Spirituality is often confused with being religious (though they are not the same). Spirituality is a genuine requirement for leading a happy balanced life. Spirituality works wonders and keeps one focused towards one’s purpose or goal. A religious life would mean chanting mantras, shlokas, stotrams and involving oneself in conducting daily rituals oftentimes with no real change taking place inside of oneself. I can say this with conviction since I was one such person and never understood the difference between this and Spirituality. Spirituality involves doing all of the above but with mindfulness and undergoing a real change. I am not 100% perfect; however I am trying every moment and every day. The Japanese believe in the concept of Kaizen which basically means a small effort everyday will yield you big results over a period of time. I learnt this concept while watching a video by a monk named Sarvapriyananda of the Ramakrishna Mission.
I am sharing with you 10 benefits that you will definitely be able to feel if you follow Gurudev’s teachings. As all of you are aware, he has written umpteen number of books, written way too many articles and shared his virtual discourses too for all of us to learn and imbibe.
The moment one embraces his teachings carefully, a sense of peace and tranquillity envelops you. In the midst of chaos, one thinks. I remember reading somewhere that one should think before they think. Gurudev helps you think before you take a decision. He makes one truly able to respond to a situation instead of reacting to it. My view is to be assertive when required but not be aggressive.
2. Let things go
Once you embrace a truly spiritual life you will be more inclined to not pay heed to everyone’s views and opinions. This does not mean that you will look down upon others’ viewpoints. It just means whether someone compliments you or berates you – it will not have a deep impact on you. You will still flow and move towards your goal and purpose. The small incidents which would previously irk you, will not have a hold over you anymore.
3. Attachment with detachment
You will realise that all relationships you have in your life be it family, relatives, friends, professional are temporary meaning that based on your previous life karma they have come to know you in this birth. Therefore, what you ought to do is love and respect everyone with dispassion. You maybe attached to them through a label – for instance you maybe a daughter or a son however, in your next birth if at all you are born you may not be born to them as their children. Therefore, love but without attachment. This helps you heal, and their actions will not trouble you as much as it used to trouble you before.
4. Focus on the Divine
Once you are aware that everything in your life is temporary, you will be in a position to appreciate that the only connection you have over lifetimes is with the Divine. You will seat the divine in your heart. Instead of speaking to others about your issues, troubles, happiness and fear – you will start communicating with the divine seated in your heart.
5. Prioritise your life
Spirituality helps you focus your energy into something constructive. It will help you figure out where your focus ought to be. It will help you know where to invest and where not to. You will slowly distance yourself from toxic people and situations. You will not react when somebody misbehaves with you. You will focus on reading scriptures or spiritual books as opposed to let’s say watching something on Netflix or on the television. You will tend to appreciate that the life you have is a blessing and you will have to make the best out of it.
6. Practice Solitude
Being alone or living in solitude is not the same is being lonely. Spirituality helps one utilise their alone time. You will fear solitude only when you are not comfortable with who you are as a person. Our dependency on communicating with people 24*7 takes a lot away from us without even us realising it. A lot of energy gets drained. We all end up saying something that we end up regretting hours later. The lesser you speak, the less lies you will speak and better quality your speech will be.
7. Opinions don’t matter
What others say do not overwhelm you as much as they used to before. One should take in constructive criticism – no doubt about that. However, we must not forget that the times we live in is a perplexing one because every Tom, Dick and Harry has an opinion. The problem is not with having an opinion per se. The issue is when one feels it is imperative to voice their not so good opinion at any costs. I do not give advice unless asked – Period. I was not like this before. I used to give unsolicited advice. Now no more. I am not on Social Media – therefore do not have to lead a parallel lifestyle. Not all that we see on Social Media is true and we all know that. Therefore, this compulsion to take everything to heart slowly goes away.
8. Anger subsides
Most of us lead very stressful lives. Some have to manage with toxic bosses, some have to manage with narcissistic spouses, some with difficult friends and some with negative human beings who make our lives difficult. Gurudev had once stated that pain is inevitable, but suffering is in our hands. We ought not to convert our pain into suffering. That fit of rage will slowly subside. That deep hurt, resentment and pain will slowly merge with the Divine. If you consistently walk on this path – the negative tendencies will slowly evaporate.
9. Kindness and Compassion
When negative tendencies evaporate – one tends to practice kindness and compassion. Gurudev had once stated that one should not have false humility which basically means you choose the person with whom you will practice humility. This is fake humility and is not correct. I have no reason to disagree with Gurudev on this (I do not have any right to disagree with Gurudev on anything because my love for him and my relationship with him transcends across lifetimes I feel). One will automatically start being kind and compassionate with everyone and will try to understand people. I mentally have a conversation with myself when people say negative things by telling myself that these people have been born and brought up like that and it is sad that they have not attempted to transform themselves, therefore I must not take this to heart. I feel bad momentarily but get over it real fast.
In these times when relationships are fragile and easily breakable no matter how much effort you put in, it is important to know how to love and respect yourself. Spirituality will transform you in such a manner that you will stop running pillar to post searching for happiness. You slowly come back to your original source. The source being the divine in you. You end up loving and respecting yourself way too much. There will be healthy boundaries that shall be built by you. These boundaries in whichever form will help you be a better version of yourself.
P.S. All the above are my own truths. I fail at times but seek strength to keep moving ahead. I have validated each of the above before mentioning. All credit goes to Gurudev for his divine grace which made it possible for me to understand and appreciate the lessons spirituality brings with it. May the Divine Mother and Shri Hari guide us all on our independent spiritual life.
Love & Gratitude always,