Posts tagged: Self

Jul 04 2010

Spiritual Living and Why Should You Bother?

Spiritual living means many things to many people. If you view spirituality and the process of waving it into your daily life as some kind of magic prescription for a wildly successful life, then there’s no need for you to read any further. You’re in a wrong place.
Go to one of these warm and cuddly websites that will massage you ego and make it believe that the stars, horoscopes, spiritual retreats, séances, etc. are the ultimate answer to your earthly worries.
Disciples of “The Secret” need not apply either, for what I’m about to say here won’t fit nicely with their “spirituality of success and abundance” mantra. And if you’re thinking about following one of many “spiritual leaders’ a.k.a. gurus, you need to know that there are very few authentic still being around. The great majority of those self-proclaimed, just want your money and unreserved allegiance. What you get in return is a regurgitated “spiritual wisdom” that brings more harm, despair and disillusionment to your already confused soul.
On the subject of gurus… my introduction to spirituality came from reading books by Dr David R Hawkins. His teachings prepared me to move into more challenging environs of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj’s classes, with his words: “Spirituality means obedience in the Self” becoming my mantra. For those who know only a little about Nisargadatta Maharaj, this website: http://nisargadatta.org/ is highly recommended. There you’ll find a wealth of objective information, a must for any serious spiritual seeker.

About Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj's Teachings

About Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj's Teachings

Back to the subject matter: why should you bother with spiritual living? The answer is simple – this is your only chance, bare the unforeseen and extremely rare occurrences of the “dark night of the soul” with its usually momentous spiritual uplift, for truly fulfilling life. An opportunity not wasted. Meaning what? Precisely this: when on your deathbed, totally free of the fear of dying, you can smile and say “This life that was given to me was used to discover the only thing that is with me always, even in this very moment – the Self”. For you’ll leave all you have, all your property, money, titles, experiences, friendships and memories. There’s nothing from this world that you can take on the “other side”. Pity, most of us come to this conclusion only as the advanced age, with its pains, bitterness and limitations force us to face the inevitable.
No, going for another expensive cruise around the world won’t delay the moment when the time comes to take life’s stocks and prepare for the last journey. Know this: only “spiritual” is allowed in your baggage; all the rest of your treasured possessions is too heavy, and must be left behind.
And in case you think you’ve got plenty of time left… stop deluding yourself. Take nothing for granted, not even the next breath, the next minute; it may never come.

Says Nisargadatta Maharaj: “Find your timeless being and your action will bear it testimony. Surely, this is the most urgent task. You cannot see yourself as independent of everything unless you drop everything and remain unsupported and undefined.” Sounds simple? Because it is. And that’s why most of you will never take it into your heart. You’ll keep looking for secret recipes, holly initiations, sacred mantras, famous gurus and their miracles, whilst the essence of spiritual search is really simple. Maharaj explains: “There is the body and there is the Self. Between them is the mind in which the Self is reflected as ‘I am’. Because of the imperfections of the mind, its crudity and restlessness, lack of discernment and insight, it takes itself to be the body, not the Self. All that is needed is to purify the mind so that it can realize its identity with the Self.” Clear and simple!
This is all you have to do to break the yoke of desires and fears tormenting you unceasingly. Only then you gain all the peace and happiness there is that you’ve been longing for all your life. Forget all you know, for this is the only true answer to all your wishes. Said Maharaj: “So many words you’ve learnt, so many you’ve spoken. You know everything but you do not know yourself. For the Self is not known through the words – only direct insight will reveal it. Look within, search within.” Start now; make it your life’s sole purpose!

As you begin your Self-discovery, you’ll be exposed and vulnerable to many spiritual charlatans and false gurus preying on novices like you. Stay away from new experiences, no matter how “spiritual” they promise to be. Don’t listen to the self-proclaimed spiritual masters telling you to relinquish and renounce that what you are. Here’s Maharaj’s advice for you: “There is nothing to renounce. Enough if you stop acquiring. To give you must have, and to have you must take. Better don’t take. It is simpler than to practice renunciation, which leads to a dangerous form of ‘spiritual pride’. All this weighing, selecting, choosing, exchanging – it is all shopping in some ‘spiritual’ market. What is your business there? What deal are you out to strike?”
If you’re looking for some guideposts in your journey of Self-discovery, Dr David R Hawkins’ books and recorded seminars, particularly his book “Power vs. Force” is a good start. That’s where I made my first steps. But it was Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj’s book “I Am That” that filled my sails with unceasing wind. After reading it four times, the urge to read it again is stronger than ever. Each time, new pearls of Maharaj’s wisdom are discovered, for one only recognizes them as one grows. Reading just a few lines of his discourses recharges my spirituality and renews my enthusiasm.
Finally, when you’re ready to accept Maharaj’s words: “Be nothing, know nothing, have nothing. This is the only way worth living. The only happiness worth having” you know, you are on something really worth your bother. You are ready to realize that priceless and timeless of your being – your Self!