How do Christianity, Islam and Hinduism compare?

There are different criteria on which one could compare those 3 religions. I want to focus here only on the most important one: which one of the three is closest to truth.

Christianity claims that the full truth has been revealed 2000 years ago only to Jesus Christ by the one Supreme Being (called God in English), and therefore truth is only with his Church. All must become Christians and follow what Christ said, if they want to be saved from hell.

Islam claims that the final truth has been revealed some 1400 years ago to Prophet Mohamed by the one Supreme Being (called Allah in Islam) and therefore Islam is the only true religion. All must become Muslims and follow what Prophet Mohamed said, if they want to be saved from hell.

Isn’t it strange that even in the 21st century those unsubstantiated claims about eternal hell for “others” are not debated and dismissed as superstition? Further, obviously at least one of those religions can’t be true, if not both – so why nobody mentions this? Yet instead of a debate on what is true, the “right to freedom of belief” is protected. It’s surely strange.

Now where does Hinduism stand? It usually is seen as inferior to the two big, established, ‘respected’, rich religions. And if one goes by common perception, Hinduism is mainly about caste system, sati and worshipping many gods, which (idol worship) is the greatest sin in both Christianity and Islam, because the Christian God and Allah are claimed to be jealous of other gods.

Hinduism is a rather new term. It was introduced by the British for the ancient traditions in India based on the Vedic texts.

Why was Hinduism introduced? Today’s ‘Indians’ were called Hindus earlier and even today are called Hindu in China. Hinduism would be akin to Germanism or Frenchism.

I got a clue why Hinduism was introduced, when I read that Voltaire, too, among many others in the west, praised the Vedas as the greatest gift to mankind and said “we are eternally indebted to India”. Voltaire fought against the influence of the Church and indeed, when the Vedas reached Europe, it had two effects: the influence of the Church went down and science took off in a big way (intriguingly, it is not mentioned today that those 2 effects could have anything to do with Vedic knowledge reaching the west).

Clearly, the Church was not amused that the intellectual elite preferred Vedic wisdom over Christianity. It needed some strategy to stop losing her sheep.

Now what is contained in the Vedas which are claimed to be as old as the universe? Veda (it means knowledge)  is about what we need to know to live a meaningful, fulfilling life. Vedic knowledge is vast, though most of it has been lost by now. Vedas tell us even about maths, the age of the universe, of parallel universes, even the distance to the sun, how to analyse, how to connect with powers (devas) greater than humans, etc.

And most important, the Vedas tell us the truth about us, the Supreme Being and the universe.

The Vedas differs from the two other religions in a major point:

The Vedas claim that Brahman (Supreme Being) has become this universe. It means all is permeated by Brahman. All is essentially divine including our person. The names and forms are not really real. They appear only as real. Brahman alone is real, and Brahman is best described as sat-chit-ananda (blissful awareness). And the Upanishads, which are part of the Vedas, declare “Aham Brahmasmi” (I am Brahman), or “Ayam Atman Brahma”(This Atma is Brahman).

Does this claim make sense? Yes, it does. Quantum physics came meanwhile to the conclusion that all is one energy and that there are no separate entities anywhere. Incidentally, physicists like Schroedinger, Einstein, Heisenberg, etc. drew inspiration from the Vedas. So far, the Vedas were never proven wrong by science whatever was tested.

So the claim, that Brahman is the essence in all, is surely closer to the truth than the claim by Christianity and Islam that the Supreme is separate from his creation, including the human being, and will send all those who don’t believe in a certain book for eternity to hell. This Vedic claim of divinity in humans gives naturally inner strength to a human being and also kindness (as Brahman is in others, too).

Now why was Vedic knowledge suddenly made into a Hinduism, placed next and yet below the 2 big religions and associated from the start with a ‘divisive’ caste system (which is a social issue and prevalent everywhere) and other negatives like sati?

