Youth in the prime of their life (age 15 to 25) can work wonders.
Spiritual travel fructifies if we start our spiritual journey early in age. All enlightened masters Mahavira, Gautama Buddha Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed in pursuit of cosmic truths of life started early in age and so did Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Maharishi Ramana. All realized merits of spirituality, young in age.
At the ripe age of 76 (after crossing Vanprastha ashram) we cannot accomplish anything worthwhile spiritually; it was too late for that. We can control five senses and mind only when young, never ripe in age. Hardened habits are difficult to break by.
A spiritual goal must be established around 15 years of age at the most. If delayed, even God Almighty could not guarantee our completing spiritual journey in present life. Overpowering five senses and mind needs time and so do negation of ego.
Spiritual journey demands practice of Brahmacharya Vrata (celibacy) for a minimum period of 12 years in continuation. This is accomplished best when young in age. We must try duplicating lifestyle of Swami Vivekananda, who successfully practiced Brahmacharya Vrata when young.
For a young spiritual traveler, getting married was not recommended but was not a taboo either. Practicing spirituality in married life was difficult compared to bachelorhood. My personal experience says, spiritual journey must be covered when a bachelor than in Grihastha ashram (family life).
Youths must remember, path of spirituality demands highest level of patience, persistence and perseverance that could ever be practiced by human beings. Furthermore, spirituality was never a part-time job. Spirituality demands wholehearted full-time indulgence.
Technically speaking even 1000 Nobel laureates could not equate an enlightened one. Spirituality was much above purview of science. If we want to pursue spirituality as our only goal of life then we must be fully prepared to quit all family ties.
For a true seeker, traveler of spiritual path the entire world becomes one large family. All bondages of Moha (extreme emotional attachment) must be cut forever. At no stage of spiritual pursuit we could say, “My spiritual progress is slow because I am married or cannot abandon elderly parents’ midway”. Excuses, desires and wishes had no role on path of pure spirituality.
Spirituality distinct from Religion
As a youth we must also understand irrelevance of religious rituals. Anything that was temporal could not be spiritual. Everything spiritual was everlasting, perennial.
Going to temples, churches and mosques did not serve any spiritual purpose. Indulging in spirituality we must refrain from such meaningless religious practices. In the initial stages of spiritual pursuit we may sometimes visit religious congregations to understand difference between spirituality and religion. But slowly we would realize from within that everything religious was not spiritual in any manner.
Spirituality stems from spirit, the real self of us existing in heart as our soul atman. Indulging in rituals we could never know our true inner self. To realize our true inner self, journey towards soul atman existing in heart was necessitated. Indulging in chintan (contemplation) on issues relating to life like… who am I, who is god; our relationship with god, why were we born… the ultimate purpose of life finally dawns on us!
More we indulged in issues relating to soul atman within, farther were we from religious practices. Slowly our interest in religious practices reduced to nil. In search of true inner self, starts our indulgence in chintan (contemplation). More intense our chintan (contemplation), great the number of queries resolved forever.
Indulging in chintan we have to dissolve all queries within one by one. To unveil absolute truth, we have to practice truthfulness most of time. We slowly realize there was more to life than physical existence as a human being. Slowly the broader meaning of life gets clearer! Bigger the removal of dross impurities within, greater our spiritual grasp. We start enjoying cosmic journey of life.
Once and for all we let go all religious attachments. A serious spiritual traveler finally transcends the religious fervour forever.
An intelligent seeker is finally able to differentiate spirituality from religion. Unless we do that, all our so-called spiritual accomplishments were nothing more than farce. We can fool people but not the true inner self existing in heart, even God Almighty.
As Youth – How important was Practice of Celibacy (Brahmacharya Vrata)
Practicing Brahmacharya Vrata (celibacy) was an absolute requirement of spiritual path. Not alone spiritual, one who desires gaining success in life must also practice celibacy.
In laymen terms celibacy means abstaining from a sexual relationship. In context of scriptures, practice of Brahmacharya Vrata (absolute celibacy) has different connotation. Apart from physical abstention from a sexual relationship, one has to maintain purity of thoughts all the time. Absolute celibacy was all about negating inflow of negative thoughts to our brain in totality.
On path of spirituality, indulging in sex even mentally was prohibited. Masturbation, nightfall fall under this purview! We just could not harbor sexual thoughts at any given moment of life. Let loose, such thoughts in semiconscious state can cause havoc. One may experience nightfall; failing to channelize this crucial cosmic energy so much necessitated on path of pure spirituality.
For establishing permanent control over five senses and mind, our channelizing all energies behind the only goal of life was necessitated. Even a single wrong thought left astray could be detrimental. Sexual energy needs to be harnessed at all costs like power generation in a dam. Only the surplus, the decay of negative residual thoughts can be discarded.
