India interpreted spirituality in many ways. The idea “spirituality” defies words yet man has written and spoken in an unbroken stream of collective consciousness for many thousands of years. The idea of a mystical power as Creator, Controller, and Destroyer in creation is very old. Almost every civilization created its own systems of inquiry and knowledge to grapple with nagging questions like “Who am I? What is this? What is my role and relationship to this inexplicable phenomenon called Existence?” Ancient civilisations worshipped Nature in all its manifestations like wind, water, fire, earth, rain, lightning, the Sun and the Moon. Invoking their blessings and propitiating them through libations, songs and dances were the common features as evinced from ancient rock-paintings, carvings, scrolls and oral traditions.
As human brain expanded and thought processes became more focused, the relationship between the human body and cosmic elements became clearer and more comprehensible which gave us the popular Sanskrit adage, “Yatha Pinde Tatha Brahmande”, i.e., as the body is so is the universe. Everything contained in the cosmic system like the atoms, sub-atoms, particles, energy-vibrations are like the elongating magic mirror. In fact, whatever Quantum Physics has discovered is to be found in the mini-form of human body as if reflecting the mega-forms of cosmos.
In every age and phase of history certain ideas have to be reiterated viz., spirituality. Yoga is one such idea which has helped in understanding that and therefore has remained perennially fresh and useful to people of all ages, languages and cultures.
Dance is another idea which has roots in the beginning of time, when atoms began to form shapes and building blocks from which creation came into existence. Atoms in movement created a dance, a choreography which we call the Universe or Cosmos. But even then the choreography of movement was not without rhythm and direction.
What we now know as dance is but a reflection of such groupings and connections of points of energy, the praana-shakti, the cosmic breath.
Spirituality in India reflects these very ideas and principles of physical discipline combined with controlled and regulated breathing which is also inherent in Dance as understood and practised since ancient times in India.
It is only recently that arts and science have emerged as disciplines, which continue to have strong spiritual association. Spiritual harmony alone creates balance and beauty, which in turn makes for a blissful life.
In recent times, the word spirituality is used in the context of yoga, meditation, etc. It has been grossly misused as well. Whereas ‘spiritual’ should simply mean forming positive thoughts translated into action which in turn generates spiritual vibrations which are felt by others in the presence of such person because of the inner harmony and transcendence of the spirit of that person.
Spirituality cannot be made, grasped, touched, held, eaten or drunk. It is a life transforming experience and can happen at any moment. That moment can be result of Guru’s grace or the outcome of Sadhana or the result of good Karma accumulated through previous births.
That blissful state of grace is spirituality where an overwhelming flow of love engulfs all and everything.