Category Archives: Sarva Dharma Sambhav

7 differences between Being Religious & Being Spiritual

By: Keyur Seta

I have a strong feeling that in olden or ancient times, being religious simply meant being a good person and doing good deeds. Swami Vivekananda also once said, “To be good and to do good, that is the whole of religion.” But over the decades or centuries, the meaning of leading a religious life has undergone a drastic change.

Today, the criteria for being religious is to carry out some ritual or the other, holding on to one particular faith, and having certain beliefs. In other words, they constantly need to do something or the other in the name of religion and worship only one or few particular Gods to call themselves religious.



But at the same time, there are people, especially in today’s modern era, who surely believe in the existence of God. However, they prefer to be called spiritual but not religious.

So, what exactly is the meaning of being Religious and Spiritual and what is the difference between the two? I have tried explaining it by jotting down the characteristics of people from both categories. Please bear in mind that these characteristics are based on people’s beliefs and behavior in today’s era. It doesn’t necessarily reflect the original or ancient meaning of being Religious or Spiritual.


Characteristics of Religious people


Characteristics of Spiritual people


They label themselves with the names of any one religion. For example, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Jain, Jew, etc.


They have no labels stuck on them belonging to any particular religion.
They look at other people too through these labels, although they need no necessarily consider themselves superior to people from ‘other’ religions. They look at fellow human beings as fellow human beings, instead of their ‘religious’ identities. It can also be said that their religion is Humanity.


Some of them believe in the sub-sects within their religion like caste. As they don’t believe in religion, believing in things like caste is out of question.


They strictly abide by the ideologies and theories mentioned in the religious book/s of their own religion. They believe in the existence of one Universal God. They might believe in a book belonging to some religion, but they aren’t rigid about it being the only universal truth.


Carrying out various rituals and reciting certain verses are their important methods of worshiping or pleasing ‘their’ God/s. Although some of them might carry out certain prayers or rituals related to one particular religion, they don’t consider them to be related to that religion. They are open to believing ceremonies other faiths too.


They believe in fasting in the name of ‘their’ God. Most of them don’t believe in rituals like fasting. Even if they do, it will be aimed at self-control or for health reasons, rather than pleasing any God in order to get some returns.
They visit places of worship regularly. It is not necessary for them to visit places of worship. For them, God is everywhere and helping fellow human beings is equal to worshiping God. They also consider Nature as God.


Book Review: The Rozabal Line

* * * ½

Review By: Keyur Seta

Even before the halfway stage in The Rozabal Line, you realize that Ashwin Sanghi’s knowledge about various religions, conspiracy theories related to some religions and other global issues is simply outstanding. This coupled with his amazing writing and storytelling skills make The Rozabal Line a roller-coaster theological saga, despite some glaring issues.

The story takes place across continents and time zones. In 2006, Father Vincent Sinclair, an American Priest, starts seeing weird visions after a tragic incident. His aunt Martha helps him decode them through her knowledge of Indian spiritualism and mysticism. Swakilki, a young and beautiful Japanese woman, has been serially killing people across the world. She is following the orders of Alberto Cardinal Valerio, head of Crux Decussata Permuta in Vatican City.

Picture: Flipkart

Picture: Flipkart

The Lashkar-e-Talatashar, an arm of Lashkar-e-Taiba, has vowed to create havoc in the world. Ghalib, their leader, and his 12 subordinates have planned something dangerously sinister in the year 2012. Their fate has striking resemblance with Jesus Christ and his 12 Apostles. How these unrelated characters cross paths forms the rest of the story. The book also explores the theory of Jesus’ connection with India.

Like all good thrillers, The Rozabal Line keeps you hooked from the very first page. As the story moves back and forth, from the period of B.C to 2012, it not only increases your excitement but it also gets you in awe of Sanghi’s vision, imagination and knowledge. To narrate your tale in 100 different time zones and various places is a mammoth task for anyone. Plus, Sanghi’s smart mixture of rich and simple language further helps the cause.

Reincarnation is a major ingredient in the story. But it should be noted how the author has presented that aspect in a practical and mature manner. In fact, after going through the reincarnation process mentioned here, you might laugh at how Bollywood has presented this subject.

But The Rozabal Line is far from being truly superlative. Although the climax provides a spiritually enlightening feeling, you realize that various subplots, characters and incidents were unnecessary. Even the basic aim of the tale appears unclear. There is an overdose of information, which is confusing and difficult to keep track, especially since the focus keeps moving through these many time zones. It makes us feel as if the author wanted to flaunt his terrific knowledge.

