By Swami Dr Snehananda Jyoti on 05-11-2015

Spirituality is universal; it is for all persons. Persons belong to different religions; religions are not universal. Spirituality is predominantly about mysticism that involves direct communion with the ultimate reality or intuitive experience of God. Religions are predominantly about asceticism that involves spiritual discipline, rites, and rituals that go with individual religion. While different religions and asceticism can lead to mysticism, a mystic has a subjective insight or experience that is unique. That unique experience needs not be specific to any religion. While mystics may engage in rituals that belong to the religion that they come from, they are beyond these rituals. Religions want their members to faithfully follow their teachings and rituals. Mysticism has no chartered course or program. Mysticism is widely open, and, in some way, mysticism begins where religions end.
All are called to be mystics. Mystics are such because they have gone through rigorous training and discipline either in institutions or society at large that include religions. Humans are born into and live in interactional settings that call for fundamental principles and basic regulations.    Those humans who are capable of mysticism have a clear conscience and are divested of their ego and egoistic attachments. They are altruistic and will not intentionally hurt another human. They will be very sensitive to their environment. Their union with the creator in their spirituality will imply everyone’s welfare as well as oneness of humanity. They partake in their own way in the vision and attitude of the creator, and want to deal with everyone and everything the way the creator deals with. They are not concerned about what happens to them as long as they know they are carrying out God’s will and plan for them the best way they understand. While they learn from everyone and everywhere in order to form themselves to be the persons the Great Consciousness and Supreme Truth wants them to be, they are beyond models and personalities of this world. Their identity is not based on any achievement or any connection outside of themselves.
Religions evolved from their founders or teachers or inspirers. Spirituality was from the beginning of creation. Spirit ordered life was imprinted in the humans right from the beginning. This spirit life was manifested through conscience especially to those persons who withdrew from worldly pursuits, who went in pursuit of truth, and who tried to unravel the purpose of creation, and who, above all, live according to the will of God at any cost. Purity of intention, empathy, and a spirit of reconciliation and harmony with the entire creation characterize the daily life of such persons. They withdraw themselves from the world to examine themselves in solitude, silence, and total inner freedom their relationship with God. Their union with God is marked by complete and unconditional surrendering. Religions came into being when humans lost themselves in the wilderness of disordered pleasures and inordinate affections. They point to realities beyond this world. Mysticism coming from spirituality is our end.

About The Author

Swami Dr Snehananda Jyoti

Dr. John K Thekkedam (Swami Snehananda Jyoti) spent most of his life as a clinical psychologist in USA. He began his public life as a Jesuit priest. Quite attracted in distinct philosophies, he left the society and founded 'East West Awakening'.