Question: Can we transcend our religion for a more vast spirituality?

Sri Chinmoy: There comes a time when we have to transcend our religion-barriers. Religion is good, but we have to go far beyond religion. Religion will tell us about God; sometimes it will create fear in us when we do something wrong. The religious approach to God is mostly through fear. But the spiritual approach to God is always through love. It is not out of fear that we approach God but out of love. We want to establish our inseparable oneness with God. I don’t want to say that religion does not have love for God, because it has. But fear of God very often looms large in people who practise religion. People who practise Yoga do not have that kind of fear. They have only love of God. Oneness with God is what they want.

Religion feels that there is someone called God who is high above, in the sky or in Heaven or somewhere else, and that all Peace, Light and Bliss are with Him. But Yoga will say that where I am is Light, Peace and Bliss; where I move around is Truth. Truth and I are inseparable. Religion does not claim that oneness. Religion will say Truth is somewhere else; we can have a free access to it eventually. It says Truth is somewhere, Light is somewhere, and only if we pray and meditate will we one day see the face of Truth and Light. But Yoga will say, “No. Where I am, the very thing I am looking for is also there. I am the very thing that I am now looking for, searching for, striving for. Everything is already inside me, only I have forgotten it, I cannot recognise it or I have misplaced it.” Yoga tells us to look for our inner wealth, to discover and bring to the fore what we eternally have. Spirituality is Yoga in a vast and broad sense.