January 14, 2024

The One in Different Religions


by Interfaith

From :
https://universalalphaomega.blogspot.com/2024/01/the-one-in-different-religions.html

Taoism
Ultimate One the Heavenly Savior (太乙救苦天尊)
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Ultimate One the Heavenly Savior (太乙救苦天尊) is a divine manifestation of the Uncreated energy of The One (先天一炁), a.k.a. Ultimate One (太一). According to Taoist Scriptures, He comes from the Eastern World of Everlasting Bliss (東方長樂世界), riding a nine-headed lion. He has countless manifestations and incarnations in all worlds.Master Loy’s Spring and Autumn Annals (呂氏春秋.大樂) says :

Tao is the ultimate essence, which is formless and nameless. To name it artificially, it can be called Ultimate One.
(道也者,至精也,不可為形,不可為名,強為之,謂之太一。)​

The Ultimate One generates Water (太一生水) says :

Heaven and earth are created by Ultimate One. (天地者,太一之所生也。)​

The Wondrous Scripture on Ultimate One’s Salvation and Protection (太一救苦護身妙經) says :

In the Eastern World of Everlasting Bliss, there is a greatly merciful and benevolent one called Ultimate One the Heavenly Savior. He has countless manifestations and incarnations, such as heavenly deities, emperors, kings, saints, spirits, people of various careers, etc., residing in all realms including heavens, human worlds, and hells. He has infinite holy power and innumerable merits. He saves the sufferings and responds to prayers, as long as living beings seek His help.(此東方長樂世界,有大慈仁者,太一救苦天尊,化身如恒沙數,物隨聲應,或住天宮,或降人間,或居地獄,或攝群邪,或為仙童玉女,或為帝君聖人,或為天尊真人,或為金剛神王,或為魔王力士,或為天師道士,或為皇人老君,或為天醫功曹,或為男子女子,或為文武官宰,或為都大元帥,或為教師,或為風師雨師,神通無量,功行無窮,尋聲救苦,應物隨機,今告汝知。)​

Additionally, in The Wondrous Scripture on Ultimate One’s Salvation and Protection (太一救苦護身妙經), the origin of Ultimate One the Heavenly Savior is told by the following verses :

The primordial energy of The Origin.​
A wondrous manifestation of the Essence of Nine Yeong.​
His mightiness and merits are omnipresent.​
He comes and reveals the Truth in a miraculous trance.
(元元之祖氣,妙化九陽精。威德布十方,恍恍現其真。)​

The Scripture of Way and Virtue (道德經) says :

There is a thing that is complete as it always be. It exists before the creation of heaven and earth.​
Being quiescent and formless, it is self-existent and never changes. It circulates everywhere and never stops.​
It is the mother of heaven and earth. I do not know its name, but call it Tao.
(有物混成,先天地生。寂兮寥兮,獨立而不改,周行而不殆,可以為天地母。 吾不知其名,強字之日道。)​

Song for Dispelling Doubts Concerning the Correct Path (破迷正道歌) says :

The energy of The One circulates unimpededly. It exists within all things including human bodies.
(一炁循環無阻礙,散在萬物與人身。)​

Ultimate One the Heavenly Savior is also known as Ultimate One the Eastern Emperor (東皇太一). East, the direction that Ultimate One comes from, symbolizes the first state of the process towards Perfection.

As it is written in Explanation for the GWAs (说卦) in The Scripture of Changes (易經) :

God starts out from Tzan (the eastern Gwa).​
When He reaches Seon (the southeast Gwa), all things that He created are present.​
When He arrives at Ley (the southern Gwa), His creations become visible.​
When He reaches Kwan (the southwest Gwa), His creations are nourished and in labor.​
When He arrives at Deoy (the western Gwa), His creations speak His Words.​
When He reaches Kin (the northwest Gwa), the War happens.​
When He arrives at Ham (the northern Gwa), His creations reach the destination where all their works are gathered and accepted.​
When He reaches Gan (the northeast Gwa), His creations, which are manifestations of His Words, achieve Perfection.
(帝出乎震,齊乎巽,相見乎離,致役乎坤,說言乎兌,戰乎乾,勞乎坎,成言乎艮。)
Buddhism
Prajna-Paramita, the Mother of all Buddhas (般若佛母)
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Four-Armed Prajna-Paramita
Six-Armed Prajna-Paramita
Prajna-Paramita, a.k.a. Prajna Bodhisattva (般若菩薩), is a divine manifestation of the Wisdom (Prajna) of all Buddhas.As it is written in The Eight Thousand Lines Prajna-Paramita 108 Names Dharani Sutra (聖八千頌般若波羅蜜多一百八名真實圓義陀羅尼經) :

