Question: Can we transcend our religion for a more vast spirituality?1

Sri Chinmoy: Religion is good, but eventually 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 often places great emphasis on fear. But the spiritual approach to God always gives paramount importance to love. It is not out of fear that we approach God but out of love. We want to establish our inseparable oneness with Him. I do not want to say that religion does not have love for God, because it does. But fear of God very often looms large in people who practise religion. People who practise spirituality do not have that kind of fear. They have only love of God and the desire to establish oneness with God.

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 spirituality will say that where I am is where light, peace and bliss can be found; where I move around is where truth is. Spirituality will say truth and I are inseparable. Religion does not claim that kind of oneness. Religion will say that truth is somewhere else, and only if we pray and meditate will we one day see the face of truth and light. But spirituality will say that I myself am the very thing that I am looking for and crying for; everything is already inside me, only I have forgotten it, I cannot recognise it or I have misplaced it. Spirituality tells us to discover our inner wealth and bring to the fore what we eternally have.

  1. MUN 433-438. 21 November 1975.