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Scientific Spirituality

Now a days research is going on to explore or expediate spiritual growth through scientific methods. Human beings are curious, inquisitive to find out the truth behind every manifested thing, cause of every effect, in a scientific manner through sensory and intellectual medium. Whereas spiritual approach emphasizes eternal enquiry within subjective being beyond time, space, intellectual concept and causation; through intuition. 

Science brings the same repetitive result as a fact and linked with fixed formulae whereas spirituality is unique and united through exclusively individual experience. Spirituality is naturally/ effortlessly spontaneous, continuous and instantaneous. Science pursues through hypothesis, experimentation, modifications and corelating with earlier results, comes into conclusions.  

Through scientific means humanity is seemingly progressing in standard of living, comforts and conveniences while conquering natural forces. At the same time, changes in climatic behavior, global warming, ozone layer depletion etc. etc. for rapid industrialization, deforestation, carbon emission in the way to modern civilization is a part of scientific advancement.  

Spirituality that needs to raise the level of ordinary waking consciousness beyond sensory perceived world, needs self-desire and discipline according to individual time, temperament and tendency that cannot be taught or imposed in a structured manner. It is to be inculcated or sought without any stigma or individual conditioning to undertake spiritual journey. 

Individual mind that is naturally taking part in evolution, cannot be forced to jump to other more advanced states of consciousness by applying any so-called scientific method that may be like stretching a stem to bear flower as per our desire. Science and spirituality both should progress hand in hand, cooperating and not contradicting or confronting each other. 

Presently, science is facing the hard problem of consciousness in their hypothesis that whether brain neurons are creating consciousness or consciousness is creating brain neurons, like hen created first or egg, is yet to be fixed. On the other hand, spirituality keeps the concept beyond intellect to intuitively experience cosmic or witnessing consciousness that cannot be experienced through scientific instrumentation while finding the essential construct as God particle. 

There is an age-old tussle of supremacy between science and spirituality as far as interpreting creation and creator is concerned. Scientific knowledge and spiritual wisdom should be either side of the same coin where scientific effort and spiritual support are metamorphized together to experience joy and love of living towards light and liberation. One so called scientific method may help or hinder spiritual progress as per individual liking and disliking (Sanskar and prarabdha). 

Thus, the theme scientific spirituality e.g., sound or visual effects or any yogic method applied on meditator might differ in obtaining same scientific result. Science is progressing as natural progression in presence of spiritual essence rather than intellectual egoistic approach towards human living. Soul realized persons hardly can be produced by batches applying so called scientific method if individual is not ready to learn or accept self-transformation process.   

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Yoga and Spirituality

 

 

There is an overall stigma among yoga practitioners that yoga with various postures and pranayama is for keeping body fit and mind stress-free, thus, addressing the quality of living and longevity with good health and happiness. Actually, the concept of yoga among other philosophies started with the purpose of finding out the root cause of human suffering and existence. 

On the other hand, most modern-day practice of yoga deviated from its core theme and created a separate identity in objective/ physical form with spirituality that deals mainly addressing different planes of consciousness i.e., waking-dreaming-sleeping and beyond while finding/ experiencing the union or common connecting thread in them. 

There are many scientific studies on different brands and styles of yoga with proven health benefits while strengthening pathological parameters within permissible range. Modern medical fraternities also recommend yogic postures and pranayama in many chronic psycho-somatic diseases to avoid unnecessary side and suppressing effects.  

Unlike other forms of exercises and sports, yogic postures in hatha yoga have the added advantage of getting internal vital organs and hormone secreting glands massaged along with improved flexibility and relaxation. Other forms of yoga such as Karma yoga, Raja yoga, Gyan yoga, Bhakti yoga, Mantra yoga, Tantra yoga etc. emphasize one aspect or principles to reach its destination or fulfill the purpose for which one undertakes yogic practices. 

Spirituality is spontaneity and equanimity that allows attention to be aware of the now-here state, it usually cannot be taught but rather to be sought. It is primarily subjective in its approach; physical health is secondary. Spirituality focuses on self-transformation to understand and experience the oneness between visible and invisible, form and formless, change and changeless, gross and subtle, manifest and unmanifest, natural and spiritual aspects of existence.  

The motivation of the mind behind practicing yoga or adopting yogic lifestyle is the most important factor for yoga practitioner. If one nurtures only one aspect i.e., objective part of yoga and do not include subjective part i.e., spirituality then result will be limited or unfulfilled. Holistic yog meets both the requirements in its holistic (body-mind-soul as a whole) approach. 

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Is Human Suffering Real?

Three kinds of suffering human beings generally suffer. Adi-bhoutik, as physical and mental diseases, accidents; Adi-daibik, as natural calamities and Adhyatmic, as delusion or ignorance of our real nature. Suffering is tangible through physical pain born out of diseases, mental agony born out of various mental-emotional imbalances, Spiritual unrest born out of not having peace and purpose in life. 

