Five Similarities Between Religion and Spirituality

When we were children we were asked, Which came first, the chicken or the egg? If we based our answer on the creation story in the Bible, we would answer, Chicken. But if we based our answer on our experience in raising chickens, our answer would be, Egg.

The same can be said of the answer to the question, Which came first, Religion or Spirituality?

In terms of our experience with religious books and discussions, religion came first. It is only now that more and more people are talking about spirituality and writing about it. In terms of the origin of the reality behind those words or in terms of the object of our understanding, spirituality came first. The spirit was there before there was any religion. God was there before there was anybody to worship him.

We can even say that spirituality is an offshoot of religion. For many centuries people professed religion. Some of them fiercely opposed religions other their own. Christians for many centuries opposed paganism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and any other religion. This has happened also with paganism, Islam, and the rest with respect to the other religions. They too opposed other religions.

But more and more people discover that mere religion cannot answer their deeper yearning for a better experience of life. So, they turned to something deeper and better than religion. They found this in spirituality.

Because spirituality in a sense is an offshoot of religion, there is bound to be some similarity between them, just like the similarity between the egg and the chicken.

First, both believe in a higher power of some kind. Religion believes in God the Father or Jesus, or Allah, or Brahman, or Tao. Spirituality believes also in this God or it may conceive of God as a universal or primal energy. Both believe that such being possesses power higher and greater than what we have.

Secondly, both religion and spirituality desire to have a relationship with this higher power. Although the nature of the relationship is different in religion than in spirituality, the desire for this relationship is there. Religion connects with this higher power with fear and trembling. Spirituality connects with this higher power with love and affection.

Thirdly, both religion and spirituality have rituals and practices which deepen one’s religiosity or spirituality. Religion usually has sacred rites or sacraments. Spirituality has meditation or yoga sessions.

Fourthly, both have respect for the sacred, the other worldly. This is not just respect for God. This is respect for the reality that is beyond our senses and reason. When religion pushes this respect to its extreme, it becomes superstition. When spirituality pushes this respect to its extreme, it becomes religious spirituality.

Fifthly, both have fear of failure. In religion this failure is punished by hell fire or repetition of existence or some other worse fate. In spirituality this failure is the inability to realize one’s true worth or value and the destiny of a life of meaninglessness. Hell, repetition of existence, non-existence, meaninglessness are forms of punishment for failure, either in religion or in spirituality.

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Religion and Spirituality – What Differentiates Religion From Spirituality?

Religion is “absolute truth of life” of the physical manifested world. It is Religion and not Spirituality which forms the basis of the present society we live in. In the present the needs for following a Religion being at its minimum… it is easy to follow any Religion. Anyone… even a layman can follow any Religion but not Spirituality?

What vastly differentiates Religion and Spirituality? Religion… if it forms the core of the physical manifested world… it is the Spirituality (the truth of our Soul within) which upholds the values in the society. Without Spirituality the physical manifested world cannot sustain for long but in the absence of religion… the society can survive on its own.

It is Spirituality (the truth of our real self… our Soul within) which forms the core of the cosmic world. The physical manifested world is a reality in terms of the senses (which guide every human being on its earthly journey). In the cosmic world… our physical manifested world does not hold good for there is nothing solid in the Cosmos. Everything in the Cosmos is made up of the basic building block of the Cosmos which comprise of atoms and molecules alone.

Religion is meant for passing of the physical manifested life in a meaningful manner. Unable to understand the nature of God… humanity has built for itself various religious centers all over the globe. These religious centers are they a mosque, temple or a church… provide a succor to the ever ailing society. They quench the thirst of an average human being… one who does not have time or the resources to contemplate directly on God the Almighty.

Indulgence in Spirituality is not meant for the average human being. To be able to fathom the depths of the Scriptures of the various religions of the world (the core truths of Spirituality)… one needs to dive deep into the pearls of wisdom contained in the various sacred Scriptures of the world. Spirituality is totally oblivious of a religion. In the field of Spirituality one need not go to a mosque, temple or a church in search of God. It is contemplation and only contemplation which shall lead one to God the Almighty.

