Updated: Jul 10, 2021
Decodifying common myths regarding spirituality
In this article, I have attempted to elucidate the myths and a few other misconceptions that people have conceptualized that might be keeping individuals away from the path of spirituality. These unfolded beliefs may hinder many from developing full conviction in their respective spiritual journeys or might result in procrastination or completely turn a blind eye towards this subject. I have also made an endeavour to explain a few elements about the presence and existence of the Creator whom we address as God.
Writing style: In this explanation, I have used multiple subject pronouns such as He, His, Him in reference to the Almighty/God. In few instances, the use of neutral pronouns will also be noticed. In other instances there is an intentional use of subject pronouns like you, me and we. Intentional use of the above-mentioned pronouns is either to clarify or to lay emphasis on a particular explanation.
1. We can’t see God. So how to believe in what we can’t see?
Ans: In this world (known to humanity), God has been called by numerous names. Any given name falls short of describing even a tiny part of His qualities. One needs to understand that there is much more to what we human beings have ever known about God. The fundamental question then arises - what one can’t see or prove, can that be a mere illusion? No, it’s not, but the irony is that we the human beings due to our limited ability and understanding don’t have words, language or the ability to contemplate God. It's like, He exists in everything and everywhere, but one can only know it when one attains that state of realization. It's a state of being, a state of mystic feeling, a state of realization, that can’t be expressed through words since the words have limitations too.
Let’s take an example - Can one visualize with bare eyes the presence of ghee/butter in a glass of milk? Probably not! When it’s pure milk, the presence of ghee or butter remains within the milk yet our bare eyes can’t see it, While it is processed the ghee/butter appears - similar is the existence of God, as when one transforms his Mann (his Mind) to a state which is nearest to the God, he converges into God.
2. Where is God?
Ans: God is omnipresent. He is not confined to a living thing or to visible things. He can be considered as Energy, a form of Super Natural Energy. The energy persists in everything, everywhere, all around. Every non-living thing is also made of that same energy that is created by the Creator. Science has defined it as Atomic Energy but there are possibilities for science to discover more especially the relationship of Atomic Energy, the Spirit & the Cosmos.
3. What is God composed of?
Ans: Defining God is not possible but few attributes of Him are:
He is One
He is True. His existence has been true and shall remain true forever.
He is the sole originator, sustainer & destroyer of everything
He is fearless
He is non-discriminatory
He is shapeless, orderless, timeless
He is above the incarnations & beyond the cycle of life and death.
He is the creator of everything & resides within His own creation - personified but still elusive to everything.
He shares His blessings through Himself
4. What does HE look like? What’s His image which we should contemplate?
Ans: He can be considered as Energy that has no shape, size, colour, odour, smell. Due to the veil of sins and evil deeds, one is unable to picture Him in the exact sense. We can only manifest and contemplate Him as per our beliefs and thoughts but the beauty is - He (Almighty energy) transforms his devotee, the way the devotee contemplates Him. If one contemplates Him as powerful energy He transforms the devotee into a strong being. If one contemplates Him as the source of love and gratitude, He transforms the devotee into a loving & humble person. If one contemplates Him as the vast nature, the devotee will inculcate deep wisdom of the universe and creation. One may contemplate Him by visualizing Him as any Saint of Faith or even through multiple manifestations, as a result, the related characteristics will get developed in the devotee. It all depends upon the level & awareness of the devotee & his conviction in the Almighty.
5. If God exists then where does He reside?
Ans: In humans, though the entire body is made by His energy, the most powerful & significant manifestation of God is the Jyot/Spirit within the body which has all the attributes of God. In Gurbani, Mann (Mind) has also been said to be a part of that Spirit. (Mann tu jyot swaroop hai, apna mool pehchaan). My spiritual journey started with an understanding of Mann which I consider to be the heart of spirituality within humans. So keeping the Mann (Mind) pious, focussed, in control & aware should be our endeavour of every day, every moment.
In Non-living things, we can consider Him as the Atomic Energy - The energy which binds the smallest unit of matter but the potency and attributes are very limited as compared to the Mann (Mind) of human beings. The Mind has the full capabilities of God if nurtured appropriately and how to do that is mentioned in Holy books by the ones who have attained an upper stage of spirituality.
