Religious Practices

Query: Religious practices... Is spirituality beyond religion? I respect the sacred personalities who were the founders of various religions and follow the religious books too. But i have lost faith in the present religious practices? So, for knowing God and believing in the Almighty, is it necessary that one should follow a religion?

Vijay Kumar:
Spirituality and religion do not directly relate to each other! Why? Spirituality is understanding real truth of us... our inner self... the soul atman within! It is our soul atman that has manifested the human body to work out its karma... remove the dross impurities within! Our soul atman is the master and governor of the body and not vice versa!

Religion develops behind the teachings of an enlightened one! No religion world over exists from the beginning of time. After the advent of Mahavira... the 24th preceptor of Jainism came Siddhartha Gautama! The moment Siddhartha Gautama became Gautama Buddha... his teachings came to be known as Buddhist scriptures and the religion Buddhism!

Similarly after Jesus Christ gained enlightenment... his teachings were termed Christianity! Both these religions Buddhism and Christianity derived their name from their preceptors... the enlightened ones... The learned Gautama Buddha and Jesus Christ!

Even though path of every religion ultimately leads to God Almighty... one never reaches God following the path of religion! Why? God is not the form of human beings. For knowing God one needs diving deep into the bottomless pit of spiritual literature available world over. We need to understand the presence of spirit... our soul within us!

Following the path of spirituality means truly understanding the underlying meaning of various scriptures of different religions of the world! Religion primarily is following a ritual. For understanding spirituality one needs rising above the fold of religion... a place where even most ardent persons of knowledge fail to reach!

The spiritual wisdom... the gist of the sacred scriptures can never be understood literally! Only those having absolute faith in God Almighty... those following the path of absolute truthfulness... truly gain enlightenment in their lifetime... never otherwise! The end of spirituality means completion of the cosmic journey by the soul atman within!

Having reached the end of cosmic life... the 8.4 millionth manifestation... the liberated soul atman finally enters the abode of God... the kingdom of God (aka Vaikunth in Hinduism). The kingdom of God... Vaikunth is a place of no return! Every single soul atman that has liberated itself from the cycle of birth and death remains in the kingdom of God for eternity... i.e. until the dissolution of the Cosmos occurs!

Ever since 11 years of age... I never desired going to a temple! Inherently I felt that God existed everywhere. The day I understood that the body of a human being... being the temple of God Almighty... it was all over for me! My search for God remained confined to understanding the gist of Bhagavad Gita... the most sacred Scripture of Hinduism existing on Mother Earth!

If we truly understand that every living body is the temple of soul atman within... the cause for fighting amongst each other ceases to exist! In the field of spirituality there is no place for criticism whatsoever. Every soul atman is God Almighty in minuscule form. How? If a grain of sand is an independent soul atman... the whole mound being God Almighty himself!

No soul atman is different from God Almighty. The essence of every soul atman is similar to God Almighty! To remove impurities... the dross within, every soul atman manifests a total of 8.4 million bodies... an earthly journey of 96.4 million years! The moment a soul atman manifests a human body... it is the most pleasant experience for the soul atman within!

It is only in human form the soul atman within regains its release from the cycle of birth and death permanently! The moment human beings reach the stage of enlightenment (kaivalya jnana) and finally salvation (moksha)... it announces ceasing of further journey for the soul atman within! The dross having removed completely... the purpose for the soul atman to manifest further body becomes nonexistent!

Until the last drop of impurity within the soul atman... every soul atman keeps manifesting life after life... body after body... manifestation after manifestation! Reaching the stage of self realization (termed enlightenment in English) announces the soul atman regaining its original pure pristine form!

If we truly desire seeing and meeting God in this very life... if we truly desire reaching the stage of enlightenment... we need travel the spiritual path in absolute sincerity! Following a religion is not a necessity on the spiritual path. For living the present manifest life... the life of 70 to 80 years... following the path of religion becomes necessary.

If we need dwelling in the inner world... the world of our soul atman... we need transcending all barriers of physical manifest life! This calls for establishing absolute control over the five senses and the mind. Practicing absolute celibacy in continuation for a minimum period of 12 years is also a must.

Following the path of Neti (not this, not this)... the Shavasana way of yoga one finally reaches the end of spiritual pursuit! While remaining in the religious fold... none of what has been told above is accomplished! By following the path of religion one can at most reach the stage of
maryada Purushottam Rama... the highest manifest stage that can be reached in physical form.