Spirituality (contrary to religion) is all about the spirit existing within every human being neigh every living being (Jiva as we call it in Hinduism). It is truth of every life prevailing on Mother Earth. It is the real self of us which exists within every living being since the birth of that body in the form of an individual soul. Spirituality and Religion are the two fundamentals of life which every living being is required to follow simultaneously.

One can live without Religion but not without Spirituality for Spirituality forms the core of very existence of every living being. It is the spirit within every human being that we exist as a physical form on Mother Earth. We may or may not indulge in understanding Spirituality or a Religion but inherently every living being pursues the path of Spirituality in every manifestation. Spirituality is that fundamental of life which cannot be ignored by one.

To be able to understand the basics of the Spirituality (not religion) one needs to understand the underlying meaning of the various sacred Scriptures existing on Mother Earth. Whatever our religious masters teach us on the physical plane may not be a truthful representation of whatever is contained in the sacred Scriptures. Many commentaries may exist related to a particular sacred Scripture but all may not be correct or rightly represent the facts contained therein.

To be able to interpret the sacred Scriptures correctly one needs to understand the inner meaning of the core teachings contained therein. Spirituality in other words can only be best understood from a realized master. Only those who have reached the level of Mahavira, Gautama Buddha, Jesus Christ or Prophet Mohammed can deliver the humanity of its ills.

On the contrary going to a temple, mosque or a church can provide temporary succor to the ailing humanity but it is only Spirituality which can provide a permanent relief. Religion provides relief in day-to-day life but Spirituality liberates one forever from the cycle of birth and death. Religion is primarily a following of an enlightened master… it is only the correct interpretation of his teachings that one can follow spirituality to its logical end.

Buddhism Religion relates to the teachings of Gautama Buddha. The Islamic Religion is based on the teachings of Prophet Mohammed. Jainism (which can not be rightly called as a Religion but a way of life) is based on the collective teachings of the various Tirthankars (enlightened souls). Similarly Christianity is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Following the teachings of Mahavira, Gautama Buddha, Jesus Christ or Prophet Mohammed… One can definitely reach the higher portals of Religion but to become one like Mahavira, Gautama Buddha, Jesus Christ or Prophet Mohammed one needs to understand the core teachings of the realized masters themselves in a totally unadulterated form.

In a nutshell, if we desire to understand the fundamentals of life itself and reach the end of the cosmic journey… we need to understand Spirituality in totality. And on the contrary if we desire to live the present physical manifested life in the best manner possible then following the dictates of Religion alone would suffice.

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Celebrate Christmas in the Cradle of Humankind at Maropeng

Maropeng – The official visitor center to the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site presents: An African Christmas Festival – 16-26 December 2016
Celebrate Christmas in the Cradle of Humankind at Maropeng

The Cradle of Humankind is the perfect place to spend meaningful time with your family and friends. No matter your culture or religion this time of the year is the season for relaxation; reflection; visiting; family bonding and entertainment.

Maropeng and other businesses across the World Heritage Site are providing exciting experiences for visitors from across all faiths and cultures to enjoy during this holiday period. You can indulge in luxury accommodation; day tours; adrenaline filled activities and a culinary adventure this December!

Maropeng has engaged in support of local businesses and initiatives during this festive season. They have contracted some of the local crafters of GaMogale to design and construct a selection of festive decorations which includes spectacular hand – crafted wire Baobab trees; giant glittering hanging balls to hang over the visitor center fountain and a range of smaller items which children visiting the site will be encouraged to finish off, as ornaments to take home with them.

Maropeng has approached a local school – Bekker High School with the offer of an exposure program where tourism learners will experience a bustling tourism site such a Maropeng over a busy period. These learners will receive certificates from the World Heritage Site Management Authority for their future CV’s.

The event will also showcase the talents of local artists on the stage for live performances each day. Family entertainment will comprise a food market; beer garden; jumping castles and a very special experience for children in Santa’s specially constructed kiddies cave, where real Elves will entrance them. Just a stone’s – throw away from Johannesburg and Pretoria – visit The Cradle Of Humankind.

