Walking the spiritual path

FPJ BureauUpdated: Sunday, June 02, 2019, 12:35 AM IST
article-image

Awakening to the spiritual dimension of life helps you to reassess all of life, says SUMA VARUGHESE.

What is it like to be walking the spiritual path? Who or what is this strange creature called a seeker? How is she born? Many traditions talk about a new birth in spirit. The Vedas talk about dvij or being reborn in the same life. The Protestant sect among Christians talk about being born again.

The metaphor is no exaggeration. One really experiences the sense of a new birth – of seeing the world with new eyes. Awakening to the spiritual dimension of life helps you to reassess all of life. For instance, when I got my awakening in 1991, the fundamental truth I stumbled upon is that all life is interconnected and that there is indeed a Creator.

This changed my whole perspective of life. For one thing, the scientific view of life being a fragmentary random occurrence without purpose or meaning stood cancelled. Secondly, if all of life is interconnected then my happiness is intimately connected with yours. I cannot afford to be selfish and take a larger piece of the pie than you because that would not work in my ultimate happiness.

I immediately discerned that all the conflicts between the self and the other would be settled if all of us were to operate from the realization of living in an interconnected world. Instead of choosing individualism or conformism, one would choose a third way, a higher way that reconciled the needs of the individual and society.

Another truth I discerned is that growth is the purpose of life. That too has had the impact of clarifying and distilling my approach to life. I realised that the goals society fed us such as pursuing material success, money, fame, power and so on, were inadequate and unfulfilling. We were meant to grow and that was meant to be the priority. How life changed when I saw it like that. I realized that all the circumstances and situations that were visited upon us from illness to job loss or the breakdown of a relationship were there to teach us.

Life was one vast school and the experiences that caused pain were particularly valuable in fostering growth. Again this had the impact of soldering together what we commonly think of as opposites – good and bad. In this perspective both good and bad were good.

Ever since, I have consciously been choosing to embrace all that comes to me and to use it as an instrument of growth. It has given me a robust positive never-say-die approach to life.

Even so, the seeker’s life is never easy. She is engaged in a huge battle with herself, struggling to transcend all the desires that the body and ego are prone to such as the desire for food, money, sex, power, fame and other needs. She is striving for perfect integration within herself – to be the same person at the level of the body, mind and spirit, in every circumstance and with everyone.

She perennially keeps herself under surveillance, watching her thoughts, feelings, belief systems, motivations, and so on, for the goal is perfect self-awareness. There are no shortcuts available to her. Problems in the work front do not mean that she will quit her job. Instead she will look within and change what in her is causing the problem. When conflicts arise in relationships, she does not look for scapegoats. Once again, she examines her own self and changes.

The path is difficult, but you know what, it is deeply fulfilling. I have never known a dull moment since I took to spirituality.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

RECENT STORIES

PM Narendra Modi to host Commonwealth Games 2022 medallists at his residence tomorrow

PM Narendra Modi to host Commonwealth Games 2022 medallists at his residence tomorrow

India’s milkman Varghese Kurian: Know all about the father of White Revolution

India’s milkman Varghese Kurian: Know all about the father of White Revolution

Gujarat: Congress promises farm loan waiver, lower power tariff ahead of polls

Gujarat: Congress promises farm loan waiver, lower power tariff ahead of polls

Mumbai blog: Maharashtra govt to table supplementary demands for 2022-23 during monsoon session

Mumbai blog: Maharashtra govt to table supplementary demands for 2022-23 during monsoon session

Go First's Male-bound flight diverted to Coimbatore following smoke warning

Go First's Male-bound flight diverted to Coimbatore following smoke warning