Origin The Challenge to the Global Community of Religions
"In this new ecological age of developing global community and interfaith dialogue, the world religions face what is perhaps the greatest challenge that they have ever encountered. Each is inspired by a unique vision of the divine and has a distinct cultural identity. At the same time, each perceives the divine as the source of unity and peace. The challenge is to preserve their religious and cultural uniqueness without letting it operate as a cause of narrow and divisive sectarianism that contradicts the vision of unity and peace. It is a question of whether the healing light of religious vision will overcome the social and ideological issues that underline much of the conflict between religions." ~ Dr. Steven C. Rockefeller, Middlebury College, Spirit and Nature, p. 169
CONTENTS | INVOCATION | INTRODUCTION | PROLOGUE | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21


Title Page
This Archive
Advisors and Contributors
Foreword by Ninian Smart
How to obtain a printed (hardbound/paperback) version


The Truth in Many Paths
Tolerance and Respect for All Believers

The Purpose of World Scripture
The Organization of World Scripture
The World's Religions and Their Scriptures

World Scripture and Education for Peace

Ultimate Reality and the Purpose of Human Existence

CHAPTER 1: Ultimate Reality
Traces of God's Existence
The One
Formless, Emptiness, Mystery
Transcendent, All-Pervasive Reality
Sovereign and Omnipotent
Immanent and Near at Hand
Eternal -- in a World of Transience
The Creator
Goodness and Love
Divine Father and Mother

CHAPTER 2: Divine Law, Truth, and Cosmic Principle
Eternal Truth
Moral Law
The Decalogue
The Golden Rule
Polarity, Relationality, and Interdependence
Cosmic Justice

CHAPTER 3: The Purpose of Life for the Individual
Joy and Happiness
For God's Good Pleasure
Image of God and Temple of God
Inborn Goodness and Conscience
Original Mind, No Mind
True Love

CHAPTER 4: The Purpose of Life in the Family and in Society
The Family
Parents and Children
Husband and Wife
Unity and Community
The People of God
The Ideal Society

CHAPTER 5: The Purpose of Life in the Natural World
The Sanctity of Nature
Reverence for Life
The Microcosm
The Lord of Spirits
Creation Rejoices

CHAPTER 6: Life Beyond Death and the Spiritual World
The Spiritual World: Mystery, Multiplicity, Analogy, Harmony
The Immortal Soul
Prepare Now for Eternity
Passage Beyond
Spiritual Benefactors
Spiritual Error and the Occult

Evil, Sin, and the Human Fall

CHAPTER 7: The Human Condition
The War Within
Pride and Egotism
Selfish Desire, Lust, and Greed

CHAPTER 8: Fall and Deviation
The Human Fall
Demonic Powers
Degraded Human Nature
God's Grief

CHAPTER 9: The Major Sins
Good and Evil
Lying and Deceit
Slander, Gossip and Foul Speech

Salvation and the Savior

CHAPTER 10: Salvation-Liberation-Enlightenment
Universal Salvation
Atonement and Forgiveness of Sins
Crossing the Waters
Reversal and Restoration
Help and Deliverance
The Refining Fire
Born Anew
Eternal Life
The Unitive State

CHAPTER 11: The Founder
Call and Awakening
Rejected by the World
The Victor
He Who Subjugates Satan
The Revealer of Truth
The Man for Others
The Living Presence
The Person and Character of the Founder: Divine Person
Human Person
The Succession of Founders and Messengers

The Religious Life

CHAPTER 12: Responsibility and Predestination
Individual Responsibility
Karma and Inherited Sin

CHAPTER 13: Self-cultivation and Spiritual Growth
Spiritual Growth
Cultivate the Good
Preparing the Start
Perseverance and Patience

CHAPTER 14: Faith
Devotion and Praise
Fear, Submission, and Obedience
Argument with God