6. Who does all mishappenings/ill things/sufferings - Is that God or Humans?
Ans: Let’s start with ill things - In humans, our Mann (Mind) fuels us to do evil deeds, if not controlled and educated the right way (the right way is mentioned in holy scriptures, provided one comprehends it correctly. It's not God who does ill things. God only gives us good, beautiful things that too unbiased. The things which humans interpret as sufferings, are the result of many things but mainly it's the result of the deeds of our old & current births. These are mentioned in holy scriptures. Since we can’t have control over previous births, the Almighty has given us a unique capability which is Mind (Mann) & Brain (intellect) to use to improve, not only the deeds of this birth but even eradicate the effects of the evil deeds of previous births too.
So what to do, how to do - are all mentioned in our religious scriptures by saints & spiritual scholars. One who is determined to change and improvise has to take the plunge to go through them and extract the spiritual guidelines. In case the practitioner is you, then every single step towards the spiritual journey will give you an impetus to know more & glimpses of self-happiness will surround you, which slowly transform you to be a better person and better as whole energy and slowly the Godly attributes gets into you or in other words you start dissolving in Him. That’s when everything starts coming in harmony with you & your inner self.
7. What is fortune & misfortune
Ans: As per worldly definitions, anything which makes us happy is fortune & whatever makes us unhappy is normally related to misfortune. It's again the game of good & pious deeds that brings & takes away the fortunes. The biggest fortune is to feel Him with you every moment. Nothing can bring you more joy, happiness and fortune beyond that. The worldly fortunes are a sub-part of those spiritual possessions. At that stage of consciousness, you can get them & much more anytime you want, but the difference will be that you will not be under the influence of them, rather it will be the opposite.
8. What is His Hukum?
Ans: His commandment is His Hukum. He has created the universe under some governing laws and principles & He is part of his creation too. Nature is the best example of it to observe & learn. Few salient points on his laws & principles:
Everything is unique, distinct and has a purpose.
Everyone is part of that supernatural energy. Don’t just believe it, believe it with conviction.
Everything works on repetitions
Everything is slow but steady and harmonious to each other
Everything which exists has to get destroyed
Nothing is in our control. It's all the Spirit/ that Supernatural energy that works in tandem.
All these may sound fluke to some but may give others reassurance and direction to their respective journeys. The choice is yours & choice has the rewards associated.
9. What is Naam & what is its significance?
Ans: Naam in many languages represents Name. Here Naam is denoted with the name to address the Almighty. For anything to explain, we need to have some standard words associated with it to describe it so that everyone depicts the same thing when those words are referred to. Here Naam word represents the Almighty. Since there is no one word that can completely depict Him, yet in order to contemplate Him, one may require to know & even contemplate Him through His attributes.
Before reciting His Naam which is told to be the spiritual way to remember/ contemplate/ meditate Him in the current era, we should always keep the below points in mind:
This journey will start with observing & then controlling your Mann first. In parallel, you should keep your Mann enriched with good spiritual knowledge which you can do with some holy scripture.
Your intention is the most important part here. If the intentions are good & pious, the Almighty’s harmonious and good energy gets attracted to you. In case the intentions are bad, then most likely the bad energies (which also exist) may get attracted to you. That energy may or may not harm the other person, depending upon your spiritual potential and other person’s spiritual potential to defend, but it would harm you in progressing your way in spiritualism because one’s ultimate aim is to dissolve in that super-natural energy and that super-natural energy is positive energy only. So those awful acts will definitely defer your position in your journey.
You can meditate with any Naam (any holy word), but what you contemplate is important.
Last but not the least, always remember you are not your body. Your body & your Soul are two distinct entities. One who keeps them separate at conceptual levels meditates easily & effectively.
10. Is God One - Creator, Maintainer, Destroyer?
Ans: Yes I confidently believe the ultimate power is One.
11. Why is there a fight, enmity?
Ans: Fight and enmity are only among living beings especially in animals & humans. In insects & animals, it's for their food & existence. Humans have been transformed from spiritually evolved species like elephants, horses, dogs, cats & finally monkeys into humans, so few characteristics of these species at certain times have been reflected in humans.
Man is also afraid of death & his threat to existence. The only difference between these species & humans is the brain, mind or the capability to think much better than them. This has been gifted with purpose. Remember, the minuscule part of the human body generated from the day of the mating of males & females but the spirit comes after three months into the baby in the mother’s womb. So always remember to keep body & spirit as two distinct things. Without spirit, the body is just dead and without body spirit cannot perform. The most important thing which society should have made was to make everyone aware of this as part of spiritual upbringing, but ironically to date, much of the world is not aware of it.
