His Holiness Bangaru Adigalar shares his views on spirituality and the need for it in today’s troubled times
Today, Pain and suffering have increased manifold .Corruption and violence are common today. How can we bring back simplicity into our lives?
Your question contains your answer too! When you point out that today’s life encourages violence and corruption and so increases pain and sorrows, it is automatically understood that current lifestyle is not conductive to peace and contentment. This is because of the common belief that an extravagant life brings comfort, which leads to increasing desires. Instead of searching within for greater happiness, we get attracted to external appearances and long for it, which cause this pain and sorrow. Only when we show love, affection, respect, compassion and kindness to others, work hard and respect others’ contributions, and do not give importance to external appearances and luxuries, simple living follows automatically, and the pains and sorrows will reduce; simplicity will follow through.
What is spirituality? What does one need to follow the spiritual path?
Spirituality is knowing oneself, understanding oneself and realizing one’s self. It is important first to understand that only the spiritual path will give peace and contentment. We must first understand that our mind is our enemy and control it.
To pursue the path of spirituality, devotion and service along with meditating on higher principles are important .Fasting and controlling the emotions are also important. As these controls increase, the five senses can also be controlled better. Once that happens, spirituality automatically follows easily.
Our lives have become very complicated and spiritual practices demand time and energy. How can one balance the two?
The main reason for this confusion is that we believe our life is only for pleasures; believe only in science and forget the presence of the divine in nature. This leads to confusion and complications. If you analyse how you spent your time in a day, a week, a month and how much of it was a waste –that itself will give you the answer.
For the confusion to end, searching inward conscientiously and correcting our lifestyle with sincere involvement will help reduce the confusions.
Is there an age for becoming spiritual? With so many distractions for children, how can we make sure they are not led astray?
There is no age for spirituality. Despite distractions, bringing up the children, monitoring their development and making sure they do not go astray are the responsibility of the parents. In earlier days, there used to be a Moral science class in schools. Families used to live jointly. Grandparents would inculcate high values through moral stories in the tender hearts of their young grand children But now...? Parents’ personal attention is very important during adolenscence. If parents walk the talk, the likelihood of children also growing up the same way is high.
Is a guru a must for spirituality?
A guru is very essential for spirituality. You need a mirror to see your body. Even with that mirror you cannot see your back. There is a form you possess that you do not know of. To see that form, take it along the right path, mould it, a guru is definitely needed.
Mother, father, teacher, and god-this is the order of importance in our lives. The child first knows his mother, who shows him his father. The father shows the teacher. The teacher or the guru shows the god and helps the child understand him. Even to learn the lessons in school we need a teacher. To understand spiritual lessons, we definitely need a spiritual guru.
“To live in harmony with Nature”