Modern medical scientist is successfully addressing the cause of physical pain in most of the cases and trying to remove the suffering and psychiatrist, psychological counselor also trying to remove it from psycho-emotional plane and spiritual leaders are trying to remove suffering of spiritual nature. With all available human endeavor, is it not a fact that we are yet to conquer suffering of various nature? 

Though anesthesia, pain killer and many kinds of other modalities such as temperature, pressure, stimulation etc. reduce physical pain sensation; sedatives, psycho-inhibitor drugs reduce restlessness and various methods of meditation address spiritual imbalances, still we find hardly few individuals depart from this earth with a healthy body and mind without suffering. The majority of mankind fall as a rotten fruit rather ripe one. 

We know that during sleep or dream, we don’t feel any pain rather in waking state only, we suffer. So, the question arises who suffers in the waking state? Which part of ‘I’ really suffers? In sleep state suffering vanishes and in dream state though suffering seems real during dream but on waking it becomes false. How can body suffer, as it can be said that my hand is paining but can hand say, my hand is paining?  

So, neither body feels pain nor consciousness feels pain. And thus, conditioning of the mind that identifies with the body or consciousness separately through some psycho- neuro-pathological process, gives rise to pain sensation. In samadhi experience also, when one goes beyond the identification of the body and mind, one does not feel any pain or suffering. Henceforth, human suffering is conditioned by the so-called mind upon its superimposition as real self on deluded self.

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Factor that interferes with the desired result of a yoga practitioner.

 

Every yoga practitioner pursues yoga practices to achieve physical fitness, psychological peace and spiritual bliss or realization while choosing one as per time, temperament and tendencies among various available methods. Prevalent proverb says, ‘practice makes a man perfect’ or ‘an ounce of practice is priceless preference than tons of theory or philosophy’. Thus, one must put the procedure rightly into practice with patience and perseverance. 

 But can anyone assess or judge how, when, where and what intensity, interest and attention one is putting rightly or truly while practicing. One might get demoralized after several abortive efforts and procrastinate, postpone or cease to practice if the result or success is not visible or experienced in due course of time.  Yet, one must understand that knowing, doing or desiring is in our hands but the result is not within our reach like a plant that can be nurtured by watering, fertilizing, weeding and fencing but cannot be stretched to bear fruit forcibly. 

Moreover, if one is rationalizing or expecting about result in future and pondering about past memory or experience, then mind will not be fully attentive or focused on the present performance and therefore, will lack the potency to produce desired result. We are so conditioned with conceptual knowledge or memory that success should shoot as per preconceived ideas or theories that may be the main cause of delay or deter desired result. 

In the material field, we know that every action produces equal and opposite reaction. In the mental realm, every effect relates to a definite cause. Also, we know that one may get stressed in one event or work at one time and not at another time while others may not. Thus, it is very difficult to find out the exact or definite cause of any effect. So, results cannot be obtained scientifically for every individual with practicing the same method. 

Results are obtained instantly or spontaneously with the feelings of satisfaction and in fact, everything is really happening in this present moment perpetually, but the mind is delusively thinking as per own conditioned expectation while relating to previous relative experience. Hindrances, obstacles, barriers or blocks are like failure is the pillar of success, or result is the report of effort. If one looks at it as a process and not divided into parts, then life will be balanced or peacefully flowing between both positive and negative aspects. 

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God-Guru-Grace-Gratitude

Throughout the ages of human race, the concept of God has been assumed as creator and savior from misfortune and human suffering. Over the period, Avatar and Gurus came as agent to disseminate different concept about God with different theories or philosophies about relationship between creator and its creation. Thus, followers or devotees came up following different religion in different region under spiritual leadership of different Gurus and their teachings. 

It is generally said that without God and Guru’s grace hardly any progress can be made with self-effort in spiritual realm. That indicate, God or Guru is having free will to shower grace to individual whimsically as they (personal God or deity in form, guru in physical body) feel. Can they be so partial? Definitely not. There is another concept of impersonal God without name and form and change, that is neutral, fundamental entity on which whole universe is manifested or created. 

It’s too abstruse to believe that nothing has created something. If nobody is there overhead, who will shower grace, like gravity attracts upward to downward or center. Thus, there is superstition or blind faith regarding grace. By the way, what is grace? A form of esoteric energy that can be induced in the way to success in desired field. We understand that without any cause there will be no effect, thus, without effort from individual part there will be no grace delivered. 

Also, we know water flows downward naturally. But if faced with obstruction it automatically changes its course of direction. Of course, vessels with holes cannot retain water. Thus, grace is here, there and everywhere, within and without. One must be eligible, elevate, purify, tune or leakproof oneself to sustain grace that automatically flows with one’s own experience, gratitude and humility. God or Guru has nothing to bestow grace to devotee or disciple in first place. 

