For every individual human being living on mother earth… undertaking spiritual journey was mandated by god. Not necessarily, we undertake spiritual journey in present life time. Reason was apparent… as laid in Hinduism scriptures like Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads (independent treatises)… human beings have a maximum of 1.1 million manifestations in human form to reach stage of enlightenment… often termed Mukti (liberation from cycle of birth and death).
There was never a hurry to reach stage of enlightenment. Spiritual enlightenment was demanding. One needs becoming a Swami Vivekananda in real life to reach stage of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa or Maharishi Ramana. Spiritual gains come slowly but were full of bliss, ecstasy that could never be summed up in words. Spiritual journey was a full-time job as all earthly ties need to be abdicated, permanently retired so that human beings could reach stage of zero karma.
Zero karma literally stands for overpowering five senses and mind forever. This can be accomplished by undertaking spiritual journey as travelled by Swami Vivekananda. Anything less would never do. To reach stage of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa in real life, our becoming a Swami Vivekananda in real life was an absolute must… without any shortcuts. We just could not misinterpret our sacred texts scriptures literally.
Everything stated in Bhagavad Gita or Upanishads can be understood only by indulgence in chintan (contemplation)… there was no other remedy available. Those looking for a shortcut never achieve anything worthwhile in the field of spirituality. Everything in domain of God was absolute… could not be twisted or bent as per our thinking or need. Ego (Aham in Hinduism) had no role to play in field of pure spirituality. Establishing total control over five senses and mind means demolishing our ego (Aham) forever.
Spiritual journey always gets started at an early age. Misinterpreting religious or spiritual texts, those who keep postponing travelling spiritual journey after Vanprastha ashram were ignorant. This was purely a religious interpretation having nothing to do with spirituality. We just not mix the two… spirituality was far above citadel of religion. Believers of religion never accomplish anything in field of pure spirituality. God (Brahman in Hinduism) can be reached indulging in spirituality, never religion (path of rituals).
I started indulging in spirituality from six years of age. Something within my heart fluttered all the time trying to tell me something. With time I realized it was different from the body. Discussing with elders in the society… I realized something that fluttered in my heart was soul atman, the real owner and controller of human body. Slowly I let my soul atman play its role. From six years of age I started subduing my ego (Aham)… giving more prominence to my soul atman all the time. Although I was not very clear about the whole prospect, it was only in later years I was proved right. Finally my soul atman became the ultimate controller of my life.
Indulging in spirituality for approximately 31 years of time… I finally reached portals of God Almighty… stage of self realization, god realization when I had communion with God Almighty on one-to-one basis. I had finally reached 8.4 millionth manifestation, last in cosmic life cycle. As all my spiritual accomplishments were permanent in nature… I am presently in communion with God Almighty every second of life.
Distinction between Religion and Spirituality
It takes time before we are able to separate religion from spirituality. As my faith in God Almighty (shraddha in Hinduism) was 100% from the very beginning (six years of age)… I took somewhere between 3 to 5 years to realize the difference between religion, spirituality and Dharma. The answer came to me not from sacred texts or elders in the family or society… but through indulgence in chintan (contemplation) that always comes from within. It is my soul atman that guided me on right path enabling me to distinguish between religion and spirituality and Dharma.
Truthfulness is God personified. Power of truthfulness makes a human being take control of physical manifest life. It was my belief in power of truthfulness that I could recognize existence of soul atman in my heart. Initially the search is very difficult… almost seemingly impossible but patience pays in the end. Reducing our desires and wishes, establishing control over ego (Aham) the slowly realize power of soul atman within our heart.
Making a clear distinction between religion and spirituality is of utmost importance. The reason… we just could not indulge in meaningless rituals to reach God. So was not ordained by God. We have to follow the path as detailed in scriptures… path of spirituality, to realize our true inner self existing in our heart as our soul atman.
As detailed in Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads… we were primarily a spirit that manifested human body to work out its karma, remove dross impurities within. We have limitless potential. We failed to recognize this potential owing to ego (Aham). As we subdued our ego (Aham)… presence of soul atman in our heart becomes more loud and clear. Slowly we gave control of self to soul atman existing in our heart. We finally become a pawn in the game of life. We finally start acting as a caretaker, a trustee for whom everything all the time belonged to God Almighty.
Talking of trusteeship… we have two burning examples in the history of India (erstwhile Bharatvarsha)… JRD Tata (popularly known as Jeh, man of steel) and King Janaka (father of Sita in Ramayana).
JRD Tata all his life worked for betterment of mankind… so as to say life. Not for a single moment JRD Tata ever worked for money or wealth. For JRD Tata goal of life always was taking care of the large workforce of Tata Empire and countrymen at large. Development of the country was his prime motto. All the technological advancement we see today in India owes it to the Tata Empire.
All his life JRD Tata lived like a trustee, an instrument in hands of God Almighty… doing his bidding all the time. Never for a moment in his life did JRD Tata consider Tata Empire as his own. The concept of ownership does not exist in Tata Empire.
King Janaka was an exemplary king who also worked like a trustee, never caring for fruits of karma performed. King Janaka indulged in affairs of his country with a detached attitude (never attaching self to fruits of karma performed).
In the trusteeship concept, the human form truly becomes a cosmic traveler in the journey of life. That is what life actually all about… as ordained by God.
