I am sharing here my responses on a discussion themed ‘being spiritual and being religious’ on a social media platform. One many find jumps in the content as I have put my responses here to different sub-questions of the discussion subject but reading the whole will give a whole picture of it, I can assure.
Religious and Spiritual people – are they really different?
Do we need to separate Spirituality from Religion?
Haven’t we created a world of ambiguities without realizing that these two terms are essentially complementary to each other?
Yes, it is a political problem. It might be cliché to say, but is universally true that no religious text, if read as a pure text, with objectivity, would allow all that has been happening today, that we call religious wars or civilization clashes.
Evolution began bare and naked and it has been shaped by both, religion and spirituality, and in-turn, religion and spirituality have shaped each other and are shaping each other.
I don’t see it as good or bad religions. Rather, it is good religions and their distorted versions and spiritual quotient is the segregator here.
Yes, partly, it is because, we listen to the fundamentalists and not what the ‘texts’ say. We listen to their interpretations by others and not what they actually say to us.
This distortion of religious views and their preferential interpretations began much early in the evolutionary history of the human civilization and strengthened with ‘people worship’ and ‘cult following’.
In India, the early Vedic period doesn’t speak of the caste system but now, we are a country riddled with thousands of castes and sub-castes.
The Sufi saints, considered the embodiment of Spirituality, read and interpreted the Islam Spiritually and they are followed across the Globe, by people of every following who love the aesthetics of culture and tradition. Rumi is the best known example of it.
That is what I mean when I say ‘distortion’. What about if the text has been distorted as in the case of the Vedic tradition and the caste-system in India? Manipulation of the written text – it’s in a history that no one can go back to validate, but almost every religious text has been distorted to suit the leadership of the time.
And it will go on.
The herd mentality! The need to have a leader to follow! No realization of the quest to know the ‘self’. And so the space for such doctrines and so the push for the fundamentalist bigots!
But, there were always the Souls, in every generation who kept preserved the true essence of the concept of ‘god’ or almighty or whatever we say – the ‘spiritual Connect of a religious symbolism’.
For being religious, one doesn’t need to read the religious text or follow some religious doctrine.
The written literature and so the prevalent notions are juxtapositions of individual viewpoints that find connecting vibes in every generation.
It is up to us, how we want to move ahead. Whether we want to go ahead with the misplaced symbols perpetuating such dichotomies or we opt to strive for the light that could clear our vision.
The world began to see the same Vedic tradition and Vedanta that had seen manipulations for thousands of years, in a new spiritual light when Swami Vivekanand started spreading it beginning with his historical lecture at the Parliament of World’s Religions in 1893 in Chicago. Swami Vivekananda was an atheist initially and his Guru, Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was illiterate.
No one can deny the influence of the great Souls who have prevailed throughout the history, contemporaries of the brutal warlords, tearing and manipulating the religious texts. They have been the ‘healing balance’.
Buddha didn’t create a religion of his own. Instead he filtered out the good from the ‘distorted’, from the existing bad and interpreted it in the universal language of humanity.
And we cannot say Buddha was ‘not religious’ or ‘not spiritual’. He was both.
True. I wrote of Buddha. I wrote of Vivekananda. For me, they and many others like them are the people to go back to. Their legacy makes them qualified. Like in the Indian tradition, there would be many in every other tradition.
A Nazi party worker, Oskar Schindler, could find the good in him and could save over a thousand Jews.
Yes, it’s individual. What I think, other would think and interpret in a different way. But the final goal has to be to ‘see the light’, to find the ‘peace’.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/