Spirituality will herald the evolution of a higher human being. Who will not go to war or kill people or ridicule the beliefs of others. He will strive to establish a world without nations. Where there will be no war but peace. There will be no poverty. Material prosperity will be shared with each other. The money being spent to safeguard the boundaries of nations, when saved, is enough to remove the poverty from the world completely. It is essential to make the world a no-war zone to guarantee a respectable living to the people, free from poverty, squalor and disease. Besides, there will be no illiteracy. Education will be provided free of cost to everyone. Diseases will be cured by free medical care to ensure good health and welfare of all the citizens of the world. It may look a tall order today but this is what actually will happen tomorrow.
Spirituality is a philosophy to understand the human being in totality. Apart from spiritual urge, a person’s material needs like food, clothing, shelter, transportation and communication are duly recognized. Living in a mutually agreeable rapport with each other in complete harmony and peace is a call of spirituality. The way religions and science look at things has failed. One gives importance to mysticism and other to material things. But spirituality being human-centric gives importance to man. It looks at material development and complete understanding of consciousness. One doesn’t need too much wealth for simple living and high thinking. There is enough wealth in the world to fulfill everybody’s need but not enough to satisfy human greed. Greed serves self-interest, all wealthy people are selfish.
Spirituality is based on the application of reason and seeks to understand the reality of life and living and the reality of the surroundings and its influence on human life. It incorporates the principles of human value and universal laws of nature. It is based on humanism and concentrates on the cultivation of fine human qualities. It is based on the principles of self-help and believes that the individual alone is responsible for his own happiness, suffering and salvation.
EXPERIMENTING WITH RELIGIONS
We have in the past experimented with many genres to make religions meaningful but have failed. Spirituality is not a renewal process of religions but a replacement to establish a religionless world. The history of religion, witnessed the age of syncretism, at a time, in the past, when the fusion of religions was experimented. This was done by collecting the best part from each creed and by integrating different system of belief.
Zoroaster lived at the dawn of syncretism. Two major religions born after Zoroaster time, Christianity and Islam adopted some of his central notions. Buddhism and Jainism are fusion of Vedanta. Christianity was the first major religion that was born during the age of syncretism. Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Confucianism and Taoism are far older. But Buddhism underwent a thorough transformation during this age. Among the great world religions only Islam is much younger than Christianity. Islam, Christianity and Buddhism were eventually adopted by hundreds of millions outside the countries of their origin.
Akbar, the mogul emperor of India, lived in the twilight of syncretism. He proclaimed a new highly assorted syncretic creed ‘Din-i-illahi’ that fused the elements of Islam, with ideas taken from Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and Christianity. He was not only interested in many religions but was also tolerant towards them. Muslims did not like this new religion and it disappeared soon after his death.
Religions divide people and nations. India was partitioned on the basis of religions. The enormity of mass exodus, in terms of displacement, arson, loot and murders, drenched the pages of history with human blood. The humiliation of humanity was led by the supporters of religions. To prevent this, India turned into a secular country. The state separated itself from religious institutions and religions from state interference. Every religion was given freedom to preach and propagate and treat all religions with equal respect. The concept of secularism has failed. Indian secularism is viewed as anti-Hinduism and suffers from the phobia of Islam. Even the common civil code collides with religious laws. On the contrary, religions have become vote-banks. Political parties promise to appease the minority religions to garner votes.
Time is ripe for people to depart from the fusion of old religions, beliefs and give way to reason. And stop following religions meant for the masses and pat attention on the development of an individual by promoting spirituality. Spirituality is not a collective need but a personal need of each human being.
When religions were introduced they were apt in the timeframe of history but are no longer valid to-day. Communism eliminated religions. When communism vanished religions reappeared. Suppression cannot be a solution. Spirituality is in-built in every human being and cannot be curbed. It needs to be harnessed to accelerate the evolution of human thought, from reason to spiritual experience.
The State revises the laws of their country from time to time through amendments, by keeping the governing principles of justice intact. Similarly religious percepts should be modified and all irrelevant commandments be discarded. Only by updating religious books, religions can remain relevant otherwise distortion misleads and does more harm. Its horrific effect in the form of terrorism is evident in the world, today.
Without transforming society, we cannot elevate the high ideals of spirituality. It is easier to lower the level of spirituality but difficult to raise the society to a higher spiritual level. We should face this challenge. Spirituality is meant for an individual and not for people in a group or public gathering. There is no specific belief system for spiritual growth. Spiritual awareness is based on an individual’s intuitive understanding of truth.
Gurus who insist that those following their brand of spiritual practices or imparted text of knowledge must not look beyond what they teach are frauds. Spirituality actually strengthens individual’s freedom for naturalness to grow on its own. Even evolved Gurus encourage, exploring all avenues of thought and all universal knowledge to build a sound base of a spiritual seeker. A thoughtful aspirant eventually breaks away from spiritual betrayal and control of false Gurus.
Spirituality is a metaphysical experience. It is not learnt from books or revealed at the places of worship. It is a matter of fact and not belief. One cannot become spiritual by wearing a mask. Spirituality is to be realized. No amount of talking will do any good. It is the manifestation of divinity, existing within everybody. It cannot be stuffed into anyone from outside. It is present in every human being. It is uncovering of what lies hidden inside. It is realized by observing the inner being. One should not look at the beating of the heart or the rhythmic breathing or the gurgling of the stomach. Spirituality has nothing to do with physicality. The inner being is mind. Watch and inhabit the mind. When mind is without thoughts, the hide and seek of spiritual experiences begin in the core of consciousness.
Spirituality is not superimposed, it must come from within. From immemorial time, spirituality has provided answers to the most complex questions. Besides, it awakens to render selfless service to all living beings. Real harmony cannot be achieved by running away from the turbulence of living. It has to come from within, even in the midst of chaos. Spirituality strengthens the inner self to deal with the harsh facts of life.
