We open with representative prayers, taken from the scriptures of
the world's religions. They invoke, give thanks, and affirm the
efficacious influence of Absolute Reality in human life.
We meditate upon the glorious splendor
of the Vivifier divine.
May he himself illumine our minds.
1. Hinduism. Rig Veda 3.62.10: The Gayatri
Homage to Him, the Exalted One, the Arahant, the All-enlightened One.
To the Buddha I go for refuge.
To the Norm I go for refuge.
To the Order I go for refuge.
2. Buddhism. Khuddaka Patha
In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds,
The Beneficent, the Merciful,
Owner of the Day of Judgment.
Thee alone we worship; Thee alone we ask for help.
Show us the straight path:
The path of those whom Thou hast favored; not of those who earn Thine anger
nor of those who go astray.
3. Islam. Qur'an 1: Al-Fatihah
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
4. Christianity. Bible, Matthew 6.9-13: The
Glorified and sanctified be God's great name throughout the world which he
has created according to his will. May he establish his kingdom in your
lifetime and during your days, and within the life of the entire house of
Israel, speedily and soon; and say, Amen.
May his great name be blessed forever and to all eternity.
Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored, adored
and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be he, beyond all the
blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that are ever spoken in the
world; and say, Amen.
May the prayers and supplications of the whole house of Israel be accepted
by their Father who is in heaven; and say, Amen.
May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us and for all
Israel; and say, Amen.
He who creates peace in his celestial heights, may he create peace for us
and for all Israel; and say, Amen.
5. Judaism. Daily Prayer Book: The Kaddish
Our Father, it is thy universe, it is thy will,
Let us be at peace, let the souls of the people be cool.
Thou art our Father; remove all evil from our path.
6. African Traditional Religions. Nuer Prayer
With pleasure of the Wise Lord!
Blessed is the thought, blessed the word,
Blessed is the deed of Holy Zarathustra!
Do I pray with obeisance,
with upstretched hands for this support:
First, O Lord, that I perform all deeds
with Right, of the beneficent Spirit,
With wisdom of Good Thought,
so I may serve the Soul of the Creation!
7. Zoroastrianism. Avesta, Yasna 28.1
I bow to the Arahants, the perfected human beings, Godmen.
I bow to the Siddhas, liberated bodiless souls, God.
I bow to the Acharyas, the masters and heads of congregations.
I bow to the Upadhyayas, the spiritual teachers.
I bow to the spiritual practitioners in the universe, Sadhus.
This fivefold obeisance mantra,
Destroys all sins and obstacles,
And of all auspicious repetitions,
Is the first and foremost.
8. Jainism. Namokar Mantra
He is the Sole Supreme Being; of eternal manifestation;
Creator, Immanent Reality; Without Fear, Without Rancor;
Timeless Form; Unincarnated; Self-existent;
Realized by the grace of the Holy Preceptor.
9. Sikhism. Adi Granth, Japuji p. 1: The Mul
"Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. You shall love the
Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your
might. And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your
heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk
of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when
you lie down, and when you rise. And you shall bind them as a sign upon
your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates."
10. Judaism. Bible, Deuteronomy 6.4-9: The
The Sky blesses me, the Earth blesses me;
Up in the Skies I cause to dance the Spirits;
On the Earth, the people I cause to dance.
11. Native American Religions. Cree Round
All this is full. All That is full.
From fullness, fullness comes.
When fullness is taken from fullness,
Fullness still remains.
Om. Peace, peace, peace.
12. Hinduism. Isha Upanishad: Peace Chant
From the unreal lead me to the Real!
From darkness lead me to light!
From death lead me to immortality!
13. Hinduism. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.3.28
May the Lord bless you and keep you;
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
14. Judaism and Christianity. Bible, Numbers
6.24-26: The Aaronic Benediction
Our Lord! Lo! We have heard a crier calling unto faith, "Believe in your
Lord!" So we believed. Our Lord! Therefore forgive us our sins, and
remit from us our evil deeds, and make us die the death of the righteous.
15. Islam. Qur'an 3.193
Let the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord,
my rock and my redeemer.
16. Judaism and Christianity. Bible, Psalm
In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Say, "I take refuge in the Lord of mankind,
the King of mankind,
the God of mankind,
from the evil of the sneaking whisperer
who whispers in the hearts of mankind,
of the jinn and of mankind."
17. Islam. Qur'an 114
Rig Veda 3.62.10: The opening syllable OM is regarded as the cosmic sound
of Being. When it is chanted it resonates in oneness with the divine
Source. Cf. Katha Upanishad 1.2.15-16, p. 834; Mandukya Upanishad, p. 834.
Khuddaka Patha: The Three Refuges from this suffering world are the Buddha
(the Teacher), the Dhamma (the Teaching), and the Sangha (the Taught).
These three are also called the Three Jewels. See Dhammapada 188-92, p.
671. Qur'an 1: The Fatihah is the chief Muslim prayer; it is recited with
prostrations five times a day. In honor and in parallel content it is
frequently compared to The Lord's Prayer.
Matthew 6.9-13: The Lord's Prayer is not only a supplication; it includes
a pledge to live up to the ideals of a Christian, specifically to forgive.
God only forgives us if we forgive others; see Matthew 18.21-35, p. 995
and 5.23-24, p. 997. The Kaddish is a source for The Lord's Prayer
(above), to which it bears much resemblance. Nuer Prayer: This is only
one of the African invocations represented in this anthology; cf. Anuak
Prayer, p. 83; Dinka Song, p. 115; Shona Prayer, p. 129; Boran Prayer, p.
560; Kikuya Prayer, p. 779. Yasna 28.1: In modern Zoroastrianism, 'Good
Thought' and 'Spirit' are aspects of the one Wise Lord, the only God,
Ahura Mazda. Historians have theorized that in earlier ages they were
regarded as subordinate deities.
Namokar Mantra: English translations cannot do justice to mantras such as
this one and the Gayatri (above), which, when recited in the original
language, call forth spiritual energies through the very sounds
themselves. Invocations and mantras beginning with the words 'Obeisance'
or 'All hail' are exceedingly common; cf. the Shiva Mantra in Black Yajur
Veda 6.6, p. 139; the Nichiren Buddhist mantra 'Homage to the Lotus
Sutra,' the Pure Land Buddhist chant 'Adoration to Buddha Amitabha,' and
the Roman Catholic 'Hail, Mary,' pp. 833f. Deuteronomy 6.4-9: Cf. Matthew
22.36-40, p. 174. Cree Round Dance Song: This song describes the
intercourse between the spiritual and physical realms; cf. Winnebago
Invocation at the Sweat Lodge, p. 373; Cheyenne Song, p. 294.
Isha Upanishad: 'That' is interpreted by both Shankara and Ramanuja as
Brahman; 'this' as the individual soul. Qur'an 114: This is the
concluding sura of the Qur'an.