Practicing celibacy, harnessing sexual energy was one of the most potent requirements of spiritual path. This was applicable to both men and women. In the journey of spirituality, both men and women were equal. Both had to undergo similar hardships. In case of women, cutting shackles of Moha (extreme emotional attachment) towards children was a great hindrance to reaching stage of enlightenment.
Only one woman in the entire history of mankind succeeded in reaching stage of enlightenment in bachelorhood, the famous philosopher saint Gargi in whose memory the famous Gargi College in New Delhi, India stands.
Practicing Brahmacharya Vrata (absolute celibacy) was not that easy as most youngsters understood. One has to become a Swami Vivekananda in real life to practice spirituality rightly.
If someone says, one can do it easily; one was living under pretence. Becoming a Swami Vivekananda in real life is not only difficult but almost impossible. How many people world over succeeded in duplicating efforts of Swami Vivekananda until now! After Swami Vivekananda, none world over succeeded in reaching stage of Swami Vivekananda! Becoming a Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, the spiritual master of Swami Vivekananda was even more difficult.
Before practicing celibacy, we must be 100% sure that we could sustain the rigours of this path. The downfall on path of absolute celibacy mostly occurred in night, in semiconscious state. Attraction towards opposite sex was the main cause. If we can overcome it, the better for us!
Napoleon Hill, the author of famous self-help books, “Think and Grow Rich” and “Law of Success” emphasizes importance of practicing celibacy to succeed in life. Even in worldly life to manifest absolute success, practice of Brahmacharya Vrata (celibacy) played a vital role. Under all circumstances we had to overpower, establish total control over inherent sexual inhibitions.
We just could not while away precious sexual energy through pure physical channels! It was never about storing sexual energy but channelizing it towards the only goal of life. To manifest success in physical life, transmutation of sexual energy as detailed by Napoleon Hill was an absolute must.
Before we successfully travelled spiritual path, total control over sexual energy was necessitated so that we could activate kundalini shakti, the coiled Serpentine energy lying dormant in base of spine. As our kundalini energy gradually activated, we experienced higher levels of spiritual realms, something that could only be experienced but never expressed in words.
Before indulging in spirituality, I advise all youngsters to read following book of Napoleon Hill… “Law of Success”! Napoleon Hill makes clear how important it was channelizing sexual energy so that we could forever manifest destiny, absolute success in life.
If we cannot become Swami Vivekananda, is it worth undertaking Spiritual Journey
On path of pure spirituality, whatever our spiritual accomplishments of present life, nothing ever goes waste. At whatever level we quit in present life, we can start from the very same level in next manifestation. Even if we cannot become a Swami Vivekananda in present life, we can at least try to reach whatever level we could.
When a child enters pre-nursery (schooling for the first time, even if it was Playschool); one could never know to what level one would study in life. Everything depended upon family circumstances. In families without resources, many children barely crossed fourth grade (fourth class). Similar was the dilemma in field of spirituality.
In a limited time span of 70 to 80 years of earthly life, no one can assure us (that includes God Almighty) to what level of spirituality shall we reach in present life! As spiritual journey is covered internally, the progress could never be measured externally. So many people world over indulged in spirituality remembering the prime essence of Bhagavad Gita that we must always indulge in karma and never go after fruits of karma performed.
To whatever level we indulged in spirituality, nothing would ever go waste. Whatever level we stood today, we can continue from the same level hereafter. Spirituality truly was all about indulging in karma, pursuing our definite goal of life without wondering about fruits of karma performed, something that was never in our control.
So that we do not run after fruits of karma, we have to know all about soul!
More on soul atman
Even in manifest physical life, success belonged to those who never ran after fruits of karma. Success always comes as a byproduct of indulging in karma, pursuit of a single goal.
A spiritual seeker knows that fruits of karma indulged always belonged to soul atman within and never the manifest physical human form. The human entity was meant to indulge in karma, nothing more. As everything physical would be left behind, why indulge in something temporal, ephemeral! Death announces end of everything physical.
What carries to next life were fruits of karma indulged. Everything that was spiritual gets carried to next life. This happened because the journey of life all the time belonged to soul atman within.
Many youth keep spiritual journey pending for later years of life. Something that we failed to pursue as youth, how could we hope to complete it in old age?
When young, we must once and for all decide the ultimate goal of life we want to pursue!
Importance of finalizing a Goal early in life
Unless we decide the ultimate goal of life early in age, we would dissipate all our energies in trivial pursuits of life. Success comes to those who successfully channelize all their energies behind a single goal of life. The earlier we finalize our only goal of life, the better.
