By Neelam Sethi
Sep 5, 2011
Early human beings first worshipped the forces of nature, as they were totally dependent on the natural world. We have evolved from these early beginnings to a highly urbanised, sophisticated and materialistic lifestyle, but we often still resort to forms of worship that lead us to externalise God.
To seek God only outside of us is to deceive ourselves. It separates us from our own divinity as well as from the rest of nature. It allows us to see ourselves as separate from the Supreme Power.
In order to truly uncover divinity, we have to adopt an inward rather than outward approach. We have to graduate from an external, religious approach to worship to an internal, spiritual approach through meditation, inner reflection and prayer. Great saints and masters have also taught that inner transformation can occur only if we turn inwards.
Material and Spiritual
A Muslim saint has expressed this beautifully: Tu khud hi toh khuda hai — "The Self is the God we seek". Unless we are able to turn our focus within, we will not be able to deal with our external lives in a balanced way. "As a bird needs two wings to fly, so a human being needs the two wings of existence, the spiritual and the material, to lead a natural and harmonious life," said Babuji, the second guru of the Sahaja Marga system of meditation.
Unity and Oneness
When religions are used to divide, and the spectre of terrorism threatens to spread fear and hatred, it is important to seek refuge in true spirituality that tends to unite through greater understanding. It is universal and open to people from all religions and cultures. It creates oneness and unity. The basis of spirituality is daily practice of meditation, also called Dhyan or Sadhana.
New Age guru Eckhart Tolle talks of moving towards the creation of a "New Earth" where people will relate to each other as human beings, and not in the context of caste, creed, colour, nationality or religion. To achieve this, we can focus our attention within through meditation, to connect with the inner Self, where we will discover that we are all the same. Then, perhaps, we will ignite the divine spark in our hearts.
The whole idea of spirituality is to revive that which is sleeping in us, the true inner being — the Self. The simple practice is so easily integrated into our busy lifestyle, bringing balance, joy and spiritual growth. We ought to adopt a spiritual approach to divinity in this lifetime, "here and now".
Babuji also pointed out that "God is not to be found within the fold of a particular religion or sect. He is not confined within certain forms nor is He to be traced from within the scriptures. We have to seek Him in the innermost core of our heart."
Quickest and Surest
All spiritual paths prescribe meditation and contemplation. These paths help us seek God within. Buddha, Mahavira, Kabir, Jesus, Nanak and Sufi saints practised meditation as the method to uncover the divine principle within. It is the quickest and surest way to Self-realisation and has the least pitfalls. A tranquil and rejuvenated mind can focus better on daily issues. We not only learn to cope better, but also become the recipients of His infinite grace.
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi