Former Vice Chancellor of CCS University, Meerut and Editor-in-Chief of Global Peace International Journal.
Spirituality is derived from the word spiritual. Spiritual originates from spirit –soul. Among the three –spirituality, spiritual and spirit - spiritual relates to accurate or righteous knowledge –Satyajnana. It is connected to the last one, i.e., spirit. It leads one to self-realisation. This subject has been beautifully defined in the third verse – Shloka of the Chapter Eight of the Gita. In this Shloka, the Lord says:
–Aksharam Brahma Paramam Svabhaavo’dhyaatmamuchyate”, i.e., “The Supreme indestructible entity is called Brahman. One’s own self is called adhyatma.”
Spirituality is in fact a noun which envelops the broad aspect of self-realisation, self-development and righteous knowledge.
What is self-realisation? It is to recognise and acknowledge the infinite capabilities and divinity of the soul in its real and splendid nature. It is to have identification with soul’s eternity. Endorsing this fact, the great Greek philosopher Socrates had said, “I know you won’t believe me, but the highest form of human excellence is to question oneself...”
Getting familiarity with the eternity of soul, to act in the right direction –what is to be done with body, a representation of matter –Maya, is the way of one’s self-development leading to achieve the goal of life. In this upright process, soul fulfils the objective with body in a prescribed period and eventually unites with God.
Self-realisation and development is a continuous process. In this, one realises and grasps the reality of absolute unity which is the state of origin of everything. This state demands one to dedicate entire life for the cause of larger welfare of mankind and salvation of all living beings, firmly accepting the truth of universal unity. It is the pathway to self-development and the way of making life worthy and momentous.
The realisation of universal unity is a state of self-awakening. A self-awakened person remains fearless in all circumstances. He, getting victory over untruth, grows with the Satya. He, interlocked with the Satya, reaches the state of pure harmony.
Humanity, a word referring to mankind as a whole divulges human qualities and accords strength to people’s goodness and strengthens the belief in the world’s unity. Taking humanity in high stream and accepting its significance in life, Mahatma Gandhi went to the extent of saying, “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; (even) if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”
The state of humanity in context of its origin, characteristics and significance is quite clear. It is also clear from the basic Indian scriptures, especially the Vedas, the Upanishads, or the Gita, or the Samhitas, and from discourses, sermons and precepts laid down for the welfare of the world. It is spirituality which as an up-bringer and upholder of humanity, calls for selfless service to mankind.