Contents

  • 1. Sadhana (Spiritual practice)
    • 1.1 Sadhana (spiritual practice) to attain Bliss
    • 1.2 Which is the simplest sadhana in Kaliyug ?

1. Sadhana (Spiritual practice)

The efforts one makes to experience Bliss or attain Ishwar (God) in this very birth are known as sadhana (spiritual practice).

1.1 Sadhana (Spiritual practice) to attain Bliss

In the field of Medicine, one is recognised as a doctor only when one has studied the books (theory) and has given treatment to the patients, during his study time in the university. One can never become a doctor just by reading books. Similarly one cannot understand Dhyan, Bhakti, Shraddha, etc. just by reading about it; one has to undertake sadhana in daily life, to experience it.

In this part, we shall learn about the efforts that one should put in, to achieve Moksha (Final liberation). The first question that arises is, ‘In this era of Kaliyug (era of strife), which is the simplest and practical method to attain the state of God realization ?’

1.2 Which is the simplest sadhana in Kaliyug?

The simplest sadhana in Kaliyug is namajapa (chanting). Our four main Veds, Upanishads, Shreemad Bhagwat Geeta, Shreemad Bhagwatpuran etc clearly explain the importance of chanting.

नाम उपास्‍स्‍व । (छांदोग्‍योपनिषद ७/१/४)

In Chhandogyopanishad, it is said that

Naam upaasavyaa. (Chhandogyopanishad 7/1/4)

Meaning : Chant (continuously)

Saint Tulsidas has said,

नामु सप्रेम जपत अनयासा ।
भगत होहिं मुद मंगल बासा ।।
सुमिरि पवनसूत पावन नामू ।
अपने बस करि राखे रामू ।।

Naanmu saprem japat anayaasaa |
Bhagat hohim mud mangal baasaa ||
Sumiri pavansut paavan naamu |
Apane basa kari raakhe raamu ||

Meaning : A devotee can easily get immersed in the ocean of Bliss, when he chants with love. Sri Hanuman, the son of the wind won Sri Ram’s heart only by chanting His name continuously.

As per the Rugved,

मर्त्‍या अमर्त्‍यस्‍य ते भुरि नाम मनामहे । (ऋ. ८/११/५)

Meaning : I, the non-last embodied soul, am always and continuously remembering that chant (naam), which is full of divine nectar.

महर्षीणां भृगुरहं गिरामस्‍म्‍येकमक्षरम्‌ ।
यज्ञानांजपयज्ञोऽस्‍मि स्‍थावराणां हिमालय: ।। (श्रीमद्‌भगवत्‌गीता १०:२५)

Mahrsheenam bhrugurham giramsmyekmskarm |
Ydnaamjapayadnyosmi sthavaranam himalayaha || (Shrimad Bhagvatgita 10:25)

Meaning : I am Bhrugu rushi in the list of all maharshi. I am one letter in any sentence, which means I am ‘Om’. I am the sacrificial fire of chanting and amongst those, who are strong and stable, I am the Himalaya mountain.

What is chanting : Chanting is the repetition of God’s name. So who should chant and which God’s Name should one chant ? One should chant the Name of God according to one’s religion of birth.

There are various Gods in the Sanatan Hindu Dharma. So which God’s Name should be chanted by Hindus ? In the initial stages of sadhana, which Name should one chant ? One should chant the Name of the Kuladevata (Family Deity).

Hindus should chant the name of their Kuladevata (Family Deity) : The Kuldevata (Family Deity) is the care taking deity of the family in which we are born. In Hinduism, every family has a particular Deity whose worship brings about worldly and spiritual progress for that family. Now let us see how to chant name of family deity. If the name of the Kuladevata is feminine gender i.e. Kuladevi, then the chant is formed as follows. First say ‘Sri’, followed by the name of Kuladevi and then end with ‘devyai namah’. If the name of the Kuladevata is masculine gender i.e. Kuladev, then the chant is formed as follows. First say ‘Sri’, followed by the name of Kuladev, like ‘Ganeshay’ or ‘Maheshay’ and then end with ‘namah’.