My conclusion is that the Church was afraid it would lose out when people come to know what Vedic knowledge really contains. They would stop blindly believing but go after genuine knowledge which is there in the Vedas.

That’s why they had to coin a new term and demean “Hinduism” in the eyes of common people right from the start. They were successful. Everywhere children learnt in schools about the ‘terrible caste system’ in Hinduism. People didn’t ask further. They *knew* now that Hinduism is greatly inferior to the two big religions.

Yet there is always the fear that people may discover that they were deceived for the sake of power and that truth may be different from what they were taught in religious class. In Germany, there is a saying which expresses certain folk wisdom:

The King says to the Pope: “You make sure that people stay stupid and I make sure they stay poor.”

By Maria Wirth

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45 comments

  1. Your article will never see the day of light on quora unless you state that Hinduism is same as rest, just to appease the rest of the readers whom would rather prefer to bury their heads in the sand. This is to satisfy the political correctness equations.

    People seem to think that everything on quora is correct, I don’t know where this attitude comes from. I am assuming you are not one of those individual.

    Love your last paragraph, This will always be true and right as long as people who thinks that Hinduism is inferior. As always nicely written.

    You seem to write lot less now, is there any reason for it ?

    1. Not aware that I write less. But yes, at the start of my blog I had several articles ready which were not yet on the net.

  2. QUORA is supposed to be a political propaganda machine duly funded by the US, mainly targeting the youth in developing countries like India, Malaysia and so on.

    1. Absolutely right sir, quora is venom spewing tool so US without any base and rationality

  3. Maria Ji, for you it is not new in India and from other countries to criticize or hide your sayings through your articles on Hinduism.
    Hinduism is a fire – no one should try to suppress under the cloth.
    Hinduism is a gushing water – no one should try to control it.
    Hinduism is a flowing air – no one should try to prevent by hands.
    Hinduism is earth – no one can try to lift their legs above it.
    Hinduism is sky – the ultimate,
    Stay calm and just we follow Sanatan Dharma.

  4. Sunil Kumar Mishra · · Reply

    Maria Ji, I like your writings a lot. However don’t find much your articles nowadays, please keep writing. I am copying this article on my blog and page on FB with your name & reference. Trust you won’t mind, please reply if otherwise.
    Warm Regards
    Sunil

    1. I am happy when you share it and those thoughts spread. Thanks

  5. simple yet deep understanding of sanatana dharma put in words so beautiful. I see a fellow sanaatana dhaarmik in you and my sincere pranaam to you.

  6. This is the age of Kaliyuga where truth is poison to the masses and for those rare few who have figured this out, the best they can do is to continue vigorously in their individual pursuit of it.
    I don’t know why it is so difficult for people to think – if Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world, doesn’t it mean that we were the first people (aryas) God spoke to and since he is all-perfect He speaks only once.

    It has been written by someone very intelligent – “If there should be a conference among the most imaginative minds they will agree that almost all institution of learning are only nurseries of prejudice, corruption, barbarism and pedantry.”
    http://www.vjsingh.info/revelation.html

  7. Ramachandran Nair · · Reply

    I am from Kerala, the state still clinging on to the Marxian system of government, rejected by All, who tested it and found it to be an utter failure. Here the role of Pope and King are played by the leader of the party, who makes sure that the people remain poor, by not implementing development work initiated by Modi. He also makes sure that his followers read/watch and blindly follow the party news paper and party channel only, to keep them stupid.

  8. Prof NKSingh · · Reply

    Very well and logically stated thesis. The fact is Hindu epistemology is superior to all religions but it has been kept under warps due to suppression of Hinduism that was considered primitive by west. Two religions mainly held the lime light due to conversion and focus on claim to truth

  9. Very interesting. Sad part is that even today most people consider it blasphemous to analyse religious tenets. With expansion of science, lack of discussions lead to more unbelievers. Only wonder is how some organizations like ISIL could impress people from different religions to wage a war in the name of religion.

