Spirituality is a personal perspective. Its meaning and takeaway vary according to person, place and time. For me, Spirituality is an inner transformation to be at peace with myself and love and care for my family. It also includes random acts of kindness and complete surrender to Swami Ji and Sri Hari. This explanation seems so simple but the struggle to reach here…..? Depending upon karmic retributions our struggles are also unique.
MY SPIRITUAL JOURNEY
I joined Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism for finding answers to various challenges faced as a young householder about ten years ago. This is a life-transforming philosophy teaching how to apply wisdom, compassion, courage and gratitude in daily life. It involves the daily chanting of Nam Myo Ho Renge Kyo along with morning and evening gongyo. I struggled to take my time out to have faith, practice and study this philosophy. Attending discussion meetings, home visits, and study meetings was always a challenge while fulfilling the duties of a householder and full-time job. Hindrances from the family were there but slowly resolved to see my persistence. I learnt a lot from this….. Maybe it was the process of my purification before meeting Swami Ji. I was doing everything according to my capabilities but something was missing. I was not happy from within. I tried to seek answers to relationship, financial and health karmas by following this faith. Layers of negativities, illusions, darkness and fear in the subconscious mind were removed slowly. I used to chant for hours to find out my ultimate goal. I was evolving but used to distract by forced meetings and home visits. I wanted to base my life on values but there shouldn’t be any external pressure on how to progress. My rebellious mind often used to question whether I was going in the right direction. I have a job to do ….have to take care of myself and my family. In the nutshell, philosophy is wonderful but the pressure to attend meetings, various Whats App groups and report your daimoku record was daunting many times. Moreover, I wanted to see and seek my Guru in the physical being.
MEETING WITH SWAMI JI
The oneness of self and environment is one of the Buddhist concepts. My internal quest to find a guru who can show me the path to that long-desired calmness led me to read a few of Swami Ji’s books. Then I met Swami Ji in Ashram. I was always sceptical of Gurus considering them babas who could mislead me. But my thought process changed after seeing Swami Ji in person. I only cried and talked about the guilt of not doing better in life. Slowly, a few things happened automatically ….learning how to recite Lalita Shasranama, Gayatri Mantra Japa, Love for MotherDivine, Devotion for Swami Ji, Nav Durga Sadhna(according to my capacity)…… I didn’t force myself on anything. In the last meeting with Swami Ji…… I asked,”Swami Ji, when my faith will be strong like your foremost devotees? When I will say….. Swami Ji is here, I am fearless….When I have seen Sri Hari, I got everything. Why I am not adoring Sri Hari and You with utmost faith, love and devotion?” Swami Ji said, “Only a few can reach Badrika Ashram , with Mother’s Grace. You have reached here. With Maa Jagdamba’s Grace, everything will be possible .”That day, I found long desired assurance and calmness in me.
GENERAL HINDRANCES IN SPIRITUAL PROGRESS
We cannot achieve anything without discipline and perseverance. Meditation and chanting were to tame my mind inwards. Following rituals is to make ourselves disciplined on a path. For a householder with materialistic challenges, it was never easy. Responding to society in the way they want, is not practical for a person on the spiritual path. Your mind is engrossed in a Japa or devotion, then how you can think about what to wear in a party? You don’t share your ongoing goal for a particular Mantra Sadhna with your family as they may not correlate to it. Then how will you convince them that you are on the Satvik diet? At every step, you are doubted and questioned. You have to make choices without any guilt. Helping a distant parentless niece in selecting her coaching classes or a Mantra Sadhana at that time? A time slot which you have thought for meditation and now you have to move out for a fifteen- year girl seeking your help to meet a doctor? How a Sadhna will help if I can not help a person in need? So many questions? Still, you persist…. You keep walking…. Sometimes topple …..sometimes steady…. Yes, you are ready. Ready to win over the struggle to find yourself on the spiritual path.
This was how I struggle for my spiritual health.