The question of what is spirituality for a common person has been in my mind for as long as I can remember and I still don’t have an answer which I believe in completely. So, this post is about what my current feeling is.

As a child when I had questioned the purpose of life, the question was suppressed. The impression I got was that anyone who goes looking for the purpose of life ends up renouncing everything and becoming a Yogi. Interestingly, people would fall at the feet of a Yogi and treat his or her every footfall, every utterance, every gesture with utmost reverence. But becoming a Yogi is never a path anyone would advise their children to follow. Though I’d like to be kind in my words and thoughts to this belief system, the only word I am able to think which describes this manner or thought is ‘hypocrisy’—which led me to lose faith in the existence of God.

A tryst with nature, an experience with the vastness of creation, changed my belief, opened my heart and I definitely realized that man cannot be the greatest. There is definitely something beyond our small minds. Reading, listening to people, observing the world led me to also understand that the ‘something’ is most likely attainable or realizable.

But when I look around, the ones who have attained or realized all seem to be in ochre robes living in ashrams. I have come across a few people who are content, peaceful, happy. But I am yet to see a person walking down the street who exudes the same air as Swamiji or any Guru. Does that mean then that the social system which told me that ‘realization is only for those who renounce’ is correct? Somehow, I don’t want to believe it.

If God made this Universe and left a reflection of Himself in every part of this wondrous creation, I do hope He has ensured He is realizable through any and every aspect of his making. People have reached an exalted state through meditation, worship, music, art. My journey is about reaching exaltation or realization, being a common man, leading a normal life, executing the responsibilities I have taken.

I want to believe that self-realization is possible while being a householder. I want to believe that an IT professional doing his work and balancing his life can somehow ‘see’ God. I want to believe that God has left a simple way to be seen while one leads the normal common man life that He has designed for so many to lead.

Is realization only for the exceptionally bestowed ones who can take on any peril to walk a different path away from worldliness? Hopefully, I will have a more conclusive answer some time this life.

For now, my path for myself – a common man, is summed up as:

Live with Gratitude and Grace.

Live with Detachment and Devotion (Bhakti).

Live Mindfully (in the present) and be prepared for the uncertain future.

Practice Kindness and Meditation everyday.

This may not be a concrete answer and I have no clue if living this way will ever lead me to see God, The Self, The Infinite, The Truth (call it what you may). But walking this path does keep me happy.

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Subhash Iyer

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