Napoleon Hill in his book “Law of Success” details how important it was for youngsters to finalize a goal of life. In absence of one goal, we would fritter all our energies behind many smaller goals. Instead of digging many pits, if we dig only one pit; we definitely would find water. Exercising power of discrimination, we can distinguish right from wrong all the time.
I finalized my only goal of life before reaching nine years of age. I was definitely lucky to do that. When I wanted to go in search of God six years of age, I did not know what god was all about. As I kept thinking of god all the time, something within fluttered as if to say, “I had only one life to live, the present earthly domain. If I had to reach god, I had to do it in present life itself”. I just could not leave things to chance or next manifestation.
That something within repeatedly prompted whether I wanted to churn myself in cycle of birth and death again and again! If I want to cease the cosmic journey, then it was imperative I travel spiritual journey undertaken by Swami Vivekananda to become a Ramakrishna Paramhansa in real life. Finally around nine years of age I decided that this would be my last life. I did not want to rotate mindlessly in the endless cycles of birth and death.
The moment I firmed up my decision, promptings from within grew drastically. I was happy that all my life I will have to pursue only one goal of life and that would be god. And so started my spiritual journey towards god!
Spiritual awakening, contemplation; unfolding wisdom contained in scriptures needs time. Indulging in chintan (contemplation) was a very slow gradual process. Yet, at no stage of spiritual pursuit, I ever questioned importance of indulgence in chintan (contemplation). As my faith in god always was 100%, I never doubted promptings coming from within my heart. Still, I had not realized it was my soul atman prompting from within all the time.
Every time there was a prompt I felt extremely happy… elated, experiencing a state of bliss. How could I wordily narrate my personal experience, something beyond capture of words! Yet my interactions with my soul atman were full of ecstasy, godly.
As wise men say, finalizing a goal is journey half covered; I can vouch with 100% conviction that finalizing a spiritual goal early in life finally led to my reaching god in this life time. Had I delayed finalizing my goal early in life, my priorities in life might have changed. So much so I may have altogether forgotten to pursue god in present life.
On path of pure spirituality, I recommend again and again indulgence in self-help books by Napoleon Hill. As per my experience, they relate more to spirituality than physical life. Following books of Napoleon Hill many commoners reached highest brackets of life but to what avail. The moment death ends the journey, new journey starts. We keep rotating in cycle of birth and death endlessly until we reached 8.4 millionth manifestation, last in cosmic life cycle.
As humans grow, our thought pattern gets hardened. With time we develop a bloated ego. Our bloated ego is the biggest hurdle on path of pure spirituality. If we can finalize a goal early in life, we could overpower ego easily than in later stages. A hardened ego is difficult to overpower, prime reason why in later years none worldwide successfully travelled spiritual journey.
Spirituality demands we crush all our desires and wishes early in age to establish total control over mind power. If we have a spiritual goal early in life, we could easily overpower five senses and mind; reach god in present lifetime. Reaching God means becoming a pure soul atman in the cosmic journey of life, regaining our lost original pure prime pristine primordial form!
Becoming a pure soul atman is the ultimate goal of life for all human beings on mother earth. As a youth, mounted with free will, power of discrimination we could easily decide our goal of life.
When Maharishi Ramana decided to go in search of God early in age, he asked his mother for permission. Permission denied, he finally quit his family (consisting of only his mother) to undergo penance in the hills of Arunachala. Only few years later mother of Maharishi Ramana came to know the whereabouts of Ramana. In our spiritual quest, we had to kill all earthly bondages of life including family ties. Even our relationship with parents became passé.
Path of spirituality means cutting all ties on earth that primarily were temporal, ephemeral.
Bluntly stated, even as a youth we were already late in deciding our only goal of life. If we are to accomplish anything worthwhile spiritually in this life time, we should form a spiritual goal in the early formative years (between 6 and 15).
A true seeker indulges in contemplation (starts process of chintan) early in age. Lingering was never a good choice.
Contemplation (chintan) directly relates to our thought process. Contemplation awakens sleeping (dormant) portions of our brain. As our brain activates in stages, our spiritual accomplishments multiply! We feel closer to God at all stages of life.
Mastering thinking prowess young in age finally leads to absolute success in life. Unless we indulged internally, we could accomplish nothing worthwhile in entire life. Becoming an introvert, we could indulge in contemplation chintan most of time, the only way to resolve queries within.
We would be lucky if we get a spiritual master to guide us in the present journey of life.
Contemplation demands indulgence in self enquiry, a principle of spirituality practiced and preached by Maharishi Ramana. Apart from mastering art of self enquiry, we have to indulge in Neti (not this, not this) as practiced and preached by Maharishi Ramana to negate everything that was false, untruth.
