A seeker should be Principle oriented and not person oriented

1. Introduction

Being Principle oriented in essence means to follow the Spiritual Principles (Divine Principles) shared by the spiritually evolved.

2. Not remaining attached to the physical form

In Spirituality, a Spiritual Master (Guru) has immense importance in leading one on the path to Liberation and in attaining perpetual Bliss (Ānand). It is natural that during the course of spiritual practice under the guidance of a Guru, a seeker can get attached to the physical form of the Guru as it is the Guru who is continually guiding the seeker towards God as well as taking care of his spiritual and worldly needs. However, if attachment to the Guru becomes continual, it can lead to spiritual stagnation. That is why it is advisable that a seeker should be Principle oriented and not person oriented. His Holiness Dr. Athavale always says, ‘Do not remain attached to my physical form’. In other words, H.H. Dr. Athavale expects us to continue the mission of spreading Spirituality without being attached to His physical form. In this way He is taking us from the materialized form (saguṇ) to the non-materialised (nirguṇ).

3. Advantages of being Principle oriented

3.1 Avoiding spiritual stagnation

A seeker can stagnate spiritually if he is person oriented. This does not happen if the seeker is Principle oriented. Those who get attached to the physical body can perform actions for a limited time while those who act at the unmanifest level are capable of performing actions in the subtle. To give an analogy, if one’s hobby was gardening, then the size of the garden we watered and looked after would be limited by our physical capacity. The size of garden we are capable of nurturing is very minute when compared with the vast expanse of nature on Earth. Nature’s entire flora is looked after by the elements – such as the Sun and the rain. Likewise, while doing Spiritual practice one can take care not to limit oneself and get attached to any person or Guru. One should follow the Guru’s guidance but not become attached to the Guru. We should be attached only to God, Who is permanent. Only then can one attain Liberation from the cycle of birth and death and merge with the Divine.

3.2 Achieving a state of expansiveness by being Principle oriented

A seeker may have a limited perspective and may be attached to the physical form of the Guru or Saint. In such a case, he deprives himself of learnings that the Guru Principle (Teaching Principle of God) sends his way through others. If the seeker attaches himself to the Principle he develops expansiveness (a quality of God) and has the attitude that the entire universe is my home and the whole world is my family. He is in turn able to imbibe learnings from others and even from non-living objects.

3.3 Not influenced by constraints of place and time

A person is bound by the constraints of place and time; hence the basic rule of ‘Creation, Sustenance and Dissolution’ applies to him. However, spiritual principles are not bound by place and time, hence are beyond this rule.

The basic rule of Creation-Sustenance-Dissolution means that whatever is created, is sustained for some time and then destroyed.

3.4 Going towards perfection

Every person possesses his own unique basic nature. Each nature has flaws and defects. However, a ‘Principle’ being non-materialised does not possess its own nature, hence, does not have any defects.

4. Importance of moving from the materialised form to the non-materialised principle

Nirgun is the Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent God.