“Guru is an opportunity to change the direction of your thoughts and state of being. Don’t miss it”
Can I tell you something? Up until I had known Swami ji, I did not bother finding out the distinction between religion and spirituality. The reason behind the same is that I did not know even know that there is a fundamental difference between the aforementioned concepts. I have come a long way since then 🙂
Initially when I had first known about Swami ji, I was completely absorbed in his works. I would spend atleast 12 hours everyday across many months reading his books, articles, watching his discourses, researching about his interviews among others. That period can best be termed in a Meditator’s terms as a Concentrative Period. My present period is more of a time of reflection. Therefore it may be termed as Contemplative Period. It is spent on absorbing and applying the concepts that I have inculcated and imbibed theoretically through Swami ji in my day to day life. So now it’s a 24 hour job and I am not complaining.
A lot many people think that the concept of spirituality is pretty overrated. Some of the reasons they reject it inter alia includes as to why should they believe in a higher power, it ignites fear in people, it’s a wastage of time, God does not exist, it does not help anyone in life, it’s a foolish concept which has no meaning, it divides people among others. Kindly note here the word spirituality may also be read as being religious.
I have always been religious in my life. From japa to abhishekam and from nitya Puja to arati, I used to follow all of these since my very childhood. I would thoroughly enjoy it. But how come it didn’t help me in life? The reason is because being religious and being spiritual is not the same. While being religious includes performing the above actions but spirituality is far more deep. It attempts to completely overhaul your entire being. Measures to include being spiritual would be to include being truthful, compassionate, kind, charitable (not necessarily monetarily), avoidance of gossip, creating boundaries, maintaining solitude, dissolution of ego, letting go of attachment and becoming detached and so much more. Religious practices would work only if it is combined with spirituality.
Spirituality has a method to shape all of us. How would you know if you are improving on the path? Some of the most notable changes you would observe in yourself are the following:-
1. You would avoid the company of people who indulge in gossip and manipulation.
2. There is an element of solitude that you would crave for in your day to day life.
3. Anger would cease to exist from your life. Situations and people will no more provoke you.
4. There would be a rhythm to your day to day life.
5. You’d become quite forgiving. Vindictiveness and revengeful attitude would not remain in your body system anymore.
6. Concept of karma is something you would believe in and try to understand and appreciate.
7. You would develop faith in the divine and your Guru if you have one.
8. You would slowly become uncomplicated. Food, behaviour of people, clothing etc would not bother you anymore. You would automatically adjust with whatever has been made available to you.
9. You would persevere during your darkest times. You would not give up.
10. You’d think about humanity’s wellbeing. Kindness and compassion would deeply envelope your heart.
11. Bruises in your mind, body and soul would slowly but steadily heal.
12. You would not feel attacked when people talk to you in a manner which is not in consonance with how you expect the other person to conduct himself / herself.
13. You would think about your thoughts, words and deeds more.
14. You stop feeling lonely.
15. You find yourself to be in harmony with nature and this grand universe.
See how many boxes have you ticked and how many more you have yet to tick. We must all remember that spiritual development is a lifelong affair. It is not a stop gap arrangement to resolve issues of your life. We must work very hard on ourselves to transform our very being. It will happen once we all take the first step. The first step is to pay deep attention to the instructions of our Guru, Master, Lord, Isht i.e. Swami ji. Once instructions are listened to patiently, they must be applied in our day to day life. Slowly but steadily the aforementioned changes would be very evident in our life.
That’s all that we have to do at the moment.
Sending love, respect and gratitude you way,