Differences between
Spirituality Religion and Philosophy



Spirituality is very personal.  It answers the inner call of the individual.  Spirituality can be as numerous as there are life-forms in the universe. Spirituality generally leads to inner contemplation.  This usually leads to personal feeling of peace and completeness.
Generally, we can group some of these spiritual aspirations together and people than form loose knit communities where people have similar questions and more importantly - similar answers.  When these "communities" have powerful, inspirational "leaders", they usually form "religion". 



Religion is a man-made institution.  It usually addresses the spiritual and social aspirations of the people at the time of its creation.  Like its makers, it has its great insights and its blind spots.  Over time, like all human institutions, all religions accumulate redundant practices and processes.  Unlike other institutions, attempts to update and reforms old practices and processes in religion are resisted with great vigour and even labelled as "anti-god" !

Hence, spirituality can lead to formation of a religion, but, religion, being a human institution, doesn't always lead to spirituality.



Philosophies on the other hand are developed to answer spiritual / intellectual enquires.  They often use terms and terminologies that are rooted in the "here and now".  Hence, to understand them, you almost have to understand the context and "time" when these philosophies were developed.  They also reflect on the individuals who created these and hence are very "personal" to their founders.  Hence, the same question(s), asked at the same time, can have very different answers.  This does not make one philosophy any more right or wrong than another, it simply reflects on the likes, dislikes, view point, life-experiences etc of the individual philosopher(s).

© Bhagwat Shahah   
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