Author Topic: Rough Notebook-Open Forum  (Read 269625 times)

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #135 on: July 22, 2012, 04:20:07 PM »
The Sage of Kanchi continued...

Apart from Saivism and Vaisnavism, there are a number of sectarian
systems like Saktam, Ganapatyam, Kaumaram, and Sauram (worship of
Sakti, Ganapati, Kumara or Subrahmanya and the Sun God).
The
adoration of these deities is founded in the Vedas, according to the Texts
relating to them: "Our deity is extolled in the Vedas, " each system
contains such a declaration
.
Thus we find that there is but one scripture as the source common to the
different sects and schools of thought in the Hindu religion.
This source includes the Upanisads. On ten of them (Dasopanisad) the
great teachers of the Saiva, Vaisnava, and Smarta traditions have written
commentaries. The Upanisadic texts proclaim that the Brahman is the
one and only Godhead: In the Kathopanisad it is called Visnu; in the
Mandukyopanisad it is called Sivam. All the deities mentioned in the
Samhitas of the Vedas- Mitra, Varuna, Agni, Indra and so on - are
different names of the same Truth. So it is said in the Vedas: "Ekam sad
vipra bahudha vadanti.
"
It emerges that for all the divisions in our religion there is but one
scripture- a scripture common to all- and one Godhead which is known by
many names. The Vedas are the common scripture and the Godhead
common to all is the Brahman. Thus we can say with finality, and without
any room for doubt, that all of us belong to the same religion
.
The Vedas that constitute the scripture common to all and which reveal
the Godhead that is common to us also teach us how to lead our life, and this
is important- they do us the ultimate good by showing us in the end
the way to become that very Godhead ourselves
.
They are our refuge both here and the hereafter and are the source and root of all our
different traditions, all our systems of thought. All sects, all schools of our
religion, have their origin in them. The root is one but the branches are
many
.

continued....

Hari

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #136 on: July 22, 2012, 04:30:40 PM »
Dear Sri Ravi. I have no doubts, nothing confuses me. What the Sage of Kanchi has said is what is my understanding. But never forget the principle of Thomas Aquinas "Whatever is received is received according to the mode of the receiver". There is not such thing as truth of the scriptures. Truth is understood according to our vision and perception. I don't talk about the true message of the Sages who have composed Vedas. Do you really understand me? Religions is created very much by the people not by the religious figures. Agree? So my point was the during Vedica Age, just as today, the most numerable part of Indian society are polytheistic and dualistic. Yes, I understand and agree that Shiva and Vishnu are One and the Same God but do Vaishnavas and Shaivas understand that? If they did then they would not divide themselves to these sects. If you believe in One and the Same God there would be no divisions and sects. This does not mean that God must have only one Name and Form! Not at all! But to understand what I mean I will give you a little example. Can you realize the difference between Shavism, Shaktism, Vaishnavism, Ganatapatism and the Smartism (believing tha God is One manifesting as Shiva, Vishnu, Shakti, Ganesha, Surya)? Smartists consider all these Names and Forms are Names and Forms as Names and Forms of the One God. Contrary to this Vaishnavas etc consider their God as Primal and all others as different and much less, considering them as His servants and so on. The First example is pure Monotheism and the second is pure Polytheism.
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Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #137 on: July 22, 2012, 04:51:30 PM »
Ramana,
" Yes, I understand and agree that Shiva and Vishnu are One and the Same God but do Vaishnavas and Shaivas understand that? "

Friend,Please be a little patient until we get the complete picture.There is no need for the Vaishnavas or Shaivas to do away with their differences!They can very well accept the 'Difference' and still progress !This is exactly what the Life of Sri Ramakrishna's wonderful life revealed and this is the very spirit of sanatana Dharma and the very vitality that it acknowledges and converts these seeming liabilities into assets.
I will continue what the Sage of Kanchi has said in this regard.
Namaskar.

