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Spirituality — Our True Nature

Submitted by on September 14, 2012 – 6 Comments

Spirituality is the new buzz word of our age. Many times it is presented as a new ‘religion’, especially when celebrities speak about it. With the increasing popularity of ancient traditions like Yoga, Vaastu, Tai Chi and  eastern martial arts among the younger generation, the word ‘Spirituality’ is used freely as an all-encompassing entity. And the exponential sales of self help books which draw upon ‘ancient wisdom’ also gives new meanings to this word. The term Spirituality has come to be associated with personal growth, healing and new age faith among others.

With newer meanings and interpretations, there are also many distortions and falsehoods associated with Spirituality. The earlier distorted idea was that spiritual practices are restricted to recluses, sanyasis or aged upper caste males. Now the term spiritual is used to mean ‘anti-religion’ or a different lifestyle and education system, or even a certain genre of music and arts. It is in fact fashionable to call oneself Spiritual to indicate ones modernity or unorthodox approach to life.

The term ‘spiritual’ indicates ‘spirit’, so spiritual means ‘of the spirit’. When we look at Spirituality in this light, we understand its basic definition and essence. This essence was perceived and taught in every age by the finest spiritual beings—the Rishis. The following account presents the undistorted and pure meaning of Spirituality.

What is ‘Being Spiritual’?

Being Spiritual means being in alignment with the qualities of the Spirit – the Soul. It means manifesting the subtle and refined qualities of our Soul in our actual living.

As individuals, we all have positive qualities as well as shortcomings. We bring out many good qualities like love, kindness, selflessness and compassion in our everyday interactions with the world. And on various occasions, our shortcomings like jealousy, hatred, anger and possessiveness also get manifested. Yet, at the deepest level of the Soul, we carry the divine qualities of Peace, Bliss, Truth, Purity and Unconditional Love. At the Soul level, every human being is divine—magnanimous, expanded and deeply compassionate.

When we allow these divine qualities of the Soul to manifest at the physical level—in our everyday living, we will be living a Spiritual Life!

Thus, a Spiritual person is one who is pure in thoughts and emotions, and radiates Love and Peace. He/She manifests Truth all the time, is organised and honest. He is humble, accommodating, wise and also strong. He stands up to his commitments and balances the material and spiritual aspects of his life. He is at peace with himself and the world around—one can feel peace, love and joy just by being in his presence. All these qualities gradually lead to perfection in him when he shines with his inner light and becomes an example in Spiritual living.

Spirituality is Righteous Living, at all levels, all the time!

Why Become Spiritual?

From the above definition of Spirituality, we can understand that such a living is possible for anyone irrespective of their religion, gender, age, social status or affluence. It also becomes evident that there are very few individuals who can be called truly Spiritual. The majority of us are not in alignment with our inner divinity, and continue to lead a life filled with fears, struggles and compromises, controlled by our instincts and demands of life, only occasionally manifesting goodness and virtue.

Yet, becoming Spiritual and living a righteous life is not only possible but also a deep necessity of today. We have to become spiritual because that is our true nature! Manifesting our nature and being true to our core is one of the purposes of life.

Another reason why we should become Spiritual is the turbulent times we’re living in. The turbulence that we find in the world today is because most of us are cut off from our true nature. We wake up every day to stories of corruption, greed, intolerance, violence and many unspeakable atrocities on helpless humans. Wars and genocides ravage many parts of the world while abuses and human rights violations are the norm. The disharmony between humans is only surpassed by our disregard towards nature and the abundant life that supports us. At the individual level too, we face a similar disharmony within ourselves, unsure of our path, purpose or aim in life.

The non-spiritual living of Humanity over thousands of years has lead to this disharmony—within us, between fellow humans and in the entire planet. If we do not connect to our inherent divinity and transform, if we do not manifest peace within and without then the future of humanity and the planet will be in peril. Becoming spiritual is the way if we are to save ourselves and our planet.

