Are you spiritual? Do you pray? How do you pray? Do you commune with the divine through rituals? Is it through chanting verses in archaic languages, be it Hebrew or Sanskrit? Or is it a comforting routine-- going to mosque, church or temple once a week or month? Is spirituality an occasional activity with dubious benefits—like going on a pilgrimage or doing a cleansing ritual in times of stress? Or is your religion simply a connection with your heritage, homeland and ancestors? Do you think faith is a private act to be done in the confines of home, with family, not something to declare publicly? Are these questions making you uncomfortable? What is the purpose of religion? All religions have teachings in common. They all preach broad tenets about leading the good life and developing courage, character and tenacity to cope with the ups and downs of life. Faith, at its best, is about giving strength and succor. FAITH AND IDENTITY Is religion part of your identity? Or is it something that you seek to distance yourself from? Faith gives solace, for sure, but it also inspires guilt. Religion brings people together but also divides them. It gives peace and causes war; it hurts and heals. DO YOU BELIEVE IN GOD? When you think about it, God is such an abstract concept, which is probably why humans gave labels and names to Him/Her/It: Mohammed, Jesus, Mary, Kali, Hanuman, Durga, Buddha, or Zarathustra. Hinduism has many female Goddesses. Monotheistic religions began with men, who began as prophets and teachers before being converted into and worshipped as Gods. Religion—all religions —were an effort by early humans to wrap their head around this nebulous idea of the cosmic controller.

Spirituality. Religion. Faith. Puja.

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