“He who is satisfied with wisdom and direct vision of truth, who conquered the senses and is ever undisturbed, to whom a lamp of Earth, a stone and gold are the same, that one is said, to be a saint of established wisdom”.
There are something we cannot speak of simply because we do not know enough about them. And there are other things which we feel, we are very familiar with, and unable to give a satisfactory account.
As such How do I distinguish, whether householder’s life is obstacle in spirituality.
The conservative is one who believes that every spiritual text, every spiritual practice, has only one meaning and that he knows.
The liberal is one who believes that what meaning there is depends on how he will interpret it;
Some thinker feel much of confusion in between these two subjects/topics, which is their ignorance about each other view point and their failure to appreciate them.
So let I start, where my view point leads up to;
First of all we need to know what is Marriage and what Spirituality is?
Marriage: it is a worthwhile waiting for the right love and right person, moreover means: making a happy home and founding a family. Some spiritual scholar says; Keep away from those who take wife/woman to be an object of sex only.
Some people think it is a form of bondage and once married there is little chance of making any progress in spiritual life, But in Hindu tradition, marriage is regarded as sacred. Most of Gods are married, and so are the avatars or divine incarnation. If married life were wholesome and unholy, the ancient sages would have said this.
Hinduism does not look upon married life as bad, but it imposes certain restrictions, for leading spiritual life. In married life who so ever wants to lead an intense spiritual life should first reduce the dominance of sex. Those who led a pure life of an early age will find the problem easier, as sex and marriage life it is like an ice-berg, just which is seen outside.
Few people can face this great challenge that the control of sex offers. But unless one fully meets it, there can be no spiritual life. One need tremendous girt, an iron will for this. If an ordinary man gets a peep into the mind of a true spiritual aspirant whether celibate or married, he will be frightened away, because it is like the interior of a blast furnace where pure metal is constantly separated from the ore.
Sri Ramakrishna says: “Rain is no doubt good, and Earth is also good, yet when mingled they form mud which is not good. Similarly though the hands of men and women are both good, yet great evil may arise in thoughts and affection if they are carelessly brought together.
Hindu scriptures have laid down the certain rules and riders. For example, householder aspirant for leading spiritual life, first has to give up his ego and has to surrender his life, mind and intellect to God and has nothing to call his own, moreover hardship, rigorous discipline and long meditation is also required. He or she should curtail some worldly aspirations, if he wants to lead a perfect spiritual life. Sri Ramakrishna’s teaching taught, to live unattached in the world “like the maid servant in the house of a rich person, or like a mud fish”.
Once a sub judge ; a devotee of Sri Ramakrishna asked: “Must we householders renounce the world for leading a spiritual life”.
Master: “No why should you? A man can realize God in the world, but at the beginning he must spend a few days in solitude. He must practice spiritual discipline in a solitary place. He should take a room near his house, so that he may come home only for his meals.
Sri Ramakrishna says, married person must look upon all women other than his own wife as his mother. Even, he used to say that after the birth of one or two children husband and wife should live like a brother and sister. But in order to attain this self control, both husband and wife should struggle for it right from the beginning. They should also exercise great self control if they are serious about spiritual life. They should try to look upon themselves in a different and truer way. Say to them self again and again, I am not a man, I am not a woman, I am not the body. I am not the self. I am infinite consciousness and bliss, not limited by any attributes. I am sexless etc.
Family holder should bear in mind that those who really and truly follow the spiritual path, be less ego centric and more selfless, kind and considerate towards others. They have to be givers and not beggars.
Let us comes now on the other side of the subject i.e. “spirituality”: It may be difficult to define spirituality. In my view, spirituality is what a man is, how he behaves with others, what sort of life he lives, what is his attitude towards life and so on. Spirituality is the richness, acquired through years of struggle, which gives a man power, a dignity, which nothing else- no wealth, no scholarship, no office-can give. Some sages said those who want to lead an exclusively spiritual life will find lifelong celibacy as an absolute necessity. Sri Ramakrishna told his two disciples that marriage is the root of all bondage for exclusively leading a spiritual life. All great prophets have been unanimous about this fact, but worldly people are always so anxious to do something for God’s creation, as if God needed their help. All this is hypocrisy- and cant. God does not need anybody to help Him in His creation.
Spiritual life is meant only for the strong. However, by strength we mean not only physical strength, but also mental strength and spiritual strength. The true devotees of God do not pray for wealth or material benefits. The spiritual people do not even pray for the removal of suffering. He prays for strength to bear his suffering, moreover what matters most in spirituality as my Maharaj ji tells me that we need not the beauty of physical form , but the beauty of mind, harmony of the mind, we need inner beauty, moral beauty.
Exclusively spiritual person, need to give up the idea that I’m a man then the woman vanishes too. Think. I am the self. Early in the morning, spiritual person think about Atman, in the night before going to bed think deeply about Atman, always fill his mind with it. The concept of spiritual person depends upon his concept himself. If he looks upon to himself as a man, He cannot help looking upon woman as woman. But if he looks upon himself a star of light, then everyone else will just become another star in this wonderful firmament of God.
The great thinkers say that by spirituality, that unconscious mind, slowly changes. It is like a fertile field: Whatever idea you plant, there will immediately stike roots and grow. If you plant good thoughts there, they will grow gradually. You will find your inner resistance to spiritual life less and less. The very mind that was once against you now become beneficial to you. Spirituality never allows us to feel that “life is a failure, it stresses that it is a Lamp post, Travellers pass and find their path revealed”.
Spirituality awakens person, “Help and Heals ” Hence the corex of the subject matter is that both the aspect are necessary for a man’s spiritual growth, and it is possible to combine them in one and the same person, may be varying proportions, so no one need not csssondemn or comment upon the other’s conduct.
Swami Vivekananda ji rightly said:
“A man must have not only faith, but intellectual faith too”.
(The author is a devotee of Ramakrishna mission centre Jammu.)