Five Primary Religions Reference Table
|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 single male God.
** 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 mythological Holy Trinity (i.e., God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost) and a lesser evil deity known as Satan, thereby reviving the pagan belief in multiple gods. Jesus also taught that mankind is inherently good and capable of earning salvation, but the Catholic Church expanded the Jewish concept of sin, that a 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.