  10. N. Ganapathy · · Reply

    The concepts were explained in a beautiful and succinct manner. Kudos for the comprehension.

  11. Dipesh parekh · · Reply

    Good one. Hinduism is oldest religion. Hindu name is Morden name of religion. Before there is no name of. But we can say Sanatana dharm. And god is one. But we called him different names.

  12. Shriharsha Sharma · · Reply

    Respected Maria,
    Your article is brings the truth and as it is like bitter pill for many so they are bitter about it.
    SATYA MEV JAYATE -THE TRUTH WINS but in order to win ,the truth lover must fight for the truth to win and you are one of very few who is fighting for the truth to win. We are here with you in your efforts to bring the truth in open and in recent years I think Sanatan Dharma- Vedic Dharma more commonly known as Hinduism Today is going through global renaissance as you would know.
    I am sure you are fighting for the truth and I am sure we will win.
    with regards. Shriharsha Sharma.

  13. Deepak · · Reply

    Good!!

  14. Spirit · · Reply

    Aham brahmasmi….means GOD WITHIN..that..he.dwells inside our body…but stimulating this serpentine power is not the onlyway..we have to go through the narrow door thats the 6th chakra the door shall be opened for those who are tested…..we dont kno the names of gud souls written in the book of God….all abt journey of soul so far and the thoughts and.work of humans.

    1. I had allowed some 15 of your (Spirit) comments through after this initial one, though they obviously promoted your agenda to confuse by using Hindu terminology, yet hinting that Jesus and Tamil Nadu are supreme. Then I realized that “True” and “Light” comments had the same email ID. I worte to you on this ID to stop this flooding, but my mail came back, ID could not be traced. So I deleted all those comments as they clearly were not bonafide.
      Maria Wirth

      1. You know what Maria ji? The best answer and action you did so far in your blog is removing those chain of scraps. Believe me it was really irritating and disturbing for genuine readers of this blog. He (Spirit) was in bogus name and identity and slowly trying to spread the message of Christianity, but this is the forum for that.
        Since you are the owner of the blog and maintaining a long silence for last two days, we genuine readers have no way but to watch the show for some time. May be tomorrow I would have written a mail to you personally to stop this nonsence.
        I appreciate your patience but he really tested ours. Thanks Maria ji for your action.

  15. Jaishankar · · Reply

    Good message.

    Continue with further quotes and justifications

  16. Krrish · · Reply

    Swami Vivekananda was once visiting a king who told him that he didn’t believe in idol worship.

    “It’s illogical, primitive and baseless,” the king said. “How can you love a stone? It’s not like the stone is actually God.”
    Vivekananda kept quiet and a little while later, when he was just about to depart, he pointed at a big portrait on the wall.

    “Whose picture is this?” Vivekananda asked the king.
    “This is my great grandfather’s,” he replied with pride. “His valour is known throughout the length and breadth of the country.”
    “Can you please have this picture taken down for a minute?”

    The king was intrigued. Nevertheless, he did as asked.

    “Now, spit on it,” Vivekananda instructed.
    “Swamiji,” the king cried, “Had it been anyone else, I would have him thrown in jail for uttering such words. This is my great grandfather’s portrait. How can I even think of spitting? Visitors and workers bow before it.”
    “Why?” Vivekananda countered calmly. “What’s the problem? It’s just a picture. How can you love a picture? It’s not like the picture is really the person.”

    Idol worship does not mean that you only worship the idol, it simply means you have assigned a form to the one you pray to. It can bestow immense inner strength. Imagine, you have a pen friend. For years, you exchange letters with your friend and he always makes you feel important, loved and cared for. You feel that your friend understands you, listens to you and even helps you in need. His care will naturally evoke feelings in your heart. One day you would want to know what this noble person looks like. You would want to meet him in person and express your gratitude.