CHAPTER 15: Wisdom
The Search for Knowledge
Scripture and Tradition
Poverty of Conceptual Learning
Scripture Teaches in Parables
Learning and Practice
Teacher and Disciple
New Wine and Old Wineskins

CHAPTER 16: Worship
The Name of God
Beyond Ritual

CHAPTER 17: Offering and Sacrifice
Persecution and Martyrdom

CHAPTER 18: Self-Denial and Renunciation
Self-denial and No-self
Repentance, Confession, and Restitution
Restraint and Moderation
Control Anger
Subdue Desires and Passions
Detachment from the Senses
Renunciation of Wealth
Asceticism and Monasticism
Separation from Family
Separation from the World

CHAPTER 19: Live for Others
Serving Others
Sacrificial Love
Giving and Receiving
Charity and Hospitality
Forgiveness and Reconciliation
Judge Not
Love Your Enemy
Turn the Other Cheek
Good Deeds
Labor and Industry
Honesty and Expediency

Providence, Society, and the Kingdom of Heaven

CHAPTER 20: Good Government and the Welfare of Society
The Pillars of Society
The Prophet and Reformer
War Against Evil
Respect for Legitimate Governments
Government by Divine Law
Consideration for the People
Leadership by Example and Honest Government
Judgments and Punishments
Providence and the Mandate of Heaven

CHAPTER 21: Eschatology and Messianic Hope
The Last Judgment
The Messiah
The Kingdom of Heaven

Interspirit Network for global illumination
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The horizontal axis of family life is manifested primarily in the mutual love between husband and wife. The bond of marriage is regarded as divinely ordained in most religious traditions. As such, it carries with it the promise of God's blessing, and should be full of love and joy.

But love is not merely a matter of unfettered emotion. Subsequent passages spell out some of the responsibilities of marriage for both the husband and wife. The husband should honor his wife, never oppress or mistreat her, and always be faithful--and the wife should do likewise. The scriptures of all religions also distinguish between roles of the husband and wife: the husband protects and supports his wife, the head of the household yet deferring to his wife in domestic affairs. The wife is obedient to her husband, serves him with kindness, and takes primary responsibility for raising the children. While of late these traditional roles have been questioned, they have served to strengthen the bonds of family through every generation. Finally, we include several passages on the subject of the good wife.

Not those are true husband and wife that with each other [merely] consort: Truly wedded are those that in two frames, are as one light.

1. Sikhism. Adi Granth, Var-Suhi-Ki, M.3, p. 788

I am He, you are She;
I am Song, you are Verse,
I am Heaven, you are Earth.
We two shall here together dwell,
becoming parents of children.

2. Hinduism. Atharva Veda 14.2.71

Sweet be the glances we exchange,
our faces showing true concord.
Enshrine me in your heart and let
one spirit dwell within us.

I wrap around you this my robe
which came to me from Manu,
so that you may be wholly mine
and never seek another.

3. Hinduism. Atharva Veda 7.36-37

Representing heaven and earth, I have created husband and wife. This is the beginning of the world.

4. Tenrikyo. Mikagura-uta

In the beginning there was only the Self, one only. He desired, "May I have a wife in order to have offspring; may I have wealth in order to perform a work!"--for desire reaches this far. Even if one wishes, one cannot obtain more than this. As long as one does not attain each of these [desires], he thinks himself to be incomplete.

He found no joy; so even today, one who is all alone finds no joy. He yearned for a second. He became as large as a man and a woman locked in close embrace. This self he split into two; hence arose husband and wife. Therefore, as Yajnavalkya used to observe, "Oneself is like half of a split pea." That is why this void is filled by woman. He was united with her, and thence were born human beings.

5. Hinduism. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.17 and 1.4.3

Then the Lord God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him." So out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.