We could reach the absolute only through self enquiry, indulgence in contemplation. Indulging in self enquiry, chintan we eliminated all that was negative, unwanted. In the end what remained was the absolute itself.
Thinking prowess is best mastered when young. The habit of thinking positive, eliminating all that was false; we finally reached the absolute answer. Developing a close relationship with soul atman when young was definitely a blessing in disguise. We could receive correct answers to our queries directly from soul atman existing in heart.
In youth, the energy to do or die is at its level best. It is ripe age to indulge in spirituality. World over people give example of Swami Vivekananda, one who excelled in his prime youth! Had Swami Vivekananda wanted, he could have easily reached god in his lifetime under able preceptorship of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, his beloved spiritual master!
Instances of seekers who started late in life and yet succeeded in reaching god do not exist in the entire history of mankind. All enlightened souls Mahavira, Gautama Buddha, Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed started their spiritual journey when young, in the prime of their life. And so did Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Maharishi Ramana.
Retaining all that was pure, negating all that was mental trash; seekers finally differentiated right from wrong, good from bad. Using power of contemplation chintan they easily scaled higher levels of spirituality all the time.
I mastered the delicate art of contemplation chintan around nine years of age. It was then my soul existing in heart started guiding me all the time. In the prime of my youth, I never had to look back. Everything all the time came from within. Remaining an introvert most of time, I could indulge in contemplation at its level best.
More on contemplation chintan – path to spiritual progress
As Youth was it necessary to quit family to go in Search of God
Well, this seems to be the biggest misnomer of all times. Religious places like Haridwar, Rishikesh and Varanasi are full of people in search of God. Most of these ran away from home abandoning their family midway. Can such people ever be expected to gain anything spiritual in their lifetime? Such a possibility did not exist in field of spirituality!
Youth in search of God had two paths to undertake – 1. Seek permission of family members (that includes parents, brothers and sisters and those dependent on us). If the permission was granted, we were free to do anything in field of pure spirituality. We could either go to so-called religious centres, become a recluse go to Himalayas to indulge in penance or remaining wherever we were (living with the family), we could indulge in contemplation chintan to dissolve queries within.
Around 15 years of age I asked my mother permission to become a recluse to go to deep dense forests (Himalayas) for penance. She point-blank refused and said, over my dead body. Thereafter it was never looking back. Remaining within the family I indulged in contemplation chintan to realize the hidden inner meaning of sacred texts contained in scriptures.
Contemplation (chintan in Hindi) played a vital role in my spiritual journey. The more I contemplated on god; the sweet small inner voice of soul coming from within my heart always guided me on right path. The only prerequisite to hearing the sweet small inner voice of soul was practicing truthfulness all the time.
From six years of age, I practiced absolute truthfulness 100%. My faith in god also was 100%.
On path of pure spirituality there was never any binding whatsoever. Many paths were available. We could choose what suited us based on family environment. It has rightly been said, as many human beings as many different paths to God can there be. After all the thinking pattern of all human beings has to be different!
The best part of spirituality was, at no stage we ever felt bonded by god. The power to choose was left to human beings; we definitely could exercise our free will at any stage of life.
As religion does not play any role in field of spirituality, journey of spirituality is always travelled all alone. In the prime of youth, we can accomplish the best on path of pure spirituality. As most family responsibilities rested with parents, youths were comparatively free to do as desired. We could choose our path at will.
Remaining in family and practicing spirituality was difficult, very difficult yet not impossible.
On path of pure spirituality, we have to maintain 100% faith in god. We shall face circumstances, dilemmas wherein decision making would be extremely difficult. At that stage, our practicing patience, persistence and perseverance of the highest order was the only solution.
Rightly stated, the present journey in human form truly belonged to soul atman within. We were only a pawn in the cosmic journey of life. Rather than succumbing to inner pressures, it is desirable that we travel spiritual path willingly. We shall face lot of external resistance on path of pure spirituality but that was destined. As people world over are not accustomed to spirituality, they would never agree to our viewpoints at different stages of life.
Most spiritual seekers are great introverts. Only then we could indulge in contemplation chintan.
In the prime of youth, we shall be criticized again and again for being an introvert but all that has to be gently accepted. Contemplation chintan is always practiced in isolation, within the deep confines of our thinking. We just could not contemplate talking to others.
Maintaining our cool, remaining an introvert and practicing humility all the time we must travel spiritual journey in right earnestness. Only then we can hope to complete the spiritual journey in present life time.
By: Vijay Kumar “Atma Jnani”… The Man who Realized God in 1993 – (Ref. 180115)
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