When I was in college and intending to major in Religious Studies, I would sometimes attend services at different churches and temples.
Occasionally I would become very inspired and begin spontaneously preaching to my parents. This happened so many times with so many different religions that during one visit my father asked, “What religion are you today?”
I was indignant and didn’t respond. What was wrong with exploring different religions? How can anyone know that they have chosen the right one unless they have learned about the others?
I didn’t realize that my father and I saw religion differently. He saw religion as an organization that you join and then spend the rest of your life passively believing in whatever the organization leader believes, and this is often what happens. But I saw religion as the search for truth, and when you’re searching for truth, you have to search!
To my father’s credit, he is also dedicated to the search for truth, except that he is looking for it through science rather than spirituality. There’s nothing wrong with this, except when you search for truth only through science, you are stuck with science’s limited tools and extremely slow pace. A yogi, on the other hand, is able to find all answers within him or herself, and has an enlightened guru to guide the way.
At the time, I didn’t know how to respond to my father’s (probably rhetorical) question, to help him understand. Now, however, I have a different answer: my religion has always been the same. My religion is that which brings me closer to God, even if the specific method has varied.
I’m not saying that it’s wrong to be part of a religion. When I was in college, thinking for myself and believing in whatever inspired me was a step toward God from believing in what my parents told me, which was usually depressing. Now I follow the path of self-realization set down by Paramhansa Yogananda, and because I have chosen this path, sticking to it is the way to God. Whichever religion or spiritual path you choose, keep moving sincerely toward God and he will always guide you to the right place.