Maropeng seeks Santa!

Celebrate Christmas in the Cradle of Humankind at Maropeng

The chosen winner to this competition stands a chance to win an all – inclusive weekend getaway to Maropeng Boutique Hotel (DBB) and combined tours to both Sterkfontein and Maropeng exhibitions for a family of two adults and two children.

Terms and conditions: Prize is valid for six months from date of issue and is based on availability at the time of enquiry. In addition the winner will receive a daily stipend of R250.00 per day plus a meal.

Registration open for UCT Dance Conference this week

Dance, Religion and Spirituality is the theme of the UCT School of Dance’s seventh international dance conference entitled Confluences, which runs on campus from 11-13 July 2013.
Registration open for UCT Dance Conference this week
Designed to stimulate dance academics, students, choreographers and other dance fans, the conference incorporates the presentation of formal academic papers, research seminars and panel discussions as well as daily workshops and thought-provoking performances.

Discussions will centre on “the complex issues of the interconnectedness (or lack thereof) of the practices and experiences surrounding dance, religion and spirituality,” says Confluences 7 chair and director of the UCT School of Dance, Gerard Samuel.

Some of the intriguing titles of papers to be presented include Dr Doreen Gordon’s “From ‘other worldly’ to ‘world dance’: an exploration of the institutionalisation of dançá dos orixá as an artistic field in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil”, “Post-positivist Spirituality in Dance and Somatic Research: a narrative” by Dr Jill Green (North Carolina, USA) and “Dancing the Body through the City: preliminary concepts and notes on mobility, ritual, freedom and spectacle in the Minstrel Carnival, Cape Town” by Jade Gibson (South Africa).

Acclaimed choreographer and performer Vincent Mantsoe is the keynote speaker. He is now based in Saint Pont, France with his company, Association Noa-Cie Vincent Mantsoe.

Range of performances

Confluences begins at 9am daily at the UCT School of Dance, culminating in a range of performances each evening. See Jacki Job and Garth Erasmus’s Truth or Fiction and extracts from choreographic works from the UCT dance students under the banner Why Fit In? on Thursday, 11 July at 7pm. Vincent Mantsoe offers a rare performance of Gula on Friday, 12 July at 7pm. “This is arguably one of the signature choreographic works that has jettisoned this beguiling artist into the international arena,” says Samuel.

Registration open for UCT Dance Conference this week
The evening also showcases Jamaican-born Lisa Wilson’s Ancestral Whisperings, which premiered at the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience in Durban in 2012.

There will be a mixed bill featuring the award-winning Underground Dance Theatre and freelance artist Nicola Elliott, fresh from their tour to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, on Saturday, 13 July at 6pm.

The panel discussion entitled “What Place for Dance in Monotheistic Worship?” takes place on Friday, 12 July at 9am.

Go to for more information and online bookings. Would-be delegates can also sign up at the registration desk from 8.30am each morning. A limited number of tickets for performances will be sold one hour before show time at R40. Patrons are encouraged to arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Those wanting to attend the full conference pay an all-inclusive fee of R700 (i.e. entrance to all papers, workshops and performances, daily conference kit/programme, complimentary tea and coffee). The cost is R200 for students. All those attending as a single day visitor (papers and workshops only) pay R70. There are no card facilities.

Afrikaans women’s magazine launches

Media24 Women’s Magazines have launched the first-ever issue of a unique Afrikaans magazine, Lééf – met hart & siel. The monthly glossy magazine is targeted at the modern Afrikaans woman who is looking for spiritual fulfillment, for personal growth and guidance and, above all, a sense of living a complete and balanced life.
Associate editor Christine Ferreira says that what sets the magazine apart from the many other women’s magazines is its strong holistic message and focus on personal values, the community and family, religion and spirituality. The contemporary title has two core pillars – heart and soul.

“The stress of today’s fast pace, global and local issues, and societal demands takes its toll on many. There is a need for a kind of ‘spiritual safe house’, something that addresses today’s issues but also instills a sense of balance and gives one that necessary guidance and helping hand.

