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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

What spirituality really means

Spirituality is not religion. In spirituality there is no God.

Spirituality is about ‘knowing’ what’s going on and accepting it, without resistance. There is only an awakening that results in a sustained awareness. There is no blame possible in spirituality__neither on oneself nor on another. In fact, there's none to take the blame. Spirituality is like a mirror: you look into it, you find yourself. Spirituality is about oneness. The oneness that is visible all around us, of which we are a part. If we care to L.I.S.T.E.N. Interestingly, for that we need to be S.I.L.E.N.T. Both words are made up of the same alphabets. When we listen to creation, while being silent, practicing mouna, we will see, feel and experience the oneness. In that experience, you become awake and aware.

Legend has it that Adi Shankara, the revered Indian Saint, on his way to the Kasi Viswanath temple in Benares, came upon an 'untouchable' (given that Shankara was born in a Namboodiri Brahmin family, he was deemed higher in the social echelon) hunter accompanied by four dogs on the banks of the Ganges.

Overzealous disciples of Shankara tried to influence the hunter to make way for the ‘superior’ Saint. The hunter responded with a query that ‘awakened’ Shankara to the truth of our (human) existence: “Do you wish that I move my everlasting ‘atman’ (the Self, the Soul) or this body made of flesh?” While the legend further talks of an ancillary outcome of Shankara composing five of his famous shlokas known as ‘Manisha Panchakam’ based on this experience with the hunter, the bigger take-away for Shankara must have been__or to any of us reading this story__that all Life is equal.

Spirituality is simply the flowering of this awareness from within. Spirituality is at end of the finish line of the seeking race. When you reach that line, you begin a new journey, of living. Up until that moment, you were just there. Now, you are alive, awake and aware. 

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