Search of Self in Spirituality—
“Spirituality’’ is a word commonly used by the persons who are busy in search of eternal peace and pleasure. But being unknown about the real meaning of “Spirituality’’, most of persons get satisfied by assuming it in performing various functions like prayers, worship of God, by giving up the desires of senses, by reciting various “mantra” or by pilgrimage etc.
Actually the self-centric (the soul-centric) attitude or tendency is called “Spirituality”. This tendency gets developed in a person during the eagerly search of real peace and happiness after knowing the self- soul’s attributes, nature and power by engrossment in self or by self perception. This perception is full of eternal peace and pleasure. By this perception a person gets fully acquainted with complete nature and power of soul-the self. This experience is so unique that after this all of the joy or comfort felt by physical means or by enjoying the prosperity becomes meaningless for such persons. In result, eternal joy or pleasure is felt or believed the best-ever and the same is felt about its source- the soul (self).
In this way, the tendency or interest towards self-perception to enjoy the eternal peace and happiness again and again gets growing and life of such person becomes self-centric (tends to become self-centric) i.e. spiritual.
This article aims to know /show the nature and strength of soul which is experienced by spirituality.
The alphabets constituting the word “Spirituality’’ indicates about the principal attributes and characteristics of soul, which are mentioned here.
S—Soul, the Self
Soul’s nature is
P—Pure & Perceptible
R—Researchable & Recoverable within self
U—Understands & Understandable
A — Affection & Aversion free
L—Liquid in Nature [Acquires the shape as per body]
I—Intelligent [Differentiates between right & wrong, to be & not to be, useful & useless]
Y—Youthful, Young always
Soul-the self—-Soul is a substance which is a unique cause of life in a body. It has the power to exist, to know, to feel, to believe, to conduct, to change itself with permanency. It has the unique power to feel and show various emotions such as anger, greed, affection and aversion etc. It is not sensible by senses but may be felt/ seen by own insight.
Now it will be useful to have a detailed look on above stated characteristics of Soul—
1-Pure & Perceptible—-The soul is pure in nature with all its attributes or properties, free from all the ailments of worldly affaires, untouched and unmixed with other substances. As we see in nature, gold found from mines is always pure in nature, even lying with the huge quantity of mud and other elements. Because of this purity in nature of gold, by using the proper process of refining gold, it is recovered in the purest form. If gold is not pure in nature we can not get it in pure form. So is absolutely correct with the soul.
Soul is perceptible too. Some persons feel that this is not perceptible, but this is not true. The soul has a unique characteristic / power of knowledge and understanding. We all know that a living person is always able to know the surroundings and to experience but not a dead body. Things present in surroundings are other than soul, these are different in nature too, but by paying attention to them soul is capable to know /understand / experience them in proper way. In the same way, soul is definitely capable to experience the self by paying proper attention on self, in other words by concentrating the mind [free from all other worldly worries and thoughts] within self.
Soul is a knower, so it makes no difference that what is to be known, it may be other thing or the self. Will it not be strange that someone knows others but does not know about self? So soul is perceptible by self and within self.
2-Immortal—-It means existing always from infinite past to infinite future i.e. permanent existence, it means purity of nature too; because impurities are caused due to external means thus temporary in nature and so removable too. So soul is immortal by nature – pure and permanent, it can be neither created nor destroyed by anyone, whatever that may be. So there is no meaning of death and birth for soul. Death is simply giving up the old body after completing age, and birth is the start of new life in new body.
3-Researchable and Recoverable within self—-As we know that soul is a unique substance whose presence is accepted well in the world and it is a proven fact that each existing matter is always researchable and recoverable too. Research means to assure the presence of a matter and to know the properties of that and recovery means to obtain that in its natural form. There is only a need of right methodology according to the nature of matter to be searched and recovered. The soul is not knowable or perceptible by senses because it is not found in the external world.
