There is nothing as “versus”, there is no fight. It is always “and”, togetherness a company. It is our perception that creates this division. My first impression on the title “Religion Vs Spirituality” was this. This was the title for last week’s LBC (Loose Bloggers Consortium) topic. You can read other LBC authors opinions here – Rummuser and Shackman.
The title for this week was interesting, I met my art of living teacher Dr Shrikant Agashe; and asked him how he would define religion and spirituality. His answer was very clear and straightforward. He said – “There is some Truth, what that is, one does not know. Spirituality is experimenting and finding the Truth without getting biased; religion is accepting a path which is suggested by others with faith (and with perhaps assumptions) and trying to fine the same Truth.” In a way there is less opportunity of trials and exploration in religion whereas spirituality is full of experiments.
I went on a very different line to define spirituality and religion. Excuse me for my words but this is how I defined it – Spirituality is like love and religion is like sex. There can be sex without love, but love has every flavor beyond sex too. Spirituality is like love, it can exist without religion. Spirituality is the essence of our existence wither religion exists or no.
I reviewed couple of websites on evolution of religion and came to understanding that the Abrahamic religion (Christianity, Jews and Islam) and Eastern religion (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism et al) started / started evolving / documenting the teachings about 2500 BCE. What is a religion? It is “a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally followed by its followers”. In the end, what remains or leads religion to the end is spirituality.
According to some sources religion word is originated from Latin religare which means “to bind”, again a Latin words religio which means obligation or bond. This makes religions to be exploited such as present day terrorism is mostly based on interpretation (or misinterpretation) of Islam. There are religions that are no less than businesses. In many cases religion is distorted to such a level that it seems more of an organized crime. Thus, to sane people it becomes more important to either not get bound to the religious dogmas or experiment and find out own’s interpretation, way of life or truth.
My take – The religion binds makes things (rituals) as obligations whereas spirituality liberates. That is where we may say versus. Yet, religion is a set of path followed by many (and suggested by some masters) towards spirituality towards liberation.
Image source – SlideShare