6. Judaism and Christianity. Bible, Genesis 2.18-24

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Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.17 and 1.4.3: This is an account of the creation of pairs from the primordial Androgyne. Cf. Prasna Upanishad 1.4-5, p. 176; Maori Tradition, p. 311a. Genesis 2.18-24: These verses give divine sanction to marriage. Jesus used them to declare that divorce was not acceptable to God--see Mark 10.2-12, p. 475.
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The verse, "And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent" (Genesis 24.67), our masters have interpreted to mean that the Divine Presence came into Isaac's house along with Rebecca. According to the secret doctrine, the supernal Mother is together with the male only when the house is in readiness and at the time the male and female are conjoined. At such time blessings are showered forth by the supernal Mother upon them.

7. Judaism. Zohar, Genesis 101b

The moral man finds the moral law beginning in the relation between man and woman, but ending in the vast reaches of the universe.

8. Confucianism. Doctrine of the Mean 12

The point at which Adam and Eve join into one body as husband and wife is also the point at which God, the subject of love, and man, the object of beauty, become one union, thus establishing the center of goodness. Here, for the first time, the purpose of creation is accomplished. God, our Parent, is able to abide with perfected men as His children, and peacefully rest for eternity. At that time, this center would become the object of God's eternal love, and through this, God would be stimulated with happiness for eternity. Here God's Word would be physically incarnated for the first time in human history.... However, the universe lost this center when man fell.

9. Unification Church. Divine Principle I.

Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has created all things to his glory.

Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Creator of humankind.

Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who created humankind in his image, in the image of the likeness of his form, and has prepared for him from his very own person an eternal building. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, Creator of man.

May you be glad and exultant, O barren one, when her children are gathered to her with joy. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who makes Zion joyful through her children.

May Thou make joyful these beloved companions, just as Thou gladdened Thy creatures in the Garden of Eden in primordial times. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who makes bridegroom and bride to rejoice.

Blessed art Thou, O Lord, King of the universe, who created mirth and joy, bridegroom and bride, gladness, jubilation, dancing and delight, love and brotherhood, peace and fellowship. Quickly, O Lord our God, may the sound of mirth and joy be heard in the streets of Judah and Jerusalem, the voice of bridegroom and bride, jubilant voices of bridegrooms from their canopies and youths from the feasts of song. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who makes the bridegroom rejoice with the bride.

10. Judaism. Talmud, Ketubot 8a

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Doctrine of the Mean 12: Cf. I Ching 54, p. 123. Divine Principle I. The Blessing, or holy wedding, is the chief sacrament in the Unification Church. Blessed marriages are for eternity. Cf. Divine Principle I.2.2.2, p. 429. Ketubot 8a: These six benedictions are recited at the wedding ceremony. The 'building' refers to the creation of Eve from Adam's rib, as well as the household of the family. The reference to God as the Creator of humankind denotes that marriage is God's design for the perpetuation of the human race, which began with the blessing to Adam and Eve in Eden. The last benediction connects the joy of the newlyweds with the eschatological joy at the fulfillment of God's kingdom in Jerusalem. Bridal 'canopies' are used at all Jewish weddings.
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In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees; and in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood (meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage); and if he does not, he cannot obtain it.

And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them--Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection... and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths--then shall it be written in the Lamb's Book of Life... and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.

11. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Doctrine and Covenants 131.1-3, 132.19

Among His signs is that He created spouses for you among yourselves that you may console yourselves with them. He has planted affection and mercy between you.

12. Islam. Qur'an 30.21

Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm;
For love is strong as death,
jealousy is cruel as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
a most vehement flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.
If a man offered for love
all the wealth of his house,
it would be utterly scorned.

13. Judaism and Christianity. Bible, Song of Solomon 8.6-7

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Doctrine and Covenants 131.1-3, 132.19: Latter-day Saints of pure faith, who are members of the priesthood, may enter into Temple Marriage, which establishes an eternal, indissoluble bond.
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Kwan-kwan go the ospreys,
On the islet in the river.
The modest, retiring, virtuous, young lady--
For our prince a good mate is she.

Here long, there short, is the duckweed,
To the left, to the right, borne about by the current.
The modest, retiring, virtuous, young lady--
Waking and sleeping, he sought her.