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #138 on: July 22, 2012, 04:58:26 PM »
The sage of Kanchi continued...
Why Differences among the Gods?

Each Purana is in the main devoted to a particular devata. In the Siva
Purana it is stated: "Siva is the Supreme Being. He is the highest authority
for creation, sustenance and dissolution. It is at his behest, and under
him, that Visnu funtions as protector. Visnu is a mere bhogin, trapped in
Maya. Siva is a yogin and jnana incarnate. Visnu is subject to Siva and
worships him. Once when he opposed Siva he suffered humiliation at his
hands". Stories are told to illustrate such assertions.

In the Vaisnava Puranas you see the reverse. They contain stories to
support the view that Visnu is superior to Siva. "Is Siva a god, he who
dwells in the burning grounds with spirits and goblins for company?”
these Puranas ask.

In each Purana thus a particular deity is exalted over others. It may be
Subrahmanya, Ganapati or Surya. Each such deity is declared to be the
Supreme God and all others are said to worship him. When, out of pride,
they refuse to worship him they are humbled
.

Doubts arise in our minds about such contradictory accounts. "Which of
these stories is true?” we are inclined to ask. "And which is false? They
cannot all of them be true. If Siva worships Visnu, how does it stand to
reason that Visnu should adore Siva? If Amba is superior to the Trimurti
(Brahma, Visnu and Mahesvara), how is it right to say that she remains
submissive to Parameswara as his devoted consort? The Puranas cannot
all of them be true. Or are they all lies? "

Logical thinking seems to point to the conclusion that all Puranic stories
cannot be true. But, as a matter of fact, they are. A deity that suffers
defeat at one time at the hands of another emerges triumphant on
another occasion. And a god who worships another deity is himself the
object of worship at other times. How is this so and why?


continued...


Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #139 on: July 22, 2012, 05:00:40 PM »
The Sage of Kanchi Continued...

The Paramatman is one and only one. He it is that creates, sustains and
destroys. And it is he who exfoliates as the the many different deities.
Why does he do so? He has not cast people in the same mould. He has
created them all differently, with different attitudes, the purpose being to
make the affairs of the world interesting by imparting variety to them
.

The Paramatman himself assumes different forms to suit the
temperament of different people so that each worships him in the form
he likes and obtain happiness. This is the reason why the one and only
Paramatman manifests himself as so many different deities
.

Everybody must have firm faith in, and devotion for, his chosen deity. He
must learn to believe that this deity of his is the Paramatman, that there
is no power higher. That is the reason why each manifestation or form of
the Supreme Godhead reveals itself to be higher than other forms or
manifestations
. It is thus that these other forms are shown to have
worshipped it or suffered defeat at its hands. Altogether it means that
each deity worships other deities and is in turn worshipped by others.
Also each god suffers defeat at the hands of other gods and, at the same
time, inflicts defeat on them.
In the Saiva Puranas all those aspects that proclaim the glory of Siva are
brought together. Similarly, in the case of the Vaisnava Puranas that deal
with Visnu. Amba, Subrahmanya and other deities are each of them dealt
with in such a way as to show him or her to be the highest among the
devatas.
The purpose of exalting a particular deity over the another is not to
depreciate the latter. The underlying idea is that a person who worships
his chosen god has unflinching faith in him and becomes totally devoted
to him. Such exclusive devotion is called "ananyabhakti". The idea here,
however, is not to regard other devatas as inferior to one's own chosen
deity- an example of "nahi ninda nyaya"
.
Those who are capable of looking upon all deities as the manifestations of
the one and only Paramatman have no cause for exclusive devotion to
any one of them. It is only when we think that one deity is separate from or
alien to-another that the question arises of giving up one for another
.

If we realise that all are the different disguises of the One Reality, the
various gods and goddesses potrayed in the Puranas, with all the
differences among them, will be understood to be nothing but the lila or
sport of Supreme Being. It is the One alone that seems divided into
manifold entities. This is to help men of various attitudes and
temperaments. If this truth is recognised we shall be able to see the
stories in the Puranas- stories that seem contradictory- in the true light.




