The sages have long ago revealed that to know the secret of life's purpose is to know oneself. To achieve this goal, religion is one of the tools and not the only one. To know oneself is not to know one as somebody holding a position, having an abundant wealth, assuming some title or name or fame, having a physical body, being father, mother, wife, husband,brother,sister,friend and so on. We have to identify that which is enveloped by these and a lot more but due to a great illusion, we cannot penetrate the real "us" and identify with everything else which is not "us". This is a great veil or great secret. Besides religion, an enlightened teacher, your own wisdom, effect of past karmas and above all, GOD's grace play a very important role to know what we are in reality and that is the sole purpose of our life. Though religion is very important in this endeavor, people like to be entangled in mere rituals ,penances,charities,prayers,fasts,pilgrimages etc. etc. that are only outer paraphernalia. These are only means and not ends,one has to navigate through them but must remember that unless real purpose is not attained, everything is in vain. All learning of scriptures, visiting places of worship and chanting GOD's name all are towards this sublime goal that is to know the "self". If this goal remains unattained, everything is waste and just useless. If besides religion, any activity, any thought, any vision, any incident, any posture, any guy, any scene, anything or whatever it is, if it enables you to know yourself and thus know the life's purpose, that is the way. So one must keep all options open and use one's intellect without distraction and aim at the target like a sharp shooter. Pity is that religion has been made more like a maze for most of the people rather than a torchlight to guide them to the true path. Nonetheless, the sincere and discriminative people realize the true essence of this whole edifice that is called religion and toe the right way without distraction. Blessed are such guys but the irony is that a very few people are able to recognize them. somebody can repay the loan taken by you, somebody can unburden you from the heavy loads kept on your head but to realize yourself as a pure soul, nobody but you yourself will be helpful to you.This is a journey that you have to make alone without anyone accompanying with you. If you read teachings of Christ and Krishna,you will not find a trace of religion of present day in them.