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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.
Spirituality is the one subject and pursuit for which all the people who come to the Ashram arrive here. Throughout their stay, they really want to pursue spirituality and embody the benefits that spirituality provides. But I often wonder whether they really know what is this spirituality. Not only they, the entire world does not know what is spirituality. When I say this, I have something specifically in my mind. People may say: “I am spiritual. I am a seeker. I am doing sādhana.” But the sādhana is either spiritual sādhana or in the field of spirituality. But what exactly is this spirituality in its functional and practical manner? With regard to any subject or experience whatsoever, unless the individual begins to think, reflect upon seriously with a view to understand it, he will always remain deluded and the understanding will be distorted.
We are living with a body. Does it mean that we know what our body is and what all should be done, can be done, has been done with it? Many people purchase a car; they ride on it. Do they know all about how the car is moving, what is the relationship between the accelerator and the process of acceleration, how does the fluid petrol or diesel get converted into an energy which pushes the wheel? So, it is a subject of engineering. They have not studied it. Nevertheless they own the car, they use the car, they do quite a lot of jobs with the car. To have something is different from knowing it. To use something is different from knowing what they use and how they should use. The same applies to our life also.
We are all living and we have been living for a few years but we have never bothered to know what life is and it should be. The same applies to spirituality also. I am always given to causal thinking; thinking by virtue of which I would like to go into the cause of whatever is taking place. This causal thinking is characteristic of the human individual. A team of people, scientists in European countries are going into the source of existence. Why should they enquire? Because that is a demand, a warrant of human nature. Just like with the eyes we see, with the ears we hear, with the tongue we speak, we think with the mind and we try to probe into and understand with the intelligence. Make use of all the faculties you have, just like you are using the body, use the tongue, use the mind, use the intelligence, use the soul also, then life becomes very fulfilling and ecstatic.
With all this, I would like to say, let us understand the word - the 'spirit' or 'spiritual' or 'spirituality'. Why this word at all? Because we have parallel words called matter, material, materiality, energy, energial, energiality. And we know that in the whole world in which we are living, matter and energy alone are there in the visible world. Earth is matter, water is matter, air is matter, the three forms of substances; then the matter is over. We go to energy in the form of fire, light, electromagnetic wave etc. And we have something called space; whether it is matter or energy or still something different from is a point we’ve gone into. But normally we have only matter and energy in this world, whether it is our body or our speech, it is all matter and energy. Matter is getting converted into energy; energy is getting converted into matter. So, the total quantity of substances remains the same. There is neither increase nor decrease.
Now, is there anything different from matter and energy in our experience, knowledge or otherwise? Yes, yes, yes. What is that? Our own mind. Our mind is different from matter and different from energy. How and why? Because matter cannot think or feel or sense nor can energy do so. At the same time, with the mind we think, feel, sense, we know that we have a body, we are a body. The entire body is sensed, cognized by the mind and employed by the mind. Mind alone activates and animates the body. So, we cannot miss the mind but the mind is not matter and energy. It is not visible. Because it is different from matter and energy, how do you describe it? We describe it as the 'spirit' or 'spiritual' or 'spirituality'.
The world 'spirituality' has to be understood as a contrast to materiality and energiality. This is something that you should very clearly know. Intelligence also is a spiritual unit, a spiritual factor. Ego is also a spiritual factor. Thoughts, feelings and emotions are not material. Doubt, enquiry and finding are not material. In fact, we are more spiritual than material. When the spiritual part is non-functional, the body becomes dead. So, the word 'spiritual' and 'spirituality' has to be understood in this manner. Functionally, the subject of spirituality relates to, concerns and involves mind, intelligence and ego. Just see?
In Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says in the whole process of creation there are eight factors involved. The first five factors are the pancabhūtās.
अहङ्कार इतीयं मे भिन्ना प्रकृतिरष्टधा ।।
bhūmir-āpo’nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ mano buddhir-eva ca
ahaṅkāra itīyaṁ me bhinnā prakṛtir-aṣṭadhā
He says, the entire manifest creation consist of only eight factors. Out of the eight factors, five are the pancabhūtās, and they are visible to the senses and the senses are made to interact with them only because of the mind. Now, the three other factors, mano buddhir-eva ca ahaṅkāra - mind, intelligence and ego. These are the three additional constituents of creation. Just imagine. The five are outside; they are also embodied in our body. The three are inside. These three cannot be probed into by any objective, scientific process. No instrumentation can work there, no telescope, no microscope, no chemical or physical processes can access either the mind, the intelligence or the ego. These are the three constituents of creation and it is because of these, human life remains what it is. We are getting our dress made, we are constructing our houses, we have invented so many things, we have discovered so many items. Even now, the discovery and invention processes are continuing.
The entire thing that you call civilization including our speech, articulation, writing, literature, thought, expression, everything is because of mind, intelligence and ego. Now, what is the conclusion? The conclusion is that the entire spirituality deals with only three factors - mind, intelligence and ego, to know them in greater detail and to be able to apply or employ them more and more effectively, both for objective achievement and subjective excellence, both for objective achievement or advancement and subjective excellence and fruition.
We have two words, abhyudaya - prosperity, external and sensory resourcefulness and niśreyasa - felicity, inner, ecstatic fulfillment. For both purposes, by spirituality we shall be able to employ our mind, intelligence and ego. The mind will expand, will get enriched, the intelligence will become more perceptive and the ego will become more resourceful, more sublime, more flexible and more functional. We will be able to assert when assertion is called for, we will be able to remain humble and calm when that is called for. This is the spirituality that I know, I generally speak about. I hope, to some extent at least, the idea is clear.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.