Hari

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #140 on: July 22, 2012, 05:01:47 PM »
Quote
Friend,Please be a little patient until we get the complete picture.There is no need for the Vaishnavas or Shaivas to do away with their differences!They can very well accept the 'Difference' and still progress !

Dear Ravi, there is no any tension and urgency in me discussing this matter. I have no problem with Theistic philosophies. I have never said that they cannot progress. I don't even comment if their viewpoint is right or wrong. The only thing which I have talked about is that modern India is predominantly polytheistic and dualistic. I have never judged if this is right or wrong. Everyone according to his/her nature. Even Lord Krishna accents on this: "Even those who in faith worship other Gods, because of their love, they worship Me, although not in the right way." What Lord Krishna means? In my opinion He says: "They worship Me because there is no other God except Me." and "They worship Me not in the right way because they divide Me into many Gods which leads to division and duality, not to Oneness and Unity".

Best wishes, ramana 1359
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Hari

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #141 on: July 22, 2012, 05:05:27 PM »
Quote
The sage of Kanchi continued...
Why Differences among the Gods?

Each Purana is in the main devoted to a particular devata. In the Siva
Purana it is stated: "Siva is the Supreme Being. He is the highest authority
for creation, sustenance and dissolution. It is at his behest, and under
him, that Visnu funtions as protector. Visnu is a mere bhogin, trapped in
Maya. Siva is a yogin and jnana incarnate. Visnu is subject to Siva and
worships him. Once when he opposed Siva he suffered humiliation at his
hands". Stories are told to illustrate such assertions.

In the Vaisnava Puranas you see the reverse. They contain stories to
support the view that Visnu is superior to Siva. "Is Siva a god, he who
dwells in the burning grounds with spirits and goblins for company?”
these Puranas ask.

In each Purana thus a particular deity is exalted over others. It may be
Subrahmanya, Ganapati or Surya. Each such deity is declared to be the
Supreme God and all others are said to worship him. When, out of pride,
they refuse to worship him they are humbled.

Doubts arise in our minds about such contradictory accounts. "Which of
these stories is true?” we are inclined to ask. "And which is false? They
cannot all of them be true. If Siva worships Visnu, how does it stand to
reason that Visnu should adore Siva? If Amba is superior to the Trimurti
(Brahma, Visnu and Mahesvara), how is it right to say that she remains
submissive to Parameswara as his devoted consort? The Puranas cannot
all of them be true. Or are they all lies? "

Logical thinking seems to point to the conclusion that all Puranic stories
cannot be true. But, as a matter of fact, they are. A deity that suffers
defeat at one time at the hands of another emerges triumphant on
another occasion. And a god who worships another deity is himself the
object of worship at other times. How is this so and why?

Quote
The Sage of Kanchi Continued...

The Paramatman is one and only one. He it is that creates, sustains and
destroys. And it is he who exfoliates as the the many different deities.
Why does he do so? He has not cast people in the same mould. He has
created them all differently, with different attitudes, the purpose being to
make the affairs of the world interesting by imparting variety to them.

The Paramatman himself assumes different forms to suit the
temperament of different people so that each worships him in the form
he likes and obtain happiness. This is the reason why the one and only
Paramatman manifests himself as so many different deities.

