Religion tries to explain the universe in terms of the non-physical. It provides a framework for our meaning in life and tells us something about how we should act and live as human beings.
Many of our cultures have had the concept of four basic elements making up the physical world.
Many also included the spirit or aether – an element inaccessible to the senses.
In hinduism it is called Akasha, which means “sky” or “space”.
Most religions have the concept of a creator. Something that created the universe we live in.
To resolve the philosophical problem of something coming out of nothing, many religions claim that God is eternal. He is the infinite, omnipresent and One. He doesn’t have a beginning or end.
In the new testament “there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live”.
In the old testament God is an absolute one, indivisible and incomparable being who is the ultimate cause of all existence.
Islam emphasizes that God is strictly singular unique and inherently One, all-merciful and omnipotent.
He exists outside space and is not a part of the physical world.
In hinduism Brahman is the ultimate essence of material phenomena. “the unchanging reality amidst and beyond the world”. He is infinite and exists in all things.
Buddhists don’t believe in a god, but their philosophy states that all material phenomena origins from a state of void or nothingness. Sunyata is the arena in which everything occurs. It is the creative space in which form comes into being. Form can only exist because of emptiness; which is why emptiness is often referred to as ‘the great mother’ or ‘the womb of potentiality’.
Both in the old testament and the Koran we find the story of Adam and Eve. The first human’s created by God to live on paradise on earth. In the garden of Eden they could eat everything God had provided. Except from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
This abrahamic myth tells the story about mankind’s first sin. When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit their eyes were opened and they realized for the first time that they were naked.
The moment they were not in God’s will, they died spiritually, and inner peace was replaced with fear and suffering.
A way to interpret this story is that the knowledge of good and evil is in fact the beginning of dualistic thought. The knowledge of self and others. In eastern religions this is often pointed to as the root of all suffering and evil in the world. By not recognizing the oneness of reality you see yourself as separate from the environment. The fear of death and loss drives us to actions that further separate us from God, liberation or oneness.
In christianity it is sin that separates man from God.
In the old testament God sin is also what separates man from God.
In islam it is sin that separates man from God.
In hinduism it is attachment to the ego that makes man not realize his oneness with Brahman.
In buddhism desire is one of the primary roots of all suffering. This suffering is also what causes man to be reborn and not attain liberation from samsara. The three poisons can be seen as sin in buddhism and these actions is caused by suffering, which again is caused by desire (that is caused by attachment).
As we can see all these religions have in common that acting selfish, attachment to material things, everything connected to the ego is seen as a barrier to come close with God, reach Nirvana or Moksha.
Concepts of bad karma or hell is all found to be the consequence for acting sinful.
A common theme in all major religions is that awareness through prayer or meditation, being grateful and compassionate towards people you will become happier and closer to God, Moksha or Nirvana.
By getting rid of desire and attachment – man will attain salvation.