Many devotees believe or has conditioned ideas like God or Guru ‘krupa hi kebalam’. Thus, there attention is mostly on the objective part of grace, rather than subjective purification through various means or methods, such as puja, prarthana, japa, yog and dhyana etc. And we see, though lakhs of followers are following or practicing the laid down Guru’s principles, rites and rituals, yet many of us seems to be stagnant and dissatisfied about spiritual progress towards enlightenment.  

So, inner flowering (manifestation of samskaras those are acquired from previous births) and self-effort both approaches should be balanced and synchronized or attuned in a holistic manner thus, grace happens or flows on its own. Gratitude develops spontaneously along with humility while understanding ego and identification with personal part of doing or effort. Finally, it is understood and experienced as Spirit and Nature is not doing anything, everything is happening as it is, without rationalizations about grace or gravity.  

  

 

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Is there a specific purpose of human life?

This question is asked by truth seekers and many others from the beginning since ages together. It is answered or explained from various angles.  

Famous Psychologist Maslow enumerates pyramidical hierarchy of needs, 1. basic physiological needs 2. safety needs 3. love and belongings need 4. self-esteem needs 5. self-actualization. 

In Hindu shastra it is said, there is three ever deepening evolutionary purpose that culminates in living several human lives together. First, physical/ sensual gratification or objective pleasure; second, removing sorrow and suffering thus moving into joyful living; third, moksha or liberation from birth-death cycle while blissful living. Many believes other worldly or heavenly happiness after death as per karmic fruit also. 

In another interpretation, it is explained as obtaining seven Sukhas that culminates to Mahasukh. Those are 1. su-sasthya 2. su-samparka 3. su-sampatti 4. su-santan 5. su-samman 6.su-sanskari nara-nari 7. swadeshe basabaskari; and finally, mahasukh that is ‘samadhi’ experience. These can be further explained in objective and subjective/ holistic mode. 1. Su-sasthya is not only absence of physical disease but integrated wellbeing of physical-mental-emotional-social aspects of life. 2. Su-samparka that not only extol self-esteem but also includes amiable relationship in shanta-dasya-sakhya-batsalya-madhur, different types of bhabas  3. Su sampatti is not accumulation of just meterial property or prosperity but includes sat-sampatti I.e., sam-dam-tittiksa-uparati-sraddha-samadhan 4. Su-santan is not just good looking and lamp some earning ward rather disciplined and values inculcating human being 5. su-samman includes Self-respect or atma samman along with social respect etc. Etc. 

From another angle, purpose can be explained as roti-kapra-makan, sukh-sammriddhi-samman, shanti-swatantrata-samadhan, prem-ananda-nirban I.e., physical, mental-intellectual, emotional-soul and spiritual aspects of evolutionary objective to subjective fulfilment of human living. 

Finally, the purpose of human life can be said as purposeless purpose, or just living in the now and here mode while accepting or surrendering or witnessing and becoming aware of whatever is happening in life at perpetual present like blood circulating, breathing from birth to death. In this concept, all human beings and nature are participating in a cosmic drama, dream, play or game that is going on without any motive and we must return to the source of nameless, formless, changeless spiritual entity ultimately completing unevolutionary/ evolutionary cycle, or must discover the director essentially realizing self or experiencing essential spiritual/ cosmic unity within and without. 

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Are we educating our children in present system?

Recently the Central Government has changed the education policy in which any student can opt or choose any subject from any stream. But the question is, are we just qualifying the students or educating them? It is said that no student can be taught unless s/he wants to learn, thus, a teacher cannot teach a student, s/he can help a student to learn. 

In the present education system, students of different IQ or intellectual capability must go through same syllabus and subjected to scoring and competing for qualifying themselves in earning high currency job. On the other hand, the education system should also provide character building, human values developing content that is to be inculcated rather imposed through value education theoretical curriculum. How to address these two conflicting approaches? 

First, there should be grade giving extra-curricular activities that are chosen from various disciplines by students such as sports (indoor and outdoor), arts (painting, acting or anything that is willingly chosen), instrumental or vocal music and silent non methodical meditation etc. 

Second, teaching procedure should include doubt clearing Q and A session daily rather examining at the end of semester. Students should be encouraged to develop a willingness to learn rather than be bombarded with lectures, topic after topic, while completing the syllabus. 

Third, there should be time to contemplate before and after the lecture to avoid last moment mugging up and vomiting in the examination. 

Fourth, teachers should give marks for the behavior of the students in which average marks can be added to prepare for final grade. 

Of course, there will be impediments in implementing these ideas in prevalent system, yet policy makers should widely discuss and debate to develop an integrated curricula that includes self-developmental process along with social or objective development.  

