Religion is a ritual... a following of those who gained enlightenment
(kaivalya jnana) and finally salvation (moksha). Not every enlightened soul develops a following but those
who develop... turn into a religion. Buddhism is a following of Gautama Buddha... likewise Christianity is
following the teachings of Jesus Christ.
On the contrary Jainism is never termed as a religion... it is a way of
life. Why? For the simple reason that Mahavira the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism always stated (unlike Jesus
Christ) that every human being has the potential of becoming a Mahavira. He never considered himself as the
only son of God. According to Mahavira every human being has the seed of becoming a Mahavira, Gautama Buddha,
Jesus Christ or prophet Mohammed.
It is religion that builds standards for morality and ethics to be
followed by society. In absence of religion... the commoner... a normal human being would go astray! It is
not one in millions but one in many billions that gain enlightenment and finally salvation. The balance
civilization looks forward to these enlightened souls to preach the wisdom they gained on the spiritual
In the last about 150 years only two persons gained enlightenment amongst 6500 million people living on Mother
Earth. They were Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Maharishi Ramana. Both these souls gained enlightenment in their
very life. Having gained wisdom... they preached the same to the community before leaving the mortal frame.
Spirituality on the other hand is gaining wisdom of the supreme... God
Almighty himself! Spirituality is knowing truth of our inner self. Spirituality is realizing our true inner
self. By removing the impurities within... every soul atman reaches the last leg of cosmic life... the 8.4
millionth manifestation and regains its pure original pristine form.
Only then soul atman liberates and gains a seat back in the kingdom of God (aka Vaikunth in Hinduism). Never from
heaven or hell can the soul atman reach the kingdom of God. It is only as a human being... the highest manifest
stage in the cosmic life cycle... our soul atman gains release from the cycle of birth and death. What more can a
lusting human form desire!
Spirituality is traveling the spiritual path... knowing the real crux of
life that it is our soul atman that has manifested the body and not vice versa. In the life of the soul
atman... journey of 8.4 million manifestations (an earthly life cycle of 96.4 million years) is a single
journey. In the domain of souls' atmans... death of body does not carry any meaning.
Reaching the last leg of life is the goal of every living being. Whether we agree or not...
every living being nay every human being will compulsorily travel the spiritual path in the last leg of life. It is
inevitable. In the world of wanton desires and materialistic riches... it is the sole prerogative of a human being
whether we desire to travel the spiritual path now in this very life or many manifestations ahead. Who knows what
we shall be in the next manifestation!
A to Z of Religion and Spirituality explained in words everyone can easily understand and
fathom. More on spirituality vs. religion can be found at : Religion Spirituality... Vijay Kumar - 5th June 2010.