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Use Religion To Conquer Human Imperfections

Religion gives humanity an ideal — the ideal to conquer human imperfections. Religion also endows humanity with the will to live up to that ideal. The human will is molded through prayer and meditation, which are two vital limbs of religion. They enable one to discover one’s real identity. These exercises awaken the pure or higher self — the well spring of divinity that lies dormant within one’s being — and lead us to oneness with God and with all existence.

As Swami Lokeswarananda has written, religion is not a declaration of intentions; it is action to fulfill those intentions. If the intrinsic purpose of religion and religious practice is unrecognized, and we continue to cherish self-centeredness and indifference toward the rest of the world, we are rendering only lip service to our religious intentions.

The ultimate achievement of dedicated religious practice is spirituality. The concept of spirituality is derived from the existence of the ‘spirit’, which represents the essence of the human personality, the core of one’s being. Spirituality is embodied in the awakening of the Self, the Spirit — that is, the realization of one’s spiritual identity. When this happens, the self identifies itself with every living being. The Spirit is primordial; it stands supreme. According to the Bhagavad Gita, the body is like a piece of cloth, which is discarded when worn out; it is the Spirit that is permanent, and it uses the body for its own purpose in the way that it chooses. A spiritual aspirant strives to scale the Absolute through moral and spiritual growth.

Spiritual life helps one grow better and stronger till one finds oneself completely free from the fetters of ego that limit one’s being. At this stage, one discovers the well spring of joy lying deep within oneself that is constant and unaffected by external changes. The Constant, the Eternal, is in laid in the instant, the temporal. The awareness of the true nature of the Self also reveals the selflessness of the Self, which is but another face of Perfection.