For me Religion is ‘Religion’ in the broadest sense. Its equivalent to the Sanskrit word ‘Dharma’ which includes Spirituality and Yoga too. But for other people it is limited to going to Mosque/Churches/Temples and worshipping under some strict guidelines. So whenever I use the word ‘Religion’ I mean ‘Dharma’. I am not going to change the definition of ‘religion’ if people are misguided.
Prakhar Goel strongly believes that Religion ends where Spirituality begins. While for me, even in the least sense, Religion is a tool for Spiritual Progress, or better it is the most important, most sophisticated, most advanced tool for Spiritual Progress – you just need to get the definition of 'Religion' right.
So what exactly is Religion? Simply put, in a very narrow sense, it is a set of practices and/or guidelines followed by certain enlightened individuals following the path of a Spiritual Leader. Such a spiritual leader is called a ‘Prophet’. Islam tells us that every Prophet comes with a a set of guidelines assigned to him by Almighty. These guidelines are then written down in the form of a book by their followers. Hence a prophet comes with a Book. A few examples are:
- Lord Ram – Raamaayan
- Lord Krishna – The Holy Geeta
- Moses – The Ten Commandments
- Jesus Christ – The Holy Bible
- Prophet Mohammed – The Holy Koran
Since there are many followers and each one of them has a different way of perceiving things, many different versions of the same book exists. Thus any practice followed by any group of individuals is a new religion, where its by the followers of ‘Aasha Ram Bapu’ or ‘Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’ or ‘Swami Vivekananda’ or ‘Sai Baba’ or the ‘Sahaj Marg System’.
Honestly I love the words of Sai Baba and Swami Vivekananda. You know why? Because they never told me to follow any particular religion. They just told every one to follow one religion – ‘humanity’. They always told people do what your birth religions tells you to. If you are born a Muslim read Namaaz five times, if you are Christian to the church atleast every Sunday, if you are a Hindu perform your duties likewise. They never told – “Only by this path you’ll reach the ultimate goal” neither did they claim that their guidelines are the ‘best’ and ‘better’ than others.
So where does Science fits into all these? Well, I would say Science, itself is a kind of a Religion. They are in search of the same truth as other religions namely-
- Who are we?
- Why are we here?
- Why are we the way we are?
- What is our purpose?
- What is the ultimate goal of life?
- How were we born and who created us?
- etc. etc.
So what is Spirituality then? To me, spirituality is the answer to all our questions including the ones Science and Religion are looking for. But most importantly is the understanding of ‘who we are’. We are the very essence of existence. You may ask me ‘existence of what’ I will say ‘Existence of Supreme Consciousness’ and then when you ask me Consciousness of what, I will say – ‘Consciousness of Existence!’
I dedicate this post to all Scientists, Seekers and all Religions Worlwide.