Nothing around us is real. We are surrounded by false impressions, sceneries, synthetic structures and artificial things in a world of Maya. Knowing this we are still creating a web of manmade illusion, to make ourselves more wretched. The idea behind spirituality is to stop dreaming and be grounded in reality and discover the impulse of inner simmering. Briefly put, ‘Know thyself’ is the knowledge of spirituality in its vocal expression. When it reaches the state ‘I know that I do not know’ then it is the knowledge of spirituality in silence. The language of silence is superior to manmade languages. Consciousness is silent and the mind chatters. There is no illusion or reality in the state of ones consciousness, except being. It is the mind that creates difference between the two.
IMPORTANCE OF SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT
Blind followers of religion are slaves and have no thirst for truth. For them truth does not exist and making spiritual efforts are useless. They suffer from stubbornness and believe that other religions are wrong. The clash of religions is the result of dogmatism. Religions represent the local custom and culture and the philosophy of its founder, which is treated as the gospel of life. All religions are partially true and rest is lies. Religions are taking people into the pit of darkness.
There is no need to run away from family and society to practice spirituality or wander here and there. Spirituality is an internal journey. The reality is within. All solutions are within. So let the spiritual seeker seek within. Why people are moving away from nature and living an artificial life. Come back to nature. Look above see the stars you haven’t seen them for years. Hear the chirping of the birds you haven’t heard for years. Smell the scent of earth lost in mist of body sprays. Feel the current of air.
Religion is imposed and people follow it under compulsion. Spirituality doesn’t coerce people to follow it. It is a natural human need. Genuineness yields far more power than inaccuracies. Spirituality is free from dogmas, commandments and compulsion. It is endowed with reason and freedom of thought in words and deeds. A spiritual seeker is free to choose what is good and what is bad for him. And accept those values that he himself concludes to be true after self-conducted scrutiny. Spirituality is a creed of ones own selection.
People should be eager to become spiritual. Reasonable discipline is required to develop spiritually. To match material growth spirituality should also grow or else society has no meaning, other than a collection of human being who survives on brute instincts like eating, sleeping and mating. Only spirituality can separate a human from a beast. Economic development is not the goal of human life. Self-realization is an essential requirement for a natural living.
Spirituality is self knowledge. It makes a person aware about human potential and its limitations by providing the right resolutions. With holy books and beliefs, religions have often succumbed, to dogmatism, superstition and theological factionalism. Spirituality is the turning point that can free the human mind from the shackles of religious orthodoxy and fanaticism. Spirituality can provide answers to the deepest questions of the purpose and initiative of human life. The connection between the physical and spiritual aspects of life leads to the well being of people.
Religions have not invented but degraded spirituality. Spirituality is the originator of all religions, the face of all faiths. Spirituality is not thrust upon by others but chosen by a person himself. It calls for discipline and determination. Today faith is distorted. People now question the validity of religions. Only spiritual knowledge can weed out the false from the true. Can merely reading the bible, Vedas and Koran be a decisive factor? Spirituality the knowledge of self, removes the veil of religion.
Mind is covered by endless thoughts and desires. Freeing the mind from all false notions is spirituality. A free mind is tolerant and accepts life as it comes and can cope with adversities, tragedies with ease, to surmount the miseries of the life. Harmony is the nature of human beings. Harmony is an innate act of balancing the physical and mental energies of a person. In fact, the law of harmony pervades and sustains the whole universe. No other species except human beings can consciously be aware of this fundamental law of nature. Therefore, it is important for everyone to know him-self. Knowing him-self is the gateway to a harmonious and happy life.
Spiritual people have a sense of purpose in their lives. Those who give too much importance to materialistic possessions, ignoring spirituality, are unhappy. Happiness is related to a sense of spiritual purpose in life. Just as greed is fulfilled with material objects, the thirst of curiosity is quenched by spirituality. So, spiritual needs are as important as material needs. They are two sides of a coin. Spirituality is a de-learning process to erase what the mind already knows. Consciousness fills an empty mind. Consciousness is not discovered. One simply becomes aware about it and finds himself merged with the whole universe, which is filled with consciousness alone. This is a state of being in sync with the whole world.
Troubled people look for ways and means, to get rid of frustration and skepticism that surrounds them, in a fiercely competitive world. The more people hanker after worldly attainments the more disturbed they find themselves. People experience the futility of this wild goose chase at some stage of their life. Spirituality gives faith, in the potential of ones innate nature and hope that keeps them going, in spite of the pulls and pressures of a busy world. Spiritual value systems facilitate a person to face life in a better way. Science deals with the physical world and unearths what is already there in a methodical manner. The Laws of gravity existed before they were discovered. It is wrong to equate a material world with the mental world.
Comprehensive knowledge, money-making skills and spirituality make a contemporary man. Existing societies produce a repressed class of people and a market driven culture creates an identical class of people with predictable wants, making them unduly self centered. Individuality can survive best on rationality. The rational nature is the spiritual side of man. Spirituality opens up new possibilities, new ideas and gives a new direction to life, things began to change, the person becomes aware of his actions and their consequences.
More than material development is spiritual progress that shows the way to live a happy life and happiness is a state of mind. Spirituality doesn’t believe in any supernatural power but believes in the human power. So there is no one to blame, no one to hold responsible for what happens in ones life. An individual is himself responsible for his own actions and becomes aware of his behavior and realizes what he is doing and where every act of his leads to. Righteousness is a consequence of this awareness. It is right karma that ultimately matters in life.
Be in the world as it is. Do not overlook it. Illusion and deceit is a part of life. Living in delusion and deception is not. To create a better understanding, we need to bring back the balance between the mind and the body. Naturalness alone can bridge them. Understanding the ways of nature and the state of naturalness is important. This is what life intends to be.
