Respect for Different Approaches

The teaching of tolerance is a basic function of Adepts-historically you can see that, even with recent Adepts. Shirdi Sai Baba, for instance, appeared in a circumstance where there was a great deal of conflict between Muslims and Hindus in India, so his particular signs and manner and so forth were an attempt to generate tolerance between those factions and awaken them all to an ultimately single path that even transcends particular religions.

Generally, Adepts have always functioned in a local sense. In other words, they have appeared in a particular time and place, before the world was in a global state of intercommunication-which is a phenomenon more or less of the twentieth century. Thus, previous Adepts have arisen in a particular time and place, and related to the particular features of the Great Tradition in evidence then and there, and these Adepts tried to generate a tolerant (and, ultimately, a single) view relative to those features.

My particular Work, Appearing in the time and place in which I Appear, is to do that same kind of thing that has historically been done by other Adepts-but I am doing it in a time and place where humanity is in a state of global intercommunication. For the first time, all traditions are coming in contact with one another. I am Communicating in a global context of humankind. I am speaking to the Great Tradition of all possible experiences, orientations, and so on-even to all future humanity, therefore.

—Adi Da Samraj

Education about other religions and ways of life promotes tolerance. Avatar Adi Da has written His book “The Basket Of Tolerance” (an annotated bibliography of literature relative to all religious traditions), as a guide to this understanding.

The consideration presented in this work does not presume that the different traditions, scriptures, and Realizers gathered together are actually somehow saying the same thing, or even pointing to the same presumed reality. In fact, the often disparate perceptions, conceptions, and presumptions of the separate traditions cannot be somehow blended together into one uniform “tradition” or point of view.

Thus, the true practice of tolerance is not a matter of believing or presuming that, underneath it all, every tradition is really just trying to say the same thing. Rather, the true practice of tolerance is a matter of recognizing that different religious traditions are to be respected and honored for the aspects of Truth that each one communicates, as part of the “Grand Argument” that the entire Great Tradition represents.


An introduction to The Basket Of Tolerance, and readings from Avatar Adi Da's Teaching on the practice of tolerance.