religion vs spirituality

Religion vs Spirituality: Article by Vijay Kumar... The Man who Realized God in 1993
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Religion vs Spirituality


It always seems spirituality or religion condemning materialistic riches... But the truth is otherwise! During the times of sage Jnanavalakya (the compiler of Brihadaranakya Upanishad) one very interesting episode occurred in the life of sage Jnanavalakya.

Sage Jnanavalakya belonged to era of King Janaka (father of Sita in Ramayana). King Janaka was a karma Yogi par excellence! Even while executing his duties related to the kingdom... King Janaka lived life Nishakama karma way... always willfully offering the fruits of karma performed to God Almighty.

King Janaka loved spiritual discourses. In his lifetime he declared a spiritual competition in which sages and saints from far and wide were to engage in spiritual discussions and whoever remained the last would be termed winner.

Sage Jnanavalakya was an accomplished Brahma Jnani... the knower of truth... one who had gained enlightenment in his lifetime! He was never after materialistic comforts in life. However he did manage a big Gurukul where pupils were taught... rather imparted pearls of spirituality!

Above 10,000 religious preachers, saints and sages accumulated for the once-in-a-lifetime event! King Janaka had kept the prize of 5000 cows to be given to the winner and tied to the horns of each cow were five pearls each!

Even before the start of the event... sage Jnanavalakya entered the venue with his retinue! He was the last to enter! Sooner he entered... he ordered his faithful followers to take all the 5000 cows and the accompanying pearls to the Gurukul.

This created a furor... for none of the religious preachers, sages or saint had anticipated such a happening! What even before the event had started... sage Jnanavalakya... a participant had already announced self the winner. This was unacceptable... it was blasphemous!

When sage Jnanavalakya was asked why he acted so strange... he bluntly replied... he was the winner of the day! Indulgence or no indulgence in the spiritual discourses... none gathered in the community was a Brahma Jnani of his level. He knew what he meant by this!

No sooner the competition... the spiritual discourses started... the end was clear! Sage Jnanavalakya clearly won! This makes clear that spiritual stalwarts of the rank of sage Jnanavalakya was after materialistic riches... a bounty of 5000 cows and accompanying pearls!

When the accompanying gathering asked sage Jnanavalakya why he was after so much materialistic riches... his plain reply was, every inch of the material riches would be used for the benefit of mankind... for uplifting spiritual seekers... a retinue of above 3000 students that studied in his Gurukul (a place for learning)!

Such was the confidence displayed by sage Jnanavalakya... a Brahma Jnani par excellence! In the normal course of life no spiritual sage or saint needs materialistic riches yet, for the benefit of mankind... they do need the riches bestowed on them by mankind!

In present times sages and saints of earlier era are nowhere to be found! Most religious preachers of today are after materialistic comforts even though most deny the same. Those who have yet to gain enlightenment (kaivalya jnana)... can such people be trusted with material wealth?

Mahavira... the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism (preceptor) rightly said... do not preach unless you become an enlightened one! In the last about 150 years' world over only two persons reached the stage of enlightenment... Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Maharishi Ramana!

For a true seeker of spirituality... materialistic comforts mean nothing! The moment we realize the journey of life belongs to our soul atman... the spirit within... the need for materialistic riches altogether vanishes! When one cannot carry the materialistic riches to next life... what use accumulating riches beyond need!

The human form is but a passing phase in the life cycle of a soul atman! Every soul atman manifests human form to work out its karma... remove the dross impurities within! Similar as one KG of pure gold cannot separate of its own from hundred KG lump of gold ore... every soul atman also requires manifesting human form to work out its karma... remove the dross impurities within!

The ultimate crux of spiritual life lay in reaching end of cosmic life... the 8.4 millionth manifestation! The moment human beings gained enlightenment (kaivalya jnana) and finally salvation (moksha) all is over for soul atman within. The liberated soul atman devoid of karma finally regains its original prime pure pristine primordial form, which was never possible otherwise!

The physical manifested world is necessitated for souls' atmans to manifest themselves. In its lifetime every single soul atman manifests a total of 8.4 million bodies to work out its karma. The initial 7.3 million manifestations occur in insect, plant and animal form... the remaining 1.1 million manifestations in the human form!

The human form is the highest manifest stage in the cosmic life cycle. It is only as human beings our soul atman regains its original pure pristine form... never otherwise! Travel in the human form is the most pleasant experience for our soul atman! Mahavira, Gautama Buddha did it... so did Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed in their lifetime!

Essay by: Vijay Kumar "Atma Jnani"

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