Observing daily worshipping, superstations, rituals has somehow been understood in general as Spirituality. A person who could achieve nothing in this life, in this material world (could never acquire wealth), usually turns to be spiritual is the indiscriminate assumption. And it may be true to some extent as it is very rare to find a rich, successful person with achievements, is also a spiritual. We all, usually in times of pain, grief or problems call upon God. Our general observed attitude observed is success, gains are outcome of my deeds but the pains, sorrows are wrath of God.
I was not far removed from this notion. In my childhood. I never went to any temple on my own. I had not reached that age to talk convincingly to my parents about my views. Exceptionally I found it pleasant when inside the temple. And mostly, had a feeling to escape from such places.
When I became major, I started thinking over. Why I feel uncomfortable at such places ? I had lot of questions buzzing like bees in my mind but not getting the answers and thoughts kept whirling in mind.
1. Following rituals, fasting; does it mean Spirituality ?
2. Plethora of Deities in Hinduism. Which Deity to be revered ?
3. How to prove the existence of God ?
4. Why to visit Temple if God is omnipresent ?
5. Why all the devotees worship the deities under the pressure of fear ? Fearing the wrath if not worshipped.
6. Why everyone carries garlands, flowers, offerings while visiting temple ?
7. Under the pretense of Guru – a divine teacher – many self proclaimed & enlightened characters are proliferating. Do we really need such Guru ?
8. To be Spiritual, does it mean to be passive ?
9. Everyone around us in this society is in the search of happiness, pleasures. And ironically, most of the times, some sort of apathy, melancholy creeps in, on not achieving the expected happiness.
10. Almost all are smeared with desires and selfish attitude. Desires could be of various types such as food, money, clothing, status, prestige, fame, physical or flaunting oneself.
11. Why a person is not happy even after he gains the position that can be adored and also enviable by others ?
12. We sometimes don’t approve of some aspect of another person and we get either angry with him or hate him.
13. All the luxury, why it has to be for show-off ? e.g. house, car, clothing etc. and this all is to receive compliments or envy?
14. How does spirituality is helpful for the society?
15. Many rich are observed offering financial help to the needy. Is it for adding virtuous deeds to credit and thus negating the past sinful acts?
Confusion in my thoughts was getting worse as there were no proper explanations to my queries.
In our professional or personal life, we all have to face various problematic situations. A hollow feeling is sensed deep that inside is something is amiss. This disturbs the mental peace totally. We starve for outside guidance. Such Guide can be termed as Guru? There are ample of so called Gurus in the society. How to come across perfect guide – Guru ? But, why do I insist to meet Guru alive ? In Maharashtra, we are all blessed by various divine traditions or saints, and their literature itself could be a great guide.
Surprisingly, I slowly came upon all the unanswered questions and clarities. Confusions were getting unraveled. Every time when I was puzzled over anything, unexpectedly someone would enter my life and then the things were to get cleared. Sometimes these solutions, clarifications were received in most unfathomable way. Maybe, all these answers will not be agreeable to you all and I truly don’t expect or assume it to be, as it is my very personal view or thinking.
This expressing myself is not meant to give some discourse. I don’t claim to be enlightened. Still, I have sincerely tried to put forth the views that appealed to me.
1. Who am I ? what is this world / universe ? And what is my relation with these existences in this world ? Spirituality helps to understand this all, nothing to do with performing rituals. In the progress for attaining divine, all the rituals like worshipping, pilgrimage fasting are the tools. But unfortunately, we get entangled in these rituals to such extent that we lose the track of our real goal of attainment / enlightenment.
Spirituality means, a resource to bring about a change in ourselves. When we feel or sense the discrepancies exist between our attitude, behavior and thinking processes, as well as if there is no harmony in our expectations and the reality, Spirituality is the best means to bring those changes.
2. GOD is unique ! A supreme vitality in various forms, visualized by we humans. There cannot be any confusion if one believes, trusts one form of it, worships that form with understanding the omnipresence of that supreme vitality is in all the forms.
3. GOD – Supreme Vitality – is not to be proved but to be experienced.
4. If the sanctity in our home is preserved well, we need not have to search GOD anywhere else in a outside world.
5. God or our family deity is not some hoodlum on the corner who will cause us trouble if we don’t pay contribution or offerings. Pray from your heart, it surely gets heard by your deity.
6. The garlands, offerings are not expected at God’s feet, it is not necessary. Usually, it is for show off to other devotees. In a way it is simply a bribe, expecting in return the fulfillment of his / her own wishes.
7. Divine Masters / Guides are in our hearts. Ask your questions there inside and you will receive the answers as well. The TRUTH comes up when you will start assessing all your deeds in a pure consciousness.
8. To be Spiritual is to be passive is the another most absurd assumption. “योगक्षेमं वहाम्यहम” is very much misrepresented. To perform our duties is the very primary obligation for us.
9. Unless you attain peace of mind, everything, all the wealth, honor, fame is of no use, is meaningless.
10. We can not conquer our desires. We should be able to, learn to disregard our desires and experience the desires simply getting vanished.
11. We will not experience the pure joy of acquiring anything until we stop comparing with others.
12. The reason for we hate the other person, is just enough for him to hate us. Because, we like the things he does not like at all.
13. Our worst enemy is our Ego. The simple way to destroy Ego is the self analysis or introspection.
14. The utmost goal of socially active person is to make every part of the society happy and satisfied. It is essential to observe morals, injustice to no one, minimize selfishness, patience and prudence for the healthy society. The changes which occur in the spiritual person, being spontaneous, are permanent and the behavior of such person promotes others to change themselves. Though its silent, this mission is very impressive and effective.
15. The financial help done with the expectation of repayment / honor or any such craving is of no use. Help the truly eligible and needy. It should not be like rainwater showering on ocean, food offered to bellyful and the lights put on in the daylight.
I also had following understanding apart from the above answers.
• We are living our life 100% for ourselves. Right from our loving mother to the unselfish devoted social worker, if we observe keenly, a hidden subtle self interest like expectance of getting cared in the old age or receiving credit from the society is traced. Every relation is tied with mainly the self interest than the emotions and love, which is the naked truth that we can’t deny.
• To really understand Spirituality, we will have to read our life as an open book, separating its sticky pages.
• Spirituality must transform. It is of no use if elements like desire, anger, arrogance, temptation, envy and ego are still active / alive in ourselves.
• Divine Teacher acts like some armor or as a shock absorber, due to which suffering, sorrow, fear, insecurity may disturb us but does not annihilate us.
• Just like the hungry child crying to attract mother’s attention, we can also sometimes express to our divine teachers, only to draw an attention.
• Devotion should be with total surrender, with earnest fervor.
• Spirituality is evident if we are able to preserve mental balance during the times of extreme happiness or immense sorrow.
At last, in reference to this topic, I will like to mention here a para from Shri K V Belsare’s book, which is most appropriate here.
“In algebra, you assume unknown X value to solve the problem. We never come to know the real value of X until we reach the final solution. But at the same time, its inclusion, its presence is very essential. Similarly, to solve the puzzle of this life, we have to assume GOD, who is unknown to us today. We will realize God, his form & nature only when we will come upon the knowledge, the solution of this Life and solve this Puzzle!”
II Shri Swami Samarth II
#Spirituality #God #Nature #Temples
(This is a translation of my earlier published article in Marathi – मला उमगलेले अध्यात्म)
My original article in Marathi