How Spirituality Affects your life

how spirituality helps depression and how are spirituality and ethical behavior related and how spirituality helps addictions and how spirituality affects stress levels
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Published Date:13-07-2017
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• Dedicated to the Almighty God working through all Masters who have come and Baba Sawan Singh Ji Maharaj at whose lotus feet the author imbibed sweet elixir of Holy NAAM—the WORD • iiiFirst Edition published in 1959 Second Edition published in 1964 Third Edition published in 1965 Fourth Edition published in 1972 Fifth Edition published in 1981 Sixth Edition published in 1990 Seventh Edition published in 1997 This Edition published in 2005 by: RUHANI SATSANG 250 “H” Street, 50 Blaine, WA 98230-4033 ISBN 978-0-942735-78-9 Printed in the United States of America By Print Graphics Pros • (949) 859-3845 ivSant Kirpal Singh Ji (February 6, 1894—August 21, 1974) v• CONTENTS • I SPIRITUALITY...................................................11 II TRUE RELIGION: Universal Love and Remembrance of God....................................12 (i) All Men Have Equal Privileges from God....17 (ii) Religious Differences: Their Cause and Nature ................................18 (iii) Remembrance of God ...................................21 (iv) The Fundamental Truths: These Are Common In All Religions and Point the Same Way ....28 (v) Place of Rites and Rituals in Religions; Their Different Forms and Their Values .......32 III IDEAL MAN........................................................35 IV SPIRITUALITY: Its Need....................................39 V RELIGION: What It Is and What It Has Become......................................43 VI SPIRITUALITY VIS-A-VIS RELIGION.............47 VII SECTARIANISM.................................................53 VIII THE ORIGIN OF RELIGION..............................56 (i) Religion: Outer and Inner .............................65 (ii) Science and Religion ....................................71 (iii) Idol-worship and God-worship......................76 viIX THE IDEAL OF UNIVERSAL RELIGION.........80 XA PEEP INSIDE...................................................83 XI EXPERIENCE OF IDEAL RELIGIONS An Inner Achievement .........................................95 XII RIGHT TARGET .................................................99 XIII PATH OF THE MASTERS: The Only True Religion —Paravidya or Knowledge of the Beyond .............................101 XIV APRAVIDYA (OR KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORLD): Its Value .............................................................104 XV PATH OF THE MASTERS: ITS THREE FUNDAMENTALS: (i) Satsang ........................................................111 (a) Satsang Is of Two Types: Outer and Inner......................................112 (ii) Satguru........................................................113 (iii) Satnaam.......................................................114 XVI PATH OF THE MASTERS: Three Practices of Methods Prescribed ..............115 viiTO THE • HONEST SEEKER • he term ‘Spirituality’ is hard to define. The Tscope and extent of the subject is so vast and varied in its many aspects that it can hardly be put into so many words. Suffice it to say that it deals with the immutable and eternal facts of life—the active principles that are enlivening the entire creation. The quest for the ‘Spirit’ and for the ‘Laws of Spirituality’ has ever been in the human breast from the dawn of consciousness in man; yet with all its hoary antiquity, the subject retains its freshness as ever before and shall continue to do so. The Spirit or Soul is the vital flame in man, in the light and life of which he lives and has his being, and no wonder that in every clime and in every age, the leaders of spiritual thought—the sages and seers, the saints and sadhs—have attempted to solve the mystery of life. viiiThe subject of Spirituality is concerned purely with the problems connected with the Spirit or Soul—to wit, its origin or source, what it is, its seat in the body and its relation thereto, how it functions in the physical world, whether it is possible to separate it at will from the body and bodily adjuncts, the mind and the senses, and if so, the various processes connected therewith. It deals with the spiritual journey through different spiritual planes and the spirit’s capability of traversing the same, the ultimate goal or destination to which this journey leads, and other allied topics, such as the welfare of the spirit, how to feed it and with what, for on its health depends the health of the mind and the body. These are some of the vital questions that fall within the purview of our inquiry. • God is in the soul and the soul is in God, as the sea is in the fish and the fish is in the sea. —St. Catherine— • Spirituality is more a practical science than a mere theoretical dissertation. The various scriptures of the dif- erent religions of the world provide us with the theoretical aspect only and cannot