Homage to the most exalted one, Prajna-Paramita the Mother of all Buddhas.​
Buddhas of the past, present and future, are all born from Her.​
With the ability of giving birth to all Buddhas, She is called Mother of Buddhas.​

The Eight Thousand Lines Prajna-Paramita 108 Names Dharani Sutra (聖八千頌般若波羅蜜多一百八名真實圓義陀羅尼經) also says:

Prajna-Paramita has 108 names, which are :​
1. Prajna-Paramita the most exalted one.​
2. Universal Wisdom.​
3. Wisdom of all manifestations.​
4. Reality.​
5. True Thusness.​
6. Indestructible True Thusness​
…….​
11. One who is formless like emptiness, and is free from wishes​
…….​
15. Dharma nature.16. Dharma Realm​
…….​
36. Mother of all Buddhas.​
37. One who gives birth to all Boshisattvas.​
38. One who gives birth to all voice-hearers and cause-awakened ones.​
39. One who nourishes and maintains all worlds.​
40. One who has infinite merits and blessings​
…….​
100. Originally Motionless One​
…….​

According to these names, Prajna-Paramita is the Universal Wisdom, She is the same as True Thusness, Reality, and Dharma Realm. She is formless, invisible, intangible, but also indestructible. She nourishes and gives blessings to all worlds and living beings.

The Nation-Protecting Prajna-Paramita Sutra Spoken for the Benevolent King (仁王護國般若波羅蜜多經) says:

Prajna-Paramita is the Mother of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and is the source of unique merits and divine power.​

Vajra Cutter Prajna-Paramita Sutra (能斷金剛般若波羅蜜多經) says :

All saints, sages, and living beings are manifestations of the Motionless One.(諸賢聖補特伽羅皆是無為之所顯)​

In an English translation of Asta-Sahasrika Prajna-Paramita Sutra (Eight Thousand Lines Prajna-Paramita Sutra), the nature of Mother Prajna-Paramita is described as follows :

SARIPUTRA: The Perfection of Wisdom shines forth as a sublime light, 0 Buddha nature. I sing this spontaneous hymn of light to praise Mother Prajnaparamita. She is worthy of infinite praise. She is utterly unstained, because nothing in this insubstantial world can possibly stain her. She is an ever-flowing fountain of incomparable light, and from every conscious being on every plane, she removes the faintest trace of illusory darkness. She leads living beings into her clear light from the blindness and obscurity caused by moral and spiritual impurity as well as by partial or distorted views of Reality. In her alone can we find true refuge. Sublime and excellent are her revelations through all persons of wisdom. She inspires and guides us to seek the safety and certainty of the bright wings of enlightenment. She pours forth her nectar of healing light to those who have made themselves appear blind. She provides the illumination through which all fear and despair can be utterly renounced.​
She manifests the five mystic eyes of wisdom, the vision and penetration of each one more exalted than the last. She clearly and constantly points out the path of wisdom to every conscious being with the direct pointing that is her transmission and empowerment. She is an infinite eye of wisdom. She dissipates entirely the mental gloom of delusion. She does not manipulate any structures of relativity. Simply by shining spontaneously, she guides to the spiritual path whatever beings have wandered into dangerous, negative, self-centered ways.​
……​
She is the universal benefactress who presents, as a sublime offering to truth, the limitless jewel of all Buddha qualities, the miraculous gem which generates the ten inconceivable powers of a Buddha to elevate living beings into consciousness of their innate Buddha nature. She can never be defeated in any way, on any level. She lovingly protects vulnerable conscious beings who cannot protect themselves, gradually generating in them unshakable fearlessness and diamond confidence. She is the perfect antidote to the poisonous view which affirms the cycle of birth and death to be a substantial reality. She is the clear knowledge of the open and transparent mode of being shared by all relative structures and events. Her transcendent knowing never wavers. She is the Perfect Wisdom who gives birthless birth to all Buddhas. And through these sublimely Awakened Ones, it is Mother Prajnaparamita alone who turns the wheel of true teaching.
LORD BUDDHA: Precisely so, beloved Sariputra.​
Manjusri Bodhisattva
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Manjusri holding the Sword of Wisdom and a Prajna-paramita Sutra, riding a lion
Manjusri wielding the Sword of Wisdom, holding a Prajna-paramita Sutra, and riding a lion
Manjusri Bodhisattva represents Prajna, the Wisdom of all Buddhas, hence he is honored as the Mother of all Buddhas of the past, present and future (三世佛母妙吉祥).As it is written in Mahayana Sutra on Contemplating the Ground-Like Heart Concerning the Legend of the Buddha (大乘本生心地觀經) :

Manjusri the Great Holy Lord​
is the Mother of all Buddhas of the past, present and future.​
All Buddhas of the ten directions,​
when they first arouse their hearts to seek Bodhi,​
they do so because of Manjusri’s teaching and guidance.​
(文殊師利大聖尊,三世諸佛以為母,十方如來初發心,皆是文殊教化力。)​