A purpose in life by itself becomes a fantasy if the power to put it into effect is lacking. Whole life is a play plan of idealism and dreams. One has to rise above them. The only thing that lives longer than man is his deeds. So everyone should be careful before he acts. One should make a conscious effort to do righteous deeds. Faith guarantees loyalty to religion. Otherwise such an idea is nothing except a vision. Irrelevance of religion is out in the open in the milieu of a growing eagerness for spirituality.
Despite technological progress, people are still unaware about their real identity and purpose of life. Their mind is confused and agitated. They are troubled, unsure and given to bouts of bad temper. They are unable to get a hold on themselves. This discontent is because of distancing themselves from ‘Nature’. It is necessary to live naturally to lead a happy life.
Rigidly in religions is a sign of decline. To be in a state of consciousness, one has to be awakened. When one is aware reality is present and when one is not awake truth is absent. When faced by adversity people look for help from their kith and kin but they should rely on themselves to overcome the hardships of life. Mind like a shadow follows the eye outwardly and ends up with external connections. In human relationships, selfishness is the cause of decline of virtue and prevalence of vice. Instead of turning towards spirituality people cling on to a mundane life. One has to choose an ephemeral solution or a lasting remedy. Material objects are provisional and spirituality permanent.
There is a spiritual energy that follows the body-mind compound, which can unfold and manifest. Study the human system in depth. Each human being is basically spiritual. Each person has the capacity to realize his true nature. Everyone is born free, freedom is infinity. The ever present truth becomes clear. No one can denature but can know his nature. We all are spiritually one and religion divides us, therefore spirituality should replace religion in present the situation.
Psychiatrists avoid issues of spirituality and faith when interacting with patients but confide that it is always appropriate to ask patients about their spirituality. Although psychiatrists are not usually religious, they are comfortable discussing spiritual issues.
Organized religions represent and reflect the opinion of a small group, who use religion as a weapon of discrimination and hate. Such a religion is no religion. Spirituality rises above the mundane. One sheds materialism, which induces a state of trance often mistaken as happiness. In the end, what we do to make life pleasant for ourselves those around us matters. No amount of expensive things will get us more than a fleeting gratification. It is better to shed the trappings and put money to good use.
In the age of commerce and technology, world is becoming too mechanical and robotic life. The more we progress technologically and materially the more we lose human touch. In such times, we need a little bit of spiritual sanity, to balance our lives, our heart longs to feel natural.
Religion and nationalism have been the main cause of conflict and violence in the world. Both have outlived their utility and are no longer relevant with the advent of spirituality and globalization. The world is now gearing up to resolve the problems that are crippling the growth of the human race. The world is now chasing the idea that ‘global is local’. The agenda of the world must broadly be global development, global government, global trade, global finance and the de-militarization of all the nations in the world. Lack of concern for equality is at the base of every social problem. Can we deprive intellectual and spiritual resources of world to develop materially and spiritually, if we are to survive?
We are by nature inclined towards spirituality yet it is something we seek. People spend a lifetime in its pursuit. Self-realization comes when one looks inward. Living consciously is a state of spirituality. Swadharma is a terminology given to put in place the true traits of spirituality. Keeping the description of spirituality open is wrought with wayward interpretations and the danger of being in an indeterminate state.
Consciousness is an invisible, elusive reality. In the interiors of a body-mind, there is a subtle being, which does not age with the body. It is different from the ego, the intellect and the conscience. It is the vast background of all living beings and non-living things tied to a celestial circumference on which innumerable worlds exists. At the core is the source of creation. This is a spiritual reality. This is experienced directly without the help of religions. Spiritual orientation is the greatest need because spirituality is the future religion of the world. Spirituality alone can usher an era of peace and happiness on earth.
Nothing is certain in the pursuit of truth. The spirit of adventure is important to chase truth. The nature of the higher self is wisdom while ignorance is the nature of the lower self. As flowers gives fragrance unreservedly, let human beings give their unconditional love to all in the garden of life. The higher self is constantly evolving with spirituality, which is the fulcrum of facts. Have courage to explore the mystery of life.
Mind dominates matter and reason is inadequate to approve or disapprove spiritual experiences. During spiritual experience one is overwhelmed by an incredible emotion of compassionate love, which is difficult to describe. The proof of spiritual reality is in the vision and not in logic. Spiritual experience brings a world-shattering change in a person’s outlook. All separateness disappears and the person sees unity in all things. Advantage of spiritualism over materialism, is to be emphasized, as only those species with higher mind will survive, while those with only gross physical bodies will perish. Man too will become extinct, if he does not make a conscious effort to develop the mind. We are here, like antennas, to catch signals of cosmic consciousness and act on it. We are here, to give birth, to something that wants to be born. We are here, not to be good or bad. We are here, to be as real, in nature.
Scientific technology gives comfort, cures diseases and enhances life. That’s not all. This is only the circumference and not the center of human life. Is spirituality the center? Even spirituality alone is not enough. The center is reached by a moderate path avoiding all extremes. If spirituality lacks a materialistic touch, it is escapism. One becomes a recluse, who is too concerned about his inner being. If materialism lacks a spiritual touch, one becomes prosperous but something is still missing within him. There is something far more mysterious which cannot be grasped by science, it needs some different approach far beyond the scope of spirituality. Reality is closer to thoughts than things. It is content and consciousness. It is the intent and the individual.
Spiritual awareness depends on personal level of understanding. It is known by experience and not by words. Spirituality is a feeling of being connected with oneself and the universe. It is the balancing rod of the body and the mind. Life has too many unanswered questions and inexplicable phenomena. Human curiosity needs to know as much as it can and this is what drives human beings to learn more. In a mysterious world, it is important to accept the unknown and the unknowable. Being a part of mystery is the best way to deal with the unfathomable.