Everybody must have firm faith in, and devotion for, his chosen deity. He
must learn to believe that this deity of his is the Paramatman, that there
is no power higher. That is the reason why each manifestation or form of
the Supreme Godhead reveals itself to be higher than other forms or
manifestations. It is thus that these other forms are shown to have
worshipped it or suffered defeat at its hands. Altogether it means that
each deity worships other deities and is in turn worshipped by others.
Also each god suffers defeat at the hands of other gods and, at the same
time, inflicts defeat on them.
In the Saiva Puranas all those aspects that proclaim the glory of Siva are
brought together. Similarly, in the case of the Vaisnava Puranas that deal
with Visnu. Amba, Subrahmanya and other deities are each of them dealt
with in such a way as to show him or her to be the highest among the
devatas.
The purpose of exalting a particular deity over the another is not to
depreciate the latter. The underlying idea is that a person who worships
his chosen god has unflinching faith in him and becomes totally devoted
to him. Such exclusive devotion is called "ananyabhakti". The idea here,
however, is not to regard other devatas as inferior to one's own chosen
deity- an example of "nahi ninda nyaya".
Those who are capable of looking upon all deities as the manifestations of
the one and only Paramatman have no cause for exclusive devotion to
any one of them. It is only when we think that one deity is separate from or
alien to-another that the question arises of giving up one for another.

If we realise that all are the different disguises of the One Reality, the
various gods and goddesses potrayed in the Puranas, with all the
differences among them, will be understood to be nothing but the lila or
sport of Supreme Being. It is the One alone that seems divided into
manifold entities. This is to help men of various attitudes and
temperaments. If this truth is recognised we shall be able to see the
stories in the Puranas- stories that seem contradictory- in the true light.

Yes, Sri Ravi but this is view through the eyes of an Advaitin. :) That's what I believe and that what I think most Hindus don't believe. :) But there is nothing wrong in that.
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Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #142 on: July 22, 2012, 05:09:15 PM »
The Sage of Kanchi continued...

In the story of Banasura we see that Siva is vanquished by Krsna. But in
the story of Tiruvannamalai, Visnu meets with failure in finding the feet of
Siva. Both stories must be treated as truthful. The first is to make
devotees of Krsna worship him as the Paramatman and the second to
make devotees of Siva adore him similarly. Although we think that one is
winner and the other the loser or that the one is superior to the other or
inferior to him, the two know themselves to be one. Does one triumph
over oneself- or does one inflict defeat upon oneself? So all this is play.
The Parmatman indulges in sport assuming multifarious forms.
The purpose of the Puranas is to show people the right path. Pativratya is
a virtue that is of the utmost importance. Amba herself exemplifies it. The
Parasakti, the Supreme Power that she is, remains subject to her
husband. Faith and devotion must grow in the world and for it the Lord
himself must show the way. This is why in some temples Visnu is
represented as a worshipper of Siva and in some other shrines Siva is
seen as a devotee of Visnu. The same with other deities. I have spoken
more about Siva and Visnu since Saivism and Vaisnavism are the two
major divisions.
To sum up, if a deity is glorified in the Puranas, and stories told in support
of it, it is to create exclusive devotion to him as the Paramatman. And, if
any god is potrayed as inferior to another, the true purpose of it is not to
denigrate him but to develop unflinching faith in the latter.


I will continue on what the Sage of Kanchi has to say on Vedic Chanting-The Science of the Mantra.There is another common misconception that this is monoplolized by the Brahmins(an easy target of ridicule for the Buddhists and other proselytizers!)!We will see clearly just who Brahmins are and why they as a seperate,dedicated class is Required,irrespective of what our common ,Social sense and political leaning may like us to believe.
Namaskar.

Hari

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #143 on: July 22, 2012, 05:22:38 PM »
Sri Ravi, I think you have understood me completely wrong. I have never even meant to talk about Brahmins. Are they right and wrong, corrupt or not etc. My only points was that polytheism was and is predominant thinking among Indians. Advaitins, Smartis and so on are just exception. The problem arised may be because I have used the word Hinduism. By Hinduism I mean the belief and understanding of the ordinary people, not the Sages, Brahmins and so on. And to say that Hinduism (by the definition is yet cleared up) is just to bury my head in the sand. Even if you enter in Hinduistic forums the predominant topics there is Which God is Superior and trying to prove that reciting volumes of texts. Sri Ramakrishna is lile Smartas, not like Vaishnavas and Shaivas. Yes, he unprejudicedly experienced the Truth through many faiths but we cannot compare the ordinary people with so much impure mind with Him. I am sure that Sri Ramakrishna would realize God even if He was born among Australian aborigens in the Middle Age. He was born with so pure mind that realization was a matter of time for Him.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2012, 05:25:28 PM by ramana1359 »
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Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #144 on: July 22, 2012, 05:25:01 PM »
Ramana,
It is not the view of 'advaitin'.This is the view of all Great ones down the ages.
Essentially,in Sanatana Dharma there are 3 sources of authority-They are
1.Sruti or Revelations-The Vedas belong to this realm.

