This is going to be a comprehensive Spirituality Guide that covers more or less all the nuts and bolts one needs to know to fathom the real meaning of spirituality.
There are two types of people who indulge in spirituality. The first kind of people believe in spirituality, and the other kind, know the real meaning of spirituality.
The former kind, if you ask them how they believe in it, they will generally say by reading all the scriptures and Vedas. Some literally mug it all up and can recite a whole paragraph from the books as it is, and people go bananas.
Like some people believe in God, some don’t. But neither of them KNOW the actual truth.
Believing VS Knowing
The other category of people KNOW the real meaning of spirituality. Believing and knowing are two different things that are a world apart from each other.
Fire can burn us. Do we believe in it or do we know it as a fact? That’s the difference between knowing something and believing something.
As soon as we know the truth, then there is no ‘belief’ left in the room. We believe something, only for as long as we don’t know it for sure.
Now comes the question of how can we make that jump from believing something to knowing the real thing?
The first step is to forget everything you ‘believe’ in. That’s the most important thing. Unless you free yourself from all the preconceived thoughts and notions you believe in, you can never find the thing that is actually true.
Spiritualism VS Materialism
Some people are afraid to walk on this path because they think they would not be able to achieve any materialistic achievement once they embark on their spiritual journey.
They first need to understand what the definition of spirituality actually is. Is it a fact that those who get on the spiritual path, seclude themselves from the materialistic world?
Well, maybe, maybe not.
It’s totally possible for a man living and believing in the materialistic world, to be a whole lot more spiritual than a so-called “spiritual person” who is sitting at the top of the mountain pretending to be spiritual.
The opposite is also possible; a guy who claims to be a hardcore spiritual person, maybe actually a materialistic person in disguise.
There is no actual line, dividing spiritualism and materialism. All these are our own figments of imagination and believes which were fed to us from society.
We are creating our own imaginary world to boost our ego by saying that we are spiritual or materialistic.
Just like a lotus blooms in the swamp. Now if we compare the swamp with this world, then is staying in the swamp and merely talking about things like ‘spirituality’, ‘god’, ‘materialism’ the real spirituality?
Or is it rising from the swamp and blossoming, the real meaning of spirituality?
Spirituality is nothing but understanding the truth and seeing reality as it is.
Good Karma VS Bad Karma
The concepts of good karma and bad karma are also a tad flawed.
Whenever your mind is calm while doing something, then that is GOOD KARMA; and if your mind is not at peace, or it’s making someone else lose their mental peace, then all those actions come under the radar of BAD KARMA.
The best thing you can do is self-inquiry. There is no better Karma than discovering your true self because this type of action is helping you uncover your real selves.
As long as you have this question “Who Am I?”, then you are at the peak of the Good Karmas and try to hold on to it for as long as you can.
The second-best essence of good karma is self-control. Actions that are increasing your self-control over your sensory organs and your mind are all good karmas.
When your senses try to overpower you, then that will be the actual test of your self-control and your willpower.
And as you keep on solidifying your controlling powers, then there will come a time, where you won’t have to control your senses, but it will automatically be under your control effortlessly.
At the last remains the mind, which is the most powerful of all, because all your powers are inside your mind only. The fight with your mind, the practice of controlling your mind is the real meaning of spirituality.
Ultimate Purpose of Life
So often we ask this question, “the ultimate purpose of life” and wander around it, but to no avail.
The thing is, sure this question is important to ask, but there is another question that is even more pertinent than this.
That question is, “What is LIFE itself?”. If we could understand the meaning of life, then we can automatically understand the ultimate purpose.
If we can’t understand the meaning of Life only, then everything else is useless and one will never be able to understand the real meaning of spirituality.
It is just like asking what trigonometry is without knowing addition and subtraction. So, first, we need to ask the right question if we want the right answers.
Last Stage of Meditation
Then some people ask what is the last stage of meditation? So, again, it is not important to understand the last stage of meditation.
Understanding the real essence of meditation is necessary. Knowing your life is meditation. Understanding your brain is meditation and asking the right questions is ultimately the real meaning of spirituality.
So, once we understand what meditation really is, you will understand all the concepts of God, birth & death, rebirth, and life will become more clear as you go in-depth with the basics of what the real meaning of spirituality is.
Now many people say that they know all about spirituality but when it comes to applying, they don’t even remember the S of “spirituality”.
You see this very thinking is incorrect. WE think we know everything, but we actually don’t.
Everyone is living under this illusion that they know all about what life is, what the real meaning of spirituality is, and what they want from life. This is perhaps the crux of the problem.
If one acknowledges that he doesn’t have the knowledge, then that is far better than knowing something wrong. Because then you can actually start finding out the information.
Saying “I don’t know”, is a whole lot better than living under this imagination that “I know it all.”
You must have heard of the famous saying, “Don’t be afraid of what you don’t know, be afraid of what you know for sure.”
