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What is spirituality

28The inherent search in each one of us to find the reason and purpose of our existence is often interpreted as spirituality. We seek the help of a ‘Guru’ (master) who we assume has the answer to our quest, that is, to help us find our purpose in life.However, for some reason, this quest of ours, which is a very personal experience, has come to acquire a certain glory. While there is no doubt that such an inquiry is the beginning of our journey as ‘conscious’ (thinking) beings, it has no bearing on the kind of individuals we are. As long as our inter-personal behavioural pattern is based on expediency and ruled by selfishness, we are far from being spiritual.We conveniently place the gurus who facilitate our search, on a pedestal. And by mere association with them, we elevate ourselves as spiritual beings. The truth is, that although the gurus may have been able to rein control over their desires, they are not entirely above it. Curbing their temptations is a constant battle for them as well.So what is it that makes us spiritual and more importantly what is spirituality? Is being spiritual really about following a particular religion, a cult or a guru?If that is the case, the world would have been such a wonderful place to live in, after all, by their own admission, every other person we meet is spiritual.The moment we claim to be spiritual, we are politely but arrogantly proclaiming to be a better human being than the next person. And yet, the trees are dying, the rivers are stinking, the air is suffocating and people are suffering more than before. A sad state for a spiritually rich world. So where are we going wrong in ‘being spiritual’?First and foremost, spirituality for most of us is about ideation. Our conversations begin with – “my guru says…” We listen, we discuss and we repeat our masters’ voices. Ideation without execution is a hopeless exercise. True spirituality is not an isolated, compartmentalised part of our life, rather it is a way of life. It is the art to be in sync with existence. Nature, which is an intrinsic part of existence, nurtures. We have become the evil masters who are busy exploiting the very nature that sustains us.According to the law of karma, when we abuse any of the elements of nature, in due course of time, that very element causes us to suffer – either by causing deprivation of it in our life or through its wrath.Spirituality is all about being one with existence and finding a purpose in our life- from tending to a sapling, to making music, to building bridges… the value we contribute to existence in any way shape or form. To leave this place better than we had found it.The guru can only guide us, but we each need to find our own meaning, our own purpose. “Be a light unto yourself” (Buddha) and find your raison d’etre (reason for living). To nurture that which adds value to existence and in the process nourishes our spirit is Spirituality.-Indian Express