The spiritual journey is individual, highly personal. It can’t be organized or regulated. It isn’t true that everybody should follow one path. Listen to your own truth. Ram Dass.
When I got this quote in my Good Morning mail from a very dear friend, I felt good. But then Spirituality is not for the weak and the lazy. It is a structured science which requires effort and discipline. It is not that you will sit in one corner contemplating and suddenly you will be illumined. It requires an inclination and I repeat EFFORT. Here is a simple way to help one in the spiritual path. Haven’t you learned A…B…C…D.. in school? Similarly there is an ABCD in spirituality too
A: A stands for association. Haven’t you heard a man is known by the company he keeps and that the Birds of the same feather flock together. Similarly it is essential that you associate yourself with people of similar taste. Staying with such a group helps you in being steadfast and march towards your goal.
B:B is for Books. yes, we have all been encouraged to read books. Reading is good to increase knowledge and vocabulary. Here Books means scriptures like Vedas, Puranas, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagvada Gita, Bhagvatham. The books which will satisfy your spiritual quest and aid you in your spiritual path.
C: C is for chanting. Every Yuga has a definite Yuga Dharma. For Sat yuga it was meditating. Life span of a human used to be around 1000000 years and people could spend ample time in meditation. For Treta the Yuga Dharma was Yajna. A lot of sacrifices were made. The average life span was around 10000 years and so yajnas were performed for hundreds of years. In Dwapara life span reduced to only 1000 years and during this yuga the dharma was to build temples and maintain them. The daily routine of people revolved around temples. When it comes to Kali; the life span is only 100 years and so we have a short cut formula. Just chant
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
and make your life sublime hara or Hare means the divine energy, the pleasure potency of the Lord- Srimati Radharani Krishna is the Lord and the word means ‘all attractive’ Rama is another name of Lord and means reservoir of eternal pleasure So this maha mantra means
O all attractive, all pleasing Lord, o energy of Lord, please engage me in your loving devotional service.
So when we chant we beg for devotional service and connect in that way directly to the Lord.
D;D is for devotional service. It can be as simple as eating Krishna prasad or as dificult as composing beautiful prayers praising the Lord. Navamedh Bhakti or the nine processes of bhakti outlines nine ways to approach the Lord. You can understand more about this in this story.
Let these ABCDs be the starting points of your spiritual journey. Hope you enjoyed this post.