What do you mean by Spirituality


Spirituality as I understand it (a knower of Brahman, Tattva) is all about knowing our inner being… the absolute reality of life existing in us in our heart as soul atman. Bluntly stated, we were primarily a spiritual being… a cosmic traveler much beyond comprehension of mankind. We failed to understand our real entity as it keeps itself hidden from the physical manifest body.

 

This inner truth, the real self of us hidden in our heart is our soul atman. We can call this soul atman an energy form, a spirit beyond comprehension. None on mother earth can understand what soul atman was all about. Everything about spirituality was hidden… can only be realized but never seen. Even after reaching stage of enlightenment… we can feel presence of soul atman but could never see it.

 

The word spirituality stems from the word spirit. It is this spirit, our soul atman that manifests human body to work out its karma, remove dross impurities within. The present human body is not a creation of mankind. It simply exists. We just get born. It was not within our means not to get born. As the ultimate master and controller of human body was soul atman within, it is primarily path of spirituality that governs life of human beings.

 

We may or may not believe in presence of spirit, soul atman within us but this absolute fact of cosmic life can never be belied. All scriptures of different religions of world accept existence of soul atman within human body!

 

The root cause for not believing in spirituality or the spirit was presence of ego (Aham in Hinduism)… so was ordained by God. To keep itself hidden from nuances of physical manifest world, to enable the physical manifest form indulging in karma… it was so ordained by God Almighty (Brahman in Hinduism). In absence of ego (Aham)… no life form would ever indulge in karma. In absence of karma, the cosmic journey of life for a soul atman becomes meaningless. How?

 

Ever since all souls’ atmans started their cosmic sojourn, they got mired in impurities. To cleanse self of dross impurities within starts cosmic life cycle of every soul atman. As ordained by God, every soul atman has to pass through a maximum of 8.4 million manifestations to reach cosmic end of life… become a pure soul atman again.

 

Of the 8.4 million manifestations… the initial 7.3 million manifestations occurred in insect, plant and animal form. In the remaining 1.1 million manifestations in human form… one was expected to reach stage of enlightenment… Mukti (liberation from cycle of birth and death) forever! As a human being we had lot of time to reach stage of enlightenment. There was never any hurry. To indulge in the spirituality in present life time was not an all-time necessity.

 

If we had willpower like Swami Vivekananda… we would attempt reaching cosmic end of life in present life itself… become a Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa or Maharishi Ramana (the two enlightened souls who finally succeeded in reaching stage of enlightenment in their lifetime). Onus of travelling spiritual path was purely on us. It is for us to choose our goal of life… be it spiritual or the life of an ordinary mortal guided by religious routines of life.

 

Spirituality is ingrained into us from the very beginning of life. If we desire indulgence with soul atman existing in our heart… our having 100% faith in existence of God and travelling path of truthfulness was necessitated. It was only then we could realize presence of soul atman within. The whole crux of meditation yoga was realizing this true inner self existing in our heart.

 

How important it was for human beings to indulge in spirituality in present life time

 

It ranges from 0 to 100%. We just could not believe in spirituality and yet live a meaningful life. Or we believed in spirituality to a limited extent and lived a life that was sometimes meaningful and at other times totally meaningless. We just could not ride two boats simultaneously. Either we were spiritual or we were not. At any stage of life I do not recommend being half-hearted.

 

Does this mean we cannot practice spirituality even while living normal routines of life! We can do so but it was very difficult in practice. While following daily routines of life, practicing spirituality was almost impossible. Why?

 

Spirituality demands overpowering five senses and mind forever so that karma could be reduced to zero, burnt in totality. Forever a normal human being this was never a possibility. How could we quit all our relationships while living in this physical manifest world? For whom relationships mattered… spirituality always remained in the background.

 

For a spiritual traveler like Swami Vivekananda, the whole world finally becomes one large family. But for an individual self, a commoner… one from masses, such a possibility does not exist.

 

While indulging in daily routines of life, a commoner… one from masses can definitely indulge in spirituality but to a limited extent so long as spirituality, spiritual values do not interfere with our daily routine of life. We must never indulge in spirituality for the sake of it… abandoning our duties towards our family and the society. We just could not duplicate the path taken by Siddhartha Gautama.

