Friday, August 23, 2013

What is a Religion ?

Religion comprises with two aspects. These are: -

1. Philosophy 
2. Ritualism 

This is just like a science subject which is taught in two way - theory and practical. Philosophy is the theoretical class of religious education whereas practical period is - Ritualism.  


Philosophy and Ritualism together bring out the true meaning and significance of religion. To understand any subjects; educationalists of the world suggested two ways one is theory and second is practical. That’s why in general form of education we come to meet theory classes as well as practical classes. Same system is applied on religious education and religious practice too. Here Philosophy is theoretical part and Ritual is practical aspect of the religion.  Theory; the philosophy aspect of the religion with scientific and rational analysis, elucidates the why and wherefore of the life and its relationship with the ultimate reality. The knowledge about religion which is gained in form of perceptions, emotions and thoughts through the sense organs such as eyes, ears and others is theory part of the religion.

Ritualism, as said above is the practical part of the religion. Without practical one cannot understand the theory part easily. So, Ritualism deals with the practical aspects of religion and lays down the spiritual practices to be followed for realizing that realty.   
From the physical point of view, philosophy or knowledge about religion is gained in the form of perceptions, emotions and thoughts through the sense organs such as the eyes, ears and others. The application of this knowledge in life, through the organ of actions such as hands, feet, speech and others form the ritualistic portion. But ritualism is not a mere physical performance of ceremonies, but also includes all religious practices performed at the mental and intellectual level of one’s personality, It covers rite and ceremonies performed by the physical body; prayers or devotion practiced by the mind and the subtle discrimination, contemplation and meditation undertaken by the intellect.   
A seeker cannot be said to be truly religious unless he follow both these essential factors of religion. If a seeker ignore any one of them, religion losses its meaning. So, to be a true seeker and to have a religious life both aspects of religion have to be blended intelligently. When philosophical values and virtues of life are applied to practical living, initially there are some mental resistances by mind, to avoid the change because mind always tries to be extrovert only. So if a seeker unintelligently does the spiritual practices it results suppression and if this suppression is prolonged, it leads to bitterness, frustration and cynicism. A seeker with unintelligent restraints can never evolve spiritually. Our spiritual masters arrived at a solution to this problem. They give a formula; they advised an intelligent regulation of sense indulgence to avoid the forced denial of sense objects to the extent of causing suppression. 

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