Spirituality and Religion
Col Dr Dalvinder Singh
Spirituality is religion sans rituals, habits, creeds and beliefs. It is concerned with the soul and its connection is with the grand-soul (Atma and Parmatma). Spirituality unites all human beings; religions compartmentalize humanity. Spirituality has no symbols while religion has various symbolisms. Spirituality is concerned with linking the spirit with the super spirit. This linking process involves concentration; the spirit connecting itself to super-spirit, attracting it and finally getting merged into or assimilating into it. The meditation is the process used for concentration. This meditation is beyond material, psychological or emotional realm. Through meditation, we first get our body and mind in harmony and then our soul with the super spirit. Calm and peace lead to harmony and compassion and contribute towards the welfare of others. Meditation is related to what one really feels moment-by-moment, day-by-day and whether one is ready in making a contribution to the hearts of other living beings. This brings out other important aspects. Spirituality is not only concerned with the self but also the well-being of the entire creation.
Religions however get involved into separate groups and divide the act of concentration to physiology, psychological and emotional states, as well.
Meditation takes one off from compulsion, impulsiveness and desperation and assists in ability to regulate oneself. It causes positive reinforcement. It is different from self- control which involves forceful attempt to control one’s impulses out of fear of oneself. As against this, one should be self observant and self-regulatory to settle into the state of sehaj.
Great leaders like Lord Mahavira, Buddha, Mohammad, Christ, Guru Nanak etc, were the spiritual embodiments and not mere religious figure-heads. Religion follows spirituality. In its zeal, it may go to the extent of vitiating spirituality.
Religion gets concerned with cause and effect without understanding true Nature; the true energy which continuously keeps on changing forms. Spirituality is beyond all this. It gets enlightened into the cause of all causes and does not require knowing the effect. For example in the nervous system, gap is the point of choice where choice or option can be found within the nervous system. Neural awareness of sensations with equanimity also creates such a point of choice. This is a problem of major religious thoughts. In spirituality, this gap or void is gradually reduced from being a part to becoming a whole. The spirituality is the integrity and uprightness of the One; while religions are parts engaged with causes and effects. Let us aim at the wholesomeness rather than getting lost into parts.