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- Exploring Religious Options
Spirituality is not a game or competition!
Drop of water
Slow and steady wins the race in the world!
Time is after all a drop in the ocean of Brahman, and we can afford to wait! This statement is given by an Avatar. Now we can remain peaceful since we need not rush through our spiritual disciplines. One step at a time is the best rule in spiritual ladder. Be firm on the step, before climbing the next one. Beware, not to slide down due to carelessness! First of all, spirituality is not a running race where one candidate led the other to climb the gold medal. In spiritual field, each one is eligible to climb the gold, provided he marches along the chosen path through discipline and one pointed focus. There is no competitor since each one marches alone, albeit with faith in the goal. Hence, we need not excel other since each path is separate according to our past efforts. Even those who are considered evil minded has a chance to reform and march on the path of spirituality, if not in this present birth, in the ensuing births. Hence, all those who are seen as good and holy people, once treaded through material life in previous births. A pre KG child may one day obtain Ph.D. after twenty years or so, provided he peruses his studies with one pointed attention. Of course, in the initial stages he may not show that much interest in studies. Later on he or she will pick up slowly and achieve their academic excellence!
Do not hurry in spiritual disciplines!
“Slow and steady wins the race” is most opt for spiritual path. Let us not hurry and then slow down. Let our phase be constant throughout the journey! Spirituality is a journey from the ‘I” (Ego) to God. In fact, there is no distance involved in the journey. When we reach our goal, we would have realized that we are where we are and only the false illusion of ego mind is vanished forever! This is deliverance, realization or Mukthi or Nirvana as different philosophies term it. In Sanskrit language “Moha + Kshaya is termed as “Moksha”, wherein the term ‘moha’ indicates false attachment and the term ‘kshaya denotes complete removal. Hence when attachment goes, we attain realization! For instance, ‘cataract’ usually covers our eyes and we lose the proper vision. The eye surgeon removes the cataract surgically and introduces an artificial lens to correct or restore our original vision! Similarly, ignorance veiled our innate wisdom and the preceptor removes the ignorance by his sane advice and teachings. Preceptor is a guide and we have to march on the direction or path shown by him. Then alone, we will reap the results.
To become free
A guide or Guru is essential in spiritual path!
Without a guide, it is very difficult to progress on the spiritual path. A guide will take us through safe route, avoiding the pitfalls, avoiding dangers en-route. When we do not find any reliable guide outside, we can rely upon the inner guide who is our own Self! We must rely on the self with full faith, then, we will be guided subtly. Many may feel how we get instructions from the inner self? First, the mind needs to practice silence sufficiently to hear about the promptings of the inner self. The voice of god (self) will be audible, once the mind observes silence to an extent. Since most of us are too much engrossed with the external world, we are not able to hear the subtle warnings of the self. Sometimes, this is called ‘conscious prick’. Once we entertain some bad thought and try to proceed on the path, we will get a subtle warning. But most of us ignore such conscious pricks and follow the ego mind which is always after pleasures of the senses. The mind thrives on a body and without a body, the mind is nonentity.
Seek knowledge from Guru!
Escape from the pulls of senses!
We are spoiled by the attractions of sensory objects. The eye, the ear, the nose, the tongue and the skin constantly goad man to seek the sensual objects. The eye wants to look at bad things; the ear want to hear gossip, the nose wants to smell perfumes and scents which kindle our baser instincts. The tongue wants to taste unholy food and the skin always seeks the touch and embrace from the other sex. These come under baser instincts which are mostly common to human beings and other species. There is another way to use the senses wisely. The eyes must be utilized to see the glory of god in nature. The ear must hear holy talks of saints and sages which revolve around God and His manifestations. The nose must smell the different scented sticks lit in the altar, which will kindle the thoughts of god. The tongue need to partake food which are offered and consecrated to all forms of god kept in the temple or altar of the home. The skin must hanker to touch the holy feet of prophets, sages and saints. The tongue must be utilized in singing songs on god and his holy names, remembering and chanting them very often instead of using it in backbiting and scandal mongering! If we use all the senses for good deeds, god will be pleased with our devotion and enable all the senses in perfect trim till we live in this world.
On the other hand, if we look at forbidden sights, hear scandals, consume animal food, and enjoy the company of unholy persons, we will lose the power of the sight, hearing, and speech in the prime of our youth. The body is really meant for service to the poor, downtrodden people. If we use it always in selfish manner, we will lose its value and death will snatch the life in the middle age. Hence use the energies given by god in good deeds and service to society, in which we are limb!