Importance of Faith in Spiritual Journey
In absence of 100% faith in God (called shraddha in Hinduism)… our spiritual travel would become meaningless. In absence of 100% faith in God… we just could not distinguish religion from spirituality nor understand what God (Brahman, creator of entire cosmos) is all about. It is our faith in God that makes us recognize presence of God in day-to-day affairs of life. Similar as we can feel presence of a flower by its fragrance… we can also feel presence of God in all routines of life.
It is our faith in God that makes us realize presence of soul atman in our heart. In absence of 100% faith… we could never distinguish soul atman from ego (Aham). Unless we could distinguish ego from soul atman… we could never learn that physical manifest life was distinct from spiritual life, the world of souls’ atmans. As a layman we could never initially literally understand gist of sacred texts… and at this stage our absolute faith in God comes to our rescue.
Faith (shraddha) is that important ingredient of spiritual path, absence of which negates our real purpose of life. It is our absolute faith in God that distinguishes hidden real-life from physical manifest form. To cut across criticism, ignorance… so-called intelligence of religious preachers… we need absolute faith in God Almighty all the time. As our faith in God increases multifold… we change from religious to spiritual.
All that we experience was internal… could never be fathomed externally by others. Travelers of spiritual path could not be recognized by layman, so-called religious teachers and preachers. Undertaking spiritual journey in right earnestness calls for practicing patience, persistence and perseverance of the highest order that could ever be practiced by mankind… something exhibited by Mahavira, Gautama Buddha and Jesus Christ and in recent years Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Maharishi Ramana.
If absolute faith in God does not exist from beginning of life, it develops gradually with time. As creator of entire cosmos (Brahman) is one and only one… we just could not believe in myriads of gods and goddesses existing in religious texts of different religions of world. All gods and goddesses were merely attributes of God Almighty (Brahman), having nothing to do with absolute reality. No god like Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu or Lord Shiva ever physically manifest on mother earth. If we have to pray to God, we must offer all our prayers directly to Brahman (God Almighty).
Followers of religious path believed in myriads of gods and goddesses, not for the benefit of mankind but their individual self or the family. On the contrary, spiritual path was never meant for individual self. The goal of spiritual life always was… welfare of entire mankind at large.
Mahavira, Gautama Buddha, Jesus Christ… even prophet Mohammed all the time worked for welfare of entire mankind after reaching stage of enlightenment. For a true spiritual traveler… after certain stage, the entire world becomes one large family. That was how God intended spiritual life to be. Those working for individual self could never be termed spiritual. Spirituality was far distinct from religious practices. There was no place for pretensions… we just could not indulge in religious practices (rituals) all the time calling it spiritual as in present times.
In my 55 years of spiritual travail… I have yet to find a person who could correctly distinguish religion from spirituality… what to say of having 100% absolute faith in God Almighty.
My journey of spiritual path is a living testimony to believers of religious practices… that we must stop indulging in religion (rituals) if we are to reach God in present life time. Going to a temple church or mosque does not serve any purpose. These holy centres of religion never served any true spiritual purpose. To reach God… we need to survey, scrutiny true inner self existing in our heart as soul atman. God Almighty ordained a long journey of 1.1 million manifestations in human form for realizing our true inner self. We can do it in present life time only if we really want to.
How does Spiritual Path relate to Spirit
Going by scriptures of Hinduism like Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads (independent treatises)… we realize that everything in cosmos primarily when broken down to basic building block of cosmos was clusters of atoms and molecules… nothing more. Even the human form was nothing more than a cluster of atoms and molecules. Only when perceived from physical senses point of view… we appeared solid, in reality… we were all gaseous formation.
Our soul atman existing in our heart was even beyond clusters of atoms and molecules. This life particle is the real essence of life around which rotates the physical manifest form. As a human being, the physical manifest life form we are supposed to realize this true fact of life. We are to realize that we are primarily a soul atman, a cosmic energy form that manifest present physical human body. This cosmic energy form we called soul atman is pure spirit… something beyond comprehension of human beings.
To realize this spirit form, our indulgence in chintan (contemplation) was the only necessity of spiritual path. But most human beings world over shunned path of contemplation (chintan), and took the easier path of religious practices (indulgence in rituals). Inherently, all human beings world over understand this fallacy but none wants to publicly accept the same. We keep pursuing religion (rituals) to no end… all the time aware that it leads nowhere.
How long shall we feign ignorance? We must accept this subtle truth of life that we need becoming a Swami Vivekananda in real life to reach stage of enlightenment… Mukti (liberation from cycle of birth and death)!
As our cosmic goal is related to spirit existing in our heart as soul atman… the journey is termed spiritual. Truly spirituality has nothing to do with religion, the physical aspect of spirituality. The sooner we learn to distinguish between religion and spirituality… easier our spiritual journey would be.
As human beings we must realize that the present physical manifest form is limited by 70 to 80 years of earthly life. After death of present body we do not know (based on residual balance of karma) what form our soul atman manifests in next manifestation. If we truly desire liberation from cycle of birth and death, our all the time indulgence in spirituality in present life is an absolute must. Spiritual travelers were always blunt having nothing to do with ignorance.
If we observe the character of Swami Vivekananda, we would realize the gravity of this point. We truly were spiritual travelers manifesting human body. We really are a spirit (soul atman) on its cosmic journey of 8.4 million manifestations. As journey in human form is the highest manifest stage in cosmic life cycle, as a human being we must always try to indulge in spirituality to reach cosmic end of life… become a pure soul atman forever (one devoid of dross impurities within)!
By: Vijay Kumar “Atma Jnani”… The Man who Realized God in 1993 – (Ref. 171207)
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