Hinduism teaches that the Divine is equally present in all. Because all beings are connected through this shared divine presence, prejudice and discrimination against anyone violates this most profound and fundamental teaching and the moral duties of selflessness, non-injury, and truth evoked by it.
The following are a sampling of teachings from Hindu sacred texts which articulate this teaching of oneness, considered a core, eternal spiritual truth:
“No one is superior, none inferior. All are brothers marching forward to prosperity.” — Rig Veda V.60.5
“Thou, O God, art woman, thou art man, thou the young man and maiden, too. Thou art the old man, tottering with his cane. It is thou alone who art born in all these infinitely diverse forms.” — Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:3
“He who sees all beings in the Self itself, and the Self in all beings, feels no hatred by virtue of that wisdom.” — Ishavasyopanishad 1.6
“He who has gained yogic integration with equal vision everywhere, perceives the Self as abiding in all beings, and all beings as dwelling in the Self.” — Bhagavad Gita 6.29
“As bees suck nectar from many a flower and make their honey one, so that no drop can say, ‘I am from this flower or that,’ All creatures, though one, know not they are that One. There is nothing that does not come from Brahman. Of everything he is the inmost Self. He is the truth; he is the Self supreme. And That thou art, Shvetaketu, That thou art.” — Chandogya Upanishad 6.9.1-4
Lacking an authoritative basis in sacred teachings, it is unfortunate that the Hindu tradition has been conflated with reprehensible prejudice and discrimination in Indian society that has similarly manifested as racism, religious persecution, and slavery in other cultures throughout the world. Indeed, the word caste itself comes from the Portuguese casta, meaning lineage, breed, or race.
All leading Hindu sampradayas, lineages, and institutions emphasize the Hindu teachings about the equal presence of the Divine in all beings, promote practices that sustain this truth and uplift those who suffer, and openly and strongly condemn all forms of prejudice and discrimination.
Read more: Caste Hierarchy And Discrimination Not Sanctioned By The Vedas
Read more: Hindu Leaders’ Reflections on Oneness