When people are alone, They become Spiritual. When in company, they become Religious… Sadhguru
Am I religious? This is what I keep on asking myself. Then answer is no. That means don’t I believe in God? Surprisingly, answer which comes to me is I do believe in God as much as any other person.
How can then there be two things. I am not religious still I believe in God. Here is the answer, I am Spiritual. What does the two mean then?
“The essence of Religion:
Fear and obey God.
The quintessence of Spirituality:
Love and connect with God.”
Religion is a set of texts, practices and beliefs about the transcendent shared by a community, and involves a relationship with God.
Spirituality is more of an individual practice, and has to do with having a sense of peace and purpose. It also relates to the process of developing beliefs around the meaning of life and connection with others, without any set spiritual values.
“Spiritual but not religious“, also known as “Spiritual but not affiliated“, is a popular phrase and initialism used to self-identify a life stance of spirituality that takes issue with organized religion as the sole or most valuable means of furthering spiritual growth. Another difference between two is Spirituality is your connection with your soul and God, Creator, Source, Higher Power, Nature, or whatever name you call the Holy while as Religion is “a personal or institutionalized system grounded in belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.” Spirituality is something created by God. Religion is something created for God.
Some Main differences between Spirituality & Religion:
- God or Man Made: Religion can be anything that the person practicing it desires. Spirituality, on the other hand, is defined by God. Since religion is man defined, religion is a manifestation of the flesh. But spirituality, as defined by God, is a manifestation of His nature.
- Found within you: True spirituality is something that is found deep within oneself. It is your way of loving, accepting and relating to the world and people around you. It cannot be found in a church or by believing in a certain way.
- Fear vs. Love: This is one of the main difference between two. Quite often religion takes the approach of fearing God. Religion is often concerned with sin, guilt and a concept of a God who punishes. The spiritual approach to God is through the path of love. This is a love where there is no judgement – only acceptance. Spirituality feels so-called sins are just ignorance based on a false belief of who we are.
- One Religion vs. Universality:. Many followers of religion feel that only their path can lead to salvation. They have tremendous faith in their own religion, but at the same time, they feel other religions are wrong. Therefore, they can feel a necessity to convert others to their faith.
- Where is God: Often religion talks of God as being high in the heavens. At times God can seem far from the reach of aspiring humanity. Spirituality shows us that God is omniscient and omnipresent and can be felt as a living presence in our own heart. Spirituality says there is no separation between the Creator and His Creation.
Which one you should choose (Religion or Spirituality)? Is it really debatable? I will leave that for you to think. Here purpose of writing about these two aspects is not to show which one is right or which one is wrong. Based on my personal understanding/thinking, I feel I am more aligned to spirituality than religion. I don’t feel right of following something which will restrict me to one particular mindset. You should never forget, religions are nothing but man-made rules depending on their own convenience.
Now Question is “How to achieve Spirituality?”
- Kill Your Ego: There is no place of egoistic people in the enlightened crowd. Spiritually-aware people are kind, caring and down-to-earth people but were they like this all their lives? The answer is no, but they managed to kill their ego and stepped beyond to be greater and achieve eternal happiness. The ego is merely a product of your thoughts and customs of the society. Once you kill your ego, you understand that sometimes being first to apologize and putting aside your ego can save relationships and help you achieve respect.
- Be Honest With yourself: The first of the ways to achieve spiritual enlightenment is, to be honest with yourself. For every person trying to obtain spiritual enlightenment, honesty is a baby-step in the long journey – small, yet crucial. Spiritual awakening is an experience that completely changes your perspective of how you look at things around in your environment, but before you achieve that change, you must have enough strength to be able to look at yourself with honesty and answer “what you should change.”Being true to yourself is a painful process, and many people are scared to take this step. They need to understand that to transform, change and heal the problems within themselves, they first need to comprehend the problems.
- Learn to Forgive People: I realize some people have hurt you to the core of your heart, and it is nearly impossible to forgive them but think for a second, and you will understand that your not forgiving is making you think of the situation even more and is eating you from the inside. Try to forgive others and yourself for the things of the past and start living in the present to achieve peace and happiness.
- Meditation: One of the most ancient and widely practiced ways to achieve spiritual enlightenment is ). The whole purpose of meditation is to help you get rid of external noise so that you can concentrate on your real being. Though there are different types of meditation that may or may not require physical strength, the goal of all of them is to help you achieve serenity.
- Care less about material world: Once you become honest with yourself and kill your ego, you will find yourself very less attached to worldly things. You will find yourself in more calm and peaceful situations instead of a constant pursuit of material things. Detachment doesn’t mean leaving everything aside to live in solidarity but merely not being dependent on material things.
Final thoughts about achieving Spirituality is to keep some space in your mind. we are so busy in our day today life that we have detached our self from our self. Imagine, we have a mobile whose memory is completely full, how can you do any task with it unless you free some space. Similarly, our mind is so tied up with the things going on. So, we have to free up some space in our mind to get close to Spirituality. You can’t practice spirituality by any of above means till there is some space left in our main. It is very easy to achieve spirituality when you are at peace.
Don’t “REST IN PEACE” Just “BE IN PEACE”