He sought her and found her not,
And waking and sleeping he thought about her.
Long he thought; oh! long and anxiously;
On his side, on his back, he turned, and back again.

Here long, there short, is the duckweed;
On the left, on the right, we gather it.
The modest, retiring, virtuous, young lady--
With lutes, small and large, let us give her friendly welcome.

Here long, there short, is the duckweed;
On the left, on the right, we cook and present it.
The modest, retiring, virtuous, young lady--
With bells and drums let us show delight in her.

14. Confucianism. Book of Songs, Ode 1

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Book of Songs, Ode 1: This ode begins by describing a lover's anxiety as he awaits his bride, and ends with the joy of friends and family at their wedding. Many interpret the ode as describing the virtue of a bride of King Wen, as shown by her modest disposition and retiring manner. The king's anxiety and long quest to obtain his bride is often remarked. The sound of male and female ospreys answering each other at a distance alludes to the distance between the lovers; the soft duckweed gathered and presented as an offering alludes to their union. Confucius cites this ode, see Analects 3.20, p. 921, as a model of restrained pleasure, of joy not carried to extremes. Cf. Song of Solomon 3:1-5, pp. 763f.
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Kaen-kwan went the axle ends of my carriage,
As I thought of the young beauty, and went to fetch her.
It was not that I was hungry or thirsty,
But I longed for one of such virtuous fame to come and be with me.
Although no good friends be with us, we will feast and be glad.

Dense is that forest in the plain,
And there sit the long-tailed pheasants.
In her proper season that well-grown lady,
With her admirable virtue, is come to instruct me.
We will feast, and I will praise her.
"I love you, and will never be weary of you."

Although I have no good spirits,
We will drink, and perhaps be satisfied.
Although I have no good viands,
We will eat, and perhaps be satisfied.
Although I have no virtue to impart to you,
We will sing and dance.

I ascend that lofty ridge,
And split the branches of the oaks for firewood.
I split the branches of the oaks for firewood
Amid the luxuriance of their leaves.
I see you whose match is seldom to be seen,
And my whole heart is satisfied.

The high hill is seen above;
The great road is easy to travel,
My four steeds advanced without stopping;
The six reins [make music] in my hands like lute-strings.
I see you, my bride,
To the comfort of my heart.

15. Confucianism. Book of Songs, Ode 218

The union of hearts and minds
and freedom from hate I'll bring you.
Love one another as the cow
loves the calf that she has borne.

Let son be loyal to father,
and of one mind with his mother;
let wife speak to husband words
that are honey-sweet and gentle.

Let not a brother hate a brother,
nor a sister hate a sister,
unanimous, united in aims,
speak you words with friendliness.

I will make the prayer for that
concord among men at home
by which the gods do not separate,
nor ever hate one another.

Be not parted--growing old, taking thought,
thriving together, moving under a common yoke,
come speaking sweetly to one another;
I'll make you have one aim and be of one mind.

Common be your water-store, common your share of food;
I bind you together to a common yoke.
United, gather round the sacrificial fire
like spokes around the nave of a wheel.

With your common desire I'll make you all
have one aim, be of one mind, following one leader,
like the gods who preserve their immortality.
Morn and eve may there be the loving heart in you.

16. Hinduism. Atharva Veda 3.30

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Atharva Veda 3.30: This hymn sets forth the ideal of the Hindu family. Cf. Rig Veda 10.191.2-4, p. 272.
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Behold the comely forms of Surya!
her border-cloth and her headwear,
and her garment triply parted,
these the priest has sanctified.

I take your hand for good fortune, that you
may attain old age with me, your husband. The solar deities--
Bhaga, Aryaman, Savitri, Purandhi--
have given you to me to be mistress of my household.

Pushan, arouse her, the most blissful one;
through whom a new generation will spring to life.
She, in the ardor of her love, will meet me,
and I, ardently loving, will meet her....

