Do You Think Religion Really Helps Us To Be A Better Person?
Religion can make us a better person if we understand the real meaning of it. But if we simply follow the religion as told to do without even understanding it, we will be in a cage as you say.
Every religious cult has explained religion in different ways. Every person has a different definition of religion. The rituals given in our religions are formed in view of health, hygiene, happiness, and more so for our spiritual well-being. So, it is good to follow them. However, when we strictly follow them at the cost of causing discomfort to others, and also insist the rest of people to do the same, we end up in conflicts and unhappiness. As a result, we do not get inner peace and feel that we are in the cage of religion, unable to discover the real meaning of life.
Religion is to give happiness to others. Every religion preaches us ways to avoid causing unhappiness to each other and liberate ourselves from all sufferings.
When we do not hurt others by any means and give happiness, it counts as religion. If we fast for a day to worship God and get angry with the people around us, it is not religion. Instead, if someone does not fast but helps people or makes them happy, it is religion.
Thus, we can check whether we are following religion correctly or not from the result.
Blindly following religious practices and rituals will not bring forth the result. Religion decreases one’s kashayas (the inner weaknesses such as anger, pride, deceit, and greed) – this should be the end result
When we follow religion, the kashayas become lighter, lesser and ultimately disappear. When one does not have any arthadhyan (adverse internal meditation that hurts the self) or raudradhyan (adverse internal meditation that hurts others), he is said to have attained the essence of religion. A person’s inner energy and bliss increases once these kashayas begin to dismiss. One becomes aware of the incredible inner strength then.
Beyond all these religions is the Atma Dharma (religion of the Self), which means Self-realization. When someone asks you, “Who are you?” you say, “I am John (please insert your name here).”
But are you John or is John your name? You say, “John is my name.”
Then who are you in reality? That realization of the ‘Self’ is Atma dharma. Realizing the Self and the world in its true form is spirituality. One has to remain in the awareness of true spiritual knowledge – that is the ultimate religion.
In spiritual science, we remain in the awareness of our Self and settle our worldly life with equanimity. For example, if we want to clean dirty water, we keep filters and make it drinkable water. But using filters, we cannot separate hydrogen and oxygen from the water. However, if we do chemical analysis, we separate hydrogen and oxygen and get these elements in their pure form. Likewise, the worldly religions teach us to clean the bad within us and be a better person; whereas spirituality is to go beyond the good and bad and to become God (Self).
Spiritual science helps separate the eternal elements, i.e. to separate the Soul (the Self) from matter.
Thus, we ought to go beyond the worldly religion by attaining Self-realization from the living Gnani (Self-realized) and remain in ultimate bliss – this is the ultimate purpose of human life!
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