Now let us see some examples to understand this

  • If the Kuladevata is ‘Ambama’, then chant ‘Sri Ambadevyai namah’.
  • If the Kuladevata is Sri Ganesh then chant ‘Sri Ganeshay namah’.

There can be some exceptions to this. For example, if your Kuladevata is Sri Hanuman, then you will have to chant ‘Sri Hanumate namah’.

Please contact us in case you have any doubt about how to chant your Kuladevata’s name

Diwali

Diwali is a major festival of the Hindu religion. It is also known as Deepavali.

Message to Seekers

Prayer to Srikrushna on Diwali day !

On Ashwin Chaturdashi or Narak Chaturdashi, per the Hindu calendar, Diwali is celebrated all over the world. On this day, seekers should pray to Srikrushna as follows, “Please give us the strength to fight the Narkasur of evil or negative energies in society, just as you slew the demon Narkasur on this day in Dwaparyug. May our Kshatravrutti (attitude to fight obstacles and do sadhana [spiritual practice]) remain activated by Your grace. Please give us the strength for nation building and awakening of Dharma (Righteousness) . We pray at Your Feet that may our chanting be with bhav (spirtual emotion) and in the Marak form, for our spiritual progress.”

The word Diwali has been derived from the word Dipavali, a Sanskrut word, meaning a row of lights. During Diwali, lamps are lit everywhere.  It is celebrated on four consecutive days, as follows.

Some exclude Dhanatrayodashi and consider only the remaining three days as Diwali.

Since Vasubaras and Bhaubij / Bhaidooj precede and follow Diwali respectively, they are included in it.

However, in reality they are separate holy festivals.

Significance and Celebration of Diwali

Day 1: Trayodashi (thirteenth day) of the dark fortnight of the month of Ashwin

It is also called Dhanatrayodashi or in colloquial language, Dhanteras. The Hindu commercial year is comprised of the period between one Dhanatrayodashi and another. Businessmen worship their safes and begin new account books on this day.

Worship of the Deity Dhanvantari : According to Ayurved (ancient Bharatiya medical science), it is the birthday of the Deity Dhanvantari, the Deity bestowing immortality. Hence, it is also called Dhanvantari jayanti. On this day, vaidyas (Ayurvedic doctors) worship Him and distribute a prasad (sacred offering) of small pieces of neem leaves and sugar to visitors. Besides the fact that neem leaves are very good for health (chewing five to six of them everyday helps prevent disease), they also have the highest ability to absorb prajapati frequencies.

Offering of lamps : On this day, one performs Yamadipadan, that is, an offering of lamps to Sri Yama to prevent untimely death. Thirteen lamps made of wheat flour and lit with oil are placed outside the house, facing southwards (direction of Sri Yama), in the evening. A lamp is never kept facing southwards except on this day. Then, reciting the following mantra one offers obeisance: “I offer these thirteen lamps to the son (Sri Yama) of the Sun Deity (Surya), so that He liberates me from the clutches of death and bestows His blessings.” 

Day 2:  Chaturdashi (fourteenth day) of the dark fortnight of the month of Ashwin

Abhyangasnan (Ablution with oil) : According to Shrimadbhagvat Puran, on this day Srikrushna slew a powerful demon, Narkasur. The dying Narkasur asked  Srikrushna for a boon, as follows “On this tithi (date as per Hindu lunar Almanac) let one, who takes mangalsnan (auspicious bath) not suffer in hell.” Srikrushna granted him the boon. Consequently, this day also came to be known as Narak chaturdashi, and on that day people started taking an auspicious bath before sunrise.

Yamatarpan and arati : On this day, one performs Yamatarpan, that is, offering to the Deity of death (Sri Yama) after an auspicious bath to overcome apamrutyu (untimely death). Thereafter, the mother moves lit lamps in front of her children’s faces to commemorate the celebration of Srikrushna’s victory.

Day 3: Amavasya (new moon day) of the month of Ashwin

Generally, the new moon day is considered inauspicious; however, this day is an exception to the rule. Since it is still not auspicious for all events, it is more appropriate to call it a day of happiness rather than an auspicious day.

