The beginner learns the art of concentration through worship of the Personal God and acquires purity of heart through performance of unselfish duties.
It is only when the individual sees a difference between Brahman and himself and the universe that he becomes a victim of fear, suffering and misery.
Every soul is divine, though, during the state of ignorance, it remains oblivious of its spiritual nature. While sojourning in the relative world it assumes various bodies and identifies itself with them. It is then regarded as a finite creature. But in the heart of every individual the divine light shines with undiminished luster. Hence all men are entitled to our respect.
Religion is not the goal but only a path by means of which the aspirant attains ultimate perfection.
Swami Nikhilananda – A monk of Ramakrishna Mission