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Difference between religion and devotion

ईश्वरे परमं प्रेम, भक्तिरित्यभिधीयते। आसक्तिविषय प्रेम देहदारगृहादिषु।।

The ultimate love for God is called devotion. The love of your body or wife or home or other subjects is called aspects.

According to Oxford Dictionary, ‘Religion’ means ‘a system of faith’, i.e. the method of confidence. We should understand that rituals, the method of faith or worship does not mean religion because it is just a measure, but religion also includes the nature of an object.

But people are unaware of the actual nature of Sanatan Dharma. There are many things that we hear and assume but it’s not something we try to learn in reality.Thus, we are instructed to seek the guidance of a guru to gain knowledge, especially to achieve Bhagavad knowledge, there is a need of Sadhguru(Scholar).

Without which we would not know what is our real religion, why we came here or Why are we engrossed in troubles and who God is? Just like the true nature of water is liquidity, but on intense cooling, it turns into ice and becomes vapor or steam when heated. In normal circumstances, the same ice or steam becomes water. Therefore changing its shape is its action while liquidity is it’s religion.

According to Shrimad Bhagwad Gita, the creature is a part of God’s power and the soul is eternal, whereas the body is not. We use these words every day like “my hand, my feet, my head or my body, my mind, etc.” While soul doesn’t say anything like this. It seems soul is different from the speaker, the body and the mind. Thus, whatever activity we do is in our nature and this is our religion.

Compassion towards all the entities, to see the soul in every one, to not hurt others for sense gratification, to understand that the materialistic world is temporary, earning money and fulfilling the needs of family with true means, to do your assigned work with honesty etc. comes under your religion.

Now we will see the difference between devotion and religion.It has been said in ‘Narada Bhakti-Sutra’ that the ultimate love towards ‘divine’ is called devotion. Then the question arises, what is our love for the cosmic subjects?It has been answered that this love is an attachment.

The love that is based on five senses touch, see, taste, smell and hear to satisfy you ,comes under materialistic love. In Worldly love you expect something in return and it doesn’t remain forever. On the other hand when you love God, you don’t expect anything in return, you try your best to do everything to satisfy your Lord through your services considering your self a mere servant of his lordship.

And thus you develop the ultimate love that gives ultimate pleasure and is eternal, this is called devotion. The actions of our body are regulated by the mind which is religion that can be due to responsibilities, fear or a reaction to some particular actions . Whereas the eternal love that we develop for the lord is solely the business of our soul or nature of the soul because it is an eternal part of the Almighty.

© Maya

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