Mahayana Sutra on Contemplating the Ground-Like Heart Concerning the Legend of the Buddha (大乘本生心地觀經) also says :

The Buddha said to Manjusri: “You are indeed the Mother of all Buddhas of the past, presemt and future. All Tathagatas, when they first arouse their hearts, or carry out their practice for Bodhi, they do those things because of your guidance. “​

Placing the Bowl Sutra (佛說放鉢經) says :

The Buddha said : “… I achieved Buddhahood all because of Manjusri’s benevolence. Furthermore, all the countless Buddhas in the past were disciples of Manjusri, and all those who will become Buddhas in the future, they will achieve Buddhahood because of Manjusri’s mightiness, benevolence, and divine power.”​

Manjusri Bodhisattva is also called Manjusri the Youth (Manjusri Kumara-bhuta), hinting that he has two important attributes : Wisdom and Eternal Youth.

Mañju” in Sanskrit menas lovely, beautiful, charming, sweet, pleasing, attractive, etc., denoting the eternal youth and beauty of the Bodhisattva, while “śrī” is used as an honorific meaning resplendence, wealth and prosperity. Therefore the name Mañjuśrī is literally translated into Chinese as 妙吉祥, which means Youthful Beauty and Blessing.

As it is written in Holy Motionless Lord the Great Wrathful King’s Secret Dharani Sutra (聖無動尊大威怒王秘密陀羅尼経) :

Youthful Beauty and Blessing Bodhisattva is the Mother who Awakens living beings in the past, present and future, therefore the Bodhisattva is named Manjusri.​

Similar to Ultimate One the Heavenly Savior in Taoism, Manjusri Bodhisattva also rides a lion, and comes from the east.

As it is written in Buddha-Avatamsaka nama Maha-Vaipulya Sutra (大方廣佛華嚴經) :

To the east, passing worlds as many as atoms in ten Buddha-Worlds, there was a world named Golden Color, the Buddha there was named Unwavering Wisdom. In that world, a Bodhisattva named Manjusri, together with other Bodhisattvas as many as atoms in ten Buddha-Worlds, came to visit the Buddha of this world.​

East, is the direction associated with Arousing the Bodhi-Heart, the first stage of Mahayana practice.

In regular sense, Arousing the Bodhi-Heart can be alternatively translated as Bringing forth the Bodhi mindSetting the resolve upon Awakening, etc., referring to the first stage of regular Mahayana practice.

In the superior or Vajrayana sense, Arousing the Bodhi-Heart actually means Illuminating the Heart to Reveal the Path to Bodhi, referring to the first stage of True Bodhisattva practice.

In both senses, Arousing the Bodhi-Heart is the first stage of cultivation, and is associated with the East direction, as well as the Eastern petal of the Eight-Petaled Lotus Flower.

 

Christianity
Wisdom (Sophia), the Primordial Truth of the Universe
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Wisdom (Sophia)
Σοφία the Divine Wisdom
A feminine personification of Wisdom, or Understanding, is found in Proverbs, a Book of the Bible. Here are excerpts from the King James Version :

1:20 Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:​
1:21 She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,​
1:22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?​
1:23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you​
…….​
8:1 Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?​
8:2 She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths. (also translated as “at the meeting of the roads“[BBE] or “at the crossroads“[NAB].)​
8:3 She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.
8:4 Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.
8:5 O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.​
8:6 Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.​
8:7 For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.​
8:8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.​
8:9 They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.​
8:10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.​
8:11 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.​
8:12 I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.​
8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.​
8:14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.​
8:15 By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.​
8:16 By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.​
8:17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.​
8:18 Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.​
8:19 My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.​
8:20 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:​
8:21 That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.​
8:22 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
8:23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
8:24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.​
8:25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:​
8:26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.​
8:27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:​
8:28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:​
8:29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:​
8:30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;​
8:31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.​
8:32 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.
8:33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.​
8:34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
8:35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.​
8:36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
9:1 Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:​
9:2 She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table.​
9:3 She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city,
9:4 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,​
9:5 Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.
9:6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.
9:7 He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.​
9:8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.​
9:9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.​
9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.​
9:11 For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.
9:12 If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.​
9:13 A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.​
9:14 For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city,​
9:15 To call passengers who go right on their ways:​
9:16 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,​
9:17 Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.​
9:18 But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.​

According to the above text, this Wisdom (Sophia) exists before the creation of heaven and earth. She is used by God to create everything in the universe, hence She is the Ultimate Truth within all manifestations of the universe. She is the wisdom, and also life, of all living beings. She leads living beings to Perfection by giving them Her bread and wine. Whoever eats Her bread and drinks Her wine will become wiser and live longer.


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