What is spirituality ?
In my view, I would simply put it as our effort to find meaning in life. We generally confuse spirituality with reliogisity. Each of us follow a religion of our choice and try to live life to the best of our abilities. All the religions lead us to the same destination. We all believe there is a power beyond us, which guides us and cautions us when we are in doubt about anything in life.
I have gone through many phases in my life, where I have lost faith in God. I remember that the first instance was when I lost both my parents within a span of two years. I thought God was cruel to me and did not give an opportunity for me to serve them when I was in a position to do so. . It took me more than year to bounce back. I realised that I had done no wrong and although my parents were no more, it did not prevent me to serve other elders in society. Hence, the realisation that we need not always be bound by our own family to find meaning in life was a spiritual revelation.
The other instance was at the work life. I have sometimes felt that I had done my best and I still did not get rewarded or recognised adequately for my efforts. It is on many such occasions that I felt that God was non existent. You lose faith in God and sometimes in yourself. It is not easy to go through such moments in life but time teaches you many things. It also made me realize that there are millions of others in life who have contributed more than I did and never looked for rewards or recognition. It is when this realisation dawns on you, that you start redefining the meaning of life for yourself.
I was a religious person for the first two and a half decades of my life. I used to practise the Hindu rituals and visit a temple every week religiously. But as I grew up and faced a few tragedies in my life like the death of my parents, I realised that the real meaning in life is not understood by following rituals or visiting temples, churches or mosques. One is able to redefine life for oneself better when the person is able to find her or his feet firmly on the ground. One is able to realize that there are countless people around, who suffer much more than you have ever experienced and they do not give up. It is such a realisation, which makes you stronger and wiser.
Today my religion is “To be a better human being everyday I live, enjoying myself and making life enjoyable for all the people around me, in whatever way I can.” My meaning of life is to be a good human being as I define it. It is to live and let live. It is to realize that there is much more to give back to society than you get from it. It is to realise that our contributions to others is just a drop in the ocean. Spirituality is your definition of life.
Let us define life the way we want it and live it that way. Let us realize that relatively speaking we are always better off than many people around us. Let us be grateful for what we have rather than worry about what we don’t.
Every day is an opportunity to redefine our meaning of life.
S Ramesh Shankar