Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Religiousness vs. Spirituality

Last few days a very pertinent question has been troubling me, in fact this question has been around for quite some time and I have tried to answer it in one possible way or other but have never been able to come up with a defining answer. The question though on the face of it seems small and insignificant but this dichotomy has started having a slight bearing on my personal life as well. I have carefully observed that in last few years I have refused or have been very reluctant to actively involve my self in any kind of religious festivals or visiting temples or any religious places, and have with a small reservation been participating in most of the well defined rituals. I have been searching for the answers but it has seldom come. The answer I guess has come in my visits to places close to nature where I feel empowered and spirited and closest to God. One such place is the picture that you see, a place that I have been visiting from last fours years and have never been able to get enough of it. In fact the more I visit this place the more enchanting it grows and the lure to visit again is stronger the ever.

The climb of the mountain and the sudden retreat, and the arrival at the valley with small streams flowing and if you are one of those really lucky ones to visit the place at the right time of the year….  A sea of butterflies of all hues and colour would welcome you. After a further lurch what awaits you is an enchanting waterfall and if you happen to be as adventurous type as me and dare to take a dip in icy cold water then it’s an almost holy experience. Also my once in a year or two, visit to the mountains of Sikkim ( The Himalayas) where I trek almost to the foothills of Mt. Kanchanjunga is as power an experience as it gets. At the edge of cliff you realize the distance between life and death is less then an inch. Also the huge mountain ranges stretching beyond the point your eyes can see, the breathtaking view, the chill of air all but make you very vulnerable. The small act like looking at the sun every morning and gaining strength has actually become one of the most important task of the day.

The whole feeling that comes with it when realization dawns that your existence is almost less then a speck of dust or next to insignificant and that you are in all respect is one with nature and in a way god

It also gives you a different kind of high, a kind which no drug on earth can give and also has a more lasting affect then any thing else.

On the contrary going to the places of worship does not have a similar affect; it does give the feeling of tranquility and peace but cannot match the aura of being close to the nature.

Being religious or spiritual is still a tricky question; I believe that different religions of the world have been given a form and well defined structure so that man can live in a society which I think is very important. Also with evolution of man, the culture and norms have also evolved in a way that it suits the modern times and the contemporary lifestyle. These cultures bind us and give us an uniqueness… for the regular readers if you can remember my article on “Indian way of Life”. At the same time I firmly believe that one can remain fully ingrained to culture and also be deeply spiritual in his on way which has nothing to do with religion and rituals.



Anonymous said...


this is the most enjoyable read till date..

the descriptions make me want to catch the next flight to sikkim


Putu said...

The article is very interesting and I fortunately have such a great curiosity and want to dive into Spirituality Ocean, would like to open the gate and treading ladder aims the spirituality, where I still so very far away to get into it. Waterfall, Sikkim (the Himalayas) ... I imagine something that it’s very amazing, and how lucky that you can feel God's presence very close to you in that place.

Religious are people who zealously apply their religion, and are still bound by partitions of religion. Religious people still need the embodiment of rituals symbol to help themselves through their daily life. Through the ritual symbols they tried to achieve harmony with the surrounding. It is a must that religious person apply their religion wisely as its stairs to reach spirituality, and spirituality is the final goal of all religiosity.

I am very sure that there are still many religious people, but do not know the final goal to achieve, because most are often stop only on the religion comprehension as an organized group. Sometimes religion produces such religious people that transform to very fanaticism with a very absolute comprehension. Such absolute comprehension in mind, dare to kill others. Such stiff image in mind, that entire comprehension of others has no choice except be destroyed. Only humans who don’t like to spring up still embrace fanaticism and absolutism tight.

Spirituality has a meaning as the spirit, soul,breath of life, inspiration, self-consciousness, freedom of heart, courage, attitude and feeling. Some say that Spirituality is a Religious Experience, a religious experience of meeting God.

To me spiritual are awareness, and the achievement of a conscious interaction with such living power, spirit in our self and every human being. The end of the spirituality is DIVINE LOVE. Love to all human, does not look kind, race, religion, dimension and time. But those who have reached the spiritual level, the realization no more shaped certain ritual symbols, but every action, service, so all their life movement is the ritual distribution of Divine Love to all human. So I think, spirituality has realization in the form of consistent behavior to give affection service to whomever.

Perhaps by the experience & comprehension of the spirituality, Deepak Chopra in “The Path to Love” mentions that love is a spiritual event, love is not merely merging two hearts that are suitable, love is the signs of the presence of a tremendous strength. In other parts of the book, Chopra wrote: 'merging with another person is an illusion, merging with the supreme the Self is the supreme reality'. I agree with Deepak Chopra.


Thanks Rahul...u can certainly plan a visit...hay do try pacman...pinki ki gan....:-)
Putu u can actually write a book on thsi subject..make sure to mail me a free copy...great input