Friday, 13 April 2012

Serenaded by Spirituality

Shri Krishna's magical flute the 'Sammohini' streamed out celestial notes that were so enchanting that would bind all of His creations in a divine trance. 

The human tryst with spirituality dates back to the days of genesis. Spirituality is a state of mind, its a way of life, its the bridge to the heavens. Spirituality is not to be misinterpreted with abdication of one's material life and rejecting the idea of societal and marital harmony. It is not be confused with becoming a recluse or a saint.  

One can find spirituality everywhere around. It is always ready to take away the turbulence in your mind, only you need to have the spirit to listen to its sweet melodies.  One may enjoy all the material bliss God has put on offer and yet it is never too far or too late to connect with your divinity. 

Of all places in the world, India has been an abode of spiritualism. Our ancestors were making peace with the supreme power when the rest of the civilised and barbaric world was seething with anger and raged in blood curdling battles and vicious wars. 

In today's busy world where time is money and no has enough to waste, our connect with spirituality is seeing an all new phase. It is amazing how we adapt to every changing situation, no matter how different it is now from how it used to be for our fathers and before. The world is under stress and there is no place left in this great ocean of humanity to vent out this pent up stress except to find solace in spirituality. 

It makes you realise your true worth and clarifies in almost unambiguous terms your purpose. It is a great humbler and it brings in absolute balance in one's chaotic inner world. 

Spirituality offers more than one avenue to understand the unknown that are lying deep in the twilight zone called time and space. It is still a work in progress and provides an equal opportunity for the believers to figure out ingenious ways to move ahead. 

I am not promoting blind faiths and rejection of the idea of hard work, perseverance, conventional education to achieve life's goals, but I am trying to understand means which will reinforce my self belief, ramp up my self confidence and restore my faith in fate. It would not be pragmatic to abandon one's duties to pursue the secrets of spirituality. One has to learn to enjoy the fruits of one's labours and still tow the tenets of theology. 

The world's greatest religions were built on the philosophy of a life of righteousness and one that is woven in the fabric of spiritualism. Of course, one may feel the shards and experience severe rigors in the testaments prescribed in each of these many Holy books, but they have all been written down for a purpose and has enough scientific back up to prove their authenticity. For example, for the faithful, The Bhagvad Gita prescribes the right way of life, categorically defines good and evil and facilitates right judgement. Be it the Gita, the Torah, the Bible or the Quran, the faithful always know where to look for when their decisions are clouded by prejudice and bias. 

We come across many who have achieved much academically. They are the front runners in their respective areas of choice be it education, sports or work. If some of us have had the privilege of studying the lives of such great achievers, we find one thing in common which is their inclination & total submission to spiritualism.  It is where they have found their answers to life's most difficult questions. Many who have been at the pinnacle of success have found much sought after peace of mind and their genuine purpose in life once they turned to spirituality. One such example is of a member of the legendary British Rock band, "The Beatles" - George Harrison. 

His short sojourn in the foothills of the Shivaliks is a well documented piece of history. He returned a changed man. 

Meditation is believed to be the best means to connect with your inner divinity. This is theology's sure shot medicine for all mental and most of physiological ailments. It is the ancient de-tox formula that pushes out negative energy out of your system and leaves one refreshed and rejuvenated. 

The syllable 'Om' or 'Aum' is called as the 'Beejakshar' in Sanskrit meaning it is the seed syllable which sprouts life. Apparently, this is the sound the universe makes while it is rotating. The human mind is a wild stallion and it is a Herculean effort indeed to discipline it. Meditation with concentration tames the wild nature of our minds and soothes your hyperactive nerves. Perhaps, our ancestors designed certain methods to meditate in order to focus our energies to a singular goal. Meditation reminds of the famous novel made into a movie by the same name - Eat Pray and Love starring the very sensuous Julia Roberts. 

One of the greatest spiritual experiments to which India was home to were the preaching of Gauthama Buddha, the ninth reincarnation of the Hindu God of preservation - Lord Vishnu. 

His followers - Buddhists are known to experience heightened levels of spirituality though Buddhism doesn't propagate the idea of God. This fortifies my argument that spirituality does not need a strong belief in the presence of a supreme entity who has absolute control over every living creature's destiny. You can be a spiritual being while being an atheist. 

However, that road has too many twists and turns and has a lot of distractions which ultimately may not help you achieve what you are seeking. Spirituality can be sought in a much disciplined and streamlined manner if there are certain guidelines to it. Religion provides these guidelines. 

