Article image

Spiritual Wisdom From Religious Texts Around the World

In 1445, Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type, individual letters that could be moved around a printing press to change what words were transferred to the blank page. Empowered by this revolutionary technology, he printed the very first book ever published: the Bible. Before the printing press, monks painstakingly hand-copied every edition of the Bible, often taking three years or more to complete the task. Gutenberg could produce 180 copies of the book in the same amount of time.

After Arabic movable type was produced, the first printed edition of the Quran rolled off the presses in Venice, Italy, and was exported to the Ottoman Empire in 1538. By the early 1800s, Hindu scripts were likewise being mass-produced. As religions the world over embraced Gutenberg’s invention, sacred books became more available, and less expensive, than ever before.

For centuries, religious texts were often the only books in a household. Children learned to read by tracing their fingers down the pages, and in the evenings families would convene to hear stories of faith, love, and devotion. Collected here from a variety of religious texts are words of deep wisdom from cultures around the world, made ubiquitously available online through technology that Gutenberg never could have dreamed possible.

How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!
— The Bible, Proverbs 16:16

Do what is beautiful. God loves those who do what is beautiful.
— Quran, ​2:195

When there is harmony between the mind, heart, and resolution, then nothing is impossible.
— Rig Veda

There is no birth or death, no ebbing or arising. Neither is there present existence and subsequent extinction, substantial reality or fictitious imagination, same or different.
— Lotus Sutra, 16:1.10

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
— The Bible, James 3:13

The wise who knows the Self as bodiless within the bodies, as unchanging among changing things, as great and omnipresent, does never grieve.
— Katha Upanishad

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
— Tao Te Ching

God does not burden any soul beyond its capacity.
— Quran, 2:286

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
— The Bible, Proverbs 11:2

Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.
— Tao Te Ching

So verily, with the hardship, there is relief. Verily, with the hardship, there is relief.
— Quran, 94:5-6

The one who gets wisdom loves life; the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper.
— The Bible, Proverbs 19:8

A person can achieve everything by being simple and humble.
— Rig Veda

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
— Tao Te Ching

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
— The Bible, James 3:13

And God would not punish them while they seek forgiveness.
— Quran, 8:33

Just as the past is a projection, so are the future and the present.
— Lankavatara Sutra

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
— The Bible, Proverbs 4:7

Work for work’s sake, not for yourself. Act but do not be attached to your actions. Be in the world, but not of it.
— Bhagavad Gita

The person who is always involved in good deeds experiences incessant Divine happiness.
— Rig Veda

Photo credit: SorenP/ iStock

Author image
About the Author
April Dávila
April Dávila is a lover of words. Her debut novel "142 Ostriches" was released in 2020.
Play more header background
Play more icon
Daily Question
What sitcom character said this? "One must champion oneself and say, I am ready for this!"

More Inspiration

happiness theme icon

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.

separator icon
Cynthia Ozick
motivation theme icon

Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier.

separator icon
Eleanor Roosevelt
hope theme icon

Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: "I'm with you kid. Let's go."

separator icon
Maya Angelou
love theme icon

Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind.

separator icon
Nikola Tesla
wisdom theme icon

There is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.

separator icon
Virginia Woolf
happiness theme icon

Most people rush after pleasure so fast that they rush right past it.

separator icon
Søren Kierkegaard
motivation theme icon

Once you realize that you can do something, it would be difficult to live with yourself if you didn’t do it.

separator icon
James Baldwin
hope theme icon

I feel that we're all lighthouses, and my job is to shine my light as brightly as I can to the darkness.

separator icon
Jim Carrey
love theme icon

Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell.

separator icon
William Saroyan
wisdom theme icon

Perhaps I am not interesting, but I am the only thing I have to offer, and I want to offer something.

separator icon
Charlie Kaufman
happiness theme icon

It is well to fly towards the light, even where there may be some fluttering and bruising of wings.

separator icon
Elizabeth Barrett Browning