Spirituality in troubled times


People are now beginning to realize that a collapse is near. But they prefer not to think about it as continuation is an expectation inbuilt into creation. It is ironic that when a civilization nears its peak it crumbles and disappears.

While those well off dread the destruction, the suffering multitude are looking forward to it as they are not able to take it anymore. Unknown to those who are leading comfortable lives, the have not’s are at the end of their tether.

It is said that there is an end to suffering. Try telling that to those who have to suffer endlessly.

We have enjoyed selfishness, greed and gluttony to the full. We do not have the residual karma which comes from selfless service. We depart from this world empty. Physical assets are left behind. At the time of death reality strikes but there is nothing one can do. One resigns oneself to fate to face whatever comes.

What is selfless service? Service for the welfare of all. It comes naturally to simple people. For them it is normal to be of use to the world. Just like a tree knows that its duty is to provide fruits, shade, and be compost for the next cycle once it perishes.

Why is man different? The choice before the intellectual person is stark. He or she can use that intellect to climb up the spiritual ladder or sink to the depths of materialism that kills the soul. The more man sharpens the intellect, the more the ego grips, and the strengthened ego provides all kinds of excuses to stray from the right path.

The ego is haughty. It provides identity and strengthens it. That identity is in reality nonexistent. The intellect depends on that false identity to assert itself. It builds a castle on air.

Now that the end is near, the least you can do is to realise your folly. The material world is maya, the all powerful force of ignorance. It will engage you till the end. It will make you rush into a burning house to recover your underwear.

Step back and contemplate on your temporary existence on earth. You are a visitor. You are a traveler. You are only the witness. Within you is a stillness that defies description. That is your real identity. The ocean lives within its depths where utter silence reigns.

A good book to lead you is the Viveka Chudamani of Shankaracharya. It is a mandatory daily read for spiritual seekers. Another text is the Bhaja Govindam that is a cry from the heart. The world is functioning on its own. You have been provided a slot and all your actions are but an expression of the overall scheme of things.

Your trap is the identification with your actions and claiming that the results should be enjoyed by you. Stop identifying and be relieved of the results. That is one very important step in the right direction.