Future global civilization will survive mainly on its spiritual heritage. Spirituality offers a universal value system that binds the people together as one. Faith is blind, so it is necessary for everyone to first experience and then believes. With this practical approach, there will hardly be any conflict between science and spirituality. All religious beliefs, languages, custom and cultures, all white, black, yellow and brown people and all nations will be tied together by a common thread of spirituality. There will be no war. Everybody’s education and material needs will be fulfilled. The world will become one family.
People must only know the basics of spirituality and avoid a wild feedback. Overload of crippling information and deluge of data, in the age of internet is inevitable. Intuition or gut feeling is still a better option than a hit and trail method, to sort out the endless chain of data. Unstructured data is an area of confusion. Intuitive insight can get through it. Since experience it is important so ignore data, hear and heed the inner voice. A smart hunch played at the right moment can reveal facts. Relying totally on intuition is a debatable issue. Intuition is the sum total of one’s life experience.
Man supersedes other living being by intelligence. Higher human ideals, innovation and perfection are recognized and rewarded by the world to promote the excellence of human intellect. The world is surrounded by a never-ending mystery. The unknowable is not known by intellect or emotions, it is spirituality, which leads one there. Mankind’s last higher objective is spirituality, which is a natural evolution of life. Man consciously tries to attain the supernatural. However, the very intelligence of man becomes a hindrance on this path. He starts thinking of himself and loses the invisible track of mysteries around him.
The misery of the world can be removed, if people learn to be righteous in our conduct with their fellow-beings and make the world a realm of righteousness and not wait for death to head off to an imaginary place called paradise and hell. By practicing spirituality righteous conduct is cultivated. Offering prayers and performing rituals is superstition. Spirituality focuses on mans nature and his disposition, to turn the mind from bad disposition into good disposition. Only a good disposition can lay the foundation of righteousness.
Trouble arises when we go wrong by chasing the fake as genuine. It makes us dysfunctional. Actually, most of the problems people suffer from are self-created. Spirituality is not a speculative system. It is based on common sense. It does not offer any position on the basis of which one can take a stand against other schools of thought. Spirituality is the law of the heart. The law of the heart is without form, pervading everywhere.
The need to understand himself in terms of change and renewal, grips the imagination of the educated man. If the wrong man, uses the right means, the right means, work in the wrong way. It is the man who matters and not the means. And in the end each man must grow spiritually, out of his own nature.
Spirituality is not a new concept. It is the revival of old values, the restoration of knowledge, long forgotten. It is an attempt to revise it, for the welfare of humanity. The method of passing on knowledge has not changed. In all classification, be it old or new, there is a similarity and commonness of crucial aspects, which lead to self and God realization.
Spirituality is scientific. It works without dogmas or doctrine, ideals or ideas. It envisages one to live consciously and that is what makes a man spiritual and enlightened. This method is not based on belief but on self experience.
We are the creators of our own problems that eventually lead us to suffering. Instead of knowing the root cause of the problems, we hold others responsible for our miserable life. Spirituality brings awareness. Awareness helps to solve problems as most of our problems are due to ignorance. An imbalanced life gives a split personality. People stop seeing things together as a whole. They tend to overlook the wholeness of life and become victims of suffering. Spirituality believes in the inference of cause and effect. Cause produces effect and effect the cause. Inference follows direct cognition. With inferential reasoning, reality is perceived. Spirituality accepts reasoning as the last word.
Free thoughts and free spirit of investigation, is necessary for spirituality to flourish. The mind and matter are in a state of flux. Every moment thoughts arise and fade away. Nothing remains permanent either in this world or elsewhere in the universe. Everything that exists is a combination of elements and energies. All these things will one day disintegrate and disappear because they are subject to change and decay. The very fact that anyone who takes birth will one day become old, sick and die, takes away the joy from life. When spirituality steps in, it gives an idea about the purpose in life. It gives a new direction to religious and realistic matters. It brings a new spirit, a new hope, a new path, to be real and natural.
Local traditional values, shaped the societies and religions, scattered in different geographical regions of the world. It still contains the remnants of its ancient principles. Today, it is difficult to absorb and practice these traditional beliefs by people belonging to a different cultural and regional background. Forceful conversion of religion shatters the spirit of a society and reduces people to typecast a foreign race and culture. The eagerness of missionaries to change the cultural values, traditional beliefs and the social patterns in the land of conversion has failed. The socio-cultural and geographical spirit of a society cannot be changed. On the contrary, such situations create socially damaging conditions. Superficially it may appear normal but in the mind of those people, who convert, their traditional beliefs and values still persist. This blurs the face of religion to vulgarize it by such makeshift conversions.
Whether it is a right view or a wrong view, no view is to be considered absolute and beyond question. Freedom of thought is a matter of self-respect. No one should claim his doctrine as the final authority. Real authority is that which possesses truth.
We learn by direct experience. Human understanding goes beyond verbal limitations. We have to grow from within. Mind is the best friend and the worst foe. We have to overcome the mind and subdue the senses. There is no other teacher except an individual person himself. Gear up to transcend human limitations. Shed individual trait to free the outer self, to find fulfillment in the inner self.
The ethos of unity in diversity is the answer to the problem facing the world today. The problems emanate from some religionist who attempt to bring about uniformity in the world. But is dismissing religious pluralism a solution to this problem?
HOW TO PRACTICE SWADHARMA
Mind is on an expedition, in the wild, harsh and ruthless jungle of thoughts. It is, indeed, a dicey place to tread with ideas we have been told about or with ideas forced upon us or with ideas we ourselves have imagined or with educational ideas learnt for a living. We need to unload the baggage of all these outsourced ideas, before we discover it for ourselves, the universal laws of life and living and then tag on and hold fast to them. The essence of the law of nature is one but its configuration can be seen by each person in his own way. A person can live a natural life by applying his own mind or else a person lives a slavish life, projected by the mind of others.
