Today's SQ is motivated by a reader's question and we're posting the same with our brief response
Q) Dear Sir,
What does spirituality mean? This is a question which is lingering in my mind for a very long time. There is always a perception that people talk of spirituality only out of frustration, either after losing something or when not able to achieve something.
All the mails you have sent only talk more of realization of God. In what way does it help a common man in this world of uncertainty?
When I always practice only good – good behavior, good words, good thoughts, concern for others, honesty, sincerity, integrity etc. etc. do I need spirituality?
I will continue to ask questions & offer my comments.
1. What does spirituality mean?
Ans.) Spiritual life is a Divine life where you are connecting yourself with the Source all the time! That is, thinking, talking and functioning from the level of Divinity. It's like GOD saying, "You have earned My Grace & hence you're born as human beings but you have to pass a very big exam – the Ph. D; the last one. Look at 1 step only! Don't look ahead! Just take 1 step forward!"
Spirituality has only 1 definition that sages through centuries have said & Lord Krishna has said that in the GITA & that is:
TAT TWAM ASI.
In other words it means, "I'M THAT! YOU'RE THAT"
The main purpose of human being is to REALIZE THIS DIVINITY WITHIN & TO REALIZE THAT THE SAME DIVINITY PERVADES ONE & ALL.
However as KRISHNA has also said, this process may take several births.
As SWAMI keeps saying, HE is there waiting for us to merge with HIM.
2. There is always a perception that people talk of spirituality only out of frustration, either after losing something or when not able to achieve something.
It's true that most people talk of spirituality when they're down in the pits. Only to make them realize that, the troubles & frustrations come in the first place!!! Since Man ignored GOD earlier! They're like 'alarm bells' ringing!!!
SWAMI has always said, "Pleasure is just an interval between 2 pains!!!"
The human body is a house taken on rent by you. God is the Master, the owner. The tenant has taken it on rent and is occupying it. (SWAMI has given a thought provoking example here!)
The rent has to be paid in the form of good deeds, good thoughts, good speech and good conduct. But, the tenant ignores the owner and does not pay the rent.
So, the Master has to compel the man to vacate. He sends 'notices' reminding him of the need to vacate, unless he pays the rent. Grey hairs are the first intimation; the tenant dyes his hair and pays no heed to the warning.
The teeth fall out; that is the second warning. The tenant gets a denture fixed and ignores this reminder too.
Cataract in the eye is the next warning of the need to leave the house; an operation helps him to pass it by. Glasses restore his sight.
The skin becomes loose, wrinkled. This warning too is unheeded; the man hides the signal with the help of cosmetics. So, the owner has to send his emissaries - a few fatal illnesses - and force him to clear out of the house.
Our KARMIC effects from the previous births also determine how much rent we need to pay & what kind of reminders GOD needs to give us!!!
3. Do I need spirituality?
I wonder if you have ever seen a caterpillar, walking on its little legs on a leaf. As a caterpillar evolves, it grows into a beautiful butterfly, which hops from flower to flower, colorful, giving joy to everyone around. Have we ever asked ourselves, "Why should a caterpillar give up its existence as a caterpillar and become a butterfly?" Because its destiny is to be a butterfly! It is manifesting its own inherent nature when it transforms into a butterfly!!!
Similarly we human beings have to realize our inherent DIVINITY in us and get out of this cycle of 'Birth & Death'. That's the sole objective of our life.
PS: Life is like a flight of steps towards the Godhead. You have your foot on the1st step when you are born; each day is a step that must be climbed; Do not count the steps ahead or exult over the steps behind. 1 step at a time and that well climbed, is enough success to be satisfied with and to give you encouragement for the next one. Do not slide from the step you have got up on. Every step is a victory to be cherished; every day wasted is a defeat to be ashamed of. Slow and steady - let that be your maxim! - SWAMI
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