Indian spirituality

In India there is a discipline prescribed for the gradual evolution of the human individual by stages of

(1) education,

(2) adjustment of oneself with the demands of natural and social living and,

(3) an austere detachment from the usual entanglements in life and

(4) final rootedness of oneself in God. This last mentioned stage is known as Sannyasa and the first two stages are the religious disciplines preparing a person for the third and the fourth stages.

Religion has its various restrictions imposed on a person, keeping all human activity confined to specific areas of living with its several do’s and don’ts – ‘do this’ and ‘do not do that’. There cannot be any religion without these two mandates imposed on man. People in the first two stages of life mentioned above are placed under an obligation to follow these dos and don’ts of religion in social behaviour, in personal conduct and dealings with people in any manner whatsoever. Every religion has these ordinances defining the duties, which are religious, whether in the form of ritual, worship, or pilgrimage and even in diet, daily ablution, and an exclusive literal devotion to the word of the scripture of the religion. These restrictions are lifted in the third stage where the life of a person is mainly an internal operation of thought, feeling and understanding and not connected with human society in any way.