Introspection & Spirituality

Introspection & Spirituality

Ancient texts of Hinduism states:

“स्वाध्यायात् मा प्रमद:|”  (Tritiyopnishad:1/11)

{swaadhyayata maa pramadah}

This verse means that we shouldn’t neglect introspection, which has been amply emphasized by our Guru Maharaj Ji as one of the core tenants of his system of satsang.

We acquire knowledge by either reading our scriptures or by listening to the discourses of saints and seers. But this knowledge is not beneficial till we internalize them into our behavior. Introspection helps us in achieving that. It is about reading the propensity of our thoughts, reading the emotional and intellectual state of self and analyzing the state of our soul and mind in the context of the knowledge that we have acquired. Introspection is the core process of attaining purity of thoughts, mind, and psyche. It helps us to ensure that no negative thoughts are taking over us.

To keep the spiritual journey onwards and upwards, it is very necessary to introspect to gauge and ensure that we are on the right course. We should study literature written by our Guru Maharaj and all preceptors. This will make sure that the mirror of our soul is cleansed and it guides us to resolve our personal and spiritual queries that keep coming to us in a natural way. It is very important to resolve the queries that arise in our mind, before they divert us from our path.

We should keep praying to Guru Maharaj ji – “Lord, may your grace be upon us. Please illuminate our heartland with the light of your wisdom, show us the path of righteousness, and save us from committing any sin.”

When we have attained an unattainable human life, and the desire to attain salvation kindled in us, then without wasting time and the golden opportunity, we should make our life worthwhile by getting started on this path and by realizing the ultimate truth – being one with the supreme consciousness often called God.

Almighty has created many life forms. The most superior form is said to be human life as only humans have ability to acquire wisdom and is blessed with the highest level of consciousness. This makes it possible for a human to realize God, and for the soul to break the vicious cycle of life and death. Once a wise person deciphers this concept, they get moving onwards on this path without any further delay.

The pathfinders and scholars have described this path as a double-edged sword – a very difficult path to walk alone. The only way to walk down this path easily yet effectively is to take the guidance of the ones who have already walked the path and reached the destination.

Difficulties, tests of life, and hindrances shouldn’t stop us and we need to keep moving constantly until we reach there. Introspection on our experiences during our journey in light of our Guru’s wisdom helps us in staying on our path and moving ahead in the face of adversity. Another aspect To attain this is that we need to rigorously practice righteousness (Dharma) and we should also have a strong desire to realize God. After we have practiced this for a few years, we might run into doubts like “Am I on the right path? How can I get to know if I have made any progress?”.

Another aspect of Guru Maharaj’s teaching is, that we should be internally driven in our Spiritual pursuit. He has said, “If you want him, then keep it a secret. Don’t let anyone know you are seekers…Let the fire be on within you, but ensure nobody sees the smoke outside…Burn down all other desires of yours in that pure fire of unconditional love and let the fire take its aggressive form. One fine day, the light will be all around you and this light will enlighten the lamp of your soul…Why do you need to seek fake admirers and their admiration? Sainthood is not a show-off, but it shall reflect in your mind, speech, and behavior.”

Guru Maharaj

The very nature of God (Guru) is to be calm, peaceful, and blissful. A practitioner who meditates upon God will also become internally calm, at peace, blissful, and happy. Meditation would also make the seeker relaxed and fearless. This is the secret of spirituality.

It is believed that the behavior of an individual is like a litmus test for him to find the status of his spiritual pursuit. The virtue of non-possessiveness, non-grasping, or non-greediness also has a great significance in spiritual practice. Whatever we are blessed with God’s grace shouldn’t be kept in our own possession but should be paid forward, shared and donated to the right receiver or donee.

Selfless service too has a big role to play in our spiritual journey. Any disciple who does any of type of service for others selflessly gets noticed by his master immediately.

In the words of Pandit Mihilalji, “ Spirituality that is bound by orthodox rules and that doesn’t reflect in someone’s behavior is a failed one…the secret of finding bliss and happiness is to give happiness to others. The more souls we make happy, the merrier we would be, and the reason is that the peace and bliss of all the hearts are transmitted to our heart.”

We have to live by the principles of great scriptures and leverage them as a beacon to course-correct our day-to-day life. In essence, we do introspection to ensure this.

Imagine how beautiful it would be when our Lord, our Guru would watch us performing our role in an ideal way – just like a movie director would admire the work of an actor who just plays his role with all honesty and as prescribed. More than the result, the intent is important.

To achieve such a level of perfection, it is best to take refuge in the Guru before you start any task, perform the task like an observer with all honest efforts, and by dissociating yourself from the thought of being the doer. Once that thought gets activated, what is important is to give your best, not to worry about the outcome of the action, and leave it to your Guru.

It doesn’t matter what sort of karma was performed by us. Weight of both good and bad karma shall drown us in the ocean of worldly affairs – just like how a log of wood would sink whether we put gold (good karma) or iron (bad karma) on top of it.

Our way of speech is an important element of who we are and also an important metric to check our spiritual progress and behavior. We should weigh what we want to speak, its impact on the scale of our’s as well as recipient’s heart, and only then say it mindfully.

Introspection is such an important tool in spiritual practice. It helps you gauge yourself and it also makes you independent of others’ opinions to tell you about your spiritual growth. Dimensions such as value system, principles of righteousness, unconditional love, practicing honesty, non-possessiveness, selfless services, eloquent speech, etc. are some good indicators that can be studied from time-to-time to identify our own spiritual progress.

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