The Deities Lakshmi and Kuber are worshipped on this new moon day. Lakshmi is the Deity of wealth, but Kuber is the treasurer. Some people possess the art of earning money but do not know how to save it. However, saving money and spending it appropriately is far more important than earning it. Since most people do not know how to spend money properly, their spending is unwarranted and ultimately they become bankrupt. Kuber is the Deity Who teaches the art of saving money as He Himself is the treasurer. Therefore, in this ritual, the worship of Lakshmi and Kuber has been recommended. Though all people celebrate this festival, the business community in particular does so with great enthusiasm and splendor.

The celebration of this proceeds as follows:

Abhyangasnan : Bath with an oil massage is recommended on all the three days from Narak chaturdashi to Balipratipada. One should wake up early in the morning and take an oil bath. With an ordinary bath the Raja and Tama components decrease by 1/100,000% and the Sattva component increases by the same amount for a duration of only three hours. However, with the oil bath it lasts for four to five hours. An oil bath consists of an oil massage to facilitate the absorption of oil by the skin, followed by a warm water bath. Oil should be applied to retain elasticity of the skin. Warm water is auspicious and pleasing to the body. Bathing after an oil massage retains only that amount of oiliness that the skin and hair require. Hence, an oil massage is necessary before a bath. Application of oil after a bath is inappropriate.

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Table of contents

1. Introduction to sleeping facing South

1.1 Spiritual research into how to sleep well – effect of sleeping, facing the South

2. Spiritual effect of sleeping, facing south

2.1 Increase in activity of the downward and tiryak frequencies

2.2 Increased flow of vibrations from the Yamaloka (Region of Death) and Patal (Region of Hell)

3. In summary

1. Introduction to sleeping facing South

In this article series about Sattvik living pertaining to various aspects of how to sleep well, we are looking at various parameters of how to sleep well. In this article we will study the effect of sleeping facing the South direction. This study into how to sleep well is entirely from the spiritual perspective. It will help us take an educated decision about how to sleep well from the perspective of the direction of our feet when we sleep.

1.1 Spiritual research into how to sleep well – effect of sleeping facing the South

The effect of sleeping with our feet facing the South from the perspective of how to sleep well was investigated at a spiritual level by seekers having advanced sixth sense or extrasensory perception (ESP). The divine knowledge that they received was verified by His Holiness Dr. Athavale.

2. Spiritual effect of sleeping facing South

2.1 Increase in activity of the downward and tiryak frequencies

There are various frequencies inherently present in the atmosphere. Their presence and flow is predominant in certain directions. When our body is aligned with the direction of their flow we enter their field and are influenced more than when we are not in their field. Among these frequencies are two distressing or negative types of frequencies. They are the downward flowing frequencies that go towards the Patal and the other frequencies known as the tiryak frequencies. Tiryak literally means skewed. As these frequencies are skewed, they cause distress. Both these frequencies move in the southern direction. Hence this direction is charged with these frequencies.

When we sleep with our feet facing the South direction, our body is most exposed to the activity of the downward frequencies as well as tiryak frequencies. This increases the activity of the subtle basic Raja-Tama particles inside as well as outside the body. This increased activity of the subtle basic Raja-Tama component aids the activity of the negative energies. Thus we are most at risk of being affected by negative energies.

2.2 Increased flow of vibrations from the Yamaloka and Patal

The South direction is associated with Yamaloka (Region of Death), the subtle basic Raja-Tama frequencies and distress. When we sleep with our feet facing the South direction the vibrations from the Yamaloka and Patal join together.

Due to this we attract the subtle basic Raja-Tama frequencies or negative energies. Due to the combined effect of the above when we sleep with our feet facing the South, we can suffer distress in the form of difficulty in falling asleep, nightmares, feeling scared in sleep or waking up in fear.

3. In summary

Thus from the perspective of how to sleep well, it is important to take into account the direction of our bed when planning the layout of the house. Even when we are camping outside or in hotels or in someone else’s house it is best to take care that we do not sleep with our feet facing the South.

1. Introduction

Each of us would like to know how to sleep well so that we get up well rested. A number of factors are involved in how to sleep well. One of the factors is our sleep posture. We all have a typical sleep posture and we feel comfortable when we sleep in that sleep posture. We are aware that there are implications of our sleep posture from a physical health point of view. Also there are many psychological explanations of the sleep postures. In this article, we will explain how to sleep well from a spiritual perspective. We will focus on which sleep posture is the best to sleep well, and why. We will explain what actually happens in the subtle dimension with each sleep posture so that we can make an educated decision on how to sleep well in the best sleep posture.

