Why is this sudden demand to get enlightened? People from all walks of life are bitten by spirituality virus and there is so much talk about enlightenment, soul and seeking. Why is this sudden spurge in spiritual seekers? is it because they are very satisfied in life or fed up with the life problems? The world as it is today has reached the maximum potential in all fields. Be it communication or science and technology the advancement has offered this world so much comfort and ease of life. His chase for money and for comforts is so great that he is stressed out. What gives him a feeling that enlightenment would save him?
Ancient Rishis and saints took to sainthood due to their own suffering or of others. Buddha was a prince and seeing others suffer he wanted to be enlightened to find a relief from suffering. The mythological Hindu stories talk of how Lord Shiva comes and transforms even thief’s and murderers to turn towards him. Even Jesus suffered a lot to bring light to sinners. All religions and their sacred books preach enlightenment as man’s ultimate goal. But no one really cared until recently where it has become a fashion to talk about higher truths, follow some new-age sect and practice something which they feel and trust would take them to enlightenment.
Even youngsters are crazy about sacred divine dancing and following some Spiritual group. Seeing the demand the Guru’s have also opened shop and this is one of the leading and most profitable business in India and abroad. Westerns are attracted to these groups and fail to doubt their authenticity. Many such groups are run like small governments with state of the art infrastructure. Who are these people who follow blindly and become very staunch devotees? do they ever question what is being done inside the Ashrams? why do they behave as if they are very pure and good and show attitude towards others who dont come to their groups? why this holier than thou attitude?
I feel people who are insecure follow such groups as they want people around them and someone very powerful who can back them up. These people have not read any philosophical literature, nor have the guts to question something which might not be acceptable to normal social stigma. The people who belong to such groups are brainwashed to believe that staying together they are safe in an cruel insecure outside world.
I know a close relative of mine who was termed as a total failure in life become a top devotee to a famous guru. He left his family with his wife and only daughter lived amongst a group in a corridor did all the ashram work for no salary. Ate the limited food there and wasn’t even allowed to meet the family until they were assured that he is a 100% insider. His daughter was slowly brain washed to become a sanyasin and she shaved her head and wore ochre cloth. The threesome now have a very blank look and lack any form of expression nor humour. The smile is gone as they are always serious and talk very little.
Why should they leave home? Did he feel that he need not work or prove himself inside the ashram premises? wherever you go you must face life and reality. Everywhere you are expected to offer some service for the food and accommodation they provide. Why not do the same work and be contented with whatever you get and live a simple life outside. Many people find spirituality as an escape route from normal life which they cannot face or find it difficult to accomplish. What if cant earn a million? what if other people laugh at you? you be content and satisfied with what you are. That is true spirituality and just because you visit an ashram or do some service once a week or month, you are not surely going the enlightened way.
Just because you mediate or do some yogi sadhana does not make you special from others. True spirituality must bring humility and simplicity. The attitude towards life and other must be of love and kindness and compassion. I know of another group which restricts food and asks its followers to not communicate or relate to others who dont follow them. A young boy whom i know feels and thinks he is some great being, restricts his food and has become so thin. He has fainted and broken his ribs few times still he feels he should not eat well. He feels his own parents are sinners and don’t talk to them or do any work.
In this competitive world average humans do find it difficult to cope. But then escaping from life is not the solution. We are developing a new sect of spiritual seekers who will very soon stop all kinds of work and simply sit in the name of meditation hoping to be enlightened one day. Is enlightenment going to save them? What happens after that? How many have successfully reached there and how powerful is it going to be? What happens if you fail? will you be able to return to normal life and earn a living? What if suddenly you realize your Guru is a rough can you face the humiliation?
My friends brother was coned and brainwashed by a saintly couple and being the only son to his parents he left home and started serving them. He used to wash, cook, sweep and mop the floor. He was a computer engineer and the couple used him to bring in more western crowd and made him serve them too. The boys family tried to abduct him, talk him back to senses, gave police complaint but to no avail. He disappeared when the police came for enquiry and the saintly couple said there was no one inside and took them around the ashram. This happened for more than 12 years and one fine day the women saint committed suicide and the reason only She knows. No suicide note was found and no one was around in the ashram. The plight of this boy is unknown from then. Some say that he must have burnt have down and escaped knowing about her.
Be as you are, read a lot, think a lot more. Look around you nature can be the best Guru and nothing can match the lessons you learn from nature around you. Develop compassion, love and kindness. Help others in need and most of all be satisfied as you are, with what you have and how you live. Don’t compare with your neighbor or try to reach for the stars when you know your capacity and limit. Spend atleast 5 minutes in silence and mindfulness. Every breath you take in is the surrender of yourself to your inner self and every breath that goes out is a surrender to the almighty. Enlightenment can wait, and it will come as and when it should even if you don’t think or do anything to attain it.