Scaling the Mount Everest of spiritual life calls for eliminating the deficiencies within! The moment our soul atman gains absolute purity... it announces the end of spiritual life! Absolute control over the senses and the mind can never be accomplished by traveling the religious path. It is only possible traveling the spiritual way of life!

For a traveler of the spiritual path... even the body... the physical manifest body becomes an outer garment for the soul atman within! The moment one reaches the stage of enlightenment... even this outer body... the outer garment is cast away! The moment this happens... the moment an enlightened one bids goodbye to the mortal frame... one gains moksha (salvation) forever!

Believing in the preceptors of the various religions does not mean our following the teachings of the various religions. Why? The teachings of the enlightened souls... the teachings of Mahavira and Gautama Buddha were not tainted with impurities but... the interpretations are! Most religious teachings dwell in worshiping and praying to God... nothing further!

It is only on the spiritual path we realize our true inner self. We realize that we are a cosmic entity... a soul atman on its cosmic journey! It is only by traveling the spiritual path one realizes that we are an integral part of the cosmic system similar as every piece of puzzle is part of the whole puzzle... the supreme atman... God Almighty himself!

Life after life... bit by bit one covers the spiritual journey! As many human beings... as many paths to God can there be! Traveling the uncharted path of spirituality is one of the most difficult task human beings can ever imagine! Assimilating the wisdom contained in the sacred Bhagavad Gita is not that simple.

The sacred Bhagavad Gita is available in most railway stations of India for just $.40 (Rs 18/=)... but how many people truly decipher the teachings contained in the sacred Bhagavad Gita! The Sacred Bhagavad Gita comprises of 700 shlokas (verses) the knower of which finally becomes the knower of all. The knower of Bhagavad Gita finally gains omniscience... becomes immortal.

Traveling the spiritual path and reaching the end of cosmic life means our completing the cosmic journey in its entirety. Whether we do it now in this life or leave it for the future manifestations is solely dependent upon us. We never know what we shall be in the next manifestation... why not travel the spiritual path now!

For following the path of spirituality... one must read every literature related to sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Maharishi Ramana! In the last about 150 years only two persons gained enlightenment amongst 6500 million people existing on Mother Earth. Enlightenment is not that easily gained as some people think it to be!

The sacred Bhagavad Gita... the doctrine given to mankind by Lord Krishna encompasses all that is needed on the spiritual path. One single document... the revered Bhagavad Gita is sufficient for one to complete the spiritual journey and reaching the stage of enlightenment (kaivalya jnana) and finally salvation (moksha).

We may have been born in any religion world over... the gist of Bhagavad Gita can be followed by one without any limitations! The sacred Bhagavad Gita... the writings contained in the sacred Bhagavad Gita are not limited to any religion, dogma or creed! Any human being belonging to any religion or faith can follow the teachings of Bhagavad Gita diligently.

Even while following ones religion... one can follow the sacred teachings of Bhagavad Gita without hesitation. For assimilating the gist of teachings contained in the sacred Bhagavad Gita one need not convert to Hinduism religion. Bhagavad Gita is part of Hinduism religion but not bound by Hinduism religion! Bhagavad Gita is a universal document!

Only when human beings come out of the fold of their religion... the meaning of the shlokas contained in the sacred Bhagavad Gita become clear! Remaining engrossed in a religion... it becomes difficult to understand the tenets of spirituality... the teachings of Bhagavad Gita! Whoever tries understanding the teachings of Bhagavad Gita without a bias finally succeeds!

Bhagavad Gita is also not limited to any person, region or community! Bhagavad Gita in simpler words tells us that we are a spirit on its cosmic travel... something much beyond the comprehension of most human beings. The power that can be exercised by a soul atman exceeds even explosion of millions of atomic bombs simultaneously!

Essay by: Vijay Kumar "Atma Jnani" ... One who realized self in his life time! Send your query!

A to Z of Religious Practices explained in words everyone can easily understand and fathom. More on spirituality can be found at : True Religion  ... Vijay Kumar - 5th June 2010.

Full text of query: Is spirituality beyond religion? I respect the sacred personalities who were the founders of various religions and follow the religious books too. But i have lost faith in the present religious practices? So, for knowing God and believing in the Almighty, is it necessary that one should follow a religion?

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