Spirituality rises above thoughts and rituals. It involves gaining control over mind. Everything around us is an expression of natural laws. Good and bad are manmade standards. Spirituality goes beyond these values, to reach the highest level of humanism. It focuses on the individual’s inner journey and not on any external demonstrative traits, like visiting temples, offering prayers to God and wearing distinctive dresses to advertise a religion.
People are either God-centric or money-centric. Both attitudes have an element of uncertainty in-built in it. There are several questions regarding the existence of God. Religions are still struggling to find an answer. As a result, God-realization is far-fetched. Similarly most people don’t know how much their ultimate material requirement is. Human greed is unbridled and wants more and more wealth. The end result of both cases is frustrating. Spirituality strikes a balance between the two to make life happy.
Any knowledge that does not connect us to our natural being and the reality around us is not worth acquiring. We stuff our minds with multitude branches of knowledge, reading all kinds of books. This way the brain becomes a storehouse of learning and lacks substance such persons become restless, unbalanced, confused and erratic in their conduct. Seek to know reality.
Delving deep into the inner world is a search beyond the findings of a human mind, reasoning, logic and intellectual perception. The mind is observed by de-learning what one has learnt so far. It is the journey into the metaphysical world and surpasses all knowledge of the physical world.
In an uncultivated field, when season arrives, the grass grows on its own. The field does nothing, yet nothing is left undone. The spontaneity of nature is incredible. The law of nature is not different for human beings. No preparation is made by a child to become a youngster, an old person and finally a dead body, transformation happens automatically. Since the mind constitutes both the animal instincts and spiritual aspiration, we need to rest in the silence of a thoughtless space because thoughtlessness makes us conscious. A life lived with consciousness, is a life lived in the spontaneity of a natural existence.
See things as they are’, this basic idea requires no argument it simply is an invitation to have a ‘personal experience’. Those who fail to aspire to know reality have missed the purpose of life. Enough has been taught it is time to act now. Truth is within us, it is just a matter of finding it so plan nothing, just plug-in to know it. Spirituality is a state of spontaneity, where enlightenment occurs unexpectedly, in an unplanned way.
If faith means to surrender, than let people surrender to the laws of nature. Spirituality doesn’t mean living in isolation nor does it mean running away from family and friends. Living in society with family and friends is a biological and a social need. Spirituality is best practiced as a private, personal and internal matter of a person, without reading the holy book, visiting the church or meeting the pope to become spiritual. The element of spirituality is everywhere and within everyone.
Spiritual growth depends on the determination and the methods applied to accomplish or overcome lack of interest to attain it. By deciding a lifestyle, supportive of spiritual growth, spiritual progress is achieved. In between, there are intervals, to test, what may appear to be a turndown and create instances of hopelessness. Such conditions arise due to incomprehension of unidentifiable forces or lack of aspiration or deficient dedication or lopsided spiritual practices or exposing to rubbish spiritual literature or obsession with sensory experience or lacking concentration. Follow and find the way that is result oriented and continue with it. Spiritual experience is between an individual and the universal laws of nature. It is very personal practice that differs from one person to another.
People should not be influenced by biased opinions or do something that may divert them from their objective. Undeterred by external agreeable or disagreeable circumstances, internal exertions for spiritual growth must continue as personal responsibility. All outer support systems are useless. Spirituality facilitates to develop an exclusive self-support-system because it does not rely on any external backing. It is through self-enquiry or self-introspection that spirituality is pursued.
Spirituality can be pursued regardless of religious affiliation. A person can continue with habituated practices of worship or any other familiar procedures of devotional activity or meditation. Being a Christian, a Jew, a Buddhist, a Hindu or a Muslim or belonging to any other religious sect or a cult, is a superficial association. Switchover to spirituality is slow but sure accomplishment. When a certain level of spirituality is reached then religion drops automatically. Religions tend to distort the real essence of spirituality. Spirituality thrives in a religionless environment.
Years of religious conditioning have gripped people tightly in its claws. In such circumstances, how can they observe spirituality, without being faithful to their religious practices? Discernment makes the process easier. It helps to distinguish that a human being is a natural spiritual being and religions are manmade sack of speculations. The goal of spirituality is to live with pure consciousness and not in the web of thoughts. When people depart from this world, it is consciousness, which goes with them and not their religious affiliations and beliefs.
When the journey of spirituality starts the path is new and the travel is easy. On the way, when thoughts are scrubbed by reality, to cleanse the dirt of ideas from the mind, then rinsing out these psychological blockades becomes difficult and people find themselves stranded. Years pass, when they reconcile, then they are ready and self knowledge is gained and the working of the human mind is understood, then they become free, they are no more a slave to any religious authority and they have learnt to govern themselves. Now there are no obstacles on the road and life is smooth.
The way people handle their inner being has a direct impact on everything they do outwardly. When people are calm and peaceful within, they are never in conflict outside and become a blessing for everyone. For instance, when the temperature is extremely hot or cold outside, people tend to create a comfortable climate inside their rooms. Spirituality is a similar technology to create congenial internal vibes. As human experiences of happiness and suffering, harmony and havoc are triggered by chemicals in the human body. By spirituality we can create a chemistry of blissfulness to deal them stoically.
Being spiritual means turning inwards. To turn inwards there is no obstacle except us. The inner development is not a matter of capability but of willingness. We should examine ourselves minutely, we have many in-built layers of resistance, if we are willing than there is no obstacle at all. A little spiritual discipline is necessary in order to know what lies within. Practicing spiritual disciplines like meditation and yoga helps to reflect on reality.
If we peel the numerous layers of thought patterns formed, by the ego, one after another from the mind, in the end we find that nothing remains. This is the state of pure existence, the existence of consciousness. The person who attains this knowledge becomes silent and is totally at peace with him and his surroundings. This is the eternal truth, even if it is tainted by time; it still remains the ultimate unalterable reality.
