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Mind Your Own Business

Now that you're on the spiritual path.... you need to know what not to do

Read Part 1, Part 2


Suma Varughese is the Editor-in-Chief of Life Positive magazine




  1. 1. Do not assume that Godís truth has fallen upon you alone and that you are called upon to transform the world. To be fair, this is actually an almost irresistible symptom that strikes you when you have just stumbled upon the path. The difference between the way you felt earlier and the way you feel now is so dramatic, the truths that have been revealed to you so radical that you long to shake the world awake and tell it what you see. The fact of the matter is that the truth has never been hidden from us. It is all around us, visible in the slightest acts of Mother Nature. All religions reveal it and most poetry and literature hint at it. For the proselytisers out there, this cannot be stressed often enough. No matter what you do, people will get it only when they are ready to get it. So save your breath. Certainly, you can spread awareness of the spiritual perspective. But do so with the clear understanding that others are free to reject what you offer. And steer clear of the holier-than -thou attitude. It is unjustified; you will be horrified at the level of your own infirmity once you turn the focus inside. Furthermore, it is also a manifestation of ego. A superiority complex betrays our lack of emotional maturity very clearly. For true spirituality is to gradually operate from a perspective of love and compassion that prevents us from judging anyone at all.
  2. 2. Avoid trying to convert people to your specific path. Ignorance, a narrow mind, and ego gratification lie at the root of this tendency. Working as I do for a personal growth magazine, I am frequently assailed by people trying to prove the superiority of their system. Reiki practitioners will insist that nothing beats it. Art of Living people will do the same with theirs. The followers of Nirmala Devi sing a similar song. Obviously all of them can't be right, which I would say indicates that all of them are wrong. Each of us is different and unique and different triggers work on us. It is folly to assume that one path will work for us all.
  3. 3. Do not assume that you have arrived. A meditation course or yoga may have sent your happiness level soaring. But you are not at journey's end. On the contrary. Hindu mythology narrates the tale of Dhruva, who became enlightened when he was six years. Enraged at this injustice, hoary old sages and seekers who had spent thousands of years in its pursuit, complained to Brahma. In response, Brahma took them to a vast mountain of skulls. "This is the number of lifetimes it took Dhruva to arrive at a stage where he would get enlightened at six," he said. Assuming you are not another Dhruva, it is unlikely that you will get liberation any time soon. The state refers to an absolutely entrenched state of happiness, equanimity and awareness. We must have cleansed ourselves thoroughly, know ourselves fully and accept ourselves completely to come anywhere within the goal.
  4. 4. Do not set yourself up as a teacher before you reach enlightenment. I personally believe that only enlightened souls should become gurus. There are too many twists and turns on the spiritual path to allow anyone less qualified to guide others through it. And there are too many temptations on the path of gurudom for anyone less grounded to resist. We read these days of the scandals erupting in ISKCON and the Osho Commune. This is the result of unenlightened souls wielding power.
  5. Perhaps one golden rule will help with all these admonitions. Focus on your growth, and leave others alone. At least for the moment. 


Read Part 1, Part 2

God save the Malayalee

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