Sin is not solely a Judeo-Christian concept. Many religions speak of humanity’s sin and sinful nature. The following Hindu texts, written hundreds of years before Christ, illustrate a longing for purity and a desire for freedom from sin.
“Papokam, papa kanmokam, papathma papa samphava; thrahimam Pundarikaksha sarva papa hari hare.” (I am born in sin, doer of sin, and a sinful self; I am the worst of all sinners. Lord, save me from all my sins.) (Rig Veda 7.86.3)
The Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad says that the jeeva (soul) acquires evil at birth (4.3.8).
“Rog Sog Dhuk Paritab Bhandan Vyasnanicha, Aatma aparatha Vrukshanam phalarh edhani dehinam” is a common saying that means “What are the fruits of this sinful tree which is our body?” They are “sickness, sorrow, pain, bondage, and many other kinds of sins.” No one is free from the bondage of sin.
Islamic scriptures also illustrate a desire for forgiveness…
“They said: ‘O our father! Ask forgiveness [from Allah] for our sins; indeed we have been sinners’” (Qur’an Yusuf 12:97–16). “Those who say: ‘Our Lord! We have indeed believed, so forgive us our sins and save us from the punishment of the Fire’” (Qur’an Aal-Imram 3:16)
“Shall I not seek forgiveness? O Allah, You are my Lord, there is no God but You; for You created me and I am Your servant; and I am upon You from the evil of what I have done; I acknowledge Your favors upon me and I recognize my sins, so forgive my sins; verily, none can forgive sins but You” (Sunan at-Tirmidhi, Book of Supplications, Number 3393, Hasan).
Even Buddhism expresses “Akusala, mula,” a concept of unwholesomeness or a lack of skill.
People seeking after God have had revelations concerning the reality of sin and have expressed this truth in various ways in many religions. Only in the Bible is the reason for our dichotomous and circumstantial behavior not only explained but also resolved. All religions agree on the concept of sin and its effects, but the Bible alone explains the why of sin and the solution to experiencing freedom from it. Holiness or wholeness cannot be achieved by going to church, a temple, or mosque. Doing the right things does not make us holy. This is why even after doing the right things, or at the heights of dharma from Hinduism and Buddhism, inwardly we still long for something more.
Actions, activities and locations do not produce holiness. Holiness is an inner state of awareness we experience when we are in a spiritual relationship with God. This consequentially leads to transformation of the mind expressing the character of God, which is wholeness through our bodies.