give us a demonstrative experience of the Reality in the laboratory of the human body. Writings like the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Avesta of the Zoroastrians, the Tripatakas of the Buddhists, the Gospels, the Quran, the Adi Granth, Triratanas of the Jains, and other canonical literature and extracanonical works, with their commentaries, etc., medieval and modern (the Mah- abhasyas, the Angas and Upangas, etc.), all might point the Way but have no power to take us there. Their chief ixmerit lies in the spade-work they do in creating an interest in the aspirants for Paravidya or the Knowledge of the Beyond. But the Transcendental Experience can be gained only from a Living Master, a Murshid-i-Kamil, well versed and competent in the practical aspects of Spiritu- ality. Life and Light can come only from the Living- impulse of a Master Saint, whose glance of grace is more than enough to quicken higher life in the disciple. The greatest teachers of humanity make use, according to the individual needs of the disciple, of all three methods: ( i) Anva or gross, that is, imparting spiritual instructions by word of mouth; (ii) Shakta or subtle, that is, instilling higher spiritual consciousness in the disciple without his having to go through the external sadhan or discipline; and (iii) Shambhava or Transcendental, that is, raising the disciple, in infinite mercy, to the highest stage of Real- ization without his having to do anything at all. As an unerring guide on the inner spiritual Path, he appears in his Radiant Form (Guru Dev) and accompanies the spirit when it transcends the body consciousness while living or at the time of death, and as a veritable Master of Truth (Satguru) he works out the Divine Plan. The need for such a Master- soul who can at once work on the various planes, as Guru, Guru-Dev and Satguru, cannot be over-emphasized. In a nut-shell ‘Spirituality’ contents itself only with “Self-Realization” and “God-Realization”. It has, there- fore, nothing to do with institutionalized religions or religiosity, the outward show of religion that we mostly make nowadays. Spirituality may be distinguished from sectarianism. While most of the great religions of the world tend to become more and more sectarian in their outlook, Spiritu- ality ever remains universal, with its appeal to people of all xreligions who can come to and join this Studium Generale or Universal Mystery School for practical training. As opposed to the sealed or codified religions, Spirituality is an open book of God, with the living touch of the Masters who present it from age to age in the spirit of the age. In this scientific age, it is presented as any other science, with mathematical precision and results verifiable on scientific lines. The term ‘Spirituality’ is not to be confused with: (i) Spiritism, or belief in the existence of spirits apart from matter, which, when disembodied, haunt the nether regions as ghosts, or the lower planes of the astral regions as angels. (ii) Spiritualism, or belief in the survival of the human personality and in communication between the living and those who have `passed on’, in the form of spirit rapping, planchette writing, etc. (iii) Mesmerism, or producing a state of trance by the consciously exerted ‘animal magnetism’ of the operator so as to subordinate the willpower of his subject. (iv) Hypnotism, which produces a kind of deep sleep in which the consciousness is suspended and the patient is made susceptible to the suggestions of the hypnotist. xiSpirituality, on the contrary, is the science of developing Higher Consciousness in Man on the level of the soul, and making one transcend from mere body consciousness into Cosmic Consciousness and further on into Super Consciousness, so as to enable one to understand the working of the Divine Plan. With these few words, I would request the seeker after Truth to carefully peruse and study the pages that follow, so as to understand the true significance of the most important and yet mostly neglected subject, the subject of Spirituality. Sawan Ashram, Delhi xiiI SPIRITUALITY MAN IS OLDER than all philosophies and religions, which in fact were originally intended, and later on fashioned and developed, for his moral and spiritual well- being so that he may ultimately attain salvation or freedom from the bondage of mind and matter. But, in spite of riches, moral codes, and the vast acquisition of learning, knowledge and wisdom, he is not really satisfied with life, because he has not been able to realize the Fundamental Truth of Love which lies at the core of all religions. God made man and man made religions. Religions, then, are for man and not man for religions. The various religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism and others, came into existence in course of time to serve the primary human need according to the exigencies of the then prevailing conditions. If we travel back along the stream of time, we find no trace of the Sikhs beyond five hundred years ago, of the Muslims beyond fourteen hundred years, of the Christians beyond