For many people such an elaborate explanation on this topic is not required. But in Indian sub-continent, it is very hard to make people believe that all religions are different and we will not go to heaven by following all religions. In 15th century AD arose Bhakti and Sufism movement in India. Though both were belongs to different religions (Bhakti to Hinduism and Sufism to Islam), both had same message of Hindu-Muslim brotherhood. At the same time, a new religion was founded in Indian subcontinent which preached that Hinduism and Islam both are true paths to reach god, this religion is called Sikhism.
There can be various ways to categorise religions. Here I am categorising religions based on no. of God it allowed to worship. Mainly there are three types of Religion:
- Monotheistic Religion like most of Abrahamic Religions, e.g .Islam and Judaism
- Pantheist or Idol worshippers like Hinduism, Jainism, Chinese religions such as Confucius
- Philosophies without God: Like Buddhism , Taoism
There can be at most one religion at a time which can be true. Reason is quite evident. If we analyse different religion we will observe, most of religion are different. They have two parts-one is spiritual and other is social. There are some similarities in social parts which give rise to this paradox of all religion are true and same, such as: always speak truth, never steal, never kill any human, help poor, give charity, take care of your elders, be kind etc.
Even in social parts, there are many marked differences in religions. Take the example of Islam with respect to Hinduism. Hinduism promote vegetarianism whereas Islam promote Non vegetarianism, Islam allow 4 marriages while in Hinduism monk and sadhus don’t want to get married and think it is something to avoid, they will be more pure if not married. There are some other Hindu’s who practice polygamy one women having more than one husband. In Islam, groom has to give dowry (Mehar) where as in Hinduism; Bride family has to give dowry. Hinduism has a rigid caste system, in Islam there is no caste system. Muslim buried their dead where as Hindu burned them. Still think both religions are same and made by same creator? Think again. How same creator can tell two different things to two different messengers or avatars?
Now if we observe spiritual part, which is real part of religion we found enormous difference between Islam, Hinduism Christianity.
Islam is strictly mono theistic religion, whereas Hinduism is not, while Christian believe in trinity. In Islam, Allah has no shape and image to compare, he neither has son nor has any wife. He is one and omnipotent –Creator of whole universe and everything within the universe; he is neither born nor will die. He can’t be worshipped as an image as he does not have any image. Hinduism is just opposite of it. They have many gods and goddess and they are not forbidden to worship any creation as each creation has part of god (ansh). Not only that, cow is sacred animal which is also worshipped. There is a very rigid caste system imposed by Hinduism.
Though Christian believes in one supreme god but at the same time believe that he has a son which differentiates Christianity from Islam. That son is none other than Jesus Christ. Besides God, they worship Son and Holy Spirit. But they do not worship creation and cow is not sacred for them so they are different from Hinduism and Islam. Hence, all the three religion has different perspective of God. Now let’s come to prayers.
Muslim prays 5 times a day facing towards Kabba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. They do not worship any image and do not involve any mediator to reach god. Muslims have direct link to Allah through prayers. Whereas, in Christianity, Christ is the medium to reach god. Hindus also use all sort of Avatars and mediators to reach various gods, besides that they have thousands of other god and goddess to worship. They even worship forces of nature and animals. Their vadas are full of hymns of sun god, water and air god . Christianity does not have any such gods but believed in trinity. They do not have any caste system. They worship mainly on Sunday in church and praise God and his son. Most importantly, in Hinduism we found the concept of karma and reincarnation which is absent in Islam, Christianity and all Abrahamic faiths. In Islam and Christianity you live once and then on judgment day you will be resurrected. But in Hinduism, some believe, as in Buddhism and Jainism cycle of birth and rebirth continues till you attain moksha other Hindu believe in heaven and hell like all major religions .One more very big difference between Islam and other religion is that, Muslim believe on the authority of Quran that there is no other true religion left on the face of earth and Prophet Mohammad is the last messenger and hence everyone has to follow his teachings otherwise they will not go to heaven. Christian believes the same about Christ. It is only in India that a fallacy of all path lead to same destination is available which they must realize.
Many rivers can originate from different place and merge in same ocean but not all. Many paths can lead you to your destination but not all. In the same way all religion will not take you to the Supreme Being, the creator of universe. Some will make you go astray other will misguide you some other will take you to such a long journey that your life will finish but you will not reach to your destination. Only one path can take you directly to your creator. Every believer of God should follow that one path alone.
I can go on and on to explain how all religions can’t be true at a time and how they are different from each other. But I think this much difference is enough for any sane person with even little intelligence.