Well past 70 years of age (nearing Vanprastha ashram), retired and looking after welfare of grandkids… I look forward to gaining Mukti (liberation from cycle of birth and death), reaching stage of moksha salvation. Even reaching heaven (swarga) would do.
Until 60 years of age I was busy earning bread-and-butter for the family. Thereafter the welfare of grandkids came into being. My Moha (extreme emotional attachment) towards grandkids was phenomenal; I just could not abandon the pleasure vis-à-vis spiritual end of life.
Keeping everything in abeyance, once in a while going to temples, churches or mosques I remained attached to so-called spiritual life. Do not know when I passed beyond 70. It is my deepest desire from the core of my heart that I reach swarga (heaven) or gain Mukti in present life.
I lived a fruitful life all along, consider myself a spiritual person and know God will bless me with Mukti, Brahma jnana at the end of earthly journey.
Wishful thinking is what most people in the later years of life did, unmindful of the fact that spirituality could not be treated as a byproduct and had to be indulged early in age. Full-time indulgence in spirituality before reaching 15 years of age is an absolute must to accomplish something worthwhile on path of pure spirituality.
We are practically limited by a time span of 70 to 80 years of earthly life. Whatever spiritual we have to accomplish, we have to do it within this timeframe. Only God knows what form our soul atman manifests in next manifestation. We can never leave things to chance or afterlife.
Human beings around 70 years of age have nothing much to do in field of pure spirituality. If we do not understand even the basic difference between religion and spirituality, what more do we expect accomplishing in field of pure spirituality! All throughout life we pursued religious rituals that had nothing to do with spirituality. In the last leg of earthly life, we just cannot expect God to bestow on us stage of Mukti (liberation from cycle of birth and death forever), also called moksha.
Spirituality is always pursued full-time and never comes as a byproduct
Nothing in field of spirituality was ever bestowed on us by grace of God Almighty. Every single seeker, spiritual aspirant has to work for gaining spiritual enlightenment, reach stage of Mukti (liberation from cycle of birth and death forever) in present life time. Even our parents, brothers and sisters, close relatives and friends… elders in the family could do nothing about it.
Everything spiritual is always accomplished internally. We have to contemplate (indulging in chintan), introspect to realize cosmic truths of life. We can gain nothing reading scriptures literally. To reach the hidden underlying meaning, we have to master the delicate art of contemplation (chintan).
For 70 years we did not think or feared contemplating (indulging in chintan) being a slave to family duties. Now, it seems we are too late to undertake spiritual journey.
The first and foremost requirement of spiritual path was demolishing ego (Aham in Hinduism). Ego has to be dismantled in totality. Unless we kill the, I of our existence, we cannot progress spiritually. The physical body has no role to play in field of spirituality. It is our soul atman existing in heart that wants to gain absolute purity. Our ego was a hindrance to that.
The ego of a 70 year old hardened with time. We are not willing to let go our ego. In the circumstances, how could we successfully undertake spiritual journey at this age.
To pursue spirituality we must think in terms of spirit, the real essence of us existing in heart. The present human body was actually manifested by soul existing in heart to cleanse self of dross impurities within. As no soul atman could not purify self of its own and needs a medium, a body to work out its karma… it was imperative that all human beings travel path of spirituality for soul atman to reach cosmic end of life, stage of absolute purity.
The identity of self has to be killed in totality! Working for welfare of entire mankind all the time is the sole aim of a seeker, the sincere spiritual traveler.
From my personal experience I can say, no individual 70 years of age was willing to demolish one’s ego forever. People won’t to gain enlightenment; reach stage of Mukti. The welfare of mankind was never their goal. They wanted to accomplish everything for self.
For a seeker, journey of life always belonged to mankind. From the start, every spiritual traveler all the time works for welfare of mankind at large. For such people the existence of self was meaningless. They saw God in all. They considered themselves trustees, in whose care God Almighty rested welfare of others. For a trustee, nothing ever belonged to one. One just acted as a caretaker, taking care of things that all the time belonged to god.
Even though JRD Tata did not know anything about Bhagavad Gita, he believed in the concept of trusteeship from beginning of life. At no stage in life JRD Tata considered Tata Empire as a personal enterprise. He always worked for welfare of mankind, taking care of his clients and employees to the best extent possible. Tata group in India forms the foundation pillars of Indian society. All the technological innovation we see in India today is reminiscent of the glorious past of which the Tata group is the supporting pillar. JRD Tata was a trustee par excellence, a true Karma Yogi.
Similar was the case of King Janaka (father of Sita in Ramayana). King Janaka conducted affairs of his kingdom with a totally unattached attitude, working like a trustee all the time. King Janaka was also a Karma Yogi par excellence. Though an enlightened one, King Janaka never attached self to affairs of his kingdom, went after fruits of karma.