two thousand years, of the Buddhists and the Jains beyond five or six thousand years. Before the advent of the Aryan tribes many races appeared and disappeared on the scene of life. But man has ever remained a man, the lord of created things, in all times and in all climes, whether in the East or in the West, always and everywhere the same, an ensouled body or embodied soul with no distinctions of caste, creed or colour in his essential nature. The inner self in him is of the same essence as of God.SPIRITUALITY 12 “The spirit in man is of the same essence as the All Pervading Spirit.” —Gond Kabir “All creatures are products from one and the same Jauhar (Essence).” —Sheikh Saadi Every country and every age has had its sages and seers. Corruption and deterioration are the natural features of time, and prophets appear time and again to set things in order. All religions owe their birth to the teachings of such Master-souls. The aim and purpose of the various religious orders has ever been the same—to provide a Way-back to God, to find the missing link between God and man. They are thus a means to an end and not the end in themselves. But in actual practice we find that none of them affords any high degree of satisfaction. The fault lies not with the religions but with those who administer them to the people. II TRUE RELIGION IS UNIVERSAL LOVE AND REMEMBRANCE OF GOD What is true religion? This is the most natural question with man, and each one is confronted with it at one stage or another. We have with us hundreds and thousands of scriptures and treatises dealing with the vital problems of life, but they are not at one in their reply to this baffling question. We have, therefore, to carry on our investigation and our search for a ‘correct solution,’ and there can be only one. But before we launch upon this quest, we must first know the purpose of religion or Dharma. The objective which all the religions place before us is, however, one and the same—Divine Beatitude and the Beatific Vision of the Lord. All religions, then, aim at theWHAT IT IS 13 same target, like so many archers. If we are really sincere in our profession of love for God, we must have love for God’s creation, because the Creator and His creation are identical. We cannot love the one and hate the other. All the saints and sages work on this principle and love humanity as such, no matter whether one believes in God or does not, for they draw no distinction between theists and atheists or agnostics. They believe in the one great family of God and all are dear to Them, in spite of seeming differences in non-essentials of life. But what do we actually see in the world? Having forgotten the basic truth of love working at the root of all religions, we are cut off from the sheet-anchor and are afloat rudderless on the sea of life. Each one of us tries to catch at a straw to save himself. The natural result is that after a brief struggle with chance winds and waters, we sink into the great oblivion, without solving the riddle of life—whence we come and where we are bound, or the why and wherefore of human life. Love, then, is the only true religion. Saint Paul, addressing the Galatians, said: “By love, serve one another.” (Galatians V:13). Leigh Hunt declared: “One who serves his fellow men, loves God and is the true beloved of God.” Similarly Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in his famous poem Rime of the Ancient Mariner, informed us: “He prayeth best who loveth best, All things both great and small, For the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all.” St. John, in his Epistle (I John IV:8), wrote: “He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is Love.” Christ, theSPIRITUALITY 14 great Apostle of peace, emphatically laid down a cardinal principle of life in His memorable words: “Love thy neighbour as thyself.” And again He emphatically declared: “Love, and all things shall be added unto thee.” Sheikh Saadi, a Muslim divine, taught the same thing: “As the limbs of a body are knit together so are the children of God. They are born of the same essence. Should any one o£ them suffer from ague, the others too become restless.” Sheikh Farid and other saints also repeated this truth in the same strain: “If thou wishest to meet thy Beloved (God.), injure not anyone’s feelings.” —Shalok Farid Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth guru of the Sikhs, stated: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee that God manifests Himself to one who loves.” God is Love, our soul is of the same essence as of God, so it is Love, and the Way back to God is also through Love. Again, it is said: “The Creator and His creation are one. Do no injury to His creation, O Nandlal, and incur not the wrath of God.” —Bhai Nand Lal All the holy and pious devotees have but one religion, the religion of devotion to God and love for His creation. A man is no better than a sheep or goat if he is not actuated by feelings of love and affection for his fellow men and does not share in their joys and sorrows, and lends not a helping hand in their