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happy new year vs happy now here

we celebrate new year with party, picnic, pantry, pastry etc. Time bound mind get motivated by past experience or history and future expectation or imagination. Yearly once we commemorate the day in various religious-cultural calendar of the first day of the first month of a year and mostly forget its significance rest days of the year just as birthday and any other specific days like valentine day, father/mother day etc.
On the other hand, happy now here state that is a continuous reality of existence as we live now and here physically but mentally move here and there, in past and future. It is the deluded state of mind identifying with the objective world with its continuous natural change. When we will be able to silent the mind through meditation we will wisely access our consciousness that eternally exists without the concept of past and future in the mind. Most of the suffering of human being starts with the mind and end with the mind. Deidentifying with the mind with the time brings a state of mind that lives in present moment removing suffering with a conditioning and comparison. So let us merge or synthesize both concept of ‘happy new year’ , relativity and ‘happy now here’, reality, for most purposeful living.
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freedom or independence day celebration

We are celebrating Independence Day every year. Why, just because we are able to protect our territory since British ruler has been uprooted and we can govern our country ourselves. Isn’t it? Or freedom is our birthright and we want to be free from anything that put obstacles in living our lives of our own wish and will. There are financial freedom, freedom of speech or expression, freedom of livelihood and learning and so on. We don’t want to be dependent to anything and anybody. Nobody should dictate or discipline us in our choice of independent living.
But in reality, we find we are mostly dependent to everything and everybody on the way of our self/ social livelihood. We become dependent to drug, doctor and diet on the way to a healthy living, dependent to police and politician to protect us, dependent to our dogmas and doctrines, conditioned to religious concept or ideas, and so on.
Actually, in true sense freedom is our essential nature. Freedom or swadhinata, means, swa adhinata or nija adhinata. It is freedom from our own mind, keeping or managing mind under our own conscious control. But mostly it is seen that we are living under stress, anxiety, tension, depression, delusion, frustration, ignorance, anger, greed, fear, uncontrolled desire, relationship issues and concerns and crazy about hoarding money due to insecurity and uncertainty and moreover dependency to many other abnormal or negative propensities of mind that put our lives in a critical bonded situation.
It is said that, our conscious mind works approximately 0 to 10 % according to dull or intelligent brain and a vast area beyond conscious (90% or more) perception is lying unconscious. Unconsciousness can be individual and collective. It can be below conscious perception that can be termed as subconscious or cosmic unconscious individually or collectively. Similarly, above conscious perception can be termed as super conscious or cosmic conscious individually or collectively.
Whatever conscious perception, thought and action is done again and again individually or collectively (socially) goes or buried to beyond conscious level or stays in unconscious state. Thus, unconscious area that is more than 90% in the form of habit, attitude, personality, destiny, sanskar etc. becomes more powerful and guides the conscious mind from behind. So unless one expands the conscious area or become aware of more unconscious part, true meaning of freedom cannot be explored. Through yoga and meditation one can become more and more conscious about unconsciousness and celebrate the real freedom or Independence Day.

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science vs spirituality

Science has evolved much during past 3/4 centuries and invented many formulae that explain the inter-connectivity and interchange-ability of matter especially through the laws of conservation of mass and energy and within these changes or variable something is constant.
On the other hand, spirituality views matter and energy is the by product of consciousness that cannot be quantified or experimented in laboratory set up through delicate instrument. It is to be experienced by self within, while going beyond or arresting mental, intellectual and physical activities.
Science wants to explain universe or even spirituality, with its acquired knowledge since its inception through mechanistic model in which matter is the element of creation. It is searching God particle like thing, the basic construct, from which the universe or nature has come out or manifested.
Spirituality says, there is no two or more substances exist as such, everything or universal entirety is one entity within eternity whatever name or form is assumed as matter, energy, consciousness, God, Brahma, Deities, nature etc. Truth is divided into two parts, absolute truth and relative truth. In absolute truth, existence is void, still, invisible, unchangeable, beyond sensory or intellectual grasp and in relative truth concept; universe is visible, changing constantly and cyclically, marked with name and form, visible through sensory or delicate instruments.
Science is progressing with tremendous speed inventing new things or theories and creating more comforts and conveniences in human lives. At the same time, it is causing harm to nature in turn humanity beyond repair through its misuse, abuse or overuse in applying these laws.
Spirituality is slower in progress and is self transforming in the essential process of life. Moreover, science and spirituality are not two separate subjects as we generally understand. Science is objectively or outwardly developing and spirituality is subjective or inwardly moving in its discovery as far as intellectual understanding is concerned. All our knowledge, understanding and experience about life and universe is changing time to time through scientific, religious, philosophical or spiritual language, mathematical or intellectual. But one void entity beyond name and form, time and space is witnessing these changes, existing eternally while watching these visible and invisible cyclical change or movement.