Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Spirituality: A Panacea for the Growth of the Nation -Professor Dr. Ravindra Kumar

Spirituality, a term for the journey from being to becoming has been derived from the word spiritual, which in turn, is derived from the word spirit. In Indian terms it is the Adhyatmikta from Adhyatmic and basically from the Atmik. It signifies in general to remain active as per the call of the soul [आत्मा]. The soul [आत्मा] represents the existence of the Supreme [परमात्मा] in each and every living being. Therefore, it is a clarion call for righteous acts [शुभकर्म], which is in reality the path of the Dharma [धर्म] to make finally life of an individual worthy and meaningful on one hand and on the other, to head towards the proper conduction of the system up to the global and universal level. It is for this reason that in the Atharvaveda it appears that this world is upheld by the Dharma [धर्म], “Prithiviim Dharmanaa Dhritaam.”
Hence, spirituality is not just an idea. Neither it is an imaginary, nor, a small article, nor it is limited in its scope, and nor a subject of narrow thinking. It is also not confined to a particular region or a religion, or to any religious custom, ritual or tradition.
Contrary to it, spirituality, due to its emphasis on making righteous acts the basis of day-to-day practices and taking Shubh Karman [शुभकर्म] as the foremost and necessary duty of life, emerges as an enormous subject of continuous practice. Further, due to its all-inclusive scope and comprehensive and all-welfaristic approach, it surfaces as an inevitable and universal essentiality to pave the way to rise and prosperity of one and all. In this regard, to quote a Vedic prayer seeking universal happiness, peace and prosperity of all is fairly appropriate here:
“May all be happy! May all remain free from disabilities! May all see auspicious things! May none suffer sorrows!
Thus, importance of spirituality in life could be comprehended from the basic spirit in the root of the word itself, from its all-embracing and macroscopic approach, and more from its insistence on making virtuous acts an essential part of general individual behaviour.  
The Shrimadbhagavad-Gita [श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता], a distinctive Vedic-Hindu treatise, beautifully explains the importance and role of Karma [कर्म] in life. The Gita [गीता], while declaring Karma [कर्म] to be natural, stresses on making it upright. Further, the Gita [गीता] urges for self-less or desireless action [निष्कामकर्म], an action performed without any expectation of fruit, or result and also without attachment, and keeping firmly in mind the welfare of each and everyone, and for this to be ready always even to make the highest sacrifice.
This is the way to rise individually in all manners and to accord growth or prosperity to a nation that is made of individuals. The Karmas [कर्म] of individuals are entirely responsible for the development of a society, a country, or a nation. If they are filled with spirituality as explained above in brief while having the message of the Gita [गीता] as the nucleus, and if they make the approach of welfare of one and all the foremost of their practices and show readiness to sacrifice, the rise of the nation is certain. Such is the worth of spirituality.
In this regard, the utmost need is to understand the meaning and objective of spirituality, and its significance in life of an individual as well as a nation. Further, it is to be comprehended that spirituality brings one to overcome the state of narrow-mindedness, self-interest and all kinds of false vanities. Spirituality leads one to realize his inner strength. It inspires him to self-purification and to dedicate himself to the cause of humanity –welfare of each and everyone, and thus to make life meaningful. The followings Shloka [श्लोक] from the Shrimadbhagavad-Gita [श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता:5:15] is worth mentioning here: 
“Nirmaanamohaa Jitasangadoshaa
Adhyaatmanityaa Vinivrittakaamaah/
Dwandvairvimuktaah Sukhaduhkhasangyer
Gachchhantyamuudhaah Padamavyayam Tat//”
[One who is free from illusion, false prestige, and false association, who understands the eternal, who is done with material lust and is freed from the duality of happiness and distress, and who knows how to surrender unto the Supreme, attains to that eternal kingdom]
Thus, spirituality is a vital subject of life. It has undoubtedly its own importance in the growth of a nation on the basis of righteous acts of individuals. Spirituality is not momentary or a subject of particular occasions. It is rather all-timely, and its role in the rise or progress of a country cannot be minimized. Spirituality is not a matter of superficial preaching, but a habit and a school of thought to keep the mind awakened and progressive and peace-seeking in approach.

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