Live you two here, be not parted,
enjoy the full length of life,
sporting with your sons and grandsons,
rejoicing in your own abode.

May Prajapati bring forth children of us, may
Aryaman unite us together till old age,
Not inauspicious, enter your husband's house,
be gracious to our people and animals.

Come, not with fierce looks, not harming your husband,
good to animals, kind-hearted and glorious,
a mother of heroes, loving the gods,
pleasant, gracious to humans and to animals.

Make her, thou bounteous Indra,
a good mother of sons; grant her
good fortune; give her ten sons
and make her husband the eleventh.

Be a queen to your father-in-law,
a queen to your mother-in-law,
a queen to your husband's sisters,
and a queen to your husband's brothers.

May the universal Devas
and Apas join our hearts together;
so may Matarisvan, Dhatri,
and Dveshtri unite us both.

17. Hinduism. Rig Veda 10.85.35-47

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Rig Veda 10.85.35-47: Vv. 35-37, 42-47. This is the traditional Hindu marriage vow and blessings. The bride is Surya, daughter of the solar deity Savitri; she is the prototype of all brides. 'Her husband the eleventh' means the wife will mother her husband in his old age; 'queen' describes the wife's status as head of the household.
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A man is forbidden to compel his wife to her marital duty.

18. Judaism. Talmud, Erubin 100b

"Your wife has rights over you," said the Prophet, according to Abu Juhaifa.

19. Islam. Hadith of Bukhari

Your wives are as a tilth to you: so approach your tilth when or how you will; but do some good act for your souls beforehand, and fear God.

20. Islam. Qur'an 2.223

He who loves his wife as himself; who honors her more than himself; who rears his children in the right path, and who marries them off at the proper time of their life, concerning him it is written: "And you will know that your home is at peace."

21. Judaism. Talmud, Yebamot 62

Do not abuse your wife. Women are sacred. If you make your wife suffer, you will die in a short time. Our grandmother, Earth, is a woman, and in abusing your wife you are abusing her. By thus abusing our grandmother, who takes care of us, by your action you will be practically killing yourself.

22. Native American Religions. A Winnebago Father's Precepts

When women are honored, there the gods are pleased; but where they are not honored, no sacred rite yields rewards. When the female relations live in grief, the family soon wholly perishes; but that family where they are not unhappy ever prospers.

23. Hinduism. Laws of Manu 3.56-57

From woman is man born, inside her he is conceived;
To woman man is engaged, and woman he marries.
With woman is man's companionship.
>From woman originate new generations.
Should woman die, is another sought;
By woman's help is man kept in restraint.
Why revile her of whom are born great ones of the earth?

24. Sikhism. Adi Granth, Asa-ki-Var, M.1, p. 473

It is well for a man not to touch a woman. But because of the temptation to immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not rule over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not rule over his body, but the wife does. Do not refuse one another except perhaps by agreement for a season, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, lest Satan tempt you through lack of self-control. I say this by way of concession, not of command....

To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.

25. Christianity. Bible, 1 Corinthians 7.1-9

Each one of you has ties to others, so marry them with their family's consent and give them their marriage portions decently as matrons rather than taking them on as mistresses, nor having [any secret affairs with] them as girlfriends.... That goes for any of you who worries lest he may not control his impulses; however it is better for you to discipline yourselves.

26 Islam. Qur'an 4.25

A virtuous wife who, after the death of her husband, constantly remains chaste even though she have no son, will reach heaven just as do men living a life of renunciation....

27. Hinduism. Laws of Manu 5.160

It floats about, that boat of cypress wood,
There in the middle of the Ho.
With his two tufts of hair falling over his forehead,
He was my mate;
And I swear that till death I will have no other.
O mother, O Heaven,
Why will you not understand me?

It floats about, that boat of cypress wood,
There by the side of the Ho.
With his two tufts of hair falling over his forehead,
He was my only one;
And I swear that till death I will not do the evil thing.
O mother, O Heaven,
Why will you not understand me?

