Table of Contents
Through spiritual research we have learnt that there are two reasons why we are born:
- To undergo destiny
- To make spiritual progress
Undergoing destiny is a process that we largely have no control over, but it is possible to make conscious efforts for spiritual progress. Having a spiritual aim in life and certain qualities helps us to make such efforts. In this article we describe who is a spiritual seeker, what qualities are useful on a seeker’s spiritual journey and how one can start developing them.
2. Who is a seeker?
A seeker is someone who:
- makes honest and sincere efforts on a daily basis to grow spiritually
- has intense desire for spiritual growth, and
- strives to improve their spiritual practice both quantitatively and qualitatively on a regular basis.
It is important that a seeker’s efforts towards spiritual growth conform to the six basic principles of spiritual practice.
3. Difference between a non-seeker and a seeker
Spiritual introversion or a focus on God is needed to be a true seeker of God. Spiritual introversion gradually leads to a reduction of identification with the 5 senses, mind and intellect. Non-seekers, on the other hand, work to enhance identification with the 5 senses, mind and intellect. The following table shows the differences between a seeker and a non-seeker.
|Main aim is to grow materialistically||Main aim is to grow spiritually|
|Works toward enhancing the mind, body and intellect||Works toward dissolution of the mind, body and intellect|
|External journey||Internal journey|
|Develops personality defects such as attachment, pride, anger, etc.||Develops Divine qualities like spiritual love, introversion, spiritual emotion towards God, etc.|
|Feels that ‘I am the doer’||Feels that God is the doer|
4. Qualities of a seeker
A seeker of God has some basic qualities. These qualities help a seeker in their spiritual practice, as follows.
In addition, there are some qualities of an ideal seeker. Below we have listed some of them.
- Has intense desire for Liberation from the cycle of birth and death
- Has desire to change by removing personality defects and imbibing Divine qualities
- Tries to observe everything from a spiritual perspective
- Focuses on remembering God or Guru during service unto the Absolute Truth (satsēvā)
- Attempts to give the doership of each action to God
- Tries to perform each and every activity with perfection
- Tries to perform every action as spiritual practice and inspires others to do so
- Feels love for everything created by God
As a seeker progresses spiritually, they imbibe more and more of these ideal qualities. A disciple displays many of these qualities through every action.
5. How to develop seekership
If we have the yearning to change ourselves to become a better spiritual seeker and human being, all efforts will happen more easily. In Spirituality desire to grow spiritually is of 80% importance.
Below are some concrete steps one can take to develop the quality of seekership that can be practiced in day-to-day life, at work, at home etc.
- Consistently increase the quality and quantity of the spiritual practice we are currently doing. For example, if we are chanting 2 hours per day along with our daily activities, we can try to chant 3 hours in the following month, then 4 hours in the month after that etc.
- Observe qualities in others and emulate them. E.g. tidiness, timeliness. For example, if we notice our friend always meets us on time, then we can ask ourselves whether we always come to meetings on time and make efforts to be punctual.
- Develop the attitude of learning from situations. For example, if a colleague keeps getting angry at us, instead of feeling angry ourselves we can try to see how to remain calm, learn how we can help the other person, keep a spiritual perspective towards the situation that developing love without expectations towards others is a Divine quality etc.
Readily working on the above points will itself develop seekership within us. It is important to remember that being a seeker of God is not a status, it is an attitude that is practiced in everyday life.
Spiritual growth is likely to be rapid if one inculcates the qualities of a spiritual seeker. The spiritual journey also becomes smoother by developing these qualities and one is likely to experience more Bliss (Ānand).
We come across many people who have sincerely followed some form of spiritual practice, sometimes for even 20 or 30 years, and have not achieved the expected spiritual growth. To avoid this, apart from inculcating the qualities of a seeker, we recommend that spiritual practice conforms to the six basic principles of Spirituality.