Difference bewteen being spiritual and being religious

For many people, spirituality is related to God. This is something that even I was a firm believer of. But later, I realized that this isn't the case. There is a difference between spirituality and being religious. There could be people who are atheists but are on their spiritual journey. Or, you would easily find many religious people, who visit temple every Tuesday and church to attend the Sunday mass, Muslims, who fast and have only one time's meal for many days, and yet, when these same people see an injured person, have no intention to help, or they could be the people who make their loved ones their punching bags and are the most insensitive to people and their sufferings. On the contrary, there could be people who don't believe in the concept of God at all, or to be less extreme, believe that there is a higher power above but are not that religious and find these same people the most helpful and sensitive to human emotions. In addition to this, there could be a case somewhere in-between, where a person is both religious and spiritual!

Now, what is important to understand here is that spirituality DOESN'T mean to live an ascetic's life. Instead, it means to maintain a BALANCE between spiritualism and materialism. The core of the awakening is to make a human devoid of all its negativity, making him/her a good human and purifying the soul. 

This one time, I and my mum went to a cultural hub where there were many events taking place and many game and food stalls were attracting a large footfall. out of the many stalls, one was of a tarot card reading lady's, which caught my attention. I went to her and she told me that I can ask three questions for a certain amount of money. I found it affordable and sat down on the seat opposite her's, but with a brain wide awake so that I could sense if she really had a gift or was simply like any other cheat! Soon I realized, she really had a gift.

Out of the three questions that I asked her, one was, "why is it that I feel so sad even when something very trivially bad happens to someone, anyone! Why is it that I feel like asking for being guided by someone to asceticism and help me leave all my materialistic desires behind or vice versa? I feel like I am walking on a road whose one end lies the life of asceticism , and on the other, that of materialism, and I feel as if I am standing somewhere exactly in the middle and this frustrates me to death. what am I supposed to do?" She immediately sensed what I was going through. She gave me a tilted yet, polite, smile and said, "You have been awakened, and lying exactly in-between of the two extremes is the key to success in this journey." She told me that I have already achieved the balance, all I need to do now is to maintain it. It was frustrating me because I didn't know the truth. Just like any other person, I too confused spirituality with the abandonment of materialism.

Once you have started your journey, all that you experience is a lesson for you to be learnt to become a good human. Gradually, as you age and learn more and more lessons you are meant to learn, you will automatically reach the end of the journey- You will find God within yourself (the bliss point) and free your soul of the cycle of death and birth forever.


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