2.Smritis-Adaptations and commentaries on Living as Cogitated by individual seers.
Manu, Parasara, Yajnavalkya, Gautama, Harita, Yama, Visnu, Sankha,
Likhita, Brhaspati, Daksa, Angiras, Pracetas, Samvarta, Acanas, Atri,
Apastamba and Satatapa are the eighteen sages who mastered the Vedas
with their superhuman power and derived the Smrtis from them. Their
works are known after them like Manusmrti, Yajnavalkya-smrti, Parasara-
Smrti and so on, and they contain all that we need to know about all the
dharmas to be adhered to and all the rituals to be performed during our
entire life.
Apart from these eighteen, there are eighteen subsidiary Smrtis called
Upasmrtis. It is customary to include the Bhagavadgita among the Smrtis.
What we find in one Smrti may not be found in the other. There may also
be differences between one Smrti and another. These give rise to doubts
which are sought to be cleared by works called "Dharmasastra
Nibandhanas".

The variety and differences start to creep in here!

3.The Puranas.

Another guide for the dharma is the example of great
men. The Puranas provide an answer to how great men conducted
themselves.

Then there is sistacara to guide us, the life of virtuous people
of noble character. Not everybody's conduct can be a guide to us. The
individual whose life is an example for the practice of dharma must have
faith in the sastras and must live in accordance with their ordinances.
Besides, he must be free from desire and anger. The conduct of such men
is sistacara. Another authority or guide is what we know through our
conscience in a state of transparenc
y.
In matters of the Self, of dharma and religion, the Vedas are in the
forefront as our guide. Next come the dharmasastras. Third is the
conduct of the great sages of the past. Fourth is the example of the
virtuous people of our own times. Conscience comes last in determining
dharma.

Now everything has become topsy-turvy. People give importance first to
their conscience and last to the Vedas. We must consult our conscience
only as a last resort when we have no other means of knowing what is
dharma with reference to our actions.
Why is conscience called one's
"manahsaksi"? Conscience is fit to be only a witness (saksi), not to be a
judge.
A witness often gives false evidence. The mind, however, doesn't
tell an untruth - indeed it knows the truth of all things. “There is no deceit
that is hidden from the heart (mind), “says Auvvai. Conscience may be
regarded as a witness. But nowadays it is brought in as a judge also in
dharmic matters. As a witness it will give us a true report of what it sees
or has seen. But on the basis of it we cannot give on what is just with any
degree of finality. "What I think is right,” everybody would try to satisfy
himself thus about his actions if he were to be guided only by his
conscience. How can this be justified as the verdict of dharma?"-The Sage Of Kanchi.

We only need to reflect that if men like us can appreciate 'oneness',Great ones who had first hand experience of Truth would surely have understood and appreciated it in a vastly qualitative way!Only they just taught and lived the way that providence had called them to.

Namaskar.

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #145 on: July 22, 2012, 05:29:42 PM »
Ramana,
You seem to be thinking that advaitins/Smartas are different than Vaishnavas and Shaivas!This is a false distinction!
There are Realized men in each of these traditions.I understand that this seeming plurality is baffling for a person who does not have first hand acquaintance with these Traditions.
Namaskar.