At the outset we have to understand that

  • From a spiritual perspective, sleep is basically a state most related to the subtle basic Tama component. That means during sleep the subtle basic Tama component in our body gets heightened.
  • Coupled with this, as our spiritual practice is also at its lowest during sleep, we are spiritually most vulnerable when we sleep. As a result when we sleep, we are more susceptible to attacks by negative energies.

We also need a basic understanding of the Kundalini energy system of the body.

The Kundalini is the inherent spiritual energy system in the body. It consists of 7 main centres or chakras, 3 main channels – the Pingala-nadi (Sun or Right channel), Ida-nadi (Moon or Left channel and Sushumna-nadi (Central channel) and innumerable ducts and ductules.

The below diagram is a representation of the dormant Kundalini energy system in a human being.

The energy for the bodily and mental functions flows through the Pingala- nadi and Ida-nadi. The energy flowing through the Sushumna-nadi is related to spiritual growth.

The Pingala-nadi is Raja predominant, whereas the Ida-nadi is Sattva predominant. The energy flows alternately through the Ida and Pingala. This shift happens every 3-4 minutes. Even though the energy flow changes so often, as the Ida and Pingala cross sides across the body both parts of the body receive adequate energy of each type. This maintains a balance between the 2 types of energy flows.

During the changeover from the Pingala to the Ida the Sushumna-nadi gets activated very briefly for 1-2 seconds in people with lower spiritual level. This is negligible from the perspective of any benefit from the activated Sushumna-nadi . With increasing spiritual level the duration of activation of the Sushumna-nadi increases. Above 55% spiritual level the duration of activation lasts for more than 1-2 minutes. When it lasts this long, some benefit results in terms of spiritual growth.

The activation of the channels also depends on the sleep posture. The channel opposite to the side we are sleeping on gets activated predominantly. When one sleeps on the back, the Sushumna-nadi gets activated in people above the 55% spiritual level. In people below this level, no channel is activated.

The activation of the Ida and Pingala can also be as per the requirement of the body. For example after our meals the Pingala is predominantly activated to facilitate digestion of food.

Also when there is a surge of emotions the Pingala is activated. When the emotions subside the Ida gets activated. However when there are rapid and frequent vacillations in the emotional state there is a rapid and irregular shift in activation of the 2 channels as the Pingala remains predominantly activated. As a result there is an imbalance in the 2 types of energy flows (Raja and Sattva). In an emotional person, this roller coaster of emotions continues even in sleep in the sub-conscious mind. This is because the impressions in the sub-conscious mind are active even in sleep.

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Why are ornaments worn on the feet made of silver?

Contents

  • 1. Ornaments worn by women on the feet
  • 2. Payal and its importance
  • 3. Why are ornaments worn on the feet made of silver?
  • 4. Bichhiya
    • 4.1 Benefits of wearing a bichhiya
    • 4.2 Effects of fish-shaped bichhiya
  • 5. Why should one wear an ornament only on its designated place?

1. Ornaments worn by women on the feet

 

A. ‘Tordi’ is an ornament similar to wale.

B. Padpadma is an ornament with 3 or 5 chains, studded with precious stones. It is known as ‘charanpadma’ in Bengal and worn even today.

C. Nupur is a well-known ornament worn on the feet. In ancient times, nupur used to be made of gold. Now they are made of silver or brass. We get to know through the Ramayan, that Mother Sita wore nupur on Her feet. However, nowadays only performers wear nupur.

D. Payal, i.e. anklets.

All these ornaments are worn with the objective of protecting the woman from the attacks of negative energies from Patal (Hell region) and the atmosphere. In addition, the woman benefits from the Deity Principles attracted to these ornaments.

2. Payal and its importance

An infant girl is made to wear payal from the twelfth day of her birth. From the viewpoint of protection from negative energies, there are many points which elucidate the importance of a payal.

  • A woman is protected from the attacks of negative energies, when she wears payals.

