Table of Contents
- 1. Path of Guru’s grace is not a sectarian spiritual practice (one type of spiritual practice for all seekers) but is based upon the principle of Spirituality that – ‘There are as many paths to God as there are people’.
- 2. Doing every activity as spiritual practice
- 3. Path of Guru’s grace teaches that every activity should be performed as our duty
- 4. Every action is done with the aim of God realization
- 5. Summary – Spiritual practice is fruitful when performed according to the Principle
Spiritual practice as per the principles of Spirituality results in faster spiritual growth, which is the aim of a seeker of God. One such path of Spirituality is the Path of Guru’s grace (Gurukrupāyoga).
Path of Guru’s grace is recommended as the spiritual practice for the current era, which is known as the Era of strife (Kaliyug). This is because it teaches spiritual practice as per the 6 basic principles of Spirituality.
Spiritual practice as per the Path of the Guru’s grace is spiritual practice as per the Principle due to the following.
1. Path of Guru’s grace is not a sectarian spiritual practice (one type of spiritual practice for all seekers) but is based upon the principle of Spirituality that – ‘There are as many paths to God as there are people’.
A ‘sect’ is a group of people who think that their Path to God is the best and the only one. However, just as one medicine will not cure patients having different ailments, similarly, the appropriate spiritual practice for each person is different. In a sect, the same spiritual practice is advised to all its followers. Hence, sectarian spiritual practice goes against the basic principle of Spirituality, which is, ‘There are as many paths to God as there are people’. The follower of a sect knows and recognizes only one path. He lives under the false impression that his path is supreme and the only way to reach God. The main aim of spiritual practice is to destroy the ego but in the case of followers of sectarian spiritual practice, the very opposite happens.
2. Doing every activity as spiritual practice
This involves the spiritualization of day to day living. Every activity and the thought behind it is done as spiritual practice. Hence God is observed in every activity. Every activity becomes God centered and not self centered. The focus shifts from oneself to God.
We perform all activities with a certain approach based on our habits and prior experience in accomplishing similar activities. Accordingly, we execute the activity in a certain way and react to its outcome in a certain way.
For example, when buying flowers at the green market, we normally purchase the colour and variety of flowers as per our own liking. An effort to make this activity God-centred would be to mentally pray and ask God, which flowers He would like us to buy today.
Or suppose we had just mopped the kitchen floor, and one of our family members suddenly wanted a glass of milk. Instead of having reactions about it because we had worked so hard and now someone was going to spoil the result of our efforts, we could try to perceive God in their place, lovingly serve them the milk and wipe away the fresh footmarks.
3. Path of Guru’s grace teaches that every activity should be performed as our duty
When every activity is performed as our duty, it occurs without expectation of results. Since there is no doership, there is no expectation of the result of the activity.
We should try to do every activity to develop faith in God.
For example, if some guests drop by unexpectedly, after sincerely offering them whatever is available at that moment, we can try to surrender the result to God. This would prevent the anxiety about how the activity would turn out and build faith that God will bring the outcome that is best for us.
Or, suppose a friend of ours is in a financial difficulty and asks us for advice. If after implementing our advice he comes out of the difficulty, instead of taking credit for it, we could attribute it to God.
If a situation does not turn out as per our wish, e.g. we do not find a lost earring despite searching for it everywhere, we can learn to surrender the outcome of our effort to God. We can note that only the effort is in our hands, not the outcome of a situation.
Not getting seekers interested in attending satsangs (company of the Absolute Truth) after holding a lecture on Spirituality, or our family members not taking up spiritual practice etc. are some examples of such situations which occur due to expectations (a manifestation of ego).
4. Every action is done with the aim of God realization
When every activity is done with the aim to realise God, doership is sacrificed and the principle that, “God is the doer and He only is getting everything done from us” gets imprinted in the subconscious mind of the seeker.
Many seekers who perform service to the Absolute Truth (satsēvā) with enthusiasm often experience that something which is beyond their capacity gets completed in less time and with more perfection than could be expected considering the given circumstances. For example, setting up a hall for a satsang would normally require 15 minutes of two seekers. Once, due to a previous event ending late, only 7-8 minutes were available, but with prayers and surrender, the set-up got completed on time. This sort of spiritual experience helps everyone involved realise that even what is not possible for us is very possible for God, who is omnipotent. Once this realization is firmly impressed on our mind, doership can be relinquished and surrendered to God.
5. Summary – Spiritual practice is fruitful when performed according to the Principle
The Path of the Guru’s grace teaches us how to perform spiritual practice as per the Principle. By making attempts to adhere to the above principles, we learn how to perform every action as spiritual practice. Due to this, every activity we perform can be utilised towards the goal of spiritual growth.