Spiritual point of view can necessitate a revision of religious beliefs and outlook. The power to transform enables a person to rediscover the element of spirituality, lying dormant in each person, waiting to awaken by self-awareness. To experience emancipation, one has to free himself from bondage. When there is no one to command, no impediment, no landmarks, then the technique of natural living is revealed. People only have to know ‘what they are’ and ‘how they should live’, that’s all. They don’t have to believe in anything else.
A spiritual seeker sees a constant changeability and continuous contradictions in life. While living the life of the body, a person loses his spiritual nature. Spiritual nature or human consciousness functions by the body-mind continuum and not separately. Consciousness cannot be elevated, at the cost of the body or the mind. Though it may appear as an outcome of both, actually, it goes much beyond this unified body-mind field of human existence.
Being rational is being spiritual. The rational disposition of ones conscience is his spiritual nature. It is a mistake to practice spirituality disconnectedly. There are no separate set of rules and regulations to become spiritual nor do we have to do something extraordinary to become spiritual but whatever we are doing must be done in a rational way. Spirituality is connected with rationality. Besides, a natural life is a spiritual life. Spirituality is regaining the natural composure. As long we are natural we are not lost in the illusory world.
Renouncing the world is not necessary to become spiritual. People need not separate spiritual life from worldly life. People can be spiritual without a dress code, add on accessories and hairdo to look holy, like the swami’s, the baba’s or the guru’s do, befooling people by their outer trappings, trimmings and talk. Spiritual life is not meant for monks alone, the householders are equally entitled to live a spiritual life. when a householder becomes spiritual, his spiritual life is far superior to the spiritual life of a person, who renounces the world to become a swami, a baba or a guru and does not disappear from human habitat but lives on the earnings of the householders to swap spiritual space.
Rational consciousness grows when people become reasonable. Religion does not appeal a rational mind as spirituality does. The exchange of opinions or ideas, a dialogue with all the existing faiths can fill this inter-religious space with spirituality, where people can step into the stream of spiritual life straight away. Spirituality is led by the vision of reason and reality. The spirit of all religions can produce a dynamo of spiritual force to unify the world. Human race has entered an era that would transform the moral and spiritual life of all human beings.
Continue to make efforts and never lose hope. However, small the effort, every effort makes a difference. Spirituality is the starting point of all religious change. A call for transformation can come from a single individual to change collectively the destiny of the human race. Insight is often more accurate than we are willing to believe. Spirituality is practiced through meditation. With a reasonable mind, the practitioner makes headway and his whole personality changes. This is the becoming of a new man.
When a conscious effort is made by shifting the center of attention inside, it tends to flee outside, on the periphery of my house, my wife, my children, my position and my power. If we are stripped of all these things, we feel like a nonentity. We get identified with things, one by one we get identified with too many things than our individual identity is scattered and we become a crowd.
Spirituality in its pure form should be taught in school and colleges as a subject pertaining to social science, its awareness will tend to corrupt less and dislodge all false religions and god men. Spirituality does not need swamis or Gurus, who distort to gain personal financial benefits. A genuine swami or a guru radiates reality, lives frugally and does not use gimmicks to gather a crowd. Only a swami or a guru, who gives false promises, instant remedies and spreads superstitions, gathers a big crowd. The process of spiritual awareness through instructors will expose the false swami’s and the gurus.
Whatever standards we use, we all are trying to be somebody or trying to be better than somebody. By doing so, we are just living our life in the minds of others. Every human being has a unique characteristic. That’s why; spirituality accentuates not to be like somebody apart from what an individual human being actually is, besides it does not matter what he wants to be in the world. Spirituality means to be ‘as we are, the way we are’ so each individual has to lay his own way towards spiritual progress.
When we observe our inner being, there is no need to evaluate ourselves, we simply need to watch. What needs to happen will happen automatically. As we cannot undo it so allow it to happen. In that case, we reach a level of stability, where we can just ‘BE’, without trying to do anything, without trying to get anywhere. We move from one unknown dimension to another mysterious dimension. As we cannot understand anything beyond three dimensions but can just experience the existence of multiple dimensions. Let us experience and not understand it. The core of our existence is in the eternity of ecstasy surrounded by a smoke of thoughts burning with the fire of passions, anger, hate, greed and selfishness.
Spirituality advocates that people should discipline themselves in such a manner that material things loosen their grip and control over their mind so that it can go into a state of consciousness. Spirituality is basically a self-study. When the body becomes a tool to study the inner self then the outer being is not different from the inner being. The body is a laboratory to discipline and reach the subtler states of consciousness.
Total surrender to the forces of nature is necessary to become spiritual. Whatever exists is the manifestation of natural phenomena. The creation of existence of living and non-livings things is a grand spectacle of nature, a riddle of marvel, mystery and magic. Believing in the laws of nature is not an escapist idea. In fact, it gives strength to make earnest efforts to carry on in spite of problems. After all, we all are a part of the great natural phenomena called human life.
Life is like a germinating seed. In the forest, the seed grows by itself into a tree, to reprocess the seed to a seed. A seed sprouting a tree to bear fruits, flowers and seeds, is a result of natural laws. Any human effort to change the natural processes is wrought with natural disaster. In the same way the human consciousness works effortlessly like the automatic beating of the heart, inhaling and exhaling and all other programmed functions in the body. As the human nervous system works spontaneously on its own so does the human consciousness in the immeasurable spaces of existence.
All the functions of body and mind, sensations, perceptions and dispositions originate from ego, which is the core of all human beings. Ego gives a fake sense of self and creates divisions among people. Ego fuels the flame of hatred, lust and envy. Ego is the biggest trouble-monger. Egos breed errors by mixed bags of thoughts. Ego is an obstruction to spiritual advancement. Reality and not idealism is the end and aim of all existence. Spirituality is the place where righteousness, love, justice and goodwill dwells and can by far transform the ego into a spiritual self.
