Ram’s father was in the ICU, he rushed to the temple of Rama and prayed to Lord Hanuman for the recuperation of his progenitor. His father recovered from the stroke and is now convalescing. Ram now pays obeisance every Tuesday to Lord Hanuman and every Saturday offers prays to Lord Saturn to circumvent any malefic effects of the planet.
Rahim’s mother met with an accident prompting Rahim to offer prayers five times a day at the nearest mosque. She too staged a recovery.
Robin was preparing for the civil services examination. On his way back from the classes , he stopped at the church and prayed meticulously to Lord Jesus and Mother Mary . He is a civil servant today. Ram, Rahim and Robin have developed immense faith in the superior power.
The list is endless and we search for Divine blessings normally when in confronting piquant situations .
However large numbers of faithful as a matter of practice or routine pray at places of worship. Several pray to ward off evil or against something iniquitous.
Religion is an organised structure , with a temporal authority , books of worship , and priests in place . It is an organised system of practices and beliefs in which people are engaged. It is sacred , holy , but borders on certain ritualistic practices.
Let us assume that in a place of worship , a seeker or devout , while listening to a sermon , chanting , may experience something experiential . A flash of bright light ,deep silence , or certain questions on existence may crop in the mind. Questions like WHO AM I, WHY DOES THE UNIVERSE EXIST, WHERE DID ALL THIS EVOLVE FROM, WHAT DO WE DO TO AMELIORATE SUFFERING IN THE WORLD, WHY DO PEOPLE OF VARIOUS FAITHS SQUABBLE, WHY ARE THERE SEVERAL GODS, WHAT IS MONOTHEISM AMONG OTHERS.
The human intellect starts working, operating and ticking. We are not asking anything for ourselves from the Divine, the nature, God or the universe. We are merely contemplating on the existence of universe. This area borders more on spirituality.
Spirituality is a broad concept with room with several perspectives. In general it includes a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves, and typically involves a search for meaning of life. It embraces the idea of an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality.
Be it religion or spirituality a transaction takes place between, God and Man. Between nature and humans. There is however that experiential state , that humans forsake the mundane and start meditating .
Meditation is the state where God speaks to Man . While in prayer , man asks for boons or dispensation from God .It is that blissful state , where the seeker is enveloped by a divine energy . We are in a highly positive state of mind, deeply connected with the nature and universe and living in a blessed state. Overnight we develop creative , artistic and intuitive abilities.
The nature then conjures and conspires to provide us with “ Siddhis” or powers which a normal human being does not have access to. But these Siddhis or powers are bestowed to the seeker , only when he is totally sanguine , positively oriented, pure and holy also surrenders to the Lord, the creator and the universe.
The mind, body and soul need to be focussed, disciplined and sharp to traverse this path. A Guru is essential to ignite the spark of spirituality in an individual.
Buddha says” Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life”.
In this entire process of spirituality and religiosity of our growth the games of snakes and ladders are continuously taking place . We take baby steps and may observe the incandescence of a bright light and flashes, feel endowed with a few tricks of virtuosity , opine that the Guru is observing us closely and the seeker is earning his affection , the Master is interacting and empowering us .
This provides us with a big high. It is indeed a high octane moment.
At this juncture the seeker , willy nilly , or inadvertently or under grip and clench of ‘ Maya’ become conceited , haughty and opinionated and start committing mistakes and errors . Sri Sri Ravi Shankar refers it as Guru mandal.
We become victims of attachments, entanglements, lust , obsessions, greed and jealousy , anger and arrogance . These are not our true nature . Yet , these tendencies , avarices overpower us and our faculties . When these tendencies particularly lust and anger ensnare us , the snake bites the seeker who hurtles down towards his nemesis.
However Guru’s and Masters are so kind and benevolent that they keep providing innumerable opportunities to the seeker once again to climb the steps . And this they keep doing unfailingly , without our knowledge and through their superior intelligence , which we cannot fathom.
The practicioners of Sudarshan Kriya and Art of Living bow down to the angels of east, south , west and north to be free from the such bondages and tendencies. This is a remarkable contribution to the humanity by HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The Guru never forsakes the sincere seeker. Only we need to enlarge our vessel to receive the repository of knowledge and love. We have to remain grounded, focussed and determined on the path of spirituality.
“ Keep your feet on the ground , but let your heart soar as high as it will . Refuse to be average or to surrender to the chill of your spiritual environment” says Arthur Helps.
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