“We believe readers will find solace in Lééf – met hart & siel, as it is a holistic read with much uplifting guidance and advice.”

Sarie editor Michélle van Breda is editorial head and writers such as Professor Piet Naude (motivational speaker and ethics professor at The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth), Marzanne Leroux-Van der Boon and American preacher Joyce Meyer will contribute on a regular basis.

What Is Spiritual Personal Development?

You might have read a personal development book within the last year or two. Have you ever read a book on spiritual personal development? What is the difference between the two? Personal development books are also called self-help books. Spiritual personal development is not “self-help.” Spiritual personal development is “God-help.” In that one change of words, from self-help to God-help, is a world of difference.

Spiritual: Spiritual personal development focuses on giving us the tools we need to become mature, spiritual, and productive disciples of Jesus. Spiritual personal development focuses on our spiritual nature. If we feed our spiritual hunger, then the character of God’s Spirit will grow in our hearts.

Personal: First, spiritual growth is a personal matter. Although we live with each other in community, each of us has a personal relationship with God that we must nurture. At the end of the day, each individual disciple is responsible for his or her own spiritual growth. Second, we all grow in different ways. We also grow at different speeds. In this way, spiritual growth is personal.

Development: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52 Jesus grew. Growth is good. Since Jesus grew, we need to grow as well. We need to develop into the people that God meant for us to be. God wants us to mature. He is fully committed to helping us grow into solid, mature, fruitful disciples of Jesus.

Do you have a plan for your spiritual personal development? Most of us don’t. This web site will help you develop a plan for your spiritual personal development. It will help you ascertain your spiritual gifts. It will teach you how to make wise, spiritual choices. It will teach you various spiritual disciplines that will help you to connect with God and to feed your spirit. It will help you to set and to achieve spiritual goals in your life.

A wise man once said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Let the journey begin!

World Religions

In the present day society as well as in history,
religion is and has been the main driver in
people’s thoughts, actions and intentions.

Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam,
all have books that are used as guide books for
them. The Bible, the Tao, the Bhagavad Gita, The
Tibetan Book of the Dead, the Torah, the Koran to
name a few. They have one statement or concept
that is the same for all. Different variations
but the same meaning. Do unto others as you
would have them do unto you”. Unfortunately that
tenet sometimes gets lost in the many
applications and interpretations of these books.

Religion has had such a huge role in human
history that to try to define it and source it is
a daunting task. Each culture has variations of
the answers to the how’s and why’s” of existence,
but really they all have a common thread. When
you stand back and observe the practices and
beliefs they all saying the same basic things, in
my view.

The main tenet is that there is a God or supreme
being outside ourselves that creates and controls
all things in our lives. This gives us the
comfort of not taking responsibility for anything
that happens and puts it outside of us where we
have no control. With a set of rules given to us
from the holy books we can live our lives with
the assurance that we will go to heaven” when we
die if we follow the rules.

New Age” belief looks at things from a different
perspective. Instead of following the leader the
choice is to follow ones self. A belief that we
are God also and have the power to create what we
desire. How we choose to experience life is up to
us, not set out in a rule book or determined by
any power outside of ourselves.

A controversial concept to say the least as it
goes against the ingrained norms of our society.
Is the next step in human evolution the shift
from the mentality of following the leader? Doing
things how they have been done in the past just
because that’s how they been done? Or is it a
totally new perspective of following yourself and
taking full responsibility for all events in your
life? Are we beginning to examine our actions and
questioning the reasons as to why we do things a
certain way?

If we are truly changing to the perspective of
personal responsibility, than the doctrine and
dogma of religions is in jeopardy of going the
way of the dinosaur. Is there signs of the waning
popularity of following the rigid rules of the
world’s religions? I see it. In Europe, where
religion has always been such a huge part of
daily life the attendance statistics are
plummeting. Rejected by a generation of people
who are questioning the validity and authority of
the church.

