There are many ways to the truth (salvation)


Question & Answer

Q: By Supong
If there are many ways to the truth (salvation), can we preach that Krishna (or any other God) as one of the ways to attain salvation? Or, can we proclaim “In the name of Krishna your sins can be forgiven”?
A: By Rev. Lauren Van Ham
Dear Supong,

The answer is YES, at least according to my theology which values an interfaith perspective.  I particularly love that you have asked about Krishna since he and Jesus are often seen as similar, complements, or possibly even the same, archetypally.  God — who across cultures, languages, eras, and religions, is called by many names — always inhabits or points to Truth, even in the ways that surpass our human understanding.   When we think about salvation broadly, its Greek root, soter, means “healing.”  Religious traditions and spiritual paths, when offered in a healthy and whole way, create practices for enlightenment (truth) and healing.

As practitioners of any of these Traditions, we study and learn and do our best to apply our beliefs in everyday moments – the good ones, the difficult ones and the ones where we really mess up and try to address what we wish we would’ve-could’ve-should’ve done.   Isn’t it a relief then, that in these moments we have somewhere to turn so that we are not alone, but rather in community with other believers and, ultimately, a Source of Life, who wraps us in compassion and wisdom so that we might discover deeper understanding, reconciliation or peace?  In these ways the religious tradition or deity’s name is far less important than the practice itself.  May all beings everywhere feel fully welcomed into practices of healing, reconciliation, forgiveness and love!

~ Rev. Lauren Van Ham

About the Author
Rev. Lauren Van Ham, MA was born and raised beneath the big sky of the Midwest, Lauren holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, Naropa University and The Chaplaincy Institute. Following her ordination in 1999, Lauren served as an interfaith chaplain in both healthcare (adolescent psychiatry and palliative care), and corporate settings (organizational development and employee wellness). Lauren’s passion for spirituality, art and Earth’s teachings have supported her specialization in eco-ministry, grief & loss, and sacred activism.  Her essay, “Way of the Eco-Chaplain,” appears in the collection, Ways of the Spirit: Voices of Women; and her work with Green Sangha is featured in Renewal, a documentary celebrating the efforts of religious environmental activists from diverse faith traditions across America. Her ideas can be heard on Vennly, an app that shares perspectives from spiritual and community leaders across different backgrounds and traditions. Currently, Lauren tends her private spiritual direction and eco-chaplaincy consulting practice; and serves as Climate Action Coordinator for the United Religions Initiative (URI), and as guest faculty for several schools in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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