[Advaita-l] New topic for Discussion - Religion vs Spirituality

Ryan Armstrong ryanarm at gmail.com
Wed Mar 23 01:35:11 CDT 2016

namaste Sadaji

I think that there is a large difference between the two.
In brief:
Religion is about ritual and the organization and regulation of social
Spirituality is turning the attention to Truth and allowing the paramaatman
to manifest without ego-interference.

Having grown up in the Catholic tradition, I found that it offers paths to
spirituality.  But these are often hidden in the practices.
One of the problems with the Christian tradition is that even through
Christ taught advaita, when the religion was organized (centuries after his
death), it became politicized.
Christianity and Islam are both grounded in the Judaism - they share the
Scripture called the "Old Testament."
But interpretation and practice have led to divergent paths.

In Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, there is the scene of Adam
and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
They are told not to eat of the fruit of the tree of "knowledge of good and
In Religion, the interpretation is geared towards what is good and what is
In Spirit, this is a statement of the movement from unity (advaita) to
plurality - dualism.
Good and Evil is the first duality.  Before that, Adam and Eve knew only of
the One.
By eating the fruit they gained the "knowledge" of duality and hence were
"driven out of paradise".

I believe that religion has a place - it allows for an order in society
which would be chaotic otherwise.
It also contains the seeds which can lead to Spirituality.
Spirituality on the other hand is a more "personal" endeavour.
In my opinion, it is the direct experience of the One - and the constant
striving to remove the impediments in the being which cling to the idea of
being separate and individual.

Yours in Truth

On 22 March 2016 at 05:10, kuntimaddi sadananda via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> PraNAms to all.
> What is the difference between Religion vs Spirituality? Are the
> complimentary or sometime contradictory. Should one has to be Religious
> (whatever that means?) to be spiritual and for one to follow spirituality
> should one has to be religious.
> The question is raised since I see in some posts in facebook that Religion
> is a problem or is causing lot of problem in the very practice and can even
> be obstruction for spirituality. I have also seen many who spend lot of
> time in daily religions practices and not interested in Vedantic study.
> Hari Om!
> Sada
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Ryan Armstrong
+27 82 852 7787
ryanarm at gmail.com

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