August 16, 2013 Comments Off
Harih Om Tat Sat! Last night I was speaking about the difference between religious life and spiritual life. I did speak about this earlier also.
Religious life by its very nature is sectarian. It doesn’t generally have a wholesome attitude and application. You do some worship or ritual either in your house or in a temple, for some time everyday or once in a way. Then there will be some moral codes and faith you try to hold on to.
In our country millions of people are religious. But when it comes to the question of the religious purity and fulfillment, there are very few who can be counted. Why is it that while there are a number of votaries for religious life, the people who get the fulfillment of true religion become so less in number?
Spirituality on the other hand, is not sectarian or regional. It is something very wholesome in nature and it involves only the different levels of our own personality. It is therefore universal in its appeal and application.
A spiritual man tries to be spiritual throughout. There is a spiritual perception in him; a spiritual pursuit in him. The focus of his pursuit is his own mind and perception and nothing else. As part of his pursuit, he tries to regulate, refine and sublimate his life.
In seeing and hearing, he brings a filtration. He chooses the items to be seen and heard, so that his mind is purified. With regard to food, he tries to take pure food that will bring about a sublimation and refinement in him. When he speaks, he tries to speak spiritually vibrant words. In everything he does, there will be that wholesome spiritual outlook.
He looks into his mind and wants to make sure that the thoughts, memories and feelings are spiritual in character. He aspires to engage his intelligence constantly in the enquiry and contemplation of the supreme Truth.
So, in all levels of his personality – physical, mental and intelligential – through the impressions received as well as the expressions projected, he tries to imbibe and manifest spirituality.
Being spiritual, he cannot blame anybody for anything. He does not wait for any special favour – either from God or from anybody else. On the other hand, he tries to incorporate and achieve whatever he aims at. He never says that God is not in his favour.
When, thus, the whole emphasis shifts from the others to oneself, from the outside to within, one becomes spiritual. The goal is within him, the means to reach it rest within him. The will to pursue it also lies within him.
He understands that whatever joy he gets from interactions with the objects is in fact the joy produced by the mind. The mind is capable of generating delight and fulfillment all by itself. Apparently, the mind produces the joy through the interaction between the senses and the objects. But, the same mind can also produce joy by de-linking itself from the objects and the senses. That is what he discovers through meditation and samaadhi. So, for him, everything becomes self-based.
Refinement becomes his watchword. Expansion and sublimation become his ideal. Everywhere he becomes clean, orderly and humble. He becomes amiable, loving, tolerant, sacrificing and courageous. This kind of a personality enrichment, refinement and sublimation is the aim of spirituality. Once you know that it is so, all the religious constrictions are set aside. Spirituality becomes a universal pursuit.
Harih Om Tat Sat! Jai Guru! – Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha
[An excerpt from Poojya Swamiji’s morning message Prabhaata-rashmih published in the Jan 2004 issue of Vicharasethu.]
(c) Narayanashrama Tapovanam, 2012