As we become spiritual, we unify ourselves deep within and become aligned to our divine nature. We also become aligned with those around us, with nature and with existence itself. The fears and struggles which normally rule our life are replaced with joy, harmony and abundance. Life becomes an easy flow as the peace within manifests outside in our thoughts, actions and living. When many individuals live in this way, this world gradually becomes a paradise, a heaven on Earth.

This is a larger purpose of humanity at this point in time. And the path towards this purpose is for each one of us to become Spiritual.

How To Become Spiritual?

To ‘Be’ Spiritual is our natural state of living. It is the state with which we descended into Creation, from our Source, to experience life here. During all of this experiencing, we were expected to be in link with the Supreme, in link with our inner nature. But the excessive experiences, also known as karmas resulted in us losing this link, forgetting our true nature and coming to believe ourselves as helpless individuals, stuck in life and controlled by fate.

Connecting to our inner nature is the same as regaining our link with the divine. It is a process which takes time and efforts. This process helps an individual to clear his karmas, align completely with his inner Self and regain his lost divinity. In short, this process helps him to ‘Become’ Spiritual.

There are various ways and paths by which one can become spiritual and connect to his inner divinity. Depending on the path chosen, the individual also gains various benefits on his journey. One of the practices is a simple prayer everyday where the individual disconnects himself from the world around and connects to the Higher Intelligence in silence. It is an occasion to share ones love, request for solace or be in communion with God.

There are many who take up practices like singing devotional songs and being in the mood of the positive vibrations of the Divine. There are also others who take up social service and voluntary works, in order to help others and thus manifest selflessness and love in relation to others. Another path towards becoming Spiritual is the way of knowledge and contemplation, where the individual studies and reflects upon his nature and the nature of the divine. All these paths ultimately result in the individual connecting to his inner divinity, with or without his conscious awareness.

Many also adopt the practice of Meditations to connect to the Source of all existence. By silencing ones system and gradually experiencing stillness, the individual can expand his awareness to the whole of existence and directly experience the Supreme! This experiencing helps the individual to easily manifest the subtle divine qualities in his everyday living.

As with any journey, the ‘spiritual journey’ can also be exciting as well as challenging. There will be setbacks and obstacles on the way. Sometimes one may not see immediate results for their efforts. And manifesting spiritual qualities is a battle between ones inner darkness and inner light. Only by patience, perseverance and efforts, one can make the Light win and shine.

There are also a few spiritual principles which one can adopt and follow in their daily living. These principles alone can help an individual to connect to his divine nature and then manifest those qualities. When combined with the various practices, these principles give faster results by accelerating ones spiritual progress.

The Spiritual Principles

A set of 12 principles have been studied, practiced and perfected across the ages, by spiritually evolved individuals. These spiritual masters, also known as the Rishis have discovered that when these principles are adopted in our daily living, they connect us to our true nature and help us to manifest the divine qualities of love, peace and happiness. These simple principles are also called as ‘Light Principles’ as they link us to the Supreme Light behind all of Existence, God.

 The Light principles are:

  • Manifest Peace and Prosperity.
  • Manifest Love, Patience and Accommodation.
  • Manifest Oneness with the entire Creation.
  • Live with an expanded Awareness
  • Be united within and with others to keep the Ego and Negativities out.
  • Use Light to achieve Goals.
  • Meditation and Sadhana are basic necessities.
  • Be humble always and live in Light.
  • Maintain secrecy before achieving the Results.
  • Respect the space and privacy of others.
  • Balance the material and spiritual by surrendering to God.
  • Execute every work with sincerity and love.

These principles have been explained in detail in our article, ‘The Light Principles’.

One can also follow a value system, commonly known as ‘Yama-Niyama’ in Yoga. The values are Truth, Non-Violence, Non-stealing, Selflessness, Purity, Contentment, Introspection, Surrender, Making God a part of our life, and Shining with Light.  These values when adopted and followed also encourage and enhance ones spiritual growth and connect the individual to the divine.

The value system of Yama-Niyama has been explained in detailed in our article: ‘Yama Niyama’.

Some Misconceptions About Spirituality

There are many misconceptions and pre-conceived notions about Spirituality. While it is important to realise what is Spiritual, it is also necessary to recognise what is not Spiritual. The following are some of the most prevalent misconceptions of what is spirituality and who a spiritual person is.