One might have observed many an ascetic chanting in a trance holding in his hands a beaded chain. This is the rosary to the Christians and the Mohammedans and Rudrakshamala for the Hindus. It helps one channelize their energies to one single purpose while in meditation and to drive out all other thoughts of distraction. These are not religious symbols but instruments designed to streamline your energy. 

Attaining a meta physical state and being one with your spiritual self requires one to be visceral rather than display elevated amounts of intellect which often act as barriers. 

Coming back from where we left about India being a nation obsessed with spiritualism, I wish to embark upon a journey that is dotted with by - lanes all leading to the free way called spirituality. However, whichever route one decides to take, there are always grey areas which needs specific comprehension. 

Like I had mentioned earlier, spiritualism is instrumental in understanding one's purpose in life and realise your true worth. Today, this has been grossly misinterpreted to knowing one's future through means supposedly spiritual in nature. I am not completely discounting the authenticity of all the dozens of practices that are in vogue these days. Of course, sometimes these experiences are quite astonishing and defy the proven tenets of Science. I am talking about an India where its people are hysteric about other people acknowledging their past, present and future through means which is beyond a common man's sphere of perception. 

India is the birthplace to many a sciences and of which is astrology (not to be confused with astronomy). Astrology is the art & science of studying the stars and the planetary alignments and interpreting the same with respect to a person's past, present and future happenings. This is an ancient knowledge of the unknown which the modern day science with its Hubble space telescopes and Particle colliders hasn't been able to decipher. 

No, I am NOT pulling you all to the dark ages and asking you to rally your hopes around stuff you are not familiar with. I am just pondering over the possibilities of reality in all these experiments or practices whatever one may wish to call it. 

Today, like everything else, Spiritualism too has been blotted in the dark ink of commercialism. There are mischief mongers and touts all around trying to rake in some moolah by fiddling with man's eternal hunger for the unknown. In a nation growing in all directions, people are all the while looking for the fastest way in and out, even in the case of spiritualism. There are the palm readers, Tarot card readers, face readers,  crystal ball gazers,numerologists et all who apparently go through continuous cycles of premonitions of target incidents provided you are willing to share some of your shillings with them. 

There are a few genuine practitioners of these ancient arts, but in today's world the dichotomy is quite blurred. 

These are the right wingers of spirituality and they are best left to themselves. Such predictions of one's future leaves very little for imagination and may sometimes generate undesirable vibes that may bring down a fledgling career, marriage or an academic life. 

One must appreciate people in general for their efforts to keep up with the modern day pace of life and still be in touch with their spiritual side. We see at several homes, installation of the 'Sri Chakra' which is a maze of geometrical patterns (triangles to be precise). These triangles radiate from a central point or 'Bindu' which symbolises the origin of cosmos. The upside and downside pointing triangles represent the masculine and feminine forms of divinity. The 8 petal & 16 petal lotuses represent the womb that gives birth and the four breaks in the square represent four gateways to regions of the universe. The Sri Chakra also known as the Sri Yantra hold the entire cosmos in its fold and is said to emanate positive vibrations in the domain of its installation. 

In keeping up with spirituality and attempting to be as close as possible to divinity, India witnessed the invention of 'Vaastu Shastra' which categorised the living space or home in several sections, each section representing a specific function. A home built on the lines of Vaastu is believed to be free of all malice and ensures a secure life for its inhabitants. In India, big shot builders of high rises in mega cities construct 'Vaastu compliant' apartment complexes to attract maximum buyers. 

There are numerous other ways to achieve spiritual happiness which we tend to neglect may be out of choice or out of compulsion. Yoga is the ancient Hindu science of creating a synergy between the psyche and the physic. Prima facie it involves many 'Asanas' or postures designed to target specific parts of the human body, Yoga also comprises of many transcendental meditation procedures that when practiced with dedication surrounds the practitioner with a positive aura. The western hemisphere is witnessing a Yoga revolution of sorts where people have realized its powers to maintain a healthy spiritually fortified life. 

We are going through troubled times. We all are in agreement when I say that the Indian media of today are harbingers of bad news. We are all the time beneath a deluge of information that only depresses. 

Instead of lamenting on the current state of affairs over which the common man has extremely little control, it is best to choose a path of righteousness and tolerance and being spiritual facilitates you to tread those paths.

In order to experience everyday spirituality, we need to remember that we are spiritual beings spending some time in a human body.

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