Waves containing the Tej- tattva (Absolute Fire Principle ) of Deities are attracted to the metal of the payal and are emitted from the payal. Along with this, sattvik sound waves are also emitted from the payal into the atmosphere. As a result, a woman wearing them is protected from the attacks of negative energies from Patal and the atmosphere. Due to the sound created by the payal, waves of the Divine Principle associated with the Pruthvi-tattva (Absolute Earth Principle) are attracted to the woman. This also helps in protecting the woman.

  • A protective sheath of the waves of Kriya-shakti (Energy of Action) emitted by the sound of the payal is created around the body of the woman.

The sound of the payal attracts the Kriya-shakti of the Universe. Due to the sound of the payal, the waves of Kriya-shakti are emitted into the atmosphere. Distressing waves coming from the Hell region are restrained by these waves of Kriya-shakti. In addition, due to the waves of Kriya-shakti, the distressing waves from Patal are split and their force reduces.

The sound waves emitted and the waves of Kriya-shakti create a protective sheath around the woman’s body.

3. Why are ornaments worn on the feet made of silver ?

A specific metal is conducive for a specific task. According to the science of Spirituality, ornaments worn above the waist are made of gold, whereas, those worn below the waist are made of silver.

Silver possesses higher capacity of absorbing Rajadominant waves of Iccha-shakti (Energy of will) that contain Chaitanya (Divine consciousness). One aspect of Raja component is that it impacts with speed. Due to the waves emitted by silver ornaments, a woman is protected from the distressing attacks from Patal. That is why ornaments worn on the feet are made of silver. Subtle effect of payal is as follows :

  • A flow of Chaitanya is attracted to the payal.
  • Waves of Chaitanya revolve around the payal in an activated form.
  • Shakti (Divine Energy) is attracted to the payal.
  • With the help of the flow of Chaitanya, these waves of Shakti revolve around the payal in an activated form.
  • The Divine Principle is attracted to the sound of the small bells attached to the payal.

When a woman, who is troubled by a negative energy, wears a payal, spiritual healing takes place on her. The negative energies are distressed by the sound of the payal. Hence, the negative energies try to find ways so that women are not able to wear the payal at all. Some of the main ways are:

  • The payal breaks every month in such a manner, that it cannot be repaired.
  • The payal keeps slipping off the feet, despite the hook of the payal being secured and the payal fitting tightly.
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Why is the science of Spirituality superior to other sciences ?

Contents

  • 1. The sciences connected with the mind and the science of Spirituality
  • 2. Amount of the Absolute Truth in other subjects and Spirituality
  • 3. Physical sciences and the science of Spirituality

1. Sciences connected with the mind and the science of Spirituality

The relationship of the science of Spirituality with reference to various sciences of the mind, is given in a tabular form, with comparison of various methods of treatment in a patient with high blood pressure induced by anxiety, below :

Treatment
modality
Who
administers
the
treatment?
Site of
action
Special features Cure
rate
%
Recovery*
A. Intellectual
The technique
is important
1. Shavasan
(corpse
posture)
Yoga
teacher
Mainly the
body and the
conscious
mind
The patient is not
taught how to face
the anxiety provoking
situations. Hence the
treatment has to be
continued.
10 Temporary
2. Drugs to
lower the
blood
pressure
Physician Nerve
endings
30
3. Drugs to
reduce
anxiety
Psychiatrist Brain 30
4. Psychothera-
py (discussion
, counselling,
etc.)
Psychother-
apist
Conscious
mind
As the patient is tau-
ght how to face anxi-
ety provoking situat-
ions incidentwise,
personality does not
change completely and
treatment has to be
continued off and on.
50 For some
time
5. Psychoana-
lysis
Psychoana-
lyst
Subconscio-
us mind
After some years, the
personality of some
individuals changes
markedly and they
are able to face most
anxiety provoking
situations. Consequently
, their chances of
suffering from high
blood pressure again,
are reduced.
10 Mostly
permanent
6. Hypnotherapy Hypnother-
apist
Subcons-
cious mind
Personality of several
individuals improves
markedly within a
year. Thereafter, they
are able to face anxi-
ety provoking situati-
ons. As a result, the
chances of recurrence
of high blood pressu-
re are very low.
50** Mostly
permanent
B. Beyond
intellect
(spiritual
practice)
The technique is
not important,
but it is the
spiritual energy
in the one
recommending
the treatment
which is of
importance.
Spiritually
evolved
individual
A. Subtle
and causal
bodies
B. Raja and
Tama