Once we know something for sure, then we shut our brains for further knowledge of that particular topic, which increases the chances of our being wrong astronomically.
The day you genuinely put a question mark on everything you think you know for sure, then that will be a major leap in taking you one step closer to experience and understanding the real meaning of spirituality.
Start understanding something that no one knows about; that no one talks about. Something that no one is even trying to find out. That can be the beginning of something brilliant.
Make Things Simple
Then comes the question of how to know what you are doing is right or wrong? It is kinda obvious, isn’t it? This question can be broken down into different layers to make things easier.
We have been given this body, so taking care of it in every possible way is the right thing to do.
The right thing will involve, exercising, eating healthy, taking proper rest, adequate sleep, maintaining hygiene, and other basic things.
The wrong thing here will include, lack of exercise, a sedentary lifestyle, eating junk food, inadequate sleep, being unhygienic, etc.
To fulfill your bodily requirements, you need money. So, earning money is the right thing to do.
Now while earning money, if you are hurting or cheating someone, then that is, you guessed it, obviously the wrong thing. This is at the level of the body.
At the level of mind, if you so much as think something bad for someone, then that won’t be the nicest thing for you to do, since that is tantamount to you hammering an ax at your own feet.
Don’t be multifaceted. Backbiting, jealousy, ego, hatred are all negative emotions and will suck up your positive energy.
If you are doing any work, whatever it may be, understanding it completely is the right thing to do, instead of just doing as told.
Once you understand your work, then even if you fail in it, that’s all right, but not learning from it and repeating the same mistake, again and again, is wrong.
The right thing has got nothing to do with your thinking. It doesn’t matter whatever we think, the world isn’t gonna alter its rules for anyone.
As you can see, the real meaning of spirituality is not something convoluted or rocket science. It is actually a way of life—seeing things the way it actually is.
We should also question our thinking. Whatever beliefs we have in our mind, all the pre-conceived notions about things or people. EVERYTHING.
How can we know if the way we think is the right way?
Are We Thinking the Right Way?
If we think about it, our whole life is based on thinking. We think before we act or do anything. People with different sets of information in their brains will think differently about the same situation.
And two such people are bound to get into conflicts, because they think differently, due to the fact that they have a different set of information based on which they are gonna act differently.
Now comes the question can we see the truth without thinking?
Take an example.
The rainbow has seven colors. Now the problem arises when someone says that red is better than yellow, then the others will argue that yellow is better and so on.
That’s how most people spend their entire life, arguing senselessly. That’s obviously not the real meaning of spirituality because none of it is true.
The truth is that all 7 colors have the same source, so it doesn’t make sense to argue about which color looks better. There is no actual division in these 7 colors.
Once we see things this way, the thinking process comes to an end here and then there is ultimately nothing left to think about, and the only thing that remains is LOVE. True love.
So, instead of breaking things up into smaller pieces and looking at them in isolation, let’s broaden our horizons of thinking by joining the pieces together and looking at the bigger picture.
That’s what LOVE is, to be one. And that’s precisely what the definition of spirituality conveys. To understand how we are connected to each other.
The one who is connected to everything is delightful, the one who gets disconnected is dismal. The wrong thinking creates divisions in society and spreads negativity but the right kind of thinking spreads prosperity and happiness in society.
Matters of the Heart
Now comes your pretty little heart. To understand your relationships, to work upon them, to be empathetic is the right thing to do.
Being compassionate towards not only your friends but your enemies too is the right thing to do. But hey can we develop compassion for people who don’t do good by us?
We first need to understand the real meaning of compassion. We think compassion means being sympathetic to people even if they are doing wrong by us.
Is it possible now to do that? If someone is hurting you physically, is there any way on the face of the earth that you can show compassion for that person?
Of course not. And you shouldn’t. You need to fight there. Real spirituality is all about taking the right action at the right time.
What will you call being compassionate here? TO fight him off or just silently resisting and watching him beat you? If he is a criminal or something and is doing something wrong, then what will be the real compassion?
To take actions against the person to keep the others safe or to feel sympathetic towards him and let him do whatever he wants?
You can understand the real meaning of compassion only when you are free from all the possessiveness, selfishness, and pettiness.
If you show mercy to one criminal, then the whole society will become corrupted.
If a person jumps the red light, then will the real compassion be in forgiving him and showing mercy or to punish him so that he doesn’t do it again?
Maybe he genuinely made a mistake, but the policeman there should take the required action anyway.
It may seem that the policeman is rude and cold-hearted, but actually, he is the real compassionate guy because if he forgives one, then the whole society would take the rules for granted and that won’t look pretty.
The policeman is ensuring that society stays in reliable hands. He is making sure that no child gets the message that jumping a red light is ok. He is ultimately looking after the person, who will think twice before jumping a red light the next time.
The real sense of compassion is to do whatever is right for everyone, and not just an individual.
