‘Religion is belief in someone else’s experience. Spirituality is having your own experience. Atheism is no experience, only measurement.’
~ Deepak Chopra.
As most of my readers know, I call myself a Vedantin. Vedanta is the system of philosophy that develops the ideas in the Upanishads that reality is a single principle, Brahman, and teaches that the aspirant’s goal is to transcend the limitations of self-identity and realize one’s unity with Brahman.
As I have maintained elsewhere a number of times, there is nothing called Hinduism. The word Hindu was originally given to the people who lived in the land where the river Indus flows. That is now Pakistan.
The word Hindu does not appear anywhere in our Vedas, Puranas or other material. The nearest definition of what we follow in India is Sanatana Dharma. There is thus no question of Hinduism being a religion.
The way an Indian approaches the divine is left entirely up to her/him. There is no central authority, no dogma, no compulsory rituals, nothing. It is totally anarchic, arbitrary and voluntary. A Sanatana Dharmi can see the Divine in a stone or a pillar and will hold all creation in awe.
I am therefore someone who can be called as a spiritualist rather than a follower of a religion. The highest authority of Indian jurisprudence, our Supreme Court has just held that Hindutva as it has come to be known is a way of life and not a religion.
The Sanatana Dharmi accepts that Ekam Sat Vipra Bahuda Vadanti.
So, while Religion if someone wants to follow, is also acceptable in the Indian scheme of things, the ultimate goal is to become a spiritualist. The reasoning is that Religion is needed for personalities that are predominantly emotional and Spirituality is for the intellectual types that reason reality and reach Brahman.
Today’s topic for the weekly Friday LBC posts was suggested by me. You can see what the other two bloggers in the LBC, Shackman and Pravin have to say in their respective blogs.