[Advaita-l] the religion i am born into

latha vidya lathavidya at yahoo.co.in
Thu Mar 18 02:15:00 CST 2004

Hari Om,


It was heartening to see so many rejoinders to the mail “The religion that I am born into”.

I would like to say a few words about the concepts “religiosity” and “Spirituality”???

Religion has two aspects to it – the ritualistic part and the spirituality part.

One has to follow the rituals to purge oneself of all the enemies like kaama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada and maatsarya. (but when they are misguided or mis-followed, these very enemies take control of us) All the religions preach us to get rid of all these negativities from our heart. Only then can our heart or antahkarana become receptive to the Truth. Hence to cleanse one’s heart there is no need to get converted to another religion. We only need to follow what our birth-religion and scriptures say – this is the karma or ritualistic part of all religions. In karma kaanda of Vedas there are very strict scriptural rules to be followed for the attainment of desired results. (For those who do not have any desires to be fulfilled, performing ‘Nishkaama karma’ or doing the duties with out any expectations in return cleanses the mind even better) If the rules are not adhered to, the rituals become futile. Eligibility criteria and the procedural aspects need to be followed to the T.

As far as gaining the spiritual heights or Jnana is concerned, any body who has the one-pointed goal of achieving the Truth can follow the guidelines of Jnanamarga or the vedantic tenets of Sanatana Dharma. In fact Sanatana Dharma is the eternal religion of all human species born and it encompasses all. There is no harm in listening to and understanding the tenets of spirituality propounded by various sects/subsects/other religions as discoursed by various spiritual Gurus. And according to our vaasanas or the latent impressions of our antahkarana a particular set of tenets appeal to us and by inculcating those tenets in my everyday life, I elevate myself to higher levels of spirituality. To inculcate these tenets conversion is not necessary, and it may even become counter-productive if misinterpreted and misperceived.


Latha Vidyaranya

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