We live in an era where concepts such as God, religion, spirituality and yoga are perceived differently and seem to be disconnected from each other in the minds of people. In the modern world, people sometimes find themselves shrouded by misinformation, noise, and obscurity that drifts them away from the truth. For God, religion, spirituality and yoga are intricately connected, and this doesn’t hold just for Christianity but even Hinduism and several other religions. Today, we will demystify this connection that enables us to become more aware of ourselves, the nature around us, and the divine dimension itself.
If you’ve just begun on the path of God, religion, spirituality or yoga
know that this text is merely one tiny step in the larger scheme of things. But this tiny step is the elemental part of your existence.
Let us begin.
God is the creator. According to several religious texts, God is the creator who made this entire universe, everything we see, and everything we don’t. Whether it’s Christianity or Hinduism, the concept of a creator is eminent in the innumerable religious texts. But what did God create?
In Christianity, God created the three worlds or three realms:
Physical or Material World: The physical or the material world is everything we see, hear, touch, taste and smell. As the word suggests, everything in the world/realm is in the form of a tangible object.
Astral or Spiritual World: The astral or spiritual world is made up of energy or spirits. Humans can contact this realm through their spirit or soul, for which our physical body is the vessel.
Causal or Psychological World: In this realm, there are no physical objects or energies. This merely has feelings or thoughts and concepts. For instance, every time you feel something, the feeling comes from the causal world.
If you notice, these three worlds or realms are three different parts of a person. We all have a physical body, a soul, and a psychology. Without any of these three, a person would remain incomplete. God has created his children as he has created the entire universe, and in every person resides the crux of the different dimensions.
If you look at Hinduism, there are 14 realms, 7 upper and 7 lower. The material world resides in between these two realms. These realms are governed by the endless cycle of karma, which enables souls/spirits to be born and reborn until they accomplish their karmic balance and reach the highest realm. Numerous other religions have their lore and understanding of the universe. But what exactly is religion?
Any religion is a set of beliefs, practices, and faith that human beings can use as lore and a guide on how they must lead their lives. Christianity and Hinduism are the two religions we discussed in the previous section. However, there have been and continue to be numerous religions since the genesis of man. People are usually born into a religion and, more often than not, form their own set of beliefs and principles within the religion that they follow.
Although the lore or the nuances of each religion might be different, what’s common is a broad understanding of right and wrong. However, most importantly, it is the understanding of spirituality.
Spirituality is the quest for connection. There are different kinds of spiritualities, of which two of them are the most popular.
Spiritual Individualism: This is a quest where a person connects with their inner and true self. It is the search for awareness and the realization of being a soul and everything it entails.
Spiritual Collectivism: This is a quest for connecting with the divine. It means connecting with God, the creator, or the supreme power.
In some religions, connection with the divine is said to be the connection with oneself or vice versa. In other religions, the two are distinct. While one helps become more self-aware of one’s spirit and purpose, the other helps rise to a higher dimension where only the divine resides.
There are numerous ways and paths to connect with oneself and the divine. Different religions have different methodologies, but every religion believes that to lead a healthy life and preserve the well-being of oneself, spirituality is important. In modern times, although the definition of spirituality is expanded, people still follow it to maintain peace and sanity.
At its crux, God, religion, and spirituality help people become content and at peace with themselves. Spirituality makes religion more than just rules or principles. In essence, spirituality is a way of life.
The word ‘yoga’ comes from the Sanskrit root word - Yuj, which means to join or to unite. The field itself is a spiritual discipline that involves breathing exercises, physical postures, meditation, and more. There are different kinds of yoga that cater to different purposes, but together, they help human beings practice spirituality to form a connection with themselves and with God. In a way, it is to unite us with our souls and our souls with the divine power.
One of the key facets of yoga is that it helps us search for something bigger than what we see in our lives and ourselves. This quest for answers is known as seeking the truth, and practicing meditation is the first step toward finding the truth. The more we practice, the better we get at finding that spiritual connection until we finally find ourselves connected with the higher power. In Christianity, this is known as Christ consciousness.
According to the Bible, Christ's consciousness can be achieved by having unwavering faith in the practice, and you will likely attain the divine consciousness. Furthermore, it is important to understand that anyone can attain Christ's consciousness. One only needs to have an open, focused, and disciplined mind. This can be achieved by having fresh conscious thought wherein one becomes more patient, tolerant, and compassionate. The new thought would lead to the realization or discovery of the inner spiritual being. From here on, with practice, the person can attain Christ’s consciousness.
In Hinduism, Shiva is known as the Adiyogi or the first yogi. He passed down his knowledge to the Saptarishis, who further exchanged it with their disciples and other descendants. Like in Christianity, in Hinduism, Yoga is a practice to connect with the inner self and the divine superpower. With the right exercises and practices, yoga enables people to activate their chakras, which govern the well-being of different parts of our mind, body, and soul. This enables any person to accomplish their maximum potential and empowers them with the strength to seek inner connection. The final stage, even in Hinduism, is the realization of the divine self and the divine power that resides in the higher dimensions.
Thus, Yoga is the method via which people can be spiritual irrespective of their religion and connect with oneself and the higher power that created us all.
Yoga In the Modern World
While we have discussed yoga and spirituality in connection with God and religion, what does it mean to practice these in our daily lives? Spirituality allows people’s minds, bodies, and souls to stay balanced. As a result, you feel at peace, have good mental health, and are physically fit. The practice allows you to be happy and satisfied with your identity while trying to achieve a higher consciousness. The trivialities of the material world carry lesser significance, due to which a person feels more at ease, focused, and capable. Thus practicing it can help people lead a healthy and contented life.