components
(are
reduced)
A. Within a few years,
the personality of most
individuals changes
completely.
Thereafter they are
able to face anxiety
provoking situations.
Hence, the chances
of recurrence of
high blood pressure
are very rare.
B. Factors beyond
intellect are also
evaluated.
2** Permanent

* Temporary (as long as treatment continues) / for sometime / permanently.

** Though these modalities of treatment are good, the number of those who recover is very small  because often the patient discontinues treatment / spiritual practice midway.

The difference between psychotherapy devoid of Chaitanya (Divine consciousness) and Spirituality endowing Chaitanya will be illustrated with the following examples.

  • A. A girl was in love with a boy. Rationally, theirs was a mismatch. After treating her with hypnotherapy for a year she finally abandoned the idea of marrying him. Here the Vaikhari (speech of an average individual) mode of speech was used to convince the girl.

In May 1993, a boy who was in love with a girl secretly got engaged and then informed his family members about it. After contemplating upon it from the spiritual angle, H.H. Dr. Athavale felt that this marriage would not last. Hence, the same was conveyed to the boy through someone, and also that he would receive the appropriate answer within three days. Till then he was not supposed to give it a thought. The three day period was meant to prevent him from taking a decision under the influence of emotions. On the third day he informed that he had broken off the engagement. No sankalp (resolve) that he should break off the engagement had been made. It had occurred solely through the Madhyama (mode of speech where chanting occurs automatically).

  • B. A person rejected the girl whose marriage proposal his brother had received as he did not like the girl. People questioned him as to how he had refused such a good proposal. Thereafter he felt very guilty. If he had really committed a mistake, then according to psychology he would have to be told for a few months that everyone makes mistakes and that he should forget the past, etc. On the other hand, if he were correct then he would have to be given suggestions to reassure him about the same. Only spiritual progress helps us determine whether a decision is right or wrong. H.H. Dr. Athavale perceived spiritually that if the boy had married that girl then they would have got happiness as in an average marriage.  On the other hand, the happiness which would be derived from the marriage proposal due to come six months later would endow double this amount of happiness. The moment the person was told this he could overcome his repentance.
  • C. A patient constantly feared that he would die of a heart attack. The moment he was told that he would live for another 35 years his fear vanished. Otherwise to cure him through hypnotherapy it would take at least eight to nine months.

2. Amount of the Absolute Truth in other subjects and Spirituality

The table below will illustrate why Spirituality is called paravidya (supreme science) and the other sciences are called aparavidya (inferior sciences).

Subject Amount of the
Absolute Truth %
1. Stories, novels, poetry etc. 0
2. Physical sciences 1
3. Classical dance, classical music,
sculpture, etc.
2
3. Spirituality 100

3. Physical sciences and the science of Spirituality




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Misconceptions about Spirituality

Contents

  • 1. Misconceptions about Spirituality
    • 1.1 Fear
    • 1.2 Ignorance
    • 1.3 Blind faith
    • 1.4 Misuse
    • 1.5 Cheating
    • 1.6 Inflated ego
    • 1.7 ‘Of what use is it to us?’
    • 1.8 Secrecy
    • 1.9 Misconceptions about spiritual practice
    • 1.10 Misconceptions about priests
    • 1.11 Misconceptions about seekers
    • 1.12 Misconceptions about Sadhus (ascetics)
    • 1.13 Misconceptions about those teaching Spirituality
    • 1.14 Misconceptions about the Guru
  • 2. Reasons for misconceptions about Spirituality
    • 2.1 Misguidance by ‘prominent’ members of society
    • 2.2 Spread of ignorance through the media
    • 2.3 Opposition to the spread of spiritual knowledge by universities
    • 2.4 Spread of ignorance by universities
    • 2.5 Indirect resistance from the government
    • 2.6 Expression of unilateral opinions
    • 2.7 Ignorance and blind faith of rationalists
    • 2.8 Pessimism
    • 2.9 Unscientific superficial literature
    • 2.10 Unrealistic claims

1. Misconceptions about Spirituality

Most people specially the younger generation, have a lot of misconceptions about Spirituality. So let us first understand what these misconceptions are, that is what is not Spirituality.

