Religion vs. Spirituality
A Blog Post
First, you have to decide is whether you
are a religious person or a spiritual person. If you are
a religious person, you have to see how far you will take
your religion seriously. For me religion is a stepping stone,
a phase in the spiritual life of an aspirant. Religion is
a mixture of spiritual and social themes, which thrive on
group dynamics and the collective aspirations of its adherents.
It may become an obstacle, as it happens in case of many,
if you develop egoistic attachment to it and identify yourself
with it or begin to take pride in it. It is a pity people
commit most heinous crimes in the name of their religions.
We learn from history that religions can be dangerous tools
in the hands of impure and evil people. Religion can corrupt
your mind and lead you astray if you lack discretion (buddhi).
Playing with religion is like playing with fire. It can
burn you or sustain your life depending upon how you use
it. Therefore, take what you can from your religion for
your spiritual growth and self-transformation. If you are
a spiritual person, learn to live freely without fear or
compulsion of any injunction. That is the purpose of spiritual
life, to become free, to live freely without encumbrances.
Your aim should be to become detached from everything that
binds you and makes you act in certain predefined ways.
It includes religion and all the sentimentality it brings.
If you are a spiritual person, follow your conscience, practice
virtues that lead to your inner growth, exercise your discretion
(buddhi), and if you have chosen a guru out of wisdom (not
ignorance, greed, desire or fear) follow him or her in letter
and deed. The idea is you should be free eventually from
all that binds you and keeps you in chains here. So do not
try to replace old chains with new ones in the hope of becoming
free. If a religion cannot make you a better human being
morally and spiritually what is the use of following it?