The difference b/w spirituality & religiousness
The difference between religiousness and spirituality is a question that arises often. I was asked this question in a ‘coincidental’ meeting I had the other day. I was taken by surprise when asked this; usually one gets to reflect and ponder on the differences of such similar constructs. I gave a very succinct answer that I hold to be true. Spirituality is the journey of the soul whereas religion is the journey of the being. Religion is an institution created by people for people. Spirituality is an individual experience for your unique self. Religion is a counseled and commercialized affair of your relationship with God. Spirituality is a private and personalized gateway to realizing your relationship with God. Spirituality is the path we create to gain a higher consciousness to understand ourselves and our relationship with the world, whereas religion is a road we choose to follow with all its dogmas and rules to show and guide us through our relationship with God.
Spirituality and religiousness are different means to the same end. Sometimes your religion will show you the path to spirituality; at times spirituality will open the road to religion, and sometimes a person will find themselves being both religious and spiritual; after all religion is a form of spirituality. I fall into the latter category; I perform the prescribed duties of my religion and duly pay my obeisances to Hindu gods, but I also spend time via chanting, meditation, and exercises that provide me Flow to understand and nourish my soul.
What is interesting is that the Hindu dharam is based in spirituality. It
may be the only religion with this dualism, as the basis of Hinduism is the soul. Hinduism believes in reincarnation and the progression of the Soul so while Hindus may go to temple and duly worship all the deities and, at times get trapped into that daily routine, the basis of Hinduism lies in spirituality and the journey of the Soul.