Spiritual Questions and Answers with Radhanath Swami

Can you be spiritual without being religious? Radhanath Swami Answers

By on June 19, 2015 in Nature with 64 Comments

Radhanath swami on can you be spiritual without being religious

Question to Radhanath Swami: I was raised as a religious catholic.As I grew older, I am more informed, and I would say that I have acquired a lot of values, but I have become a lot less religious. My question is, is it necessary to equate spirituality with religion?Do you think people can be spiritual, having values, but not be religious at all?

Radhanath Swami Answers: It depends on our definition of spirituality and religion. Values are required to be genuine in any spiritual path or religious path. In the yoga system there are yamas and niyamas which are based on our values, on our ethics, on our morality, because we can’t truly build our spiritual experience unless we have those values.When we see a religion or spirituality which are, when we don’t see those values in it, we often turn away from that religion or spirituality, whatever we may call it. So those values are necessary.

The universal character of anyone on any religious or spiritual path-if they are really doing it right, in a deep meaningful way – is that they are going to have common characters and values that are universal: compassion, honesty, self-control, generosity, wisdom, and insight. Whether one is a Christian or a Muslim or a Jew or a Hindu or whatever,these are the common values we find in the scriptures and in the lives of the saints. The realized person or saint could be a mother with three children, or a monk who is traveling around and preaching.

Our actual spiritual identity beyond birth and death, a path that brings us to that internal ecstatic love, love for God and all beings,is within us. The values we live by- without that connection – don’t bring us to the same depth beyond birth and death as a deep spiritual path does.

If you consider religion a sectarian concept of spirituality, then yes, it could be a disturbance.But true religion is that essential spirituality that brings our compassion to a deep place, to the body, to the mind and also to the true self within others.One can have a value based moral life without the concept of true religion or true spirituality: be a good person, be more peaceful, be more pious, and everything else,But to actually reach that depth of our souls, to be instruments of that compassion, and to realize ourselves beyond the mortality of these vulnerable little bodies and minds of ours, for that we need a deep spiritual path.

So yes, we could be very good people,and we can make a difference.But you know,if we need to make that transcendental connection,it is important that we have what you may call religion- but without the sectarian conception.

 

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  • CS Sandeep S. Shinde

    Very nice answer by HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj.

  • Piyush Singh

    Perfect answer to this tricky question. There is often a lot of confusion between the terms religion and spirituality. Thanks to HH Radhanath Swami to made it very clear with this answer.

  • Donald Green

    Perfect answer given by H H Radhanath Swami here in this article.. Thanks for sharing!!!

  • Y Raja Shekar

    Very lucid answer by Radhanath Swami on following a without sectarian rilgion to really get a deep connection and meaning with the values we are practicing.

  • Jasson Thompson

    A very precise and concise reply by HH. I agree that from cultural perspective Religiosity plays a very crucial role in regulating the society, especially when childrens are cultivated with proper religious principle they can do great things for the society. But as we mature we need to go deeper than the mere rituals. Rituals can act best when we understand the spirit behind it. Generally we grow physically but remain same spiritually, thus they we immature and naive.

    • Piyush Singh

      Thanks Jasson for this useful comment sharing this very vital perspective relevant to this topic.

  • Pradeep Kumar

    Such a beautiful answer by Radhanath Maharaj. Defined true meaning of religion & spirituality. Thanks for posting.

  • Kalpana Kulkarni

    Superb answer! It’s true that normally people do not understand the difference between religion and spirituality. Religion gives us values and spirituality helps us to live by those values and perfect our lives and help others to do so as well.

  • Prahalad

    Crystal clear answer by Radhanath Swami, spirituality is way beyond the present day conception of religion.

    • Piyush Singh

      True.

    • Pradeep Kumar

      Very true Prahalad.

  • Gokul Sundari Devi Dasi

    Very nice explanation by HH Radhanath Swami.

  • CS Sandeep S. Shinde

    Perfect answer by perfect person. Thank you very much.

    • Piyush Singh

      Perfect comment 🙂

  • Sumit Sharma

    Very true. We all are souls and have ultimate common goal of surrendering to the Lord and abiding by His rules. Thank you very much HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj for this wonderful message.

    • Piyush Singh

      Very well said.

  • Y Raja Shekar

    As Radhanath Swami nicely explains, there is no difference between a true religion and spirituality which means to know God and love God. Religion is only the medium through which we will understand God and love God beyond the material conceptions of sectarian approach.

