Spirituality is a holistic lesson in “The Art of Life” – living in conformity with nature’s design parameters, which defines our existence. It is vital for the efficient and orderly functioning of the Living order, with all its magnitude and diversity, potent enough to breed conflicting interests and create divides.
Spirituality is in fact the pathway to freedom. For, it helps the seeker to rise above all individual and collective limitations paving the way to progressively evolve towards higher paradigms. This then gives an access to all seen and unseen forces and factors driving the living world along with their underlying operative principles. The seeker then recognizes that the ‘Living world’ is constructed as an integrated organic whole, in which no unitary existence has a reality independent of the entirety. In this scheme of things, all and sundry are set into an interdependent mechanism, complementing, and supplementing each other’s assigned role to carry on the cycle of life in togetherness. The Primal-Source - The manifest – and the Self all included. This brings in a sense of oneness with all beings and existences, transgressing the boundaries of all man-made divides – of religion, dialects, geographical, racial, or cultural.
Eventually, the seeker reaches out to the essential inner core of one’s being (with limitless power), as that remains in permanent connect with the Primal source (which is the effective cause of all creations). It is this power within each one of us that animates and drives all the functional tools of a being, and which also holds the key to the “Causal Unity”. It is also the very force that drives the whole world process. In practical terms, if only one could access and apply this inherent “limitless” treasure, it would help us in conducing ourselves in a dynamic and proactive way and tap our own immense inherent strength and the accompanying vision and intelligence. This would then offer unabridged freedom to a successful life, managing all limitations and contradictions of the diverse living word.
Having thus transcended the limits of gross physicality and mind by realising one’s true self, a sense of ‘unitive consciousness’ is realised. A sense of all-encompassing love then overwhelms one’s mind, which induces peace and harmony with one and all. One then realizes the beauty and grandeur of the manifest world with its myriad existences.
However, paradoxically each one of us is also born with inherent limitations of the mind that keeps us ignorant about our true potential-self. Spirituality offers practical lessons and tools to get over our limitations to access and encash one’s own treasure. Spirituality is thus the liberator.
The path to Spirituality may apparently look like exploring God – for purely transient gains – which it is not. It needs to be appreciated here that unless you expand your vision beyond the self to the farthermost conceivable limit (unseen and hypothesized), it will not be possible to transgress your own limitations. But for that, how could someone factor in what lies beyond one’s usual perceivable limits? After all, what is wrong in thinking about the ‘unseen potentiality’ (commonly known as God) that would have excited the world process? Even modern science hypothesizes of a ‘Singularity’ where all fundamental forces supposedly existed in unified form, which, following ‘Big-Bang’, set in motion the world process.
This very realisation of a human being, fully evolved to one’s true potential-self is what Swami Vivekanand beautifully summed up as: “First become a man and you automatically become God”.
Now, about the path to Spirituality. A typecast method cannot be subscribed to a wide spectrum of intellects, emotions, and temperaments in evidence. Appreciating this existential truth (that each one of us is unique), ancient Indian Seers (the forbearers of Vedic tradition), adopted a dynamic approach. They broadly suggested three paths – The Jñāna Mārga (the path of knowledge), Bhakti Mārga (the path of devotion), and Karma Mārga (the path of action) to provide a suitably relevant platform. Here again, the three paths are not bound by any limitation. It allows the freedom to innovate one’s own course within these frames.
The Jñāna Mārga (the path of knowledge), in the Vedic tradition, adopts the education route. It subscribes to the principle of making us aware about the gross and subtle realities of life. Accordingly, it offers lessons in…
a. Dynamics of Life in holistic terms covering both macro and micro aspects.
b. Ways and means to progressively evolve and realise one’s true potential-self.
c. “Art of Life” tuned to the dynamics of life, vital to our qualitative existence.
The means adopted by ancient India’s learned masters were unique. Besides treatise on philosophy – the Vedas and related commentaries - they also took to storytelling as used in other popular epics.
Bhākti Mārga (the path of devotion) takes the route through devotion, unlike the Jñāna Mārga – the intellectual route. It provides for ardent surrender to educative symbols (popularly known as Deities) in prayer mode. These symbols relate to various concepts ranging from design of the living order to human attributes, vital to our organized conduct. Focus on these symbols serves as an autosuggestion, becoming an integral part of one’s nature to find spontaneous reflection in one’s demeanour.
Karma Mārga (the path of action) calls for righteously performing one’s duties and obligations towards the self and society, as if that would be their offering to the Divine. Evidently then, those following this path do not carry any negative baggage from the past. They, therefore, save themselves from any carry over of past encumbrances.
The tools of Spirituality include:
1. Study of treatise on Philosophy, Epics, and such educative material.