    Idol worship is something like that. It’s a devotee’s sentiment. A bhakta says: the Lord who’s been taking care of me must look this beautiful, adorned with the best vastra and alamkara — this is simply a devotee’s way of expressing his gratitude.

    1. Very beautiful. Thank you.

    2. Very correct

    3. Mh if this would be true, if the idol would be only a reference, a direction like the cross for the Christians or the Kaaba for the Muslims, then you would say, that a Idolworshipper ist not beleaving that he can get any adantage from the stone or Idol. But in fact this is wrong, the idolwirshipper does beleave that he is taken high advantage from the idol he is worshipping and they beleave if something happens to the idol or if they distroy it, then this would have a bad result in their lives. So if a photo is being drestroyed the owner is sad and maybe angry about it, but he does not beleave that there is anykind of higher conection between the photo and the idol. So dont make Idolwhorshippen same as memories. But you are right, Idolworshipping started in history threw memorizing of good people. So it started with memorizing them threw Pictures and Thinks and it ended up that people started to beleave that there would be a real connection between the Idol and the Reality of God. So from this point on they did not only remember the old generations of god people, but they started to worship. And this worship is not missunderstood as Hindus are always claming. Its well understood. You thing this worship is bringing you closer to the realty of God and this is simply crazy. If you want to come closer to god threw the creation. you have to follow the way of theese God people who have lived before. You say Buddha had been a good men, made good thinks. If dont pray to his statue, but do as he did. You say a holy priest of yours became a rat or something else and did good deeds? So do good deeds also, but do not waste youre time and energy to worship rats. this is unlogic and yes it can be the result of memorizing, but it is not the same. its unlogic. And God never told you that. You just found your fathers on this way, so you followed.

  17. Krrish · · Reply

    Btw, that story is taken from the intro to this great book on Mantra science:
    http://omswami.com/2017/06/ancient-science-mantras.html

  18. Hindus should proselytize just like the Muslims and Christians to popularize Sanatana Dharma and we should make use of the social media to promote it all over the world. http://sanatanadharmatheuniversalreligion.blogspot.in/

  19. Your stating of undeniable facts keeps me in awe about how much you can go to the point.
    Obviously, most of the people choose remaining in the comfort zone rather than questioning themselves and their own beliefs. Better comfort than truth, or at least seeking it. A pity. As long as they did not impose their beliefs it could be respectable, as everyone´s freedom of belief. The problem, and a big problem, is that they do try to impose them.
    Thank you for inspiring us.

  20. Your article has a great piece of ancient knowledge. The vedas are the only genuine source of sanatana dharma, unfortunately most of the sacred text has been distroyed by the brutal and illiterate islamic invaders. I am very happy that ppl like you have faith in true religion. Want to interact more. Thanks a lot.

    1. If only people came to know about it, they would realise that it makes sense. But brainwashing needs to be overcome.

  21. Prahlad Singh · · Reply

    great .. thanks.. Maria Ji please write comment on Rajiv Malhotra ji who are working on Exposing West Intellectuals demonising Hinduisim and its culture in a Big way,.

  22. Krrish · · Reply

    The vedic knowledge is still intact – we’ve lost only the real interpretters. The realized ones can shed light on the meaning. For instance listen to these beautiful interpretation of two well-known stories from our puranas by a living realized yogi:
    Birth of Lord Ganesha – The Esoteric Meaning:


    Durga Saptashati — The Esoteric Meaning:


    The silent revolution of wisdom is coming again from the ever-existent religion. The truth will again dispell the darkness of lies. The world will be swept away with the glories of the one who incarnates to uphold dharma every age.
    Let me say only this much.
    Btw, there’s an experiment going on to increase peace and prosperity in the world. There’s a great idea with a solid theory behind it that needs to get attention.
    You can also participate. Learn about that here: http://blacklotusapp.org/

