08 Nov, 2019

Relationships can make or destroy a person's happiness. Life is a continuous stream of managing relationships beginning from one's own mother, father, siblings, relatives, friends and so on. And continued on to girlfriend/boyfriend, wife, husband, employer, employee, boss, neighbor etc etc. Relationships are of 2 types - one those that are thrust upon us and the others that we choose to get into. Until a certain point, probably around the age of 12 or so, relationships are thrust upon us. Primarily because one does not have much of choice and also because one is not fully capable of making intelligent decisions. Once a person becomes old enough to make independent choices then we choose to get into relationships and our happiness is directly proportional to how we manage relationships whether it is personal or professional. The issue unfortunately here is there is no universal guideline as to how a relationship has to be managed. There cannot be one to because the number of relationships is numerous and each one is infinitely dynamic and complicated.

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10 Jul, 2019

The two words Religion and Spirituality are being used interchangeably quite often in the world today. This causes a lot of confusion. Do they mean the same thing? If not, the question arises – is it advisable to be religious or spiritual or both? In the Indian context being Religious could mean going to a temple, doing Yoga (just Asanas), praying in front of a deity for a few minutes, just believing in God (s), putting a mark on the forehead like kumkum, Vibhuti or Chandan, doing something fire rituals either by oneself or by taking the help of a priest, just performing one’s duties (karma yoga) etc. The problem arises when many of the above activities are confused with “Spirituality”, as is the case many a time. For example a person just going to a temple or just putting something on the forehead without anything beyond that, praying every day or even doing some Yoga (Asanas), could call himself Spiritual. Is it proper to do that? Why should the words religion and spirituality not be used interchangeably? What may be the dangers/pitfalls and what does one lose by doing so? Are religion and spirituality connected or independent? For answers to these questions, we need to properly understand the meaning of both the words, the realm of relevance of Religion, the realm of application of Spirituality, the overlap, the interconnectedness, how Religion leads to Spirituality and the necessity of each of them. It is very important to understand this because that is what Indian culture is resting on. Being unclear about their relationship keeps us firmly in limited/time bound existence also called the cycle of repeated birth and death while having clarity leads me towards immortality or liberation. The choice purely rests with each one of us. And ignoring one at the cost of the other is at our own peril.

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