I believe the key to the survival of religion is
a complete overhaul of doctrine. The major change
coming from the amount of tolerance they
demonstrate for other religions. Understanding
that there are different flavors of the truth”
and all can be respected and acknowledged as
being valid. Not discounted or persecuted for
their differences as has been the case in history.

Also, a change of the use of fear that religions
have practiced as a control” mechanism for
people. The fear that if they don’t follow the
rule book there will be grave consequences for
them in their lives. Religion has and does use
this tactic to keep their flock” in the fold,
asking them to give their personal power over to
God and all will be well for them.

And lastly, a shift in how the religions describe
our relationship to God. That we are lowly
servants unable to think or create for ourselves.
I believe if you really listen to the teachings
of Jesus, he describes how are all like him and
have the same attributes that he has but that is
a topic for another time. There is room for all
these changes in religion without changing the
essence of the reason they were created in the
first place.

Can we all worship together? Can we learn to not
only tolerate but celebrate the differences that
each religion has? I believe so. And I also
believe that, if there is no change, then world
religions are destined to follow the path that
leads to extinction.

Religion And Your Health

Did you know a person may or may not support a medical practice or advancement based on his or her religion? It’s true, and to a degree it’s not at all shocking. Many Christians and Catholics alike oppose abortions because they feel an abortion murders a child and therefore goes against God and his Word, i.e., the Bible. The abortion debate has been going on for years, so that’s no surprise; however, whether or not a particular medical practice is supported by a particular religion goes beyond just abortion. It stretches out to other medical procedures covered by health insurance, as well as health insurance itself. Practices covered by health insurance such as birth control and other forms of contraception and the withdrawal of a life support system, i.e., “pulling the plug,” are sometimes supported or not supported based solely on a person’s religion. Many health insurance policies cover birth control and other forms of contraception, and many women take advantage of this coverage because they aren’t interested in becoming mothers; however, contraception is frowned upon by some religions. For example, many Catholics do not use any form of birth control because they feel it goes against the Catholic religion; yet, there are actually Catholics out there who support birth control, despite the Pope’s, and the religion’s itself, disapproval and assertion that it goes against the Catholic religion. Similar to abortion, many people feel that shutting off a vegetative person’s life support system is the same as committing murder, and is therefore immoral and goes against their religion. At the same time, the cost to keep a person who is in a vegetative state on life support is extremely high, and many health insurance policies won’t pay for it for very long, if at all. When it comes to certain kinds of medical coverage provided by, or not provided by, health insurance, many people list religion as a deciding factor. Published at:

