Spiritual beings having a material experience.
This pretty much sums up my take on life. I know that I’m going out on a limb and an opinion such as this makes me susceptible to public ridicule. But that’s one thing I stopped worrying about many years ago.
At the tender age of eighteen I whole-heartedly took up the practices of Bhakti Yoga with enthusiasm and youthful exuberance. Not having a Ferrari to sell I left behind my 500cc “Thumper” and moved into an ashram or commune to become a full time practitioner. Shaving my head and donning robes I probably gave my parents nightmares and certainly a few too many sleepless nights! Public opinion be damned I had found what I was looking for.
Later as a novice monk I travelled to Allahabad, India to attend Maha Kumbha Mela, probably one of the largest spiritually motivated gatherings of its time. At this vast tented city along the Ganges, amongst approximately 29 Million visitors were all variety of sadhus, ascetics, yogis, holy men and the occasional self proclaimed “God” or incarnation. I saw first hand the deep faith and spiritual commitment inherent in the psyche of the peoples of India. Needless to say I was impressed, though also a little surprised at what appeared to be naivete and unquestionable devotion.
My resolve was strengthened to strife for a thorough understanding of the ancient Vedic traditions of India.
Over the coming months I hope to share with you some of this rich tapestry of spiritual tradition and wisdom, it’s concepts, beliefs and how they can be relevant to us all.
Spirit not matter
Most genuine spiritual paths teach that ultimately we are transcendent beings. This implies that we are different from the material body. Even our language indicates this by the fact that we state we are the possessor of the body; we say, “my body” not “I body”. The “I” then is the possessor of the body or the spirit or essence of our being.
The ancient yoga text Bhagavad Gita begins by stressing that our real identity is as infinitesimal spiritual beings, eternally existing and separate from the body. The predicament we face in our current experience is that we are in essence also pleasure-seeking entities and this desire to enjoy is played out through the medium of the material body. Unfortunately we do not find actual fulfillment in this plane. An example is given of an animal in the desert that runs after a mirage thinking it will find the water necessary to quench its thirst but ultimately ends up dying. In a similar way no matter how hard we try to find satisfaction through the medium of the material energy most of us still find that there is a nagging inner sense of discontentment. The reason for this can be explained by another simple analogy; if we take a fish out of water it will never be satisfied until back in it’s natural environment, no matter what else we try to give it!
Therefore genuine spiritual practices are meant to create an atmosphere that nurtures our inner longing for spiritual fulfillment, or in other words awakens us to our inherent state of consciousness.
For any comments or question please feel free to go to my blog site.