in a position of power."
-Hadith of Baihaqi

JAINISM

Subvert anger by forgiveness.

-Samanasuttam 136

JUDAISM

You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against your kinsman; but you shall love your neighbor as yourself.

-Leviticus 19:18

SKHISM

Where there is forgiveness, there is God.

-Kabir, Guru Granth Sahib 1372

TAOISM

The sage accepts less than is due and does not blame or punish; for harmony seeks agreement where justice seeks payment.

-Tao Te Ching 79

ZOROASTRIANISM

...whoever puts vengeance even for a trifling thing out of his mind, will be spared the greatest terrors at the Bridge of the Requiter.

-The Counsels of Adhurbâdh 2:4

Faith

BAHA'I

The essence of faith is fewness of words and abundance of deeds; those whose words exceed their deeds, know verily their death is better than their life.
-Tablets of Baha'u'llah 156

BUDDHISM

By faith you shall be free and go beyond the world of death.

-Sutta Nipata 1146

CHRISTIANITY

For by the grace given to me, I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgemenent, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. -Romans 12:3

CONFUCIANISM

He who does not understand the will of Heaven cannot be regarded as a gentleman.

-Analects 20.3.1

HINDUISM

Every man's faith conforms with his inborn nature, Arjuna. Faith is a person's core; whatever his faith is, he is.
-Bhagavad-Gita 17.3

ISLAM

Whoever denies God, His angels, His books, His apostles, and the Day of Judgement, has gone far, far astray.
-Qur'an 4.136

JAINISM

Without faith there is no knowledge, without knowledge there is no virtuous conduct, without virtues there is no deliverance, and without deliverance there is no perfection.
-Uttaradhyayana Sutra 28.30

JUDAISM

Through faith man experiences the meaning of the world; through action he is to give it meaning.

-Rabbi Leo Baeck

SKHISM

Through faith the mind attains concentration and advances toward enlightenment.

-M1, Guru Granth Sahib 3

ZOROASTRIANISM

Be single-minded so that you may be faithful.

-The Counsels of Adhurbâdh 73

Courage

BAHA'I

O people of the world, ye are all the fruit of one tree and the leaves of one branch. Walk with perfect charity, concord, affection and agreement.
-Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks 101

BUDDHISM

With his mind free from the inflow of thoughts and from restlessness, by abandoning both good and evil, an alert man knows no fear.
-Dhammapada 3:30

CHRISTIANITY

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.
-1 John 4:18

CONFUCIANISM

Confucius said, "...a man who has benevolence is sure to have courage. A man who has courage is not sure to have benevolence."
-Analects 14.5

HINDUISM

Against the devouring demons who, in the night of the full moon, have arisen in throngs, may Agni, the strong, the slayer of the sorcerers, give us courage!
-Atharva Veda 3:1, 16.1

ISLAM

Whosoever submits his will to Allah, while doing good, his wage is with his Lord, and no fear shall be upon him, neither shall he sorrow.
-Qur'an 2.112

JUDAISM

Yehuda ben Taima said, "Be bold as a leopard, light as an eagle, swift as a deer, and strong as a lion to do the will of your Father in Heaven."
-Pirke Avot 5:23

SKHISM

O Nanak, those are brave warriors who conquer and subdue their vicious inner egos.

-M3, Guru Garanth Sahib 86

TAOISM

Because of deep love, one is courageous.

-Tao Te Ching 67

ZOROASTRIANISM

...Courage divorced from wisdom is (very) death in a man's body...

-The Counsels of Adhurbâdh 2.52

Love

BAHA'I

In the world of existence there is indeed no greater power than the power of love.

-Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks 179

BUDDHISM

Let one live in loving-kindness; let one be adept in one's duties; then joyfully one will see the end of sorrow.
-Dhammapada 25:376

CHRISTIANITY

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

-Matthew 19:19

CONFUCIANISM

Confucius said, "Only the man of humanity knows how to love people and hate people. If you set your mind on humanity, you will be free of evil."
-Analects 4:3, 4

HINDUISM

To see that universal and all-pervading Spirit of Truth face-to-face one must be able to love the meanest of creation as oneself.
-Mohandas Gandhi, An Autobiography

ISLAM

It may be that God will ordain love between you and those whom you hold as enemies. For God has power over all things: and God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
-Qur'an 60.7

JUDAISM

Any love which is dependent on something, when the something ceases, the love ceases. Any love which is not dependent on anything will never cease...
-Pirke Avot 5:19

SKHISM

True lovers are those who are absorbed in divine love; all others are caught in worldly confusion.

-M2, Guru Granth Sahib 474

TAOISM

The sage has no fixed [personal] ideas. He regards the people's ideas as his own. I treat those who are good with goodness, and I also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained...
-Tao Te Ching 49

ZOROASTRIANISM

It should be known that love of one's fellow men proceeds from a balanced mind.

-The Counsels of Adhurbâdh 150

Charity

BAHA'I

O people of the world, ye are all the fruit of one tree and the leaves of one branch. Walk with perfect charity, concord, affection, and agreement.
-Abdu'l-Baha, A Traveler's Narrative 42

BUDDHISM

The one I call holy calls nothing one's own, whether it be in front, behind, or between, is poor and free from attachment.
-Dhammapada 26:421

CHRISTIANITY

How does God's love abide in anyone who has the world's goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?
-John 1, 3:17

CONFUCIANISM

Tzu-kung asked, "Is there one word that can express the essence of right conduct in life?" K'ung replied, "It is the word reciprocity: Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you."
-Analects 15:23

ISLAM

A man once asked the Prophet what was the best thing in Islam, and the latter replied, "It is to feed the hungry and to give the greeting of peace both to those one knows and to those one does not know." -Hadith of Bukhari

JAINISM

Charity - to be moved at the sight of the thirsty, the hungry, and the miserable and to offer relief to them out of pity - is the spring of virtue.
-Kundakunda, Pancastikaya 137

JUDAISM

Who occupies himself with the needs of the community is as though he occupies himself with Torah.
-Talmud Yerushalmi, Berakhot

SKHISM

Those who earn by hard work, and share their earnings in charity, Nanak, have found the way to God.
-M1, Guru Garanth Sahib 1245

TAOISM

Relieve people in distress as speedily as you must release a fish from a dry rill [lest he die]...Respect the old and help the poor.
-Tract of the Quiet Way

ZOROASTRIANISM

The kingdom of Ahura's heaven is for him who helps the poor.

-Yatha Ahu Vairyo