Religious Experience

Religious experiences are the only true proof of God for Hindus. There are hundreds of cases of people finding God throughout history, and all indicate the possibility of a higher reality. However, it is only when people are able to experience God for themselves that they become certain of the existence of God. Faith is not the conclusion but the starting point in spiritual progress. Spiritual progress according to Hinduism can be likened to science: you start with a hypothesis, and then try the experiment and try to prove the existence of God for yourselves.

Spiritual experience is the culmination of religious practices and behaviour. Depending on the individual’s particular approach to God, these religious practices differ. For a person who believes in God with form, religious practice constitutes carrying out worship and adoration of a chosen deity. It involves being a good human being and treating others with reverence, since God has given people the responsibility to look after all around them.

A person who believes in God as a principle rather than a personality views the whole of creation as a manifestation of God. Their religious practice constitutes service to humanity, called seva. This also requires the individual to revere and respect everyone and everything around them, not because it is a responsibility, but because it is only natural.

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