“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
- A Practice, not a method, not even a way
- It has nothing whatsoever to do with vows and torturing one’s body and mind in the name of austerities
- It is not a discipline – in the usual sense of the word
- It is neither organised religions nor philosophy
- It is not a superstitious escapism
- It is neither a mystery nor a secret something
- It is not intellectual gymnastics, not ideals and idealisms
- It has absolutely nothing to do with morality and conduct according to any religious, social or ethical laws or tenets
- It is not creed; it is not belief;
- It is not an emotional overindulgence or imagination
- It has nothing to do with thought and its self-perpetuating mechanisms
- Spirituality does not belong to any country, race or culture
- It is not a goal to be reached somewhere and somewhen;
- It is neither an illusion nor hallucinatory nonsense
- It is neither concentration nor mind control nor suppression of desires or passions
- It has nothing whatsoever to do with deliberate, natural, thought-induced sexual continence and repressions
- It is not a feverish restlessness born out of boredom and hope
- It is neither sacrifice nor renunciation
- It has nothing whatsoever to do with man’s mental ways, techniques, methods and projections.
- It is not a bargain; it is not a search that is born out of fear and its hidden roots
- It is not self-hypnotism or a state of trance
- It has nothing to do with willpower or magic; it is not performing miracles – miracles as we understand it
- It is not a superimposition or a character building exercise
- It is neither the practice of virtues nor piousness
- It is not charity or “doing” good
- It is not an achievement, not an end result
- It is not imitation
- It has nothing to do with rituals, worship or prayer
- It has nothing to do with regularly going to temples, churches or mosques etc
- It is not undertaking pilgrimages
- It is neither a reward nor a punishment
- It is not a gift bestowed on the ‘elite’ do-gooders by the gods and goddesses
- It is certainly not an activity born out of loneliness and its varied masks
- It is not a “personality” development gimmick or a modified and condensed version of “how-to-manage-oneself” procedural kit
- 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
- It is not an accumulation of merits or good karma;
- 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
- It is neither a destination nor a heavenly abode ‘up’ there
- It is not trying to become somebody, other than what one is, in reality
- It is not ‘practising’ selflessness or trying to subdue or eliminate a non-existent ego
- It has nothing to do with fighting and struggling with oneself in order to attain an ever-peaceful utopian life hereafter
- It is neither conceptualization nor spinning words and theories for philosophical debates and vain arguments
- It is not knowledge or acquiring more and more knowledge
- It has nothing to do with sannyasa or “going away from the world”
- It is neither change of clothes and costumes not putting on coloured robes or adorning oneself with riches and external paraphernalia
- 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.
- 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”
- 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!