    • Piyush Singh

      A very relevant and useful comment. Thank you.

    • Pradeep Kumar

      Very true Raja Shekar, you summarized this very nicely.

  • Prahalad

    Present day sadhus or religious practitioners are more eager to boast their own philosophy than repeat the knowledge which comes in parampara. Radhanath Swami is speaking through parampara.

  • Y Raja Shekar

    All true religions lead to pure life and take us to one Supreme. The understanding that religion means to know God and love God is elusive to many people and hence the differences.

  • Y Raja Shekar

    Unless we connect the values which we practice to God and not able to see that connection in other living entities, we are missing the essence, though we are up there morally.

    • Piyush Singh

      Very well said.

    • Anand Patil

      very true.

  • Prahalad

    If everyone understood what Radhanath Swami says here there will be so much harmony throughout the world.

    • Donna Nelson

      I agree with you

  • Donna Nelson

    Very nice answer and explanation by Radhanath Swami

  • vidya karekar

    so true!

  • amit

    Thank you for sharing.

  • william miller

    very good

  • George Martin

    Swami’s explanation is eye opener to those who fight in the name of religion

  • CS Sandeep S. Shinde

    Thank you very much for such a nice answer.

  • Anand Patil

    Often people perceive Religion and Spirituality different, because they think people fight based on religion and they think spirituality is non-sectarian and it doesn’t introduce fights. But what they see in the world is just a perverted reflection of true religion and spirituality. if one doesn’t see and respect all the living entities as part and parcel of God, if one doesn’t imbibe and practice the true values of spirituality, if one becomes sectarian, then he/she may not be practicing real religion or spirituality. I believe HH Radhanath Maharaj has given a very clear and succinct answer to this aspect. Thank you.

    • Piyush Singh

      Very well said. Thank you.

      • Anand Patil

        Thank you

  • CS Sandeep S. Shinde

    Very nice answer. Thank you very much.

  • Y Raja Shekar

    The hatred and fights among so called religionists is due to lack of proper understanding of what true religion is. There is no difference between religion and spirituality. That is why to understand every one need basis of scriptures, spiritual master and sadhu. Radhanath Swami’s answer is in perfect harmony with this basis.

    • Jerry Richard

      I agree Radhanath Swami explains real religion quite well!

  • CS Sandeep S. Shinde

    Very thoughtful answer by HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj.

  • Deepika

    Thank you maharaj for clarifying the real meaning.

  • Ashwani Kaul

    Such a meaningful and thoughtful explanation given by HH Radhanath swami Maharaj. A person of any religious faith can embrace this explanation without any hesitation. Thanks you very much Maharaj.

    • Anand Patil

      Very true. Thanks.

    • Piyush Singh

      Very well said.

  • CS Sandeep S. Shinde

    Thank you very much for such a nice article.

  • biswajit

    Nice explanation given by HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj

  • vidya karekar

    wonderful explaination

  • nkd

    amazing, satisfying!!!

  • biswajit

    Thank you very much for such a nice article.

  • Keshav Kishor Das

    Very helpful…….! Thanks for Publishing…….!

  • Singaraju Srinivas

    Such a wonderful and amazing answer given by Radhanath Swami. Thought provoking answer.

    • Anand Patil

      very true. thanks

  • Arjun Ramachandra

    Beautifully elaborated by Radhanath Swami “to actually reach that depth of our souls, to be instruments of that compassion, and to realize ourselves beyond the mortality of these vulnerable little bodies and minds of ours, for that we need a deep spiritual path”. The question asked is an intelligent one has become very clear after reading this article.

    • Anand Patil

      very true. Thanks.

  • Jason Evans

    Wonderful answer and guidance by Radhanath swami

  • biswajit

    Wonderful answer by HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj

  • CS Sandeep S. Shinde

    Powerful answer by HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj.

  • CS Sandeep S. Shinde

    Wonderful answer.

  • Kalpana Kulkarni

    Superb answer! Such deep realizations!

  • amit

    Beautiful answer

  • Vinay Jain

    For experiencing that transcendental connection with the Supreme, we need religion – but without the sectarian conception. Such a beautiful answer to such a complex question. Thank you Radhanath Swami!

    • Piyush Singh

      Very well summarized. Thanks.

  • Rajeev

    Swami ji has beautifully explained the concept of religion/spirituality in deeper sense. Thank you so much Swami ji.

  • Jai

    very nice answer!

  • Sumbrahmanya

    Maharaj you nicely explained about the religion and spirituality concept

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