My understanding of religion is limited, but the same is not necessarily true about my knowledge of the same. Spirituality and religion are not the same thing to me, in fact I think they are only thinly linked to one another by a fine thread of faith. Well, that fine thread of faith is strong enough to bind pretty much most abstract aspects of human emotions like fear, awe, selfishness, love and affection to practices like parenting, nationalism, honesty etc. What I mean is, most of the virtues of human psychology are linked to our principal practices by our faith on our well-established tenets. Our value system nurtures these faiths and based on that our way of living (practices) follow. Our philosophies are intrinsic to us, and our faith (reliance) on them determines how we apply them in private life. Hence, religion in a very rude translation to Sanskrit reads as “Dharma” which in turn denotes the way of living on righteous path. However, whether religion necessarily projects a path of righteousness, I doubt.
The spirituality within us is core to our existence, but not to our survival. That we exist as a trivial part of the vast creation is our spiritual awareness; we then try to fall back on and unite with our maker, the Supreme Being (Brahman). Our sustenance is far more banal, it is glaring on the face. It is our ever increasing hunger for security. There is a different set of emotions attached to survival, they are far more unsentimental like hunger and protectiveness and the practices associated with it are equally unpoetic. Yet, there is always an urge for magic, for a better tomorrow, religion helps to direct us. All we do in life is about a better tomorrow; do we not feel excited on Friday mornings and mellow at Sunday noon? Religion offers a better tomorrow to the unsuspecting believer.