People often confuse religion with spirituality or vice versa. The two have totally different notions and do not always have the same result. Life is full of good times and bad. Many people practice spirituality or religion to ultimately lessen worries and give happiness. Your personal definition of spirituality may change throughout your life, adapting to your own life experiences and relationships. So, what is essential?
The reason why many people have started claiming to be spiritual but not religious is that religion often fails to impart peace. It creates disputes and inequality. It also does not really help a person fully discover who he/she is. Thus, leading to a blind way of believing in some deity or formless force. Moreover, not following a particular religion for a while, until you find what best suits you, helps you realize whether you really need to be a follower of a religion at all.
What is religion?
Religion is created by man and demands discipline. Most of us depend on a set of beliefs and on the existence of a supernatural being to help us create a happy life and keep us from doing mistakes. This is where religion takes up its role. Every religion has a unique source of energy called God. Religion consist of devotional and ritual observances, and often contains a moral code that is sanctioned by God, to help you pave your way through the hardships in life. Being religious is synonymous to worshiping an Almighty and fearing to go against the beliefs of that religion. You tend to show gratitude to or seek blessings from the Almighty.
Religion answers many questions that science cannot, as in religion, things are predefined by the spiritual leaders and are mostly linked to several historic events. For instance, rituals exist to bring us all together and make time for maintaining a proper channel for prayer. Categorizing people according to their religion often sparks a sense of enmity, dispute and division of communities due to difference in background and beliefs.
In religion, you usually engage in prayer and gatherings of religious community members. Religion plays a huge role in your social life, in your society or in your psychological life. Religion limits the beliefs and ideologies, rationality, thoughts, hypothesis, theories, and sometimes, God itself.
What is spirituality?
Spirituality, on the contrary to religion, does not involve any imaginary entities and wholly revolves around the individual, realization of truths, higher forms of energy within yourself and can also lead to enlightenment. It does not depend on religion and gives you emotional strength, positive vibes, inner peace and a sense of satisfaction – what more does one need? Many people inculcate habits like offering gratitude to the universe and meditating daily to fill oneself with good thoughts. This, very much lowers stress in everyday life and keeps one cheerful and at peace with one’s own mind. It adds value to your life and frees you from material desires.
Spirituality also puts a full stop to anxiety and helps you go with the flow of life. Being spiritual is seen as mysterious, difficult and far-fetched by many, but when studied, it proves to very simplified and essential for human life. You experience spirituality when you work for a good cause, to spread positive vibes. Your highest priority would be to love yourself and others. You care about all living beings and honor the oneness among all living things. You accept reality and hence, reach an appreciable level of maturity. Spirituality can be a universal and highly personal experience.
What is essential to our need?
Religion is like a manual with guidelines on how to live and spirituality opens your eyes to the inner meaning of life which is what we live for – to know the purpose of our life. Being religious but not spiritual is pretty directionless. A spiritually inclined person know how to efficiently differentiate truth from trivia. Living spiritually will actually give you a better perspective towards life since you clearly know where you are going and why you are going your way.
An individual can follow any religion of his/her choice, but the sole purpose must be to attain spirituality and help mind, body and spirit to be in harmony with each other Beliefs of different religions can overlap or even contradict but, in spirituality, the practice is universal to all human beings. Each one of us have a great and divine energy within us. A spiritual person knows how to harness this energy.
On the whole, spirituality is what turns out to be essential. Religion is just a pathway to the peace and strength that spirituality offers. After all, the ultimate goal of life is to live and let live happily and spread love.