  • A Spiritual person is one who is cut off from society and lives a secluded life, meditating and contemplating on God.
  • If he lives among people, he leads a life of poverty, struggling for basic amenities. 
  • He will not be an active participant in life. A spiritual person will not enjoy arts, music or poetry.
  • Spirituality also means poor intellect. A spiritual person may not be informed, intelligent or articulate, so he will not be up to date with technology or modernity.
  • He will definitely not be a jovial person. He should be serious, non-humorous and contemplative. He remains unemotional and doesn’t display anger, sorrow or happiness.
  • The food habits and dress code also define a Spiritual person, hence he lives on a vegetarian diet and wears simple clothes.
  • Most of his time is spent in social service and in the welfare of others. A spiritual person donates his wealth for charity and sacrifices himself for others.
  • He should follow the religion into which he is born, practicing the rituals or associating himself with the symbols and dress of his religion.
  • The opposite of the above belief is that, a spiritual person will not be religious and will not follow any ritual or practices. He will be free from all religious beliefs.
  • A spiritual person also possesses occult powers and uses them to heal or help others.
  • Only people from a certain class or caste can become spiritual. And most of the time, only men are entitled for Spiritual practices and sadhana.

These ideas about Spirituality arose because such behaviours or practices were followed by Spiritual people in the past, at different time periods, as was the necessity of those times. When an uneducated, poor person became spiritually awakened, spirituality became associated with poverty or non-education. Gradually these beliefs became generalizations, so anyone who violated these was considered non-spiritual.

Spirituality is all about being aligned with ones true nature and manifesting the divine qualities in life. A spiritual person participates in life and goes through varied experiences without being attached. He or She could be the exact opposite of all of the above misconceptions, yet be deeply spiritual if he is a loving and peaceful person. He need not wear saffron robes or be malnourished. One can be wealthy and live a comfortable life and also be spiritually evolved.

Religion and Spirituality

Spirituality is a set of guidelines and Universal Principles. It teaches values like Love, Peace, Accommodation and Contentment which can be practiced by anyone. When these guidelines become rigid and the principles are replaced by ritualistic practices, we have the birth of religion.

All religions in the world today have their origin in Spirituality. They can be traced back to teachers like Christ, Buddha and others who taught simple values and shared their insights about life and human nature to those around them. The subsequent followers who lacked these insights or the vision of the founders began to simplify or interpret the original teachings. In due course of centuries, the teachings degenerated into dogmatic rituals and beliefs, giving rise to Religion. Adding to this were the grosser energies of the Dark Age, which assisted in the distortion of the pure Spiritual values and the rise of strict religious beliefs.

Religion expects the followers to conform to its beliefs while Spirituality liberates the practitioner from all beliefs. Religion divides while Spirituality unifies. While all religious traditions came out of a common Spiritual base, one can be deeply spiritual without following any religion, without practicing any rituals or holding any beliefs. To be Spiritual is our true nature, which does not require any religious dogma.

Mysticism and Spirituality

There are various mystical traditions in different cultures across the world. While some of them like Sufism, the Siddha tradition, or Zen Buddhism have their roots in different religions, there are others which are non-religious like the Shamanic traditions and indigenous paths. Through years of dedicated practice in these paths, one can directly encounter the divine and experience those exalted qualities.

There are some groups which focus on occultism and gaining special powers, raising Kundalini etc. These practices usually are very tempting and attract many individuals, but they do not directly lead to their spiritual evolution. Also such paths tend to have their own goals and some of them will be underground cults which are disguised as a Spiritual path.

Practicing Mysticism or following a path definitely helps an individual as many of the basic principles are followed, but it does not mean that everyone who follows these paths is Spiritual. To be spiritual is to be connected to one’s inner Self and manifest the divine qualities in their actual living. A path helps an individual with the best opportunities to become Spiritual. But by itself, a path doesn’t make an individual Spiritual.

One can be spiritual and evolved without following any of these traditions. And those who follow a path have to manifest the finer divine qualities, which they experience through their practices. Only then can Mysticism help an individual become Spiritual.