Around 70 years of age, the most we can do was work like a trustee, a caretaker taking care of things that truly belonged to God all the time. This caretaker concept helps us reduce our ego in stages. Unless we demolish our ego in totality, our spiritual progress would be nil. Whatever little we accomplish at this ripe age of life, the better! Nothing goes to waste in field of pure spirituality. At whatever level we quit in present life, we can start from the same level in next manifestation.
Even for a 70 year old seriously willing to indulge in spirituality, there was lot to do. We can reduce our desires and wishes to minimal. This would help contain our ego, demolishing it in stages. We just cannot keep self attached to family all the time. We have to crucify Moha (extreme emotional attachment) towards family members. Only then we can work for welfare of entire mankind. We also cannot recollect our past. Whatever happens becomes past for good.
Starting afresh, we must all the time look forward to progressing spiritually step-by-step gradually. Even at 70 years of age we can wholeheartedly plunge self into cauldron of fire, so-called field of spirituality. We truly must burn from within; this is what penance is all about!
Almost crossing stage of Vanprastha ashram, we must look forward to entering sanyasa stage, when contact with family members was minimal.
Learning distinction between Spirituality and Religion
Even at the ripe age of 70 years, we have to contemplate (indulge in chintan) to differentiate between religion and spirituality. Unless we learn the difference between the two, we cannot achieve anything in field of pure spirituality.
Religion promotes rituals that had nothing to do with spirituality or contemplation. Religious practices never promoted one towards God. Religious practitioners could not expect spiritual miracles in their life. Spirituality demands one becoming a Swami Vivekananda in real life, can we still say Swami Vivekananda was religious in any manner.
Gems of spirituality nowhere neared religious practices. Religion was belief in a faith whereas spirituality the zeal to unveil cosmic truths of life lying hidden in scriptures of different religions of world. Travelers of spiritual path can never avoid contemplation. Path of self enquiry practiced and promoted by Maharishi Ramana was integral to spiritual journey. On path of pure spirituality, we have to negate all that was trash, negative mental residue.
Everything spiritual was always mental. Spirituality directly relates to thinking prowess. Better our mental grasp, greater our spiritual progress. Apart from practicing positivity all the time, our remaining truthful all the time also was an important necessity of spiritual path, something we could not do without. In real life we may not be truthful all the time. Societal pressures, family circumstances at times made us practice untruthfulness.
How one, a householder and family person could be expected to practice spirituality early in life!
For a householder going to temples, churches and mosques regularly was a priority of life and family, something unavoidable. But do we ever think, why such a routine! Why do we go to a temple, church or mosque? God was never to be found in such places. If our purpose was not finding God, then why interest in spirituality?
Seeking welfare of self and family should not be the only goal of going to temples churches and mosques. There was more to life than visible as stated by elders, scripted in religious texts. We had to find our true self existing in heart. If scriptures say we are primarily a spiritual being and not a manifest physical human form alone, then we must indulge in spirituality to find this absolute truth of life.
Spirituality truly was all about reaching our true inner self existing in heart, realizing that we were primarily a soul atman on its cosmic journey to cleanse self of dross impurities within.
Indulging in rituals we could never purify self as a soul. Absolute purity as a soul can be achieved diving deep into the bottomless pit of jnana wisdom contained in scriptures. As scriptures cannot be understood literally, we have to contemplate to unveil the hidden underlying meanings contained in sacred texts. Even at 70 years of age we can contemplate if we really wanted to.
More on how to indulge in contemplation!
In the initial stages of spiritual pursuit we may or may not believe in existence of god but the real self of us existing in heart could not be belied. We are primarily a spirit, a soul… a cosmic essence existing from times immemorial that could never be created or destroyed. We are immortal by nature. During cosmic sojourn as a soul we gained impurities and to cleanse self of dross impurities within started cosmic life cycle of every soul atman.
Belief in self, belief in world of souls’ atmans was crucial to undertaking spiritual journey. No belief in soul or god, one cannot indulge in spirituality no matter what.
Never running after Fruits of Karma performed
As an elderly person limited by earthly timeframe and pursuing path of spirituality, we must indulge in requisite karma so as to remove dross impurities within. To remove dross impurities within soul atman, we have to indulge in good karma positive karma most of time. This can be accomplished if we establish gradual control over five senses. Control over five senses becomes a reality when we succeed reducing our desires and wishes in stages.
Minimal the desires and wishes, greater the spiritual achievement!
Control over desires and wishes was not that easy as most of us think. Were it so, not thousands but millions world over would have reached spiritual goals of their life. To the contrary in the last about 150 years amongst 7 billion people existing world over, only Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Maharishi Ramana finally gained Mukti at the end of spiritual journey. Liberation from cycle of birth and death truly was not that easy.