28. Confucianism. Book of Songs, Ode 45

The possession of many wives undermines a man's moral nature.

29. Hinduism. Srimad Bhagavatam 11.3

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Laws of Manu 5.160: According to Hindu tradition, a virtuous widow will remain chaste and not remarry. However noble this ethic may be, it leaves widows destitute if their relatives or society do not take on the responsibility of supporting them. Cf. Mencius I.B.5, p. 1068. Book of Songs, Ode 45: This poem was sung by Kung Chiang, the widow of the prince Kung-po of Wei. Her mother wanted to force her into a second marriage, and she protests. The Chinese have always considered the refusal of a widow to marry again to be a great virtue. Cf. I Ching 54, p. 123.
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You will not be able to deal equally between your wives, however much you wish to do so.

30. Islam. Qur'an 4.129

Whoever has many wives will have troubles in surfeit.
He will be deceitful, he will lie, he will betray [some of them] to have them together;
It is not certain that he can have peace to pray well.

31. African Traditional Religions. Yoruba Poem (Nigeria)

Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because God has given the one more strength than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in the husband's absence what God would have them guard.

32. Islam. Qur'an 4.34

All of you are guardians and are responsible for your wards. The ruler is a guardian; the man is a guardian of his family; the lady is a guardian and is responsible for her husband's house and his offspring; and so all of you are guardians and are responsible for your wards.

33. Islam. Hadith of Bukhari

In the family women's appropriate place is within; men's, without. When men and women keep their proper places they act in accord with Heaven's great norm. Among the members of the family are the dignified master and mistress whom we term father and mother. When father, mother, sons, elder and younger brothers all act in a manner suited to their various positions within the family, when husbands play their proper role and wives are truly wifely, the way of that family runs straight. It is by the proper regulation of each family that the whole world is stabilized.

34. Confucianism. I Ching 37: The Family

My dear sisters the women, you have had a hard life to live in this world, yet without you this world would not be what it is. Wakan Tanka intends that you should bear much sorrow--comfort others in time of sorrow. By your hands the family moves.

35. Native American Religions. Sioux Tradition of the Sacred Pipe

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Qur'an 4.129: The Qur'an sanctions a man to support as many as four wives, but this was expressly a concession in time of war, when many widows and orphans needed to be supported (Qur'an 4.3). But it declares that monogamy is the only equitable arrangement. I Ching 37: Cf. the Five Relations as set forth in Doctrine of the Mean 20.8, p. 241.
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The whole future of the race depends upon its attitude toward children; and a race which specializes in women for "menial purposes" or which believes that the contest of the sexes in the spheres of business and politics is a worthier endeavor than the creation of tomorrow's generation, is a race which is dying.

36. Scientology. L. Ron Hubbard, Science of Survival

Woman, before decking yourself, make yourself acceptable to your Lord, Lest He should visit not your couch, and your make-up be gone to waste. In the woman finding acceptance with her Lord, lies beauty of her make-up. Should her make-up be acceptable, shall she have love of her Lord. Let her deck herself in fear of the Lord, joy in God her perfume, Love her sustenance.

Dedicating body and mind to her Lord, let her in love to Him be united.

37. Sikhism. Adi Granth, Var-Suhi-Ki, M.3, p. 788

You wives, be submissive to your husbands, so that some, though they do not obey the Word, may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, when they see your reverent and chaste behavior. Let not yours be the outward adorning with braiding of hair, decoration of gold, and wearing of fine clothing, but let it be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable jewel of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. So once the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves and were submissive to their husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are now her children if you do right and let nothing terrify you.