Soul is full of knowing power. So to research and recover the soul- the self, there is a need of concentrating its own all knowing power on self within self by totally giving up the thoughts or ideas regarding external world or modifications within self [emotions of affection and aversion] and thoughts about particular characteristics of soul too. If some one succeeds to attain such concentration and sharp attention on self within self then he definitely experiences the presence and nature of soul, at the same time he also enjoys the spiritual peace and happiness. Soul’s research ends here. He now becomes like an ascetic.
To recover soul in pure natural form i.e. with full freedom from worldly worries, mesh of death and birth and ailments of affection and aversion; above stated process of self perception is repeated well again and again. This way soul’s power, purity and eternal pleasure gets increased and ailments of soul starts diminishing and ultimately soul attains the pure and perfect form of self- the state of omniscience – the godhood. In this state, soul gets all ailments diminished and gets its all attributes shining with full power and purity, thus experiences and enjoys the extreme spiritual pleasure and knowledge.
4-Individual—-Even soul is always found with body and within body in the world, which is a specific combination of micro particles of matter, inanimate in nature. But actually soul is always alone in its nature whatever may be the stage of life, may it be birth, death or the period of life. Soul is always untouched and unmixed with others, even with the body being different in nature, thus family and assets are far ahead from soul. This is always alone in its feelings of joy and sorrow while engrossed in the emotions of affection and aversion, anger and greed etc. Even in the state of deep meditation or experiencing the self, soul is alone. Other things or persons may be there with their all sympathy but unable to interfere. So soul is always alone or individual in nature, therefore collection of living or nonliving beings is all senseless and always left behind during the journey of world / next life.
5-Transparent—Soul is transparent in nature i.e. invisible and inaccessible by senses or high end technical instruments too. This is the only reason that a soul is invisible at the time of death giving up the old body and approaching the new one for new life in world. In view of such characteristic soul alone is never stoppable by any one of the obstacles in world during its journey.
6-Understands and Understandable—-This is the unique characteristic of soul. ‘Understands’ means to learn perfectly, it may be others or the self. Soul has the unique power of knowledge and this is used to understand the nature of substances present in the world, may be other or self too. Persons are habitual to understand about inanimate world by using senses but find unable to understand about self-the soul because senses have no power to sense the soul.
Actually in primary stage of learning about soul, study of spiritual literature and lectures is helpful, preaches & guides of spiritual personalities is a boon for this purpose. After getting the right and sufficient knowledge this way, by deep and detailed analysis and comparing with the experiences of self and others, one can well understand the existence, characteristics and nature of self- the soul. Thus soul is well understandable within self by self and for wellbeing of self. Then by deep concentration of mind and meditation one can perceive / experience the self-soul. Thus by perception the perfect understanding of soul takes place.
7-Affection and Aversion free— The soul being pure and immortal in nature, is always free from various ailments or defects like emotions of affection and aversion. Affection arises when a person desires a thing assuming it favorable or helpful for the perfection or benefit of self and aversion arises when a person wants to get rid of a thing assuming it harmful or unfavorable; thus both are dependent on the things other than pure and permanent nature of soul. Some times a person is engrossed in affection and some times in aversion and some times he is in the state of mental peace irrespective of both.
Thus affection and aversion are the emotions arising and vanishing but soul exists always, so soul must be free from all such emotions. One thing more, soul is pure, perfect, permanent and joyous in nature while these emotions are temporary, impure in nature being dependant on others, imperfect and are causes of sorrow. Again, emotions arise in a soul when it pays attention to the things other than its pure immortal nature and imagines them good or bad for self, some times a soul is also gets engrossed in emotions while thinking about its own thoughts and feelings regarding the modifications taking place in self or in others.
Thus being based on the temporary changes in self or others these are not the part of permanent nature of soul, even after arising in the self. Let us have an example, dust developing in a room or illness of a man is not the part of permanent nature of room or man and caused due to external means, same is the case of affection and aversion in a soul. Dust of room is cleanable and illness of a man is curable in full, but there must be decisive knowledge and faith regarding the dust free nature of room and healthy nature of body. Only then one can start the process of cleaning the room or treatment of the ill, this is also right for soul regarding the removal of affection and aversion. In this way, regarding the permanent nature soul is free from all emotions being based on external affairs, temporary in nature and cause of sorrow.
