At some point in your life, you would have paused to question yourself – Who am I? What am I doing with this life? What is the purpose of my existence? Is this all there is to life? Life, as it turns out, is a spiritual journey. A journey to find who we are, why we are born, and how to achieve our life’s purpose. Here is how you can start your spiritual journey…
Start your Spiritual Journey by understanding ‘why we do what we do’
What is the one thing that you would always want? Happiness, isn’t it? Every living being, from the smallest insect to the more evolved human being, is constantly in the quest for the supreme quality of happiness. However, most people would agree that happiness seems momentary, no matter how great it is. While sadness, no matter how minuscule it is, seems to engulf your life. Through spiritual research, we have found that an average person experiences happiness about 25% of their life, while the rest is unhappiness.
Now imagine happiness that is everlasting! That is called Anand (Bliss).
Schools and universities do not teach how to acquire this Bliss. And since most people do not know how to achieve it, they try to acquire happiness through various hobbies and activities. The happiness you experience through your five senses, mind, and intellect is temporary. But you can learn how to achieve everlasting Bliss. The science that teaches us how to acquire Bliss is termed the Science of Spirituality. By complementing our everyday activities with spirituality, we can achieve this Bliss.
Practical tips to start your Spiritual Journey
Now that you know there is a way to escape the cycle of sorrow and happiness and achieve everlasting bliss, it is the right time to take the first step in your spiritual journey.
The first and simplest step is to keep your mind engaged. How often do you find yourself wallowing in self-pity? Thinking for hours about all that has gone wrong? So instead of dwelling on the negative, focus on the positive. Read on to learn how…
Chanting is the best spiritual practice for Kaliyug
We generally find that the proportion of sorrow we experience is greater than that of happiness. Namajapa (Chanting God’s Name) imparts the ability to endure sorrow. God is ‘SatChitAnand’, where Anand is Bliss. Hence, continuously chanting God’s Name makes our life blissful. So chanting is the best spiritual practice prescribed for Kaliyug (Era of strife) by Saints. So chanting is going to be the first step on your spiritual journey!
Why should I chant if I am already doing puja-paath (ritualistic worship)?
Yajna (Ritual of sacrificial fires), Daan (An offering), Snaan (Ritualistic bath), Mantrajapa (Chanting a mantra), etc., can be done only during auspicious times; however, Namajapa (chanting) is not bound by the restrictions of place and time, purity and impurity (which is normally required for puja, religious worship or related to a birth or death in the family), etc. So while ritualistic worship is good, to be communion with God at all times, it is advisable to chant the name of God!
Where and When to chant ?
You may be thinking now, how do I allot time for chanting in my already busy schedule! Saint Bhaktaraj Maharaj (Sachchidananda Parabrahman Dr Athavale’s Guru) has this answer –
What should you chant ?
Depending on your faith, there may be one to many names that God is known by. Naturally you get the question as to what Name of God you should be chanting. The following analogy may help clear things. There are thousands of different medicines available today. Suppose you know a few of them and how they work, does it mean that you keep taking the same medicine for all your problems? While you are familiar with some of them, only a learned medical practitioner can prescribe the correct medicine for your problems. Similarly, when it comes to chanting, it is important that you chant the name that is conducive to your progress on this spiritual journey.
A. Name imparted by the Guru
We can not understand which Name is best suited for our spiritual progress. Only the Guru is capable of guiding on this. Chanting the Name of our favourite Deity involves at least some amount of ego. On the other hand, ego is less while chanting the Name given by the Guru.
B. Chanting the Name of Kuladevata
If we do not come across a true Guru who can tell us which ‘Name’ to chant, then we should chant the Name of the Kuladevata, meaning the Name of the Kuladev or the Kuladevi (one’s family Deity). Chanting the Name of the Kuladevata and worship is essential for a seeker who is taking the first step on their spiritual journey.
But why chant the name of the family Deity?
God chooses each individual to be born in a kula (particular family) whose family Deity the person needs to worship to progress spiritually. Worship of the family Deity also alleviates the intensity of the destiny that accompanies each person. Due to these two main reasons, one should give preference to worship of the Kuladevata (family Deity). In due course of time, you will be blessed by your Guru who will then guide you further.
C. Chanting Shri Gurudev Datta for your departed ancestors
In today’s times, since most people do not perform final rites, shraddha paksha (these are special rites performed for providing momentum to the departed ancestors), etc., they could face distress from the dissatisfied deceased ancestors. Chanting ‘Shri Gurudev Datta’ accords protection from the dissatisfied ancestors while also providing them momentum to progress in their afterlife.
Importance of personality defect removal for spiritual progress
Generally personality defects such as anger, irritability, laziness, forgetfulness etc. are commonly visible in all, while their intensities may vary. A person with personality defects can never merge with God. Personality defects also harm our spiritual practice. Another disadvantage of personality defects is that they facilitate the entry and prolonged stay of negative energies in a person. This is precisely why each of us should make conscious efforts to overcome personality defects.
Ego is a major obstacle in your spiritual journey
A person with even a fraction of ego cannot realise God. Hence, while performing spiritual practice we have to make wilful efforts to dissolve the ego. Acts like praying, expressing gratitude, physical seva etc. help in reducing the ego.
The swiftest path to God-realisation
Spiritual practice alone can give us the strength to face sorrows in life bravely along with the experience of everlasting Anand (Bliss). Spiritual practice means efforts made for God-realisation. Spiritual practice undertaken for attaining the blessings of the Guru and His continual grace is called ‘Spiritual practice according to Path of Guru’s grace’ (Gurukrupayoga).
Seekers who have practised Spirituality through various paths for several years and not progressed beyond a particular spiritual level yearn to attain the Guru’s grace. On the other hand seekers who have made spiritual progress by the grace of the Guru get spiritual experiences to prove the absolute supremacy of this path.
To learn about Gurukrupayoga, read our book – Spiritual practice according to the Path of Guru’s grace
Join the Online Satsang
The Sadhana Samvad satsang is your gateway to a blissful life. Participate in the Sadhana Samvad satsang to learn how to lead a blissful life and progress spiritually. Please fill below form to join our Satsangs on Spirituality after attending the Orientation Satsangs.
You can share your experiences and learnings from your spiritual journey and learn the underlying spiritual reasons.
We encourage you to ask questions about spiritual practice that will help you grow in your spiritual practice.
The orientation satsang will be held every Sunday on Google meet at a convenient time.
After you have attended the orientation satsang, we will invite you to our weekly satsangs, where you will receive regular and personal guidance for rapid spiritual progress. These satsangs are the key to unlocking a blissful life.
Why attend Sanatan’s Satsangs ?
- Personal temperament based guidance to grow spiritually.
- Guidance on spiritual healing to alleviate the spiritual root cause of various problems in life.
- Clarification of doubts about Spirituality and spiritual practice.
Note : If you are already in touch with Sanatan Sanstha, you need not register for the Orientation Satsang.
The orientation satsang is available in English, Hindi, Marathi and Kannada. You are welcome to register for the satsang in a language of your choice.