So, what really do you think is being spiritual all about?
Is it getting detached and disconnected from the bustling life and material living to inhabit a place in the woods or the mountains?
Is it finding time to meditate and go listen to some spiritual discourses or may be, even go on a retreat as frequently as one can?
Is it living a life of abstinence and giving up on meat, alcohol, fashion, entertainment and yes, even sex… while catering for an outwardly simple and pure life?
Or is it about joining a spiritual school or a religious centre to pick up the nuances of a yogi life?
Well, the answer is very simple.
You could either believe what you see or you could believe what you feel! You could either embrace a spiritual life or just become spiritual. Or you could do both, which is tough, rare but not impossible!
For the truth is, that there are two faces of spirituality that one sees these days. One is of course, a spiritual way of life – mostly outward, in choices and lifestyles; while the other is about just… being spiritual…in values and virtues and not making too much noise about it. And while the first amounts to influencing perceptions, the second inspires personalities!
Needless to say, it’s attractive to be in an outwardly spiritual life. You become this self proclaimed yogi wearing saffron or white or may be, even black or green…whichever spiritual uniform appeals to you and lead a strict, disciplined life which includes rising early, eating pure, practicing meditation or yoga, lecturing people on high values and morals and chanting or praying as often as you can. You could even be a part of a spiritual school or a sanctuary and follow a dictated path.
Doing all these external things is in fact, far easier than it would seem but what’s really hard… is to be spiritual in your behaviour, in your mind, in your thoughts, in your speech, in your actions and in your day-to-day dealings with the world.
For a yogi will not be termed a yogi, if he loses his head, if he or she is peace-less and worrisome, is competing and jealous, is greedy for power and wealth – even in the name of God i.e.! A yogi is not a yogi if he or she is wanting of followers or doesn’t accept this world and its people unconditionally and lovingly, unwilling to embrace this human race as one, who divides in the name of religion and philosophy.
On the other hand, a random man with no spiritual pursuits or an exterior façade may have all the necessary qualities that elevate him to a high spiritual status and attributes of a true yogi.
Say for example, pick up one spiritual quality and observe. Say, you pick up detachment. Now look around in the world. There are these so called spiritual people (not all but many), living an outwardly spiritual life who are actually more inclined to achieving fame, wealth and status through the spiritual knowledge they give. They build a trail of followers and are ambitious of more people subscribing to their beliefs and philosophies. They are the ones who seek hefty donations, who run spiritual institutions and toil for its expansion, they are the ones globe trotting, living in lush, well-quipped, even high maintenance environments while still teaching and preaching spirituality. Yes, the knowledge they impart may be of great value to the world but, does it have the power to change and influence human minds to greatness is something that’s still debatable.
Then there’s the other kind. The so called billionaires or the rich and affluent or even intellectuals who may not seem to be anywhere close to leading a spiritual life, but they are pretty detached from their wealth, reputation, popularity and even their high maintenance lives. Some of them even choose to lead very basic lives, with just the basic needs in place. Leaving little for their next generation they don’t think twice before donating everything to the true cause of mankind… to charities and foundations, to hospitals and schools…and all this, while they’re still young and alive! They feel the pain of the world and offer to heal. They may not have the wealth of higher knowledge but what they do have is the ability to feel one with the other souls journeying on the planet. They have the ability to give selflessly while not wanting even an iota of recognition for themselves! They have the ability to be spiritual even though they may not be living a spiritual life!
Therefore, what really is being spiritual?
Being spiritual is living peacefully, lovingly, generously, compassionately, unselfishly, happily and most importantly, it’s about being detached from worldly trappings (money, recognition, relationships, success etc) while still leading a worldly life. For spirituality may be a way of life…but you need to understand…that this life isn’t the one outside. It’s the one inside you, inside all of us. And what’s happening inside is what that actually decides whether one is truly being spiritual or not!