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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

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

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

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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

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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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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

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

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

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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

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

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Featured image credit: SorenP/ iStock

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About the Author
April Dávila
April Dávila is a lover of words. Her debut novel "142 Ostriches" was released in 2020.
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