  23. V.Sampath · · Reply

    Simple language, powerful message,regarding the core advaitha philosophy. Could have also covered the Visishtdwaita which says the Brahman,the souls of beings and the immovables of this universe are all one conglomeration,thereby going beyond ” I am Brahman to everything is Brahman” ,thus expanding this whole universe into one real unit, stressing at the same time that there is no illusion, His creations are real. And Dwaita,stressing that the Brahman (Paramatma),& Jivatma(souls) are two different entities,but the soul is subservient to the Brahman,and humility and total surrender is the path of salvation.Yet, Hindus though worship many many forms of God, believe in the core philosophy that though there are many paths to practice, every path leads to salvation.unlike the Abrahamic faiths. That is the greatness of Hinduism,yet,that is also the exact reason for the Abrahamic religions to be afraid of Hinduism,because once this universality spreads in their area of domination,people are bound to rationalise and embrace the oneness of human values, professed by the Hinduism.Hence the weapen of offensiveness to belittle Hinduism by magnifying petty faultlines that exist in hinduism( Which are already recognised and denounced by almost all sections modern Hindu society)

  24. UTKARSH ADITYA DWIVEDI · · Reply

    The potent virtue of BRAHM and the entity
    Confirms the spiritual embracing of TRUTH more in Vedic / vedanti / Hindu

  25. A very thoughtful and informative article mam and quite deeply analyzed with good rationale and logical conclusion, thanks for the such eye opening articles

  26. Nagendra Ramaswami · · Reply

    Maria ji, Wonderful article. I salute your efforts to educate people about Sanathan Dharma. I’ve learned a thing or two reading your posts. Thanks a lot. Keep writing.

  27. True to every word. I think influence of english is another reason why most old texts written in different languages were presented or translated in a way that they seem inferior to their counterpart in major religions. Even native people are not ready to learn. Sanskrit for example will be lost in centuries to come, I fear and I’m no exception either.

  28. Kamalakar · · Reply

    Great insight.An eye opener. The problem is most Hindus do not know what is Vedas, upanishads ,gita ECT They should read at least out of curiosity then they would realise the greatness, value of Hinduism basically a Great Culture from which all the religion stem

  29. All human of this world are Christian by birth, why? As they believe in love in Christian calendar n time. As per Hindu Mahabharata, time is a lord.

    1. Believe and live in Christian calendar

  30. Very interesting piece. Have you read much about Christian and Islamic mysticism (sufism)? Although the mainstream aspects of these two religions claim some level of exclusivism, the mystical aspects of these religions is fascinatingly a lot more similar to Hinduism and it’s (general) conception of God and reality.

    Meister Eckhart is one example of a Christian who despite being cloaked in Christian terminology, sounds almost Hindu at times. The works by Sufi author Seyyed Hossein Nasr are also fascinating reads.

    1. Yes, mystics can come up anywhere, but neither Christianity nor Islam approve of them. Meister Eckhart is still not rehabilitated, as far as I know (he was excommunicated) and Islam also killed some Sufis, and others were useful in facilitating conversion. Why should a Sufi be asked to convert to Islam? Doesn’t make sense. The original Vedic knowledge is still preserved in India.

      1. That’s a good point, but it’s an over-generalisation of the religion, both are incredibly diverse and contain well-established and ancient mystical traditions within them. Sufism has always considered itself as part of Islam. For the most part, the extreme literalists of Islam and Christianity were the ones who were doing the persecuting of mystic groups. Quite often throughout history, they’ve lived side by side. I’d agree with you, that the original Vedic knowledge is still preserved, but there is a lot of intolerance and superstition throughout many Hindu sects as well. All religions have their beautiful sides, as well as dark sides to them.

      2. Great blog by the way

  31. Interesting blog everybody is entitled to their own views … if you are interested you can watch this movie for some clarity…it is called “The Great Power”………… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPzqRVI7tDM

  32. I recently had spiritual contact that led to a discovery between the ties between ancient Hinduism and modern religion. Please click on my name and check it out.

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