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Six Different Shades Of Meaning Of Religion

Swami Vivekananda defines religion with the backdrop of the classical idea of Dharma. His basic definitions of Religion can be classified into six groups based on different shades of meaning he gives.

Struggle – Religion is the struggle to transcend the limitations of the senses.

Manifestation – Religion is the manifestation of divinity already existing in man.

Endeavor – Religion is man’s ceaseless endeavor to become free. The master of nature is what we call God. Blessedness, eternal peace, arising from perfect freedom, is the highest concept of religion underlying all the ideas of God.

Realization – Religion is realization. It is being and becoming, not hearing or acknowledging, it is the whole soul becoming changed into what it believes.

Relationship – Religion permeates the whole of man’s life, not only the present, but the past, present, and future. It is, therefore, the eternal relation between the eternal soul and the eternal God.

Reality – Is this real? Religion begins with this question and ends with its answer.

SourcePrabuddha Bharata Editorial July 2021 Issue – page 16.