God and Spirituality

God is a Spiritual Reality whether one accepts it or not. Most individuals on a spiritual pursuit will have faith in a Supreme Intelligence, which they worship as a deity or just as an intangible Presence or even as ‘Light’. Yet this is not a pre-requisite for a person to be spiritual. One need not have faith in anything beyond the immediate realities and still be a spiritually evolved person. There are atheists who live simple, principled lives and manifest spiritual qualities which are missed by many devotees and believers.

A Spiritual person will be in alignment with his inner nature—Truth, Love and Expansion. This alignment itself brings in purity in him. It makes it easier for him to be open and access the higher realities. Yet, he may consciously choose a simple life and live content with the physical reality. Such individuals live as role-models for others, spread peace and harmony just by their presence and attain liberation on leaving their body.

Experiencing and relating to God is a part of one’s spiritual evolution. While some choose to limit themselves to the physical reality, others would want to experience the higher, intangible realities which are created by the Supreme Intelligence. And one can also experience God as Light, as Pure Consciousness, in deep states of Samadhi and manifest those exalted qualities of the divine in their actual living. In such a state, we realise our true nature with which we descended into Creation to experience it. We experience oneness with all of existence, understand the purpose of our lives and then live out this purpose in total alignment with Divine will.

Conclusion: Spirituality in the context of the New Age

Manifesting Spiritual qualities is always a choice for each one of us. The opposite qualities like greed, hatred, backstabbing or selfishness are always alluring and easy to choose. We face a choice between these opposite polarities in every step of the way. Life here, on this Earth, is made interesting and challenging because of the interplay of these two forces—the spiritual and non-spiritual.

This interplay works at the planetary level too where our Earth passes through different time-periods, each of which witnesses the dominance of one force over the other. When one force has maximum influence, it is difficult for the Souls to choose the opposite; hence being Spiritual had been one of the biggest challenges in the dark ages. This Dark Age has just ended and the remnant non-positive energies are leaving our Earth.

New Divine Energies from different sources are flooding our Earth, heralding new changes at various levels. These changes can be witnessed at the physical level in the popular protests against corruption, in the occupy movement, in the uprisings against dictatorships in Middle East and Africa and in many more big and small acts of courage. Individually too, people are gravitating towards things of value and choosing from their hearts.

The New Energies on our Earth support every endeavour of manifesting Love and Peace, and uplift us towards a greater Spiritual evolution. As we reject the non-spiritual values of the Dark Age and turn towards Spirituality, we move closer to the New Light Age. Choosing to be Spiritual is also choosing the Light Age and aligning ourselves with this great evolution.

♦       ♦       ♦

Image Courtesy – Elin Torger

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Copyright © 2012 VishwaAmara.
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  • Ramesh BR says:

    An article with so much of clarity and information.Thank you for sharing this article with us.

  • Anil says:

    Its a gud article but I want to know whether being spiritual will bring immediate results for example if a person is dying of hunger and if we ask him to meditate on light or chant god’s name will it cure his hunger and save him from death, i think the best thing to do is to feed him. There is a general feeling that meditation, doing japa etc gives results in long run but there are many situations in life where we need immediate and tangible results. Will spirituality help in those cases

    • VishwaAmara says:

      @Anil –
      We wish you read the article more carefully. At no stage are we trying to mention that to be spiritual is to meditate or chant God’s name.
      A hungry person manifesting Spirituality is for him not to lie, cheat etc even in those desperate times. For the others, their spirituality is about manifesting love, compassion etc and helping to whatever best they can.

      Being Spiritual is ones nature, not an aid to get some temporary benefit.

  • Jyothi says:

    Wonderful article, infact the best article I have come across so far in describing Spirituality with so much of clarity.

    Deep Gratitude,

  • Nagaraj says:

    Very nice article…lots of love and light to you

  • Mansi says:

    It was time when the actuality of spirituality had to be told. Clearing the confusion and misconception out of the mind of people. Beautifully portrayed, the article gives in depth knowledge on the lifestyle one should be living. Highly grateful for this.. 🙂

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