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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Spiritual growth

Satish Kumar, Hindustan Times

Relaxing in the precincts of my house recently, I was pondering over the part of life gone. Age has withered my physique, perhaps in the right proportion as I am nearing 70. And then I asked myself: "What is the purpose of living? Is it merely eating, sleeping and perpetuating one's progeny?"

But that is what even animals too do. Then how are we different from the animals? Can't we, gifted with higher intelligence, do things different and better?

In childhood, one plays around and pursues studies till or a little after teenage. Then job hunting begins. After getting a job, one marries and settles down in life and strives to find happiness generally by maintaining a family in a proper way. Gradually, age catches up with everybody. And in old age, parents have to survive mainly on savings or depend on their children.

Meanwhile, their children grow up and they too do the same things their parents did. This is how the world goes. I became remorseful as I started thinking that a whole life time has run out.

But I could get satisfaction from the realisation that there is a great purpose behind our living. The motto of life may be to realise God by practicing spirituality for attaining salvation. Self-realisation may be a precondition for that purpose.

Besides, service to humanity is one of the best ways to serve God. The inner self feels very satisfied when you help someone in need. Remember, by helping others you help yourself. Rather you feel grateful to that person because he gave you an opportunity to help him.

I would like to recall the story of a rich man who earned name and fame.

He had toured the world many times over. But he felt that he lacked something. Perhaps he feared that he might lose his own soul.

The moral is that a man can hardly be at peace with himself unless he grows in spirituality. That might require the urgency of the advice of a Guru or the reading and understanding of religious texts.

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