38. Christianity. Bible, 1 Peter 3.1-6

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, the he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes it and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church; however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

39. Christianity. Bible, Ephesians 5.21-33

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1 Peter 3.6: The matriarch Sarah, wife of Abraham, is the model for later generations of women; cf. Isaiah 55.1-2, p. 793; Hebrews 11.11, p. 754. Ephesians 5.21-33: On this metaphor of the Church as the Bride of Christ, cf. Revelation 21.1-7, pp. 1118f.; also Isaiah 62.4-5, p. 206; Exodus Rabbah, p. 286.
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The husband who wedded her with sacred texts always gives happiness to his wife, both in season or out of season.

Though he may be destitute of virtue, or seek his pleasure elsewhere, or devoid of good qualities, yet a husband must be constantly revered as a god by a faithful wife.

Women need perform no sacrifice, no vow, no fast; if she obeys her husband, she will for that reason alone be exalted in heaven.

A faithful wife, who desires to dwell after death with her husband, must never do anything that might displease him who took her hand, whether he be alive or dead....

She who, controlling her thoughts, words, and deeds, never slights her lord, resides after death with her husband in heaven, and is called a virtuous wife.

40. Hinduism. Laws of Manu 5.153-65

Sujata, the young wife of an eldest son of a rich merchant, Anathapindika, was arrogant, did not respect others and did not listen to the instruction of her husband and his parents. Consequently, some discord arose in the family. One day the Blessed One came to visit Anathapindika and noticed this state of affairs. He called the young wife, Sujata, to Him and spoke to her kindly, saying, "Sujata, there are seven types of wives:

A wife who is pitiless, corrupt in mind,
Neglecting husband and unamiable,
Inflamed by other men, a prostitute bent on murder,
Call that wife a slayer!

A wife who would rob her husband of his gains--
Though little be the profit that he makes,
Whether by craftsmanship, or from his trade, or by the plough--
Call that wife a robber!

The slothful glutton, bent on doing nothing,
A gossip and a shrew with strident voice,
Who brings to low account her husband's zeal and industry--
Call that wife a master!

Who with loving sympathy,
Just as a mother for her only son,
For husband cares, and over his stored-up wealth keeps watch and ward--
Call that wife a mother!

Who holds her husband in the same regard
As younger sister holds the elder born,
The meek in heart, who in his every wish her husband serves--
Call that wife a sister!

And she who is as glad her lord to see
As boon companions long apart to meet,
A gracious character of gentle birth, a fond helpmate--
Call that wife a friend!

If fearless of the lash and stick, unmoved,
All things enduring, calm, and pure in heart,
She bear obedience to her husband's word, from anger free--
Call that wife a handmaid!

Now she who's called: a mistress, slayer, thief,
Who's harsh, immoral, lacking in respect, when death comes--
Will wander in the miseries of hell.

But mother, sister or companion, slave,
In precept long established and restrained, when death comes--
Will wander in the happy heaven world.

These, Sujata, are the seven kinds of wives a man may have; and which of them are you?"

"Lord," said Sujata, "let the Exalted One think of me as a handmaid from this day forth."

41. Buddhism. Anguttara Nikaya iv.91, Sujata Sutta

She gathers the white southernwood,
By the ponds, on the islets.
She employs it,
In the business of our prince.

She gathers the white southernwood,
Along the streams in the valleys.
She employs it,
In the temple of our prince.

With headdress reverently rising aloft,
Early, while yet it is night, she is in the prince's temple.
In her headdress, slowly retiring,
She returns [to her own apartments].

42. Confucianism. Book of Songs, Ode 13

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Book of Songs, Ode 13: This song praising the dutiful wife may be describing how she gathers wood for nurturing silkworms. But the word 'temple,' although it could mean any large public building, rather suggests that she is engaged in religious duties at a royal shrine. Chinese moralists have long referred to this piece to show how even the most trivial things are accepted in sacrifice, when presented with reverence and sincerity.
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A good wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
She is like the ships of the merchant,
she brings her food from afar.
She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and tasks for her maidens.
She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She girds her loins with strength
and makes her arms strong.
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle...

She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household,
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her,
"Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all."
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.

43. Judaism and Christianity. Bible, Proverbs 31.10-31