One of the central teachings of Yoga is beautifully expressed by our founder, Sri Swami Satchidananda, in the statement, “Truth is one, paths are many.” We believe that all the world’s faiths are equally valid paths to the same Spirit that dwells within all of creation.
Our interfaith programs are offered to underline this truth and celebrate both the unity and diversity of all spiritual paths. We periodically invite teachers and ministers of different faiths to share with us from their traditions, and occasionally perform interfaith worship services with representatives from numerous paths coming together to experience the Light we all share.
Great suffering and many acts of violence have occurred due to the ways peoples separate themselves in the name of race and religion. We believe it is crucial now to develop a universal vision and learn to understand each other, so that we can live together in peace.
Sri Swamiji shared his vision for this important work, commenting, “If there is only one kind of flower in the garden, it is no longer a garden. Should the flowers fight about their colors, their scents, their shapes, and forms? Should they hate each other for their differences? God created all this variety for us to enjoy and for this beauty to enrich our lives.
Our aim should be to understand the unity and enjoy the variety. You can be loyal to your parents, your religion, your country, and at the same time you can love and respect another person’s allegiances. We can love our own faith and respect the other person’s faith as well.”
Sri Swamiji acted on this conviction by building the Light of Truth Universal Shrine (LOTUS), a unique temple dedicated to interfaith understanding and the Light within all faiths. Individual altars represent and honor the different world religions. The vision, design and inspiration of Sri Swami Satchidananda, the LOTUS was dedicated in 1986. In the peaceful countryside of Virginia, the doors of the LOTUS are open to welcome people of all faiths.