Comparison of the Five Primary Religions

Attribute/Religion Hinduism Judaism Buddhism Christianity Islam
Number of Deities multiple one* multiple ** four*** one
God Personification male & female male* male & female male genderless
Nature of God varied judgmental neutral benevolent benevolent
Nature of Man attachment responsible suffering sinful*** good
Number of Lives reincarnation one reincarnation one one
Path to Salvation perfect karma good works perfect karma Jesus*** submission & charity
Nature of Afterlife lower heaven Earth plane nirvana** heaven heaven
Ability to join God no no maybe** yes yes

* The Old Testament opens with a reference to God as a plural entity and with the statement that both Adam and Eve are made in "Our" image. The Ten Commandments also suggest that early Jews believed in multiple deities, as the Second Commandment asserts that God is "jealous" and that there should be no other gods "besides" God. These inconsistencies later are resolved as the Jews accept a singular masculine God. Later still, the Jews acknowledge the “Holy Shekinah” – a feminine aspect of their Godhead.

** To Buddha, the multiple gods and goddesses of Hinduism were of secondary importance, since true enlightenment can only be achieved by following a solitary journey of Truth (i.e., Dharma). Buddha described nirvana as a state of enlightenment in which the soul is released from the Earth plane. However, Buddha never clarified, whether, after achieving buddhahood, the soul joins with God in the Ethereal plane.

*** Jesus taught that there is one God. However the Roman Catholic Church created the Holy Trinity (i.e., God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost) and a lesser evil divinity known as Satan, thereby reviving the pagan belief in multiple deities. Jesus also taught that mankind is inherently good and capable of earning salvation, but the Catholic Church expanded the Jewish concept of sin – that man is responsible for his own actions – and decreed that mankind is innately sinful. Lastly, Jesus taught that the path to salvation is faith in God plus good works, which means following the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule (i.e., the Eleventh Commandment). However, many Christians believe that Jesus is a deity who will grant salvation to his worshipers, regardless of good works.

The Five Primary Religions on Charity

Hinduism Judaism Buddhism Christianity Islam
Bhagavad Gita 17:20 Exodus 35:20 Jatakamala 4:16 Mark 10:21 Quran 2:276
Charity that is given as a matter of duty, to a deserving candidate who does nothing in return, at the right place and time, is called saattvika [goodness] charity. And all the assembly of the Israelites departed from the presence of Moses, and they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord’s offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation. It is not as a means of procuring my own happiness that I give in charity, but I love charity that I may do good to the world. Jesus looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing. Go, sell what you own and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” God deprives usurious gains of all blessing; whereas He blesses charitable deeds with manifold increase