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Religion versus Spirituality

Religion and Spirituality have often been misunderstood, though they sound synonym but when we deep dive into the real meaning, we realize its not. We can say both are contemporary but are different in its approach towards leading a stress free life. Here we are not debating which is supreme and sometimes both are used interchangeably too, people can be religious or spiritual or sometimes both. However there are very distinct features between religion and spirituality. Let's deep dive and understand both of them.
Exclusive and Inclusive:Religion is something exclusive where you follow and objectify certain practices, rituals, people or belief whereas spirituality is purely inclusive and subjective, you cannot generalize, its a divine journey with your soul that you solely enjoy throughout your life. Religion unites a group of people or society under the same values and principles which they believe is true and morally binds them but spirituality on other hand means freedom of soul,  a voyage you carry out in the ocean of your own universe.
Beliefs and Consciousness:Being spiritual means you are only concerned with achieving wisdom and consciousness in whatever form it comes... here the wisdom is the key element to drive you and your journey, others are just medium or secondary factors. Spirituality leads to enlightenment but being religious might lead to some kind of  bondage in whatever form it may be. Religion may be termed as an institutionalized sets of beliefs and principles practiced by people. An individual can be religious at the same time be spiritual or in other scenario he might not;  but a spiritual person is always companion with his consciousness. 
Influenced and Motivated:There are pro and cons of being religious, as the medium are external forces, they can be influential, they can channelize the individual or the society in the way they want but there are no cons of spirituality as its a journey motivated to unite yourself with your soul  and is not driven by any form of external forces.
Judgmental and Introspect:Religion can be surrounded by the fear of being judgmental within oneself and also by others, like if i don't abide by the doctrines will i be forgiven? What will people say?What should be my reaction to any situation? You are obliged to follow this for whatever reason it may be and this is a continous process throughout your life. Whereas in spirituality you are always introspecting your own acts and existence. Here you lead or act but not follow or react. Its the divine force that energizes, guides or motivates you to tackle any situation, here you as an individual are directing your life towards englightment. You may or may not achieve enlightment but the journey is always blissful.
Moral and Ethics:Moral is something which is inculcated in an individual over the phases of  his life since the time you are born, from family, society, text books, digital mediums etc. Religion preaches more about being moral, where your brain is programmed to decide what is right or wrong and its a complex mechanism that's why people get confused, they find it hard to decide, one thing that might hold true to you might not be correct to others. Spirituality on the other hand empowers ethics, it affirms what is right without any discretion, you just have one path to follow, there is no dilemma and its not based on values and beliefs of the society or driven by any external forces but its the sole truth projected by your conscience.
On the ending note, Gita is a spiritual text and not religious as many believe. Ramayana or Mahabharata is a religious book, you objectify Ram in Ramayana but you embrace wisdom in Gita not Krishna.
You worship to become religious but you train yourself to become spiritual. Best way to practice spirituality is through meditation. During meditation you may choose whatever medium you want but the driving force is always consciousness and not any other factor. One can acquired spirituality with experience and its a never ending journey it has no beginning or end,  you just keep on growing spiritually with your each experience. With your spirituality you become more content, mentally strong and can empower your mind.
Disclaimer: The author has shared his views solely for reading purpose and does not solicit bias in any form towards religion or spirituality.

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Texte: @Ritesh Prasad
Lektorat/Korrektorat: Ritesh Prasad
Tag der Veröffentlichung: 12.07.2020

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