1.1 Fear

30% of the population feels that if God and Saints get enraged with them, they will be harmed. Many people as directed in letters which they have received in the name of Saints or God, send twenty-five to fifty copies of them, with the fear that if they do not comply then they will incur a great loss. Similarly, people give alms with the fear that if a person in the garb of a mendicant is hurt, then he may wish one ill and may even curse. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to harbour such fears. However, due to the fear that if we err, we will be committing a sin and will be punished by God for it, at least 30% people from society refrain from making mistakes. This is an indirect benefit of this school of thought.

1.2 Ignorance

No matter how educated a person is, from the worldly point of view, he may be totally ignorant about the science of Spirituality. In fact approximately 80% of people from each of the following groups – illiterate, those with primary education, those with secondary education, graduates and post-graduates are ignorant about Spirituality, as they have no formal education in it. An example of such ignorance can be seen in the article, ‘The Ganesh idol from the aesthetic point of view’ which appeared in a local daily. In this article a famous artist writes, ‘The traditional Ganesh idol is considered as one of the most beautiful sculptures. I feel like congratulating the anonymous sculptor, the first to materialise this innovative idea into reality’. That Ganapati (Sri Ganesh) is an idea, is ignorance by itself. Deities like Ganapati are not imaginary, they exist in reality and even have a form. This is what the poor writer does not know.

  • A. H.H. Dr. Athavale was once invited to deliver a discourse on Spirituality at Mumbai. The organisers inquired if they should provide Him with a chaurang (a small square stool used during ritualistic worship) instead of a chair, whether the table needed to be covered with a saffron cloth and if a samai (oil lamp) was required beside Him. They were unaware that Spirituality does not lie in external decoration but in painting one’s inner self saffron [with vairagya (detachment)].
  • B. Sexuality and ignorance about Spirituality

1. On one hand, you advise me to practise Spirituality and on the other, ask me to lead a normal sexual life and not to ‘refuse’ my spouse. Is this not contrary to Spirituality ?

2. A woman suffering from depression, thought that her sexual desire had decreased in accordance with her age. In reality, it can decrease with advancing age, depression and spiritual progress.

  • C. ‘Those following the Path of Spirituality differentiated between Spirituality and the universe. They therefore ignored the universe considering it as Maya (The Great Illusion). Hence the very zeal for living was over. People became helpless and inactive and led a life devoid of activity under the pretext of attaining Moksha (Final Liberation). This is not true Dharma (Righteousness).’ – Sri Aurobindo (The life of one following the Path of Spirituality should be beneficial for all creation.)
  • D. Those believing in destiny : It is incorrect to consider one believing in destiny, a coward. He alone is the true brave one and has the potential to become a Saint.

1.3 Blind faith

From the example given below one can realise how deeply blind faith is harboured by Bharatiyas. Vrundavan, a place in North India is considered sacred as Srikrushna lived there. The residents of Vrundavan believe that if we die in such a sacred place then our embodied soul gets liberated. Hence in Vrundavan, faith prevails that the residents of Vrundavan shall not be afflicted with any problem due to dissatisfied ancestors’ souls.

The point to be noted here is that, if this were true then every corrupt person, a dacoit, a murderer despite committing numerous sins would finally get liberated ! It would be injustice to others. God is impartial towards all. The statement that if we die in Vrundavan we can attain liberation, is true only in the case of a devotee or a sinner who is totally repentant and not others.

One comes across 20% individuals in society who harbour blind faith. Although there is a loss of 10% to the society because of this; yet there is 20% benefit as at least some people refrain from doing bad deeds out of blind faith.

‘We consider a cat crossing our path as a bad omen. So should cats never be seen on the road ? If a lizard falls on someone, he feels distressed.’ These are not superstitions but are premonitions. If they do occur then the affected person should chant God’s Name.

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