 

Just by touching feet of wife and child, we never absolve self of karma. On path of pure spirituality, karma needs to be decimated in totality… we have to burn our karma in totality.

 

A serious seeker, traveler of spiritual path must always initially absolve self of karma in totality before embarking on spiritual journey. We must complete all our responsibilities relating to karma in totality before indulging in spirituality lest we lead a life of recluse, mendicant… like thousands of so-called spiritual aspirants lining centres of religious pilgrimages like Haridwar, Rishikesh … Varanasi… achieving nothing in the bargain.

 

Spirituality can always be practiced in the confines of home


Most spiritual seekers live under a misnomer that to realize something spiritual… our indulgence in meditation yoga was necessitated. In a way it was correct but wrongly understood by most.

 

Spirituality is always understood from within. Living wherever we were remaining wherever we are… we could follow principles of spirituality to realize true inner self, existing in our heart. Spirituality was all about looking within.

 

Spirituality is travelling the inner journey with the help of yoga meditation. We need not go to religious centres of pilgrimages in search of our true inner self, God. People flocking to Haridwar, Rishikesh … Varanasi were a misguided lot. In the end they failed to achieve anything worthwhile. Indulging in religious practices and calling it spiritual has become the norm of day. For how long shall we continue indulging in such practices?

 

For indulging in spirituality, we also need not go to a spiritual retreat or a meditation yoga centre. When everything in field of pure spirituality is achieved within, the most we could indulge was Satsanga… discoursing with like-minded people! This we could attempt anywhere, even the confines of our home.

 

Those who believe spirituality can never be practiced in isolation… primarily failed to understand the true definition and meaning of spirituality.

 

In a limited lifespan of 70 to 80 years of earthly life… where was the time to indulge in meaningless congregations… even going to temples, churches or mosques was not called for. We can indulge in spirituality without ever going to temples, churches and mosques.

 

Taking path of chintan (contemplation) we have to understand, realize whatever has been stated in sacred texts of different religions of world. We have to indulge in path of jnana yoga (never bhakti yoga) to learn anything spiritual. Path of jnana yoga stands for path of wisdom following which we could unfurl the wisdom contained in scriptures of different religions of world.

 

Spiritual wisdom can never be realized literally. Our indulgence in chintan (contemplation) was the only route. There was never a shortcut on path of pure spirituality.

 

As a normal human being do I need to fix a special time for indulging in yoga meditation

 

To indulge in spirituality, yoga meditation… we do not need a separate time. Even while jogging, walking… singing, studying… indulging in business… we could all the time contemplate (indulge in chintan) to realize the hidden inner meaning of sacred texts of different religions of world. Indulging in spirituality was an ongoing process that could be attempted 24 hours of the day.

 

I indulged in spirituality when going to sleep. Lying in shavasna pose of yoga before going to bed in the night… I always formed a roundtable conference on which sat Lord Krishna as the head followed by Mahavira (24th Tirthankara of Jainism), Gautama Buddha… Jesus Christ, Prophet Mohammed… Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Maharishi Ramana!

 

Whatever queries I had in my mind, I put them all to the enlightened souls. All queries related to Jainism were put forward to Mahavira and all related to Christianity to Jesus Christ and so on. In the morning when I got up, all my queries had melted away forever. Next day, next night… a new set of queries and the same roundtable conference.

 

My spiritual growth from within was exponential. I never had to look back. It was grace of God Almighty (Brahman) that I could indulge in shavasna from young age of 13 years. How to lie in shavasna pose was taught to me by my father.

 

Even while in sleep, subconsciously I was always awake. What a beauty to lie in shavasna pose of yoga and talk to enlightened ones! The experience was mesmerizing, beyond expression of words. In the morning when I got up, I used to tell some of the narratives to my mother… and she always looked at me spellbound knowing nothing about it.

 

As of today I can indulge in yoga meditation, a one-to-one communion with God Almighty every second of life and that too sitting in the most crowded streets of the city.

 

By: Vijay Kumar “Atma Jnani”… The Man who Realized God in 1993 – (Ref. 171207)

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