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In this huge and complex world, especially living in the era of transition where everyone is an actor in the contemporary stage of globalisation, it is very difficult to spare time for oneself. And the biggest challenge comes where you are unaware of your situation.
The lifestyle today is so harsh and fast that we have created our own world of disillusionment, and to top it all up we very contently revel in our condition of ignorance. In light of the current events it is quite natural that the bulk of mankind is not at all spiritual, and yet is living almost satisfactorily.
This brings light to the fact that tells one can live a decent life, even without being spiritual. One can have relationships, one can work, earn, and lead a decent-normal life without having anything to do with spirituality. In fact, there is nothing in man’s composition that pushes him towards spirituality, proving the point that there is no compulsion.
Man is really not born to go beyond. Humans are born to be an individual entity, but in their course of life they actually enter the realm of materialistic world where they are driven by some desires. Having the potential to be alacritous, they can easily reside in whatever life offers us. And in case life doesn’t offer what they desire, then they strive to turn their dream into reality, aligning themselves to be the most progressive race capable of adaptability. Hence, being surrounded with the worldly temptations, it is very difficult to break free from such desires and enter a life of discipline and spirituality.
Here, it is very important to understand that if you don’t pursue the spiritual path, you will not become a sinner. You will just be an ordinary human. It is the decisions taken by one which imparts the personality you have. Leading a certain way of life doesn’t categorise you to be good or evil. Therefore, without the inclination or realisation one should not enter the spiritual life, because if you do it otherwise, then you are actually letting yourself down.
Spirituality is for Whom?
Spirituality is the most exquisite pursuit. It is not something that you can pick from the shelf, and start practicing. It is not something you choose. But spirituality finds its way to reach out to you.
All those who are not at all contended with what the world can maximally offer and are not contended with what they already have, they are even not satisfied with the best that the world can potentially offer, these are the people who are more susceptible to find solace under the roof of spirituality. Those are the ones who must take the spiritual path. Others must satisfy themselves with the worldly beauties.
You don’t have to force yourself, imitate someone or be under someone else’s influence lead a spiritual life. It is the inner voice, a call which you get from within, a moment of enlightenment which is realised where one never indulges himself/herself in incorporating it as a part of the life but without their being aware become a part of their life.
Most people are condemned to almost succeed in the world. The misfortune of most people is that they never get beaten up so soundly that they will see the futility of the world. So they should remain well-adjusted and compromised, they should continue with the worldly life, they should not unnecessarily invite the spiritual trouble.
Spirituality is only for the ones who are ripe enough.
If you are not ripe enough, keep hanging by the tree; enjoy the birds and the breeze.
A time comes when you are ready.
Spirituality has never been for the unprepared ones, or for the general masses. Never! Spirituality begins when you have a strong feeling that things are not the way they must be.
If you are alright and well-adjusted, then stay well-adjusted. But to begin, first of all you must know what is going wrong. If you do not know your disease, to which doctor will you go? Even to go to a doctor, even to benefit from the guidance of a doctor, you at least need to go to the right department, don’t you? So, you have to begin with yourself. You have to honestly ask yourself, “What is this going on?”
This is the stepping stone.
If you are attentive to your own situation, you know what is really going on.
Your very attention is the final judge.
In that honesty, you immediately sense discomfort when you are not acting from the right point.
Then your responsibility is to not let that discomfort continue, and bring a change in yourself and your actions.
That is spirituality!
The Prerequisites of Spirituality
In spirituality, there are four prerequisites. First thing that is needed is viveka (discretion). Second, vairagya (dispassion). Third is shad sampatti, the six qualities (shama, dama, uprati, titiksha, shraddha, samaadhaan). And finally, and most importantly, you need mumuksha (desire for liberation). When you see that you have all these, only then must you turn a seeker.
Do you have discretion? Do you clearly see what is eternal, and what is ephemeral? Do you clearly see what holds substance, and what is insubstantial? If not, then you are disqualified in the very first test.
There are four tests. The very first one disqualifies you. The second test is a little more stern—vairagya, and then, there is the shad sampatti: six tests at one go—rapid fire. And finally, do you have a burning desire for liberation, mumuksha?
If you do not have a burning desire for liberation, stay away!
Go and enjoy the world.
Excerpted from an article published in one of the leading newspaper website (The New Indian Express) on 19th January, 2020. Read here.
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