toils and troubles. If instead of human sympathy, we are filled with ill will, hatred, jealousy, envy and animosity, and are charged with greed, avarice and self-love, and are swayed by pride and prejudices, we cannot have a pure heart capable of reflecting the light of God in us, nor can we have true happiness and bliss.WHAT IT IS 15 Man is the roof and crown of the creation, endowed as he is with the spirit of God. The more one loves his fellow beings, the nearer one gets to the Creator. All the creation is His manifestation, and His spirit is immanent in all forms and patterns. All colours take their hue from Him. All-Pervading, His spirit works everywhere and there is no place without Him. “All reflect the Self-Source Light, Oh, none is good or bad.” —Parbhati Kabir “The part is in the whole, and the whole in the part, Where then the difference, when both reflect the One?” —Parbhati Kabir The difference in forms, in modes of life, in clothing and in outer observances are all due to physiological conditions and cannot affect the inner working of the soul; and they fade into vapourous nothings when one rises above the body-consciousness and enters the Divine Ground at the seat of the soul. Christ always taught: “Love the Lord, thy God, with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind.” “Love thy neighbour as thyself...... Love thine enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you, that ye may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven. Be ye perfect even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect.” —Matt. 5:44-48 This, in fact, is true religion, true devotion and true meditation. The human heart is the seat of God. It has been given to man in trust. It must therefore be kept neat and clean, for then alone can it reflect His light and make life trulySPIRITUALITY 16 blessed. The body is the temple of God. We keep man- made temples meticulously neat and clean but pay scant attention to the holy temple of God which we really are. There is just one Creative Principle for the entire creation. All are born of the light of God and the same light shines forth in all; and, as such, none of His creatures can be dubbed ‘evil.’ Thomas á Kempis, in Imitation of Christ, writes: “From One Word Proceed all things and all things tell of Him.” The Hindus call this Creative Principle `Naad,’ the Muslims call it `Kalma,’ and the Sikhs `Naam.’ “Truth is one and only one, though sages describe it variously,” is the memorable Upanishadic text. Sheikh Saadi tells us: “No religion is higher than the service of the people. The rosary, the altar and the apparel give not any merit. My Beloved is in all hearts and no heart is without Him. Blessed indeed is the heart that manifests Him. Know for certain that God resides in all hearts and hence every heart needs to be respected.” “No better than quarry stone is the Kaaba of Khalil, The Kaaba of the human heart provides God a seat. Of all pilgrimages, the one to the human heart is true, It gives more of merit than the countless Mecca trips will do.” This is what the great saint, Maulana Rumi, advises: “O man, circumambulate the secret Kaaba of the heart, unlike the Kaaba of Khalil—for God made the Kaaba of the human heart.” This is what a great saint, named Maghrabi Sahib, gave out: “The performance of countless austerities and penances, each followed by acts of charity; the observance of innumerable fasts, each attended with thousands of prayers and keeping of sleepless vigils for myriads ofWHAT IT IS 17 nights, will not be of any avail to thee if thou injurest the feelings of a single individual.” Again, Hafiz cautions: “Drink wine to your heart’s content, burn down the holy Quran and consign to the flames even the sacred Kaaba if you will, but injure not the feelings of any man.” The things referred to are considered as sins, but Hafiz says that it is much better to commit them than to injure the feelings of any man, which is the most heinous sin of them all. Sheikh Saadi, a Muslim divine, affirms: “The Grace of God never descends until ye love His creation; God forgives only those who work for the good of His creation.” ALL MEN HAVE EQUAL PRIVILEGES FROM GOD All persons irrespective of sex, colour, caste or creed; all men rich or poor, high or low, come into the world the same way. Born, as he is, from the mother’s womb by the union of sperm and ovum, each one sees the light of the day after a period of gestation. Kabir Sahib, a great Indian saint, while addressing a high caste priest, told him: “O Brahman, should you claim high birth and on that account special privileges, you ought to have been born in a way different from that of the rest.” Again, there is a marked likeness in the physical attributes of all men whether in the East or the West. Each one is gifted with an equal number of organs and senses. All are moved and actuated by similar impulses and instincts. The weather conditions affect them all alike. AllSPIRITUALITY 18 enjoy freely the gifts of Dame Nature and participate in Her boundless bounties—light, air, water and food, etc. In every