Having said this, there are enough reasons to grab The Rozabal Line if you are a lover of thriller novels.

Author: Ashwin Sanghi

Publishers: Westland Ltd.

Pages: 346

Genre: Theological Thriller

Original Price: Rs. 295 (Reduced rates on Flipkart & Amazon.)

Why Krishna devotees must be simple & humble?

By: Keyur Seta

Lord Krishna is one of the most worshipped Gods in the world. His followers or devotees broadly associate him with values like, righteousness, wisdom, valor, innocent pranks, fearlessness, adherence to truth, etc.

But his simple way of life is hardly mentioned among his greatness. This comes as a huge surprise because his simplicity and humility were very much on display throughout his long life.

Here are some points indicating that Krishna was the most simplest of beings:

Krishna & Sudama (Picture:

Krishna & Sudama (Picture:

— As a child, Krishna possessed miraculous powers through which he could easily kill demons or evil-doers. But not even once did he consider himself superior to others. He never had the attitude of ‘I am above the rest’ and considered people from all walks of life as his own. This is clearly seen from how he used to play or mingle with just any common citizen.

— The name ‘Krishna’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Krishi’. It means ‘farmer’. Staying true to his name, Krishna happily carried out farming, despite the fact that he was a special being.

— The story of Krishna and his friend Sudama also highlights his down-to-earth nature. Krishna greeted and welcomed his friend Sudama in the same manner as he used to do during their childhood despite achieving such Godly prominence.

— When a war-like situation was developing between Pandavas and Kauravas, Krishna personally went to meet Duryodhana to convince him against fighting a war. He had no qualms in playing the role of a messenger.

— In the great war of Mahabharata at Kurukshetra, Krishna decided to become the charioteer to Arjuna. In fact, he himself volunteered for it. He also followed Arjuna’s directions like an obedient charioteer when the latter asked him to take the chariot in between two warring camps.



— Among its various messages, the Bhagavad Gita, which was delivered by Krishna, preaches us to be non-materialistic or non-possessive. This is the biggest indication that Krishna not only himself believed in being a Common Man, but also wanted us to be one.

Through these points, Krishna teaches us that one should stay humble even if he happens to be the God of the universe. So, if the God himself didn’t practice high-handedness, who are we to think high about ourselves?

But a lot of his devotees I come across practice just the opposite. They keep chanting Hare Krishna Sankirtan or the holy name of Krishna, but are forever concerned about material possessions. Not just that, they even love to flaunt their ‘Social Status’ by spending abnormally. Naturally, these class-conscious people hate mingling with people from the so-called lowly professions.

How can you consider yourself a follower of Krishna if you don’t follow his way of life? Just worshiping Krishna and chanting his name isn’t enough to be his ardent devotee. Such bhakti means next to nothing if you don’t follow his ideologies.

What is ‘GOD’? – 6 Insights

This is a guest post by Pranay Gupta.

Man looks for ‘proof’ for God, but if we are a little more insightful, we would see the presence of the ‘divine’ or hidden Intelligence in so many things. There have been several ways to answer the question ‘WHAT IS GOD?’ throughout history, but the ones which strike me most are the following:

  1. God is a ‘Dreamer’:

Just like we have the power to dream anything we wish to dream, so too perhaps there is a ‘cosmic dreamer’ who brings to life that which He dreams. The only difference is, we are not able to bring to reality all that we dream, but He is!

  1. Picture:


    God is the subtle-most entity of existence:

There are so many layers to reality – the outwardly apparent, the gross, the subtle and unseen, and then the smallest or subtlest aspects of Nature (atomic, subatomic particles and so on). Yet there is something beyond these also – the subtle most unseen aspect of reality, and that we may call ‘God’. It is like the subtle fragrance of a flower: not being able to be physically ‘found’ in the material composition of the plant, but existing nonetheless!

  1. God is Beauty:

We may find certain things ‘ugly’, but in the attitude of true spiritualism, all things are beautiful, and all things are therefore ‘Godlike’. Can’t you see the beauty in both the clear sky and the cloudy sky? In both the mountain and the valley? All is beautiful, and all is Godly, and God is beauty : from the perspective of true spiritualism.

  1. God is Compassion:

If man has in him the capacity to be compassionate, do you not think that the intelligence behind the universe is infinitely compassionate? Even animals display passion, so shouldn’t we look at the larger cosmic fabric as being truly compassionate, merciful and just? The very fact that we are alive and sharing these thoughts, is simply due to the compassion of the Great One.

