National Geographic : 1971 Oct
EKTACHROME BYTEDSPIEGEL,RAPHOGUILLUMETTE others... . " Judaism's "What the Lord doth require of thee: Only to do justly, and to love mercy...." Islam's man who gives of his "sub stance . .. to kinsmen, and orphans, the needy, the traveller .... " But vital differences separate them. The stark monotheism of Judaism contrasts with the popular Hindu pantheon of 33 million gods; the Christian envisions a personal God who knows and loves each of us and inter venes in history, while the Buddhist may ad here to an impersonal God who remains aloof from human scramblings. In the centuries since their founding, these faiths have shaped nations and individuals; they have permeated political systems, social codes, ways of thinking, and daily life. My young playmates in China showed for their parents a respect bordering on reverence an attitude rooted in the Confucianism that has molded Chinese history for 25 centuries. The Zen monk sitting motionless in medi tation reflects an outlook common to Eastern The gift of faith: A Buddhist monk meditates at Wat Chedi Luang, one of Thailand's 24,000 monasteries. In a cathedral on the island of Crete, a Greek Orthodox worshiper kisses a reliquary enshrining bits of a saint's bones. High in a minaret in Istanbul, a muezzin proclaims the Azan, or "announcement," that calls Moslems to worship five times a day. Bearded Hasid, a member of a pious Jewish sect, reads his prayer book in Jerusalem. Bearing silver-handled fly whisks, a Hindu parades through the streets of Kanchipuram, India, to honor Vishnu, a major deity among Hinduism's millions of gods. Though they follow different faiths, all five share many ethical concepts, including a belief in justice and mercy and love for fellowmen. 589 KODACHROMEBY RAGHUBIRSINGH © N.G.S.