way, similarity runs through the entire creation. All persons, irrespective of their nationalities or colours, are gifted with bodies composed of five elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether, and live alike on this earth under the canopy of the blue sky. Disease, decay and death come to all in just the same way. No one escapes the ravages of time. So also do the remedies work in each case. God has made no distinction between man and man. Man alone is responsible for all kinds of distinctions and differences of caste, colour and creed, splitting humanity into narrow grooves of classes, groups, sects and nationalities. RELIGIOUS DIFFERENCES All apparent religious differences are man-made and are the result of narrowness and bigotry. Saints and seers have one common message for the entire world. Their message is one of Universal Love. No one, indeed, can prove his love of God unless he knows how to love his fellow beings. Just as physical maladies wreck the human body, so do mental perversities. The latter so poison the circulatory system in the body, that one is badly affected by greed, selfishness, hatred, ill will and animosity, which in turn lead to perverted outlook on life. Thus man is dragged down to the level of beasts, nay, at times, man descends even lower than the beasts. Very often, the result is social and economic disintegration. Whenever Master-souls come into the world, they tell us that all religious differences are the outcome of ignorance, individual whim, religious vanity or spiritual egotism. So-WHAT IT IS 19 called leaders in every religion suffer from misguided fervour and narrow prejudices, so that they cannot possibly take a detached view of things around them. On the contrary, they see the world through the smoke-coloured glasses they have provided for themselves. They have no toleration for things and conditions that are not in accord with the rigid creeds of their organized sectarian or religious orders. There is only one world-embracing universal religion, the religion of Love, based on the great fundamental truth —the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. We have, through self-interest, petty prejudices and befogged understanding, carved out narrow sectarian principalities. We have raised around us hedges and walls of hatred and antagonism, thus dividing man from man, class from class, nation from nation, and country from country. In this connection, Hafiz, a great Mohammedan saint, stated: “One Reality shines both in Islam and Kufar (the man of faith, and a heretic) and all the seeming differences in the various orders are, in fact, vapourous nothings. “It is through sheer prejudice that the Brahmans and the Sheikhs (religious heads of Hinduism and Islam, respect- ively) have now different drinking bowls, though in a wine-bar there is only one butler (the God-man), dis- pensing the same wine (of Divine Love) from the same flagon to the various tipplers at the table.” Saints tell us that there is only one God of the entire universe. The Upanishads say the same thing: “Truth is one, though sages call it variously.” He is the God of the whole creation and not of one religion or the other. There is, in fact, no difference between Karta (the One True Creator) of the Hindus and Karim (Merciful) of the Mus- lims, Ram (Sustainer of the Hindus) and Rahim (Com-SPIRITUALITY 20 passionate of the Muslims). All these names are descriptive of the various attributes of God and were coined by sages, saints, rishis and munis of different denominations in their own respective languages. The Nameless Reality is One but responds to the calls of all by any name by which any individual may invoke that Power. “The Nameless One has many names. He doth attend, by whatsoever name He is addressed. “ —Maulvi Rumi One must carefully avoid the dangers of doubt and skepticism. God alone need be worshipped and adored. He is the God of all, and each one is His manifestation. The same life impulse works in all, and each is lighted by the same light. The entire humanity constitutes a single class by itself. Guru Gobind Singh says in this context: “Some keep shaven crowns, while others robe them- selves in flame-coloured apparel, and still others call themselves Jogis (a sect that wears wooden earrings in their ears and are ever on the march from stage to stage). Again, some are observing celibacy in quest of the Lord, while others perform penances and strict austerities. Some are Hindus and some are Turks, while others are Imams, Rafzi or followers of any other saint. With all these differences in nomenclature, they at the root are all One— mankind—to wit, men born of and embedded in God. Call Him the Creator, the Merciful, the Donor or Rahim, for that makes no difference at all—take this as a settled truth and be not therefore bewildered by diversity in names. They all serve and worship the same God, the same Lord and Master of the Universe. All of them manifest the image of the same God and exist simply by His Love and Light alone. Many a name has the Nameless One; addressed in any, He doth attend.”