Monday, June 23, 2008

Be spiritual than ritualistic -Swami Agnivesh

We should become more spiritual, less ritualistic

By Swami Agnivesh

( From "God and I" column, Deccan Chronicle, June 23, 2008)

Spirituality is the core values that are present in all religions and human traditions. It is very different from religiosity. Religions are very territorial and sectarian, and tied down by rituals and dogmas. Spirituality transcends all that — it is universal in its appeal. The need of the hour is that we should become more and more spiritual and less and less ritualistic.

One should not look for a particular moment of profound closeness to God. Every moment in life is a miracle. I am not breathing — breathing is happening to me. What is this spirit that is so compassionate that all my life I have breathed without realising it? My heart has been throbbing, my eyes have been seeing — do I see a miracle in all this? That is the challenge.

I was born into a very orthodox Brahmin family in Andhra Pradesh. I was steeped in all the mumbo-jumbo of blind faith. I lost my father at the age of four and was brought up by my maternal grandfather.

I was introduced to Arya Samaj when I went to Kolkata for higher studies, and gave up all rituals. I started evolving and realised that spirituality is the purpose of life.

The more one realises oneself, the more one realises God. If you can meditate for even five minutes a day on your name and form, you will realise that the permanence of your name and form is an illusion. It is at the centre of all our lives, our ego.

Our universe revolves around this illusion. But the ego is very flimsy, and the moment you understand this, you humble yourself and open up to the greater spirit.

Swami Agnivesh is a social activist

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