8-Liquid in nature—-In this world death and birth are common. At the time of death soul gives up the old body and gets in the new one. Old and new body is different in size but soul acquires the new one very easily and as well as the body expands or shrinks due to various reasons, soul well adjusts its shape and size as per body. So soul is liquid in nature.
9-Intelligent—-Soul is intelligent in nature, so soul is able to distinguish between dos and don’ts, right and wrong, helpful or harmful etc. It differentiates between various things or alternatives as per its goals of life to be achieved for own happiness applying the knowledge of their characteristics. Those goals may be worldly or spiritual in nature. Soul’s intelligence is so high that it is able to differentiate in between the pure and permanent nature of self and the temporary emotions of affection and aversion caused due to the attention on external matters. These emotions are causes of worldly worries and mesh of death and birth, so applying intelligence soul decides to get rid of it to achieve the real happiness i.e. the spiritual pleasure by concentrating its own attention within self. This is the process for wellbeing of self by self and for self, thus using the power of intelligence soul attains the state of self reliance, self perception and enjoys the real joy and happiness.
10-Truly Joyous—-The soul is joyous in nature, but this natural joy is different from the joy or happiness experienced by viewing, using or consuming various other things through senses by some one. Whole the world assumes that joy or happiness comes from the desired things while consumed through various senses or after achieving the desired goals. So all the creatures of world either that may be men, animals, tiny insects or others are engaged in developing, collecting and using the desired things or working hard for desired goals; but this assumption is not true. This is a well known fact that a thing or object suitable to one is unsuitable to other, so the same thing causes happiness to one and unhappiness to other depending upon the emotions of affection and aversion. Affection and aversion are not the part of immortal nature of soul.
Again, for a moment a thing causes happiness and after some time that turns out to be the cause of sorrow for the same person and he starts the use of next. So it proves that a consumable item or an achievable goal is not the true source of joy or sorrow. This joy and sorrow are same in nature because both depend on the things other than soul and on the performance & power of senses which are the parts of body. This joy is also not enjoyable for a long period being turned in sorrow after some time, thus this joy felt by using various things or objects, is not true in nature; this is unbelievable and temporary also.
But joy or happiness is felt within soul and by soul, so instead of external world the source of joy must be in soul. Do we not see the persons sitting alone and enjoying the full peace of mind or eternal pleasure using nothing? If there is no disturbance of mind due to rising of affection or aversion, that state of peace lasts for a long period. So, it is necessary for a person to keep the mind undisturbed, and it only happens when a person concentrates his attention towards his own soul reciting the supreme attributes or characteristics of soul and thus engrossed in self attaining the state of deep meditation. At this stage, self perception takes place and spiritual- eternal natural joy is experienced. If this process is repeatedly performed, full and final freedom from worldly worries may be attained by him, thus ailments or defects of soul like affection and aversion disappears for ever and enjoys the eternal- natural joy for ever.
11-Youthful [Young Always] —-Soul is always youthful or young i.e. highly energetic.
As we know that soul is immortal in nature, existing from infinite past to infinite future. This is also a well acceptable fact that an immortal substance must have infinite properties or characteristics necessary for the existence during such a long time and such each property must have infinite power, only then it will be able to exist and to perform its work as modifications in different circumstances at different times of such a long duration in this world. We know that each work needs power or energy for it’s happening, so each substance must have energy in itself to perform its work in the form of modifications freely without depending on others, thus without interference of others. This fact is absolutely correct for soul too being an individual substance. This infinite power of soul is infinite in quantity, so unending. Therefore soul is always energetic as youths, never gets tired as an aged person.
It is an axiomatic truth that soul is eternal, invincible, profound, imperishable, effulgent, self-sustained and it is perpetually moving in the search of universal road of everlasting joy.
So… Be Spiritual, Be Happy.