Hari

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #146 on: July 22, 2012, 05:30:30 PM »
Quote
Ramana,
It is not the view of 'advaitin'.This is the view of all Great ones down the ages.

Sri Ravi, let be clear enough. I am talking about ordinary people, their understanding because they create the religion. The Great Ones just start it.

Jesus demontrated the Non-dual experience and taught it but His followers created the most dualistic system that could exist. It is the same with Hinduism - the Sages have taught Monotheism, even Monism, but their followers have "developed" it into Polytheism and dualism. Do you now really understand me or do you need to be more clear?
« Last Edit: July 22, 2012, 07:28:27 PM by ramana1359 »
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Hari

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #147 on: July 22, 2012, 06:01:31 PM »
Ramana,
You seem to be thinking that advaitins/Smartas are different than Vaishnavas and Shaivas!This is a false distinction!
There are Realized men in each of these traditions.I understand that this seeming plurality is baffling for a person who does not have first hand acquaintance with these Traditions.
Namaskar.

What have they realized? Do they all teach exactly what for example Sri Ramakrishna has taught? Sri Chaitanya for example has said that followers of Sri Shankaracharya are more dangerous than Buddhists and are greatest offenders against the Lord. There are many Christian monks who have experienced all that every follower of the other religions and philosophies have experienced but they condemn to hell all who do not follow Jesus. I don't consider this very enlightening. But we escape from the topic. Vaishnavas, Christians and so on are different. There is no doubt about that for me. They are exclusive, intolerant and so many other things. They go away from the Sanatana Dharma they teach, no matter if they realize that or not. If Vaisnava realize God and say "Oh, I was wrong. Shiva, Jesus, everything is the One God." I would accept your statement. But the person who realizes that cannot really be considered Vaishnava or Christian or whatever anymore because such a person see the One everywhere. So to compare a Vaishnava to Bhagavan Ramakrishna is somehow not right. I am very tolerant, Sri Ravi but above that I love the Truth. But again, let's not forget that our topic was Polytheism views among ordinary Indian people.
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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #148 on: July 22, 2012, 06:04:47 PM »
Quote
There are Realized men in each of these traditions.

I consider realized those people who see the Self or God everywhere, no matter from what Tradition and Philosophy they come. There is some Self-realized people among Christians, Muslims, Shaivas and Vaishnavas but this does not change the big picture.
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Subramanian.R

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #149 on: July 22, 2012, 06:40:34 PM »
Dear ramana 1359,

Kindly see these verses of Guru Vachaka Kovai:

339: Like the one string that runs through without a break through the many beads in a rosary, God runs through and sustains
every religion. He is the Light that shines in all and innumerable jivas, as them and not different from them.

340:  Just as the single element, fire, is seen as many flames by virtue of the numerous earthenware lamps, similarly, the one
Self is seen as multiple beings by virtue of the many apparently existing upadhis.

341: If there were  not (in every religion) a unique phrase that reveals, as clearly as the mountain on a plane, the transcendental
Supreme Reality that abides within the Heart, all the contentious wrangling of the various religious sects that investigate reality
would be nothing more than the hubhub of the bazaar.

342. Various religions that enable (the attainment of Jnana) have come into existence to suit various levels of mental maturity.
The wisest  course, therefore is to have a harmonious outlook towards these religions which deserve to be practiced.

Bhagavan in Ashtakam Verse 5:

Like the string that holds together the gems in a necklace, You it is that penetrate and bind all beings and  the various
religions.

Again  Murugnar in Padamalai:

The many different religions are appropriate to the maturity of each individual and all of them are acceptable to Reality.

Again in Guru Vachaka Kovai:

347. God, the immanent One, appears to those with fleshy eyes in bright and beautiful forms. To an accomplished Yogi,
he appears in their heart lotus. To brahmins he appears in the rising and bright sacrificial fire, but to Jnanis who possess
the infinite eye, he appears everywhere.

Arunachala Siva.