The final part left is the level of your soul. Asking yourself, “Who am I?” is possibly the best thing to do.
Understanding your true self is the right thing to do as this is the best way to understand the real essence of spirituality. Running away from this question and living under illusions for all your life is the wrong thing to do.
The person who understands this gospel truth understands everything there is to know about life. But the one who doesn’t understand his true identity—what he truly is—then doesn’t matter how much information he stuffs in about the materialistic world, he will never be truly satisfied.
Once we really understand our true self, then all the sufferings come to an end and what remains is everlasting happiness. But unfortunately, most people rely on temporary sensations to combat the “permanent pain” in life, which isn’t really efficient.
Once the sensation stops, which it will ultimately, we go back to the initial condition. This is why we need to change our understanding of our true selves to come out of this predicament once and for all.
Now, many people ask how they can stop worrying about the future.
Well in order to do that, you first need to understand what “future” actually is. You can’t possibly stop worrying about the future without knowing what it is.
Do we really understand what time is? Is it a reality or just an imagination to make things simpler? Is there a future in real? Can you extend your arm and grab your future? Can you see the future? No, you can’t.
P R E S E N T is all there is. The future is nothing but imagining something in the present moment. If the future is connected to the right kind of imagination, then there is no problem.
But if it isn’t, then there’s no chance in hell that can stop worrying about it.
Now, what is the wrong kind of imagination here? Talking about the future from the standpoint of your bodies.
How can you stop worrying about it this way? The body is mortal, it will die one day. Is it not the truth? You can be diagnosed with literally hundreds of diseases out there, at any given time.
Your friends and family are also not immortal. Anything can happen to them, anytime. How can you stop worrying if you go this way?
Accidents and natural calamities are sometimes unpreventable and mostly unpredictable. Maybe you can lose your job and go bankrupt. How can one possibly not worry about this?
So, as long as you see yourself from the standpoint of your bodies, there’s no way that you can permanently stop worrying about the future.
All the worries we have regarding the future, it is related to the level of the body.
As long as one thinks, feels, and understands that he is the body; his mind can never be absolutely peaceful, and such a person will never understand the real meaning of spirituality.
The only way to be absolutely free from your past, present, and future is to know and understand it as a fact that time cannot touch you.
And not just understanding it as a theory but experiencing it practically. You are not in time.
Anyone who is IN time can never be fearless. He may show he is, but from the inside, he can’t be. HE will always be in a worry.
But if time is IN you, then what’s there to worry about? Everything is in TIME, every object, and every ‘body’; and the TIME is in you.
When you realize it, then you become absolutely free from EVERYTHING, and only then can you be absolutely FEARLESS.
A Balance is Necessary
Now some people have this huge misconception that real spirituality doesn’t allow any entertainment in life and you have to pretty darn serious all the time. Well, not quite.
Everything, if done within a limit, is not gonna pose a problem.
If you are eating to satisfy your body hunger, then it is completely fine, but if you are eating to appease your mind hunger, then that will spiral into something you don’t wanna get into.
Similarly, if you are indulging in pleasures and entertainment to relax your mind or to recharge your body, then that is all right. But if one gets attached to this state, then that is gonna become a major problem in the future.
The same pleasures that were making you better, will be responsible for draining your energy and making you feel dull and lazy.
Less is More
Does the definition of spirituality imply being the greater version of yourselves? The answer lies in the question itself.
If you look closely then you will see that this is how everyone is living. They all wanna be bigger and better than before.
Everyone is working their butt off to get that promotion they always wanted, everyone wants to take their businesses to the next level. They all wanna shift into a penthouse from 2bhk apartments.
Everyone wants a bigger and better car than before. The whole world is busy going to the so-called “next-level”.
Everyone living this way can’t be genuinely happy. They will always yearn for more than they have. They will always base their happiness on the future possibilities instead of the present conformities.
There will always be someone better, taller, more handsome, more successful than you and it’s ok. Stop comparing yourself and start thanking yourself for everything you have today.
So, it’s high time, gratitude becomes the attitude.
Now many people misunderstand this. They think they should stop doing anything and everything. Of course not.
The real meaning of contentment is to base your satisfaction on how much you actually hustled, and not on the outcome.
If you know it in your heart that you have put every ounce of blood, sweat, and tear into whatever work you did, then there can’t be a bigger satisfaction than this, irrespective of the results.
All you have to do is ask yourselves, am I putting in my 100% or not?
Now to answer all the questions in one line; one way of living is to solve the unlimited problems a person will have, throughout his life, as long as he thinks he is the body.
Unlimited problems will of course take unlimited time.
The other option is to improve your understanding and know that you are not this body you think you are. Now no problem can overwhelm you in any shape, size, or form.
You will become UNTOUCHABLE.
Once you let the Real Meaning of Spirituality sink in, you will see Yourself if Everyone, and Everyone in Yourself.