Coming back to Mann (Mind), which is part of our individual Spirit, is the CORE of spirituality. Mann has some natural tendency (again one of the principles of Almighty) which has been decodified by many saints & spiritual scholars. Mann goes towards ill centric activities automatically, like, under gravity, water goes down from upper level to lower level automatically (gravity being another principle of Nature/Almighty). Humans have discovered the Law of Gravity but there is no such law documented as Law of Mind yet, which has the natural tendency of moving towards ill centric things.
It is our Mann (Mind) that intuitively originates and provokes thoughts related to fear, lust, anger, desires, possessiveness, greed, ego, through our 5 senses (ears, eyes, nose, tongue & skin). The one who starts travelling on the path of spirituality controls these desires of his Mann (mind) first. So that these above attributes don’t control that person, while the person controls them and judiciously uses them as per his requirements.
Lack of control over our Mann (mind) is the reason for fights, animosity, hatred, killing and all other physical & mental crimes. God has created these vices but has also given us Mind & Brain to balance them appropriately.
12. Why is everyone not equal during birth?
Ans: As mentioned in the above answers, it is related to deeds, actions of our old & current birth. Acts & deeds are not always physically but mainly mentally (at the level of Mann & Spirit).
13. Is incarnation or previous birth true?
Ans: Yes very much, as has been referred to by spiritual scholars & saints and it gets well connected with the study & experiences of spirituality.
14. To survive within the animosity everywhere, what should be the best way to survive, grow & prosper?
Ans: The answer lies within the source of these. When we know everything is originated & controlled through Spirit (& Mann at an individual level) & That Supernatural energy (at a wholesome level), then why not study, practice and incentivize that area for our betterment.
The holy scriptures have answers to all our current era’s questions because they are universal and written keeping that supreme energy in mind.
In the current era, the connection to God has been advised to be very easy & quick, as compared to earlier eras. Now contemplating Naam is the only and hence the easiest to experience happiness, bliss & keep you wary from the ill people & their actions. I have experienced and thousands of more like me have experienced, but still many are unaware of this.
Also once you start your journey in spiritualism, the effects of animosity & other bad effects on you will diminish and eventually you will be guarded at spiritual levels from these ill-effects.
15. If a bad person hurts you in any way, what is the best way as per spirituality - retaliate or accept?
Ans: Before answering this, let me reveal another key point of spirituality - What’s our objective of birth? It is to dissolve within the Almighty and He has gifted us this body as a vehicle to attain our objective living amongst the temptations (Maya) of this world. Now our aim should be to preserve this body & do all efforts to merge our soul with Almighty. So till time we haven’t achieved our mission, we need to guard our interest in our Spirit & body. This should be our overall objective of human life.
So we should try all ethical & pious means to avoid getting our body & mind (alternative of Spirit) in useless alterations. But if someone entangles you then you need to fight back in your defence, else your mission may get sabotaged.
16. Shall we kill & eat animals/insects?
Ans: The same objectives of the above question answers here too. If insects, animals are going to harm you then you need to retaliate & defend yourself. Eating non-veg (animals, birds, etc) for pleasure is again related to your temptations of your Mann, which we need to control to elevate our spiritual consciousness.
17. Why are there fights over religion?
Ans: No Religion asks us to fight to prove their religion as superior. No religion is superior or inferior, it is the perspective of humans and their self-interests that make them fight. As stated above, our selfish interest makes us fight with others. Have you ever seen nature fighting with each other, the sun fighting with the moon or air?. Do plants fight with each other? It's only the species that have some evolved senses that fight & they fight because of their limitations - Most prominent limitation is Fear (of death), then comes the second limitation - the requirements of the body (food).
Similarly, humans have been blessed with so many qualities but also with so many limitations. We need to use our qualities (Brain) to overcome our limitations of Mann (Mind) (fear, lust, anger, desires, possessiveness, greed, ego)
18. Why do some people not believe in living and let others live?
Ans: Again the same problem of their control over their Mann (Mind). They are running behind materialistic possessions without exploring the opportunities in the other dimensions of Super Natural Energy - The Almighty. They want to snatch, steal, destroy whatever materialistic possession they don’t have. They are ignorant and probably you can’t change them, but you can defend yourself through the power of the Almighty.
