What is spirituality? It is rising above religions marked purely by ceremonial understanding of the church, mosque or temple.
Spirituality means that the creator and his creation are nothing but one and the same.
In this context i recall an observation by my guru which made the process and the end of spiritual growth absolutely clear.
It is good to be born in a religion, but not good to die in one. Ensure that your religious belief does not restrict and constrict your thoughts but make it an instrument that allows you to grow and expand. Use your religion as a road to move forward. Let the ceremonies and rites be your guiding lights and not blinding as you travel on this road to your final destination.
Reach the point where all roads end from where all roads began.
Spiritual growth is possible if we live our worldly lives with human values and ethics. This growth leads us to the experience of reality, our true nature. This experience is universal and has been described by many saints and seers of all faiths and religions.
- Tat Twam Asi (Thou Art That) from Sama Veda is the perennial philosophy of India.
- I-am that-I-am in Old Testament is a description of Jehova in Judaism.
- I and my Father are ONE (John 10:30) said Jesus Christ as per Christianity.
- Ik Onkar (All is One) said Guru Nanak, the holy guru of Sikhism.
- When you know yourself then you realize you and God are one and the same, is an experience of the famous mystic Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn ʿAlī ibn Muḥammad ibnʿArabī al-Ḥātimī aṭ-Ṭāʾī , also known simply as Shaykh Al-Akbar, “the greatest master”, who was an Arab Andalusian Sunni scholar of Islam, Sufi mystic, poet, and philosopher.
So as we can see all religions and the masters have been pretty much telling us the same universal truth and experienced the same reality. The context in which each of them expressed varied based on the physical and social conditions in which they preached and development of the respective religions.
So religions are important and good tools for ones growth. It is like an axe in the hands of forest travellers. An axe can be used to make a good path to move forward or use it as a weapon to kill fellow travellers.
Choice is ours. Let the spiritual fervour prevail and each of us experience the bliss that ensues.