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Guiding Light: Spiritual growth of a nation

Swami Brahmavidananda Saraswati | Updated on: Thursday, March 31, 2022, 09:41 PM IST

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay
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India is supposed to be a very spiritual country. There are increasing talks about India being a Vishvaguru. At the same time, it is interesting to note that there are many other countries which are not considered spiritual but are much higher on the happiness indicators. Isn’t that a paradox? If you are relatively spiritual you must be more happy.

This brings us to an interesting point I have been addressing with my spiritual students - All spiritual growth rests on psychological growth . If you as an individual and a community or a nation have not taken care of your past trauma, individual or collective there cannot be any spiritual growth. Years of subjugation under foreign rule have led to experiences of trauma for more than 500 years at a personal level, collective level and at a national level.

These experiences have been swept under the carpet instead of acknowledging it and dealing with it to have some sort of resolution. If a resolution is not achieved at a collective level, we cannot reap the benefits of spirituality. Yes, certain individuals will grow spiritually, take the responsibility to do what they can at the individual and collective level and move ahead in life.

However, in the fifty years that I have observed of society, forty years as a spirituaI teacher and ten years of being a student, psychological healing precedes spiritual growth. Either we have to deal with our trauma psychologically or look into the spiritual texts - Vedas, the Upanishads, the Gita etc and heal psychologically. Most people (seekers and teachers) can miss this point.

Hence, all talks about India being spiritual remain at a superficial level. Many people come to spirituality seeking answers to their trauma but they don’t want to deal with it psychologically. They want to go straight to spirituality which obviously does not work. At the national level unless we heal the trauma of the last 500 years, why trauma as recent as the early 60s in Goa or the 90s of Kashmir there is no hope for spiritual growth as a nation.

(The writer is the founder of Aarsha Vidya Foundation. You can write to him at aarshavidyaf@gmail.com)

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Published on: Friday, April 01, 2022, 07:00 AM IST