The compatibility of spirituality and religion is that spirituality is the essence of a seeker`s quest, while religion is its outward manifestation. A seeker`s quest for spirituality begins when he begins to enquire into the purpose of existence and when the quest of spirituality matures, the seeker gets eternal joy and bliss. When that joy is shared with other seekers, it becomes religion. Whereas spirituality is based on the assumption that a transcendent reality exists beyond the material world and that is the domain of supreme consciousness; for religious minded it is God.
Spirituality is individual specific and depends on the personality of a person. The founders of different religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity and Islam were spiritual people who, out of their love for humanity, shared their experiences with all and established certain religious rituals so that even those who were not spiritually evolved could benefit. Religion organizes people in a particular way designed by its creators for a specific purpose and need in mind at the time of its onset. The practices keep on changing over the time keeping the changes in the society.
It doesn’t matter, whether one turned spiritual first and then turned to religion or were deeply engrossed with religious rituals and then decided to find the meaning behind it. A sincere seeker can begin anywhere, either with spirituality or with religion.
Dr.Mahesh Chandra Panda