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    God is He Who Satisfies:

There is no ultimate satisfaction for man without the spiritual quest, the search for the Greater. It is only the Vastest which satisfies, and even one small drop of this Vastest Entity satiates us. Throughout history, we can cite examples of human beings who excelled, yet remained unsatisfied. And on the other hand, there have been people like Jesus, Krishna, Buddha and others who attain the ultimate satisfaction, through the fragrance of God.

  1. God is the Guide:

The inner guide of man – his consciousness – is nothing but a reflection of the Infinite Consciousness, God. It is a small particle of the great guide. The wonder is that God exists within us, as the small voice of the soul! So if we are able simply to understand that if there is an inner guide within us, directing our own thoughts and actions, there must be a greater guide to the universe, directing its immense actions and movements!

World Yoga Day: 8 enormous benefits from simple Yoga techniques

By: Keyur Seta

A monk from the Ramakrishna Order, who shares a good rapport with me, has been telling me since last few years that it would be impossible for people living in metros or urban areas to survive without spirituality. After looking at the lives of working professionals around us, including ourselves, we can’t disagree with him.

The keen interest in Yoga these days is a big indication that people are becoming more and more concerned about themselves and their state of mind, thanks to the stressful lives they have been leading. This is exactly why the initiative of World Yoga Day has received such a positive response from almost every section of the society.

Picture: Wikipedia

Picture: Wikipedia

The United Nations (UN) declared June 21 as the World Yoga Day or International Yoga Day after India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the same during his address to the UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014. This decision received a resounding response world over with more than 177 countries readily agreeing to be a part of it. So, the stage is set for the first World or International Yoga Day on June 21, 2015.

The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’, which means ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’. So, it basically means to connect your mind, body and spirit to lead a better or balanced life. Hence, it is senseless to say that Yoga is limited to a particular religion (Hinduism) because people from all religion and creed have a right to live a stress-free or peaceful life.

But practicing Yoga doesn’t necessarily mean one needs to master those difficult and masterly postures. Although there are a wide range of techniques and teachings related to Yoga, it is absolutely fine even if you practice some simple ones on a daily basis.

Even resorting to simple practices like Shavasana, Sarvangasana, Matsyasana, Paschimotasana, Bhujangasana, Shalabhasana, Dhanurasana, Pada Hastasana and Trikonasana can trigger some tremendous positive changes in your body and mind. I can guarantee this from my personal experience. Learn more about these basic Asanas by clicking HERE.

Here are the 8 enormous benefits I experienced after doing some simple Yoga:-

Stamina: Just after a week of practicing Yoga, I noticed a considerable increase in my energy level and stamina. Even after roaming around Mumbai in the terrible heat, I didn’t feel tired or fatigued like I used to do earlier.

Sleep: I not only experienced sound sleep, I also didn’t have any problem whatsoever to wake up daily as early as 5:30 am, without the feeling of dragging myself out of bed. A good night’s sleep solves almost half of your health issues.

Stress: Some stress is required to perform tasks efficiently. But stress becomes a problem if it exceeds the initial levels. While studying or doing any other task, I realized that my stress level reduced drastically. I could perform tasks by being more relaxed.


Picture: (Click to enlarge)

Concentration: My concentration power increased while reading or trying to understand something. The same can be said about my attention span.

Digestion: I was facing digestion issues. But they almost vanished just days after I started practicing Yoga. Various Asanas greatly help in regulating your bowel movements.

Physique: Proper Asanas when coupled with Kapalbharati helps you get into shape and maintain your physique. This is important because having a healthy body invariably affects your mind positively. The same happened with me. My excess body fat got reduced.

Immunity: Yoga also greatly helped me in keeping illnesses at bay. Having a strong immune system was a great relief indeed! Who wishes to pay those unnecessary doctor fees?

Mood: There was a stark increase in my overall outlook towards like after treading the path of Yoga, especially while indulging in Meditation. It made me more cheerful than before and made me accept certain truths and situations about life.

Our ancient teachings and scriptures contain all the answers to the issues faced today. Let us grab it and say a big YES to the balanced union of mind, body and spirit!

This beautiful video will force you to question everything around you!

It is said that a picture speaks a thousand words. Going by this logic, a moving picture should speak many more than thousand words. This holds true at least for the video below. It is a fusion footage from movies Samsara (2011) and Baraka (1992). It will force you to question everything that the world and we ourselves are doing in our lives.

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See it for yourself:-