How are philosophy, spirituality & religion related?

Relating Philosophy, spirituality and religion.

These days people are averse to the use of the word religion, mostly from a tendency to reject ritualism, and prefer the word spirituality. But this is ridiculous. Spirituality as such does not exist as an independent science or a body of knowledge, it is all a part of what was conventionally termed as religion.

Philosophy exists as an independent discipline though. In some cultures, it is linked to religious doctrine to some extent, in some not at all. And in cultures like Hinduism/ Sanatana Dharma, philosophy is wholly linked to religion.

In other faiths, there isn't much room or encouragement to philosophise when it comes to religion. In Hinduism though, six elaborate schools of philosophy, called darshans are dedicated to ultimate discourse that happens through reasoning.

Vedas for instance roughly have 80% ritual, 15% devotion and 5% pure philosophy. Last part of the Vedas, popularly known as Vedanta (Veda + Anta, last part) is pure and sublime philosophy. One look at any of the major Upanishads puts a heavy duty intellectual in a spin. Now, this is supposed to be religious text, but it's rich in philosophy.

Without understanding the underlying principles of creation and existence, call it philosophical foundation, it's impossible to truly believe. Conversely, belief leads to understanding the underlying principles of creation and existence. Religion and philosophy are thus related. A religious person becomes a true philosopher. A true philosopher becomes a religious person.

Take Bhagavad Gita for instance. As a classic of the wisdom and the spirituality of every time, its influence is not limited only to India. The Bhagavad Gita, has affected the thought of generations of philosophers, theologians, educators, scientists and authors of the Western world. Such people include Plato, Saint Augustine, Pascal, Newton, Leibnitz, Kant, Schopenhauer, Hegel, Goethe, Hesse, C. Jung and Einstein, not to mention home grown philosophers Prahbupada, Shankaracharya, Ramanuja, and Aurobindo.


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