What is NOT Spirituality

46 pointers to free yourself from myths and discover the ultimate truth

“I am Spiritual” is one commonly used word without even knowing the meaning or the deeper essence of it.

“I am a family man” and “I am spiritual” has become a marketing gimmick to attract many followers and milk money out of them.

Spirituality has become a highly profitable business – nowadays we call it as Spiritual Entrepreneurship, Spiritual laws of Money-Making, Spiritual Millionaires, etc.

Many great speakers, trainers, coaches & religious organisations are exploiting people’s hard-earned money in the name of Spirituality or in the name of some “GOD”.

There is a huge need to clear the misunderstanding of the word “Spirituality” since it is the most commonly abused word to convince, confuse or corrupt the human mind and achieve money, fame or power.

Allow me to speak the truth…

What I have learnt from all my great masters,

Always tell the truth and speak from your own experience

Currently, the world is dominated by economic leadership and hence everyone is looking out for a way to make money out of every situation.

Some smart fellows understood your need – your constant pursuit of happiness and even converted spirituality and the spiritual process into a business model now.

You can see too much rubbish happening in this world in the name of Spirituality.

So, with my limited experience of 34+ years of practising yoga & meditation, being blessed with many masters and teachers in my life, allow me to share with you, my personal understanding of What is NOT Spirituality.

This article is an excerpt from my book “What is NOT Spirituality”

Here are 46 ways which can help you to free from spirituality myths and discover the ultimate truth

Spirituality is NOT

  1. A Practice, not a method, not even a way
  2. It has nothing whatsoever to do with vows and torturing one’s body and mind in the name of austerities
  3. It is not a discipline – in the usual sense of the word
  4. It is neither organised religions nor philosophy
  5. It is not a superstitious escapism
  6. It is neither a mystery nor a secret something
  7. It is not intellectual gymnastics, not ideals and idealisms
  8. It has absolutely nothing to do with morality and conduct according to any religious, social or ethical laws or tenets
  9. It is not creed; it is not belief;
  10. It is not an emotional overindulgence or imagination
  11. It has nothing to do with thought and its self-perpetuating mechanisms
  12. Spirituality does not belong to any country, race or culture
  13. It is not a goal to be reached somewhere and somewhen;
  14. It is neither an illusion nor hallucinatory nonsense
  15. It is neither concentration nor mind control nor suppression of desires or passions
  16. It has nothing whatsoever to do with deliberate, natural, thought-induced sexual continence and repressions
  17. It is not a feverish restlessness born out of boredom and hope
  18. It is neither sacrifice nor renunciation
  19. It has nothing whatsoever to do with man’s mental ways, techniques, methods and projections.
  20. It is not a bargain; it is not a search that is born out of fear and its hidden roots
  21. It is not self-hypnotism or a state of trance
  22. It has nothing to do with willpower or magic; it is not performing miracles – miracles as we understand it
  23. It is not a superimposition or a character building exercise
  24. It is neither the practice of virtues nor piousness
  25. It is not charity or “doing” good
  26. It is not an achievement, not an end result
  27. It is not imitation
  28. It has nothing to do with rituals, worship or prayer
  29. It has nothing to do with regularly going to temples, churches or mosques etc
  30. It is not undertaking pilgrimages
  31. It is neither a reward nor a punishment
  32. It is not a gift bestowed on the ‘elite’ do-gooders by the gods and goddesses
  33. It is certainly not an activity born out of loneliness and its varied masks
  34. It is not a “personality” development gimmick or a modified and condensed version of “how-to-manage-oneself” procedural kit
  35. It has nothing to do with experiences induced by the stimulation of centres in the brain or nervous system through psychedelic, mind-altering drugs and chemical substances or physical and physiological denials, suppression of needs, drives and impulses
  36. It is not an accumulation of merits or good karma;
  37. It is not a journey from a sinner to a saint, from immorality to morality, from atheism to theism, from bad to good and so on
  38. It is neither a destination nor a heavenly abode ‘up’ there
  39. It is not trying to become somebody, other than what one is, in reality
  40. It is not ‘practising’ selflessness or trying to subdue or eliminate a non-existent ego
  41. It has nothing to do with fighting and struggling with oneself in order to attain an ever-peaceful utopian life hereafter
  42. It is neither conceptualization nor spinning words and theories for philosophical debates and vain arguments
  43. It is not knowledge or acquiring more and more knowledge
  44. It has nothing to do with sannyasa or “going away from the world”
  45. It is neither change of clothes and costumes not putting on coloured robes or adorning oneself with riches and external paraphernalia
  46. Spirituality has nothing to do with organisations, whether religious, social or otherwise.

Sri Aurobindo beautifully puts it across that

Spirituality is in its essence an awakening to the inner reality of our being, to a spirit, Self, soul, which is other than your mind, life and body.

One of the greatest gifts of Ramana’s teachings is their utter simplicity. He taught that there are two paths to self-realization.

  1. One is Inquiry – Hence I may suggest you become more Curious in life, being curious about what is true. Replace the word “spirituality” with “Curiosity”
  2. Surrender – letting everything the way it is.

There are only two questions at the centre of Spiritual life for which there are no formulas.

Who am I?

How do I live my life?

The first question points to the Absolute while the second one brings you back down to the challenge of day-to-day existence.

When we take both of them together, a dance between the absolute mystery of our being and day-to-day life can happen.

Choose any one of the above two and start living your life.

Your inner guru will guide you in the right direction.

Trust me – It happens to me always…

So be it for YOU!

 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Vidya Ragu

    Simply grounded !!! One needs deep Roots to say these words you’ve put down.
    Need of the hour words Murali Sundaram,
    there is so much information now in the name of spirituality, yet knowledge of it has
    nothing to do with it, it is in experiencing it beyond the known. You have brought out the points to reflect
    ,absorb n act on so beautifully …Dropping all information processed
    by the ego n letting silence speak, being guided from inside out n most
    of all spirituality being looked at from the curiosity lense rather than
    intellectual one.
    Look forward to reading your book with curiosity.

    • Thanks Vidya for sharing your lovely feedback…Pl give your inputs after reading the full book.

  • Bhanu Narayani

    Yes it make sense if I think who am I. This question makes me to stay calm and peace thank you. At first I confused I can’t understand and accept but now I realised that self realisation is the answer for question. Thank you

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