19. Also a myth that God can be achieved only when one relinquishes all his materialistic possessions like money, family, house etc...? Which is contrary to the mindset of delivering our practical responsibilities within a family system.
Ans: Those were the practices of old eras. Now in the current era, all these myths have been cleared by saints & spiritual gurus. They have followed the practical way & walked over what they have preached.
All the family systems should remain intact but one needs to understand & decodify the principles of Almighty (few ones mentioned earlier in this article). One should get connected with the Almighty and experience bliss. Be under his Hukum. Accept it gracefully and with conviction.
20. Is God a practical way or a philosophical way of thinking?
Ans: It is both. It depends upon your school of thought. But it starts from Belief, then gets stronger slowly and transforms into Conviction. When belief is turned into conviction only then the Magic starts…
21. Can we prove the existence of God scientifically?
Ans: Yes, if the intentions are right. Atomic Energy, Gravity, Death, Intuitions are few scientifically proven laws of the existence of the Almighty. Many more to follow…
22. Some people who are spiritually elevated sometimes talk very rough which hurts the feelings of others. Is this right on their part? How can we judge & believe in the conduct of spiritual people?
Ans: Every person has his journey. The elevated people also sometimes develop the ego of their elevation, which is wrong. That is why this is a tough journey as the vices can come anytime at any juncture of your journey. This is a continuous fight against them.
Elevated people try to remain aloof to avoid the chances of friction through speech, sight, taste, hearing & touch. But sometimes unintentionally they also get trapped in vices for a moment. So we should ignore them wholeheartedly considering that they have many more qualities & ignoring the incident will help us in refraining from developing those vices in us.
Also, we should get out of the trap of judging others to comfort ourselves. This is also part of Sooksham Maya (minuscule illusion). No one can know the Sooksham Mann (Deepest Mind) of another person (another Law of Almighty).
23. Should we use any specific technique to meditate?
Ans: There are many techniques of meditation. They are mainly about focusing your attention on particular kinds of thoughts or words or a picture. Every technique teaches how to focus. The best and most effective technique is that which helps you calm down, keep your mind focussed on thought, word or picture irrespective of your body’s position. That means while you are sleeping, your meditation should work. While you have 5 min spare waiting for someone, your mind should meditate. While you are eating your mind is in a constant state of meditation and you experience the state of bliss every time. The more time we are in that state the more benefits we get from it. So your technique should not be confined to the body’s position. Meditation is essentially for your Soul, your Mind (Mann) not for your body. It’s a state of being in Ecstasy anytime & every time, with no restrictions whatsoever. We can even meditate while working at our jobs & businesses.
24. Where to start this journey?
Ans: Always start with a prayer from your heart to that Almighty, with emotions, gratitude & conviction which means no doubt on Almighty & in your prayer. Words you speak or think during prayers don’t matter, it’s the intensity of emotions & your cleansed Mind that matters.
The second is to get into the company of like-minded people (but be careful in choosing the right people) & be a good listener. Spirituality calls those people as Sadh-Sangat (the conglomeration of devotees). It’s like going to school where you are in the company of similar students who have the same objectives. It’s very important at the initial stages because, in a like-minded group, there is support & motivation for your persistence & perseverance.
The third is to start singing, listening to the hymns of Almighty. Music is the strongest mechanism to invoke emotions. So your Mind will soon be tuned with Divine energy. Then you should start understanding their meaning and context, as that fuels the knowledge into your Mann (Mind). That’s how one starts neutralizing one’s myths, wrong deeds at the level of Mind first which later should be actioned in one’s deeds too.
Fourth is to repeat this practice daily, maybe for small periods but be consistent. Do it with full energy, positive attitude & mindset & you will start witnessing the gains.
By: Gurpreet Singh Kapoor, PMP, ITIL, CSM, MBA
(Disclaimer: All these are based on the author’s personal experience & understanding and may/may not align with any person’s religion/set of beliefs. The intent is to provide a perspective to people in their respective spiritual journeys & leave it on the people to think, ponder, accept or reject them. No malafide intentions whatsoever are behind writing this article. Any errors/omissions are deeply regrettable.)
Similar articles from same author:
ECSTASY: THE BLISS OF NAAM https://www.sikhcareergrowth.org/post/ecstasy-the-bliss-of-naam SANGAT & MANN: THE KINDER-GARTEN CONCEPTS https://www.sikhcareergrowth.org/post/sangat-mann-the-kinder-garten-concepts