People have been inquiring ‘who am I’ on intellectual level and not from the depth of their inner being. The silence of thoughtlessness, the pulse of subtle energies, the joy of bliss and the coming out of consciousness, are the prime movers of life. By building a sound foundation of life and by revitalizing the field of being, all aspects of life get enriched automatically. The spark of spirituality that glitters within all is hidden to the blind. Spirituality is the measure by which people can discern false and true religions.
The growth and decay of the body happens on its own, without conscious efforts but mentally we have to make conscious efforts to shift our attention from one place to another place. It is for people to decide, where they want to put their attention, by uprooting it from one place and planting it at a different place. Laws of nature are simple. They do not complicate things. They are clear and cyclic. They appear and disappear to come back and dissolve again. Spirituality helps to understand the simplicity of nature.
Human beings are not satisfied by material or sociological needs alone. They often feel that some precious sentiment grips their heart, which is loosening to communicate, as a personal longing, as a cherished thought, something wordless and too deep for words to express. Dive within to identify this spiritual dimension of human nature. Residing in this spiritual dimension one realizes that humanity is the religion of human race, breathing is prayer, living with consciousness is the aim of life and nature is God.
When the mind is relaxed and not restless then all ambiguities end and the capacity to perform good karma increases. Thoughts become clearer and decisions are taken with clarity and conviction. Perception becomes wider and starts expanding. Spiritual alignment not only keeps the body and mind fit but also gives inner strength. The heart and the mind stop contradicting each other and this balance makes life spiritually progressive.
Life is a process of physical and spiritual development. In the initial stage knowledge is acquired to dispel ignorance. In the growth stage that knowledge is practiced to build virtue, self control and insight. Finally in the Stage of maturity harmony and happiness is achieved. Spirituality elevates the human mind from basic instincts to a higher intellectual level. It is an unending quest for perfection and nature’s method to evolve. With righteousness the world will eventually become a place where harmony, compassion, love and justice will reign. Then people will have a better spiritual life and feel connected with each other as a single human race.
When frustrations become unbearable and all hopes are lost, it is than that people look towards God for help. But in contradiction all answers and all solutions come from within. When people find their center calmness amidst chaos comes out spontaneously. In this state, the inner self can see faults and shortcomings, even in the greatest moments of triumph. There is no substitute to truth. What we think we are, is what the sages say, if we have depressing thoughts, there is no way, we can lead a happy life.
Worldliness is an essential part of human experience. Making a living is not restricted to survival alone but also evolves human beings to higher levels of rationality and human relationships. This is living a wholesome life. When old people imitate the young, they become an object of ridicule. When young people with no experience of worldly life turn towards spirituality are lost and reach nowhere. People have no choice but to live in a materialistic world, as there is no other place to live. So fully experience the worldly life before turning towards spirituality. Even those who claim to be sadhus, swamis or gurus live on donations. But a householder who earns his own bread and becomes spiritual is genuine indeed.
By practicing spirituality a place in heaven is not secured except one learns how to live a life in a real world. An enquiry into truth is not an intellectual idea. It is a natural activity, unintentionally moving, to transform the mind into a state of consciousness, to feel happy. Inner well being is crucial to maximize ones spiritual potential. Human awareness should shift from organized religion to spiritual science. Religious groups have forgotten religion and are too ambitious to garner economic gain and political power. Besides religion is becoming the biggest threat to world peace.
With the arrival of spiritual marketplace and the gurus, there is an influx of up-market spirituality on sale. There are several combinations of spirituality but the outward appearance of the Guru with the halo of holiness and the status of his disciples is in great demand, irrespective of virtuous contents. The buyer must have sufficient money and not spiritual inclination to pay the guru. These self-claimed gurus conduct courses in luxury hotels, palaces and yachts. They have a prescription for salvation for the rich and the famous. If someone is short of cash there is less expensive spiritual coaching for them. Spiritual classes are never free of cost. These gurus have the acumen to fill the marketplace with a mixed bag of all ancient spiritual disciplines and have nothing new to contribute. Today, witnessing the vulgarization of spirituality by these so called gurus makes one sad.
The much hyped cult of Gurus, raises serious questions about their being genuine spiritual leaders or not. These gurus are a wicked bunch of charlatans. They live the lifestyle of millionaires. Those who know them confirm that they visit gambling dens, indulge in drinking spree and sexual escapades. They use expensive plastic surgery to look attractive. Designer wardrobe and special hairdos are their add-on accessories to trick people by giving the impression of being a saint. Is this the real face of the gurus?
One must be morally strong before entering spiritual life. There is no need to shun a materialistic life in the search of spirituality. It is wrong to believe that there can be no spiritual progress as long people are attached to worldly possessions and desires. And it is equally true that too much of materialistic leanings can reduce to rubble a money oriented life and too much of spiritual inclination can do the same amount of damage. Balancing the spiritual and the physical human needs is essential for spiritual enlightenment. Spirituality and sensuality ply together. And ethical life is a sign of spirituality.
Spirituality is based on simple facts and not on dogmas and creeds. To become spiritual anyone can start from where he is right now, whether he has any allegiance to a religion or not, it doesn’t matter. Everything in the universe rests on a pair of opposites. Light and dark, good and the bad etc. and there is a constant effort to wriggle out of it. That’s why; a spiritual person follows the middle path, avoiding the opposite extremes. Spirituality is self awareness, therefore we should simply watch and not try to change anything and allow ourselves to be exactly, as we are.
There comes a time of reckoning in the life of each person. When he questions the purpose of his existence, with brainteasers like, ‘Who am I?’ ‘Where do I come from?’ and ‘Where am I going?’ This leads to introspection and the person starts getting a mixed bag of answers according to the level of his personal understanding. This is the initial stage of spirituality. The deeper one steps within. The clarity of ‘His being’ and ‘His becoming’ emerge clearly and all ambiguities drop. Spirituality is not experienced in isolation, by going to mountains or woods. It is practiced here and now, where one happens to be.