Religion and Fanaticism

Religion And Fanaticism 26/11 Mumbai was under siege, some 20 odd young men brandishing AK 47 rifles went on a killing spree at a busy railway station, and five stars hotels killing hundreds. This incident brings back memories of the now infamous 9/11 where a handful of highly motivated, misguided souls took controls of aircrafts and banged into the World Trade Center destroying it completely and killing thousands. These incidents again make us realize how susceptible we are in the face of such terror activities, where a group of highly trained and motivated people inflict so much pain and agony to the innocents. The very fact that the actors who perpetrate these acts are ready to die makes them more dangerous, because the very fear of death, the ultimate fear, itself is absent from their psyche and hence they can go to any extent to inflict terror in the minds of people, or they can go to any extent to get the authorities to bend on their knees. The very pertinent example would be the Hijack of Indian Airlines Flight IC 864 to Afghanistan. Their ( Of the hijackers, who were mainly terrorist from Pakistan owing allegiance to Taliban ) demand from the then Indian Government was to get their 20 operatives released from various jails that they were put in and Indian Government had to give in to their pressures as lives of 265 innocent Indians were at stake. The Pilots of the United Airlines aircrafts very well knew that their lives will be snuffed in seconds when they saw the world trade center getting larger and larger in front of their wind screens. Their psychology was so strong that with the knowledge of their death in seconds they kept flying straight into World Trade Center. Unfortunately majority of such terrorist activities are perpetrated by the religious fanatics of Islam. Such tendencies are not limited to Islam alone but it is seen mostly in the abhramic religion ie Islam Christianity and Judaism. I urge my readers not to misunderstand me as I revere all religion as no religion in the world tells its followers to go and kill in the name of religion. In its essence and origin, Islam is a religion of mercy and peace, of kindness and tolerance, and of knowledge and enlightenment; it is not a religion of violence, fanaticism and ignorance. What happens is that because of a miniscule group of misguided souls the entire religion and the followers of it suffers. The pain that a innocent Muslim goes through when their religion becomes the center stage of any terrorist activity is very evident in the following article written by a Muslim devout in Khalij Times. I reproduce that letter verbatim for my readers. “Khaleej Times: No Time to Hide for Muslims by Aijaz Zaka Syed (View from Dubai ) Every time innocents are targeted in the name of Islam around the world, one can’t face one’s non-Muslim friends and colleagues. I feel like burying myself in the ground. Growing up in a religious family, one never thought one would see the day when being a Muslim could be a source of shame. A distraught friend who has devoted her life to speaking and fighting on behalf of Arabs and Muslims wrote in yesterday saying “I’ve had it with the Arabs and Muslims and Islamic militancy. Forgive me but I am throwing in the towel.” I couldn’t write back to her but understood her pain… She grew up in Mumbai and is understandably upset. My friend went on to say: “The Muslims and Islam have a problem and only they can solve it. If they do not, the whole world will turn against them.” Can you blame the world if it’s turning against Muslims? What do you expect when not a single day passes without the name of our faith being dragged through the mud by fellow believers around the world? Is this what Islam and the noble Prophet teach and stand for? It’s all very well for us to say Islam has nothing to do with extremism and terrorism. We can go on deluding ourselves these psychopaths do not represent us. However, the world finds it hard to accept this line of argument because it sees the extremists increasingly assert themselves and take the centre-stage while the mainstream Islam remains silent.” Religion seems to offer a particularly fertile matrix, in which fanaticism can grow, is religious belief itself the cause of fanaticism? Or is religion simply one of many catalysts that can transform desperation into extremism? We might find the answers in the teachings of the Founders of the world’s major religious systems. What do they say about fanaticism and religious zeal? Did they espouse it or promote it? And if not, where does it come from? Some particularly sharp insights may be found in the Bahá’í Writings. Bahá’u’lláh clearly condemned fanaticism of all kinds. In a statement that seems to foreshadow our times, He wrote: Religious fanaticism and hatred are a world-devouring fire, whose violence none can quench. The Hand of Divine power can, alone, deliver mankind from this desolating affliction. (Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 13 Religion itself breeds fanatics. If the teachings of the Manifestations of God had been followed, fanaticism would never have taken root within the religions they established. We can say this because fanaticism and hatred are so clearly contrary to their explicit teachings. It uses religion as a tool to further aims that have nothing to do with true religion. If we use a hammer to open a jar, we’re going to destroy the jar. Hammers are not meant for opening jars, and they are powerful enough tools to do considerable damage when misused. Religion is one of the most potent forces known to humanity. Misused, it is capable of doing correspondingly great damage. Why do the fanatics succeed? The answer lies in a short story. A man whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, Owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism. ‘Very few people were true Nazis,’ he said, ‘but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a unch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories. The essence of this story is simple. The terrorists are very small in number but they are very cohesive. Their negative attitude is cohesive as well. Therefore they can inflict so much pain. The good and peace loving people are much much larger in number but are not cohesive at all and hence their positivity and goodness does not percolate down the society. The fanatics are so cohesive that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to ecome suicide bombers. Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians , Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, Indians including Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. Each religion brings out its own doctrines and insists upon them as being the only true ones. And not only does it do that, but also it thinks that he who does not believe in them must go to some horrible place. Some will even draw the sword to compel others to believe as they do. This is not through wickedness, but through a particular disease of human brain called fanaticism. They are very sincere, these fanatics, the most sincere of human beings; but they are quite as irresponsible as other lunatics in the world. This disease of fanaticism is one of the most dangerous of all diseases. All the wickedness of human nature is roused by it. Anger is stirred up, nerves are high strung, and human being becomes like tigers.” Thus faith turns into fanaticism. The communal frenzy erupts and religious wars are fought with ensuing mass destruction and chaos. There is no doubt that more blood is shed on religious wars and persecution than on any other cause. But this is no fault of an individual. It is the evolutionary weakness. It is not a crafty design of one individual, or one particular religion. Our inability to convert faith into the knowledge of direct perception (of the truths as preached by the religious seers) is responsible for this. The mammal in us is still strong; we have as yet failed to evolve as complete human beings. When a person embodies values like spiritual wisdom, purity of heart, qualities of universal love and altruism, we call him a saint or a sage. Sometimes such a person contributes to the welfare of humanity in such a great measure that he is referred to as God -the founder of a religion. Such examples are Sri Krishna, Jesus Christ, Lord Buddha, Mahavir, Guru Nanak, Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Aurobindo, and many more. The list is unending; we encounter such great souls in every religion of every continent and in every era. These great souls have intuitive knowledge of oneness of human race. Their intuition is based on their experience or realization and conforms to rationality and reason. They speak from the experience of realization of Divinity acquired after transcending the limitations of body-mind complex. They have the direct knowledge of Reality. Millions of followers of these saints intellectually and emotionally grasp their message of love and compassion; but cannot claim to have experienced these values as direct knowledge. They believe in what the saints say. None of the saints or their religion preaches hatred and killing. Every religion preach that humankind is a single family and the earth its common homeland. There is no place for fanaticism or the fanatics. Published at:

