Mercy as a Golden String of Religions
Be merciful!- this is a universal message of all great religions of humanity. No founder of religion advocates violence or intolerance, though every religion has a history of criminality. Hence it is important to get back to the pristine message of mercy and love found at the origin of every religion:
“How can you eat to the full, when you know that someone else goes hungry? The one who cooks food only for oneself eats sin.” (Rigveda, 10.117.1) The Creator God demands only three things from the creatures: “self-restraint, generosity and mercy.”(damyata, datta, daya, (Brih. Upanishad, 5.2.2) “The divine Lord loves the merciful.” (Bhag. Gita, 12,13)
“Mercy is the characteristic of the Buddha nature present in all.” (Buddhist Mahaparinirvanasutta 259) “The merciful attain Nirvana” (Buddhist Dhammapada 368)
Mercy is what God wants, not sacrifice.” (Hosea 6,6) “To break unjust fetters, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free and to break all yokes; share your food with the hungry and shelter the homeless poor – this is what is pleasing before God.” (Is. 58,6).
Jesus said: “be merciful as the divine Father is merciful” (Lk. 6,36) “Blessed are the merciful; they shall have mercy shown to them.” (Mt. 5,7)
“Mercy is more valuable than prayer.” (Quran, 2,177) “Feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, free the slaves – do it all as expression of the love of God.” (Quran76, 8-9)
“Be merciful towards the hungry and thirsty, offer help to the needy – this is the basic virtue.” (Jain: Panchastikaya 127) “Be helpful to one another – this is duty of everyone.” (Jain: Tatva-sutra, 5,21)
“Rituals bereft of mercy mean nothing.” (Confucius: Anacletus, 3,3) “Where mercy disappears, humans become strangers to one another.” (Tao: Chuangehu, 23) “True religion consists of performing works of mercy.” (Shinto: Genchikato)
“The purity of a work is shown in mercy.” (Sikh: Adi Granth, Maru M.1)
The Divine is Love – this is a universal perception. The divine Love flows into our heart and makes us merciful to humans and things of nature. Mercy is not something that we produce, but a grace that we receive. We can only become channels of the divine mercy. That is why Mother Theresa prayed daily: Lord, make me worthy to serve the poor.