Does pretentiousness impede the quest for spirituality? Can the two co-exist? Are these two concepts in conflict? Leading a humble life is certainly, a better option, to achieve a larger goal of life, for a greater good. Pretention raises self-importance and makes one selfish, forgetting the greater good. As long a person remains orientated towards righteousness, it doesn’t matter what kind of lifestyle he lives. Since religions have become regressive, the human progress now depends on spiritual growth and spirituality can flourish faster with the support of the State.
Are religious scriptures truthful? They alone know who have experienced or written it. Reality is revealed by trial and error. The future of religion lies in the veracity of its version and not in being vague. Spiritual instructors unlike the fake gurus will not create institutions but help people realize that ‘what they’re looking for is within them’ and not outside in religious institutions and gurus. Spirituality is experienced, in person, through personal efforts alone, so the argument that one person’s effort is superior or inferior to another does not arise. Spirituality goes beyond the strictures of religious books.
When a person infers truth by his own understanding then nobody else can define it for him. But if another person agrees to it, it becomes truth for both. If many others have the same opinion, it becomes truth for a group and so on and on. This truth is relative and not absolute. There is a wealth of knowledge and uncountable books, they do not adapt to a standardized understanding and differs in its interpretation of truth, such are the limitations of religious scriptures.
The path of truth is experienced personally and is unique to each person. People should not pledge their freedom to a guru to know truth. People must draw inspiration from self experience. The cause to impel is within us. There is no use to rely on external forces to gain internal strength. Spirituality is a technique of dynamic living. Don’t become a loner but a man of action working in a spirit of renunciation.
Rejecting superstitions beliefs and rituals, freedom from false impressions and having faith in the impermanence of things, promoting righteousness, peace, non-violence, religious tolerance and co-existence and the law of UNIVERSAL TRUTH, also comes under the domain of spirituality.
Ethics lead to a way of life, in which transitory temptations, have no place and each person becomes a selective subject, who discerns the worldly objects of temptation as ephemeral and exercise self-control. Spirituality does not believe in a God created by religions but accepts nature as God and the laws of nature as Gods commandments. It rejects comforts of afterlife in heaven or torture in hell. It accepts that cause and effect determine karma. Being down to earth, it refrains, from promoting false promises, to mislead, innocent people.
Metaphysical speculations on universe, world, soul, God, creation and after life are best addressed in silence in the private and confidential domain of an individual. People are exposed to all school of thoughts and practices and have to pass through them, to separate and substantiate, which ideology and practice is wrong and which ideology and practice is right, to reach were they want to go. By personal experience, one finds a unique personalized method, to reach the goal. Spirituality does not deliver, human beings, but show them the way, to deliver themselves, through their own efforts.
According to spirituality each aspirant must know ‘WHAT YOU ARE’ and ‘HOW TO LIVE’ that is all. People don’t have to believe in anything else except to understand their mind, how it works, how attachment and desires arise, how ignorance is removed, where emotions and thoughts come from and be familiar with human nature and consciousness. With this our life can change completely. Once the law of constant change and temporary traits of all living and non-living things are understood, change is accepted without apprehension or argument. A rational mind pays attention to the world and lives in the world but is constantly aware of its transitory nature. This is the state of enlightenment.
Being guided by religious beliefs is foolish. Beliefs are irrational and create doubts. Rationality clears doubts and helps to explore the truth. Doubt is the means and truth is the end. It is doubt which propels one to embark on the journey to truth. This helps to conclude truth logically. Once the ego is pushed aside the inward journey begins automatically. No one should emulate the experience of others. It should be ones own experience.
The eternal quest to find answers to oft-repeated questions, ‘Who am I? ‘Where do we come from?’ ‘What is the purpose of our life?’ ‘Where do we go after death?’ leads to stilling the mind, the mind is silenced through meditation and meditation is the merging of conscious, unconscious and sub-conscious mind. Once the true nature of a person floats up, meditation sinks. Now there are no questions to answer, all answers have become questions and all questions their answers. This is the state of oneness, where only truth, consciousness and bliss exist.
The path of spirituality is not easy. Let a person decide for himself, no matter what may come, he will stick to it, even amidst his occupational duties and his household tasks. Life is governed by natural forces. These forces flow through us. Why block or suppress them. Blockages blur the center. Being anywhere on the circumference is easy but being focused at the center is difficult. Once a person is totally committed, once he knows that life is only about being natural, the whole journey towards spirituality becomes easy, indeed.
Spirituality is practiced to transform false life to real life. A spiritual person is fully conscious about his inner life. He prefers the company of a person, whose conduct is good and not the company of a guru, whose conduct leaves much to be desired. He considers God dwells in him and looks within to find him. He lays emphasis on direct knowledge of divinity and sees meditation as a means to spiritual seeking. Spirituality is a modern day call. It is based on the principles to promote human worth and human respect of each person and opposes religious divisions and acts of terrorism, which demean human dignity and life.
Spirituality is not set to a particular perspective. It does not disrespect others point of view. Like a bee gathers honey from different flowers. The spiritual seeker collects the essence of all religions without ridiculing them. Tolerance is a positive effort to understand others beliefs, when there is no coercion to accept or share it. Tolerance is a virtue. Let us tolerate all religions, the one in which we are born as well as other religions in which others are born.
Spirituality is self-inquiry. When self-inquiry begins, the enquirer and the inquiry are present and intensely entangled with each other. At the end both the enquirer and the inquiry disappear. All names, forms and thoughts vanish. A state of pure consciousness is reached. There remains nothing, yet in this nothingness there is an awareness of something, which is full of mystery and spiritual experiences.