For those living in family, reducing desires and wishes was an uphill task. Practicing patience, persistence and perseverance of the highest order we can slowly accomplish this feat. Moment we gain total control over desires and wishes, control over mind power follows automatically.
When we did not run after fruits of karma performed, worked like a true caretaker, trustee in the journey of life, spiritual progress took quantum jump. Desires and wishes taking back seat, at times we became a Dhrishta (onlooker) in the spiritual journey of life. Whatever the accomplishments of physical manifest body, we as a soul could perceive it from inside. At this stage we easily realized we were two different entities conjoined together.
The spiritual part, the soul can easily watch workings of physical manifest body at will.
As life progresses, so do spiritual accomplishments! We keep reducing our ego, desires and wishes gradually in stages. Enlightened souls like Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Maharishi Ramana in their lifetime reducing desires and wishes to zero finally succeeded in demolishing ego forever. We cannot repeat their accomplishments as we started our indulgence with spirituality late in life but whatever little we can accomplish in present life the better.
Our goal should always be indulging in karma, never the fruits of karma! This way we could accomplish our best in spirituality as ordained by God in present circumstances.
Abandoning attachment towards material possessions was difficult, almost impossible in practice. More so when we were religious! We have to change our attitude, become spiritual from religious and identify self as spirit and not a manifest physical body. If we can successfully do that, our spiritual progress would be gigantic.
Never believing in what people said or did, we must believe more in power of contemplation. On path of spirituality as everything always comes from within, we must also believe in power of truth. When truthful, we could hear the sweet small inner voice of soul atman existing in heart. Guided by voice of this soul atman we could easily complete our spiritual journey.
Belief in self, belief in existence of soul and God was integral to a successful spiritual journey. We must never believe in hearsay. We must ourselves indulge in contemplation to realize the hidden inner truth. Practicing truthfulness all the time, I was guided by my soul all the time. Truthfulness was God personified. Power of truth can be realized only by a serious traveler of spiritual path, never a worldly traveler.
Power of Truth on path of pure Spirituality
Unless we were truthful in totality we could never realize the essence of spirituality. We just could not say we were 99% truthful. Unless we were 100% truthful all the time, we could never hear the sweet small promptings of soul atman coming from within our heart. As real spiritual masters are difficult to come by to guide us in the spiritual journey of life, it is in our interest that we practiced truthfulness to get guidance from soul atman within directly.
From six years of age my soul atman distinctly guided me all the time. It may not have resulted from anything I did in present life, but workings of my past life. Wonderful are the ways of karma. Everything gets transferred in toto body to body, manifestation after manifestation. Nothing ever gets lost in cosmic transition.
In my 55 years of spiritual travail, I have yet to come across a person who could bluntly say that one practiced 100% truthfulness all the time. To reach higher spiritual realms, our remaining truthful all the time was an important necessity. As an aged person we must try our level best to remain truthful all the time. Devoid of ego, desires and wishes… we could easily do that!
My ego from six years of age was zero, perhaps something I did in earlier life. My faith in God Almighty was also absolute 100%. Both these assets were priceless. I never let my ego dominate me ever. Rather I let my soul crush my ego forever.
Difficult in practice but not impossible, truthfulness can be increased gradually in stages. I just could not say I was a petty thief. Whether I theft one dollar or $1 million amounts to same. On path of pure spirituality everything always was absolute. Either we were truthful or not. We occasionally exercised our ego or demolished it in totality. We went after desires or wishes or gradually demolished them in totality.
For me ego, desires and wishes from six years of age never mattered. Until I reached God 37 years of age in 1993, I do not remember seeking refuge of untruthfulness ever.
I always played hand-in-hand with God Almighty all the time. I could so distinctly talk to God all the time. Presently I am in communion with God Almighty on one-to-one basis every second of life.
Absence of ego desires and wishes truly works wonders in field of pure spirituality. We really become a soul atman in the cosmic journey of life. The bodily entity became passive.
Practicing spirituality old in age was never a taboo. Many elderly I have come across lose heart. They feel what use travelling path of spirituality at this stage of life. They were overly mistaken. Whatever little we could accomplish spiritually in present life time, we must always do so. Why leave things to chance for next manifestation. As nothing in field of spirituality ever goes waste or gets lost in transition, we must do our best in present life to reach stage of Mukti (liberation from cycle of birth and death forever).
For the serious travelers, to attend to their serious queries I am always available 24 x 7 x 365.
By: Vijay Kumar “Atma Jnani”… The Man who Realized God in 1993 – (Ref. 180117)
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