If you have been paying attention to people around you, you probably will realise that all around us there are more and more people who are taking up the path of spirituality. What is spirituality? Is it about God? Is it about Religion? Is it about walking on the path of austerity and giving up worldly pleasures? When I started thinking about these things and reading and listening to spiritual leaders, I discovered that spirituality is none of this and yet all of this. Confused? So was I. If you asked a common mad on the road on what spirituality means to him I can guarantee you that their response will most of the times fit into one of the following categories
1. Following the path of God
2. Following the path of Religion
3. Living the life of Ascetic
I started to think to myself that if the above were true why do we have all the technological advancements and material things in the first place? None has seen god. Some claim to have experienced his acts. Religion was created by people like you and me. Why would we want to life the life of an ascetic?. Why shouldn’t we enjoy the pleasures of life of being comfortable and experiencing the joy in material things? Whats wrong in wishing for a big house, the latest car, a world trip or anything else which brings us joy. Many religious and spiritual leaders argue that material things only give us temporary joy. True but my argument is why should that stop us from pursuing them?
There is definitely something more deep rooted to what spirituality means. Spirituality has the word “spirit” in it. So my question was to find out what is spirit? If you google the word spirit, you will get all kinds of definitions for it starting from the spirit being the soul, breadth, the non physical aspects such as emotions, character and many others. All of them in my opinion are right. To me spirit is the “Self”. It is “I”. This obviously leads us to the question Who am I?. This is probably one of the biggest questions out there and I would say probably 99% of us don’t have an answer for this. I am not Vipin. Thats my name.I am not an Engineer or an MBA. Those are just my qualifications. I am not a son, father, friend, Manager or anything else.Those are my relationships with other people. So if I’m none of these then who am I? My honest answer to that is “I don’t know” BUT I’m on my journey to discovering it. Its a journey to a destination I dont know. It’s an experience like never before. And this journey to me is what is the essence of Spirituality. In other words spirituality is not a destination but a journey, a journey to discover 2 very important questions
1. Who Am I?
2. Why Am I here?
This journey is what we call LIFE!. Each of us will take different paths to get answers to these questions. Some will get the answers and others may not. Those who get the answers have described the feelings and emptions in different ways including bliss, self realization, nirvana and many others.
Another thing I have observed is that people turn to spirituality when they start getting (or should I say feeling) older. Have you ever wondered why is it that as you age you suddenly start philosophising things and talk about religion, undermining the importance of material pleasures. Some would say this is due to the experiences we have in our life which teach us the true meaning of life and what is really important. This is correct to a large extent. Whats more important in my view is that as we near the end of our journey we get connected to the “Source”. Our lives originated from somewhere and my belief is that we were sent on this journey, where the beginning and the end are the same and the whole purpose of the journey called “LIFE” was to learn, love, share and experience it and finally return to the source. So the next question is what is this “Source”? Science and spiritualism have tried to explain this in many different ways and my intent here is not to speak for one or the other. That will depend on your view of the world. Science says show me and I believe while spiritualism says believe it and it will show. I leave you with this thought provoking video on this mystery. Enjoy!!