Religious or Spiritual

Religion and spirituality are talked about a lot by the worldly minded people.  The two are grossly misunderstood as one and the same thing. In fact, they are two totally different and distinct elements.  It is difficult to define religion in single, clear-cut and concise form.  Religion is a set of duties of an individual in a given set of circumstances based upon an organized set of beliefs and practices set by the society, community, faith or a group at a given time.  The goal of religion is to provide an appropriate direction to its members so that they can achieve union with the Lord, whereas Spirituality relates to that union, the concept of God and, that the other manifestations also have the same divinity residing in them.  Spirituality focuses one specific goal – sacred or God.  In that sense, religion is only the means and spirituality is the goal or the end itself.  The means form the path through which a goal is achieved.  The goal (destination) and the means (road) are not identical or synonymous.  Nevertheless, they are two integral, distinct and important parts of human endeavour that form the cornerstone for the highest development of man.   

The overall pursuit of human life is the pursuit of happiness and that too the search for such happiness which is infinite and eternal, is no less than that! This infinite and eternal happiness is called bliss, in which there is no basis or slavery of the object-person-position for the feeling of happiness. Bliss flowing without reason is the true nature of man and the path to realize it is called the path of righteousness. This route again has two forms – external and intimate. The external form is called dharma-sampradaya and the intimate form is called spirituality. Only the coordination of external and intimate form can reveal the basic form of religion. By accepting any one form as a human being, one stays away from the feeling of perfection.