Spirituality And Religion

Spirituality is one of the most discussed topics but at the same time, unfortunately, it is one of the most misconceived subjects of all times. Most of the times Spirituality and Religion are not understood in the right sense. Before we understand what Spirituality is, let us look at an example that will help us make things easier to explain. Dictionaries define Science as “The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena”. Physics, Chemistry are categorized as sciences because they lay down the rules and theories pertaining to a specific branch. And then there is Engineering – “The application of scientific and mathematical principles to practical ends such as the design, manufacture, and operation of efficient and economical structures, machines, processes, and systems”. So, Science defines the rules and Engineering explains how to apply those rules in your life to make a better living. Physics proves that a fast-moving fluid has a lower pressure than slow-moving fluid and Engineering make an airplane fly based on that rule! This is how Spirituality and Religion should be correlated too, but with one difference. Purpose of Engineering is not to prove that a scientific principle is valid. But Engineering only applies already proven principles of Science. Consider the example of an airplane as mentioned above – Bernoulli proved an aerodynamic law and then it was applied by aeronautical engineers to fly an airplane. But what if Bernoulli only stated the law and gave no proof for it? What if he said “I know that the law exists. But I cannot prove it to you. If you wish you can build an airplane based on my principle and see the results for yourself”. The law is still valid but now this comes to the question of belief and faith. Those who choose to believe will succeed to fly and others will remain grounded. But you may have a craving question by now – On what basis do I believe something that is not proven? Well, by looking at someone who is flying, already. That’s how. So, that is what Spirituality does for you – it makes statements, gives answers to your questions and tries to tell you the truth but unlike Science, you cannot prove a spiritual theory to someone by writing it on a paper. Instead, you should choose to believe in it or not. There is no compulsion of any sort. If you do believe in what it offers, then it means that you choose to build the plane. You choose to do the engineering on an unproven principle and with the intention of proving it i.e. proving it to yourself alone. But does everyone have to build the same plane? I like to build it in one way and you may like it differently. But eventually result is the same. A Religion is an engineered plane that will take you home, that will prove that spirituality was indeed telling you the truth. I may like to follow one religion and you may like some other. But then, result is the same. We both fly! I do not have to comment on your plane to make mine fly. You may want to repeat the same question – On what basis do I believe something that is not proven? In the earlier example of Bernoulli, it was easy because it will be evident when you see others succeeding to fly. How can I say that in case of spirituality? Well, there is no visible plane for me to look at! Answer will be lengthy and needs a dedicated article. Published at: