Mr. Nikam was addicted to alcohol drinking for 15 years. Besides impacting all areas of his personal life, in a conservative society it was also a social stigma. For quitting alcohol drinking, he tried on many occasions but to no avail. The following is an account of Mr. Nikam’s addiction to alcohol drinking in his own words and how he overcame it through spiritual practice.
Table of Contents
- 1. The breakthrough
- 2. The efforts of Mr. Nikam and the change
- 3. The spiritual perspective of what happened to bring about the change in Mr. Nikam
- 3.1 Reason for the spiritual root cause of any difficulty
- 3.2 How exactly did the spiritual remedies act in Mr. Nikam’s case?
- 3.3 What else can be done by a person trying for quitting alcohol drinking addiction?
1. The breakthrough
In March 1999, two seekers from the Spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF) came to our village to deliver a discourse on the science of Spirituality. I attended that discourse. They explained the science of Spirituality in brief. They also explained its influence on various aspects of our daily lives, how to begin spiritual practice and explained scientifically how specific spiritual remedies helped in overcoming many of the otherwise insurmountable difficulties in life.
As an example, they explained how addictions are caused by spiritual factors like possession by ghosts (demons, devils, negative energies etc.) as well as the mechanism of action of the specific remedy. They also invited us to attend a public discourse to be held on 4th April 1999, by H.H. Dr. Athavale.
Throughout the discourse, I experienced a subtle uniqueness that set this discourse apart from the many others that I had attended so far. I felt optimistic with this new knowledge and that by applying the science of Spirituality which they had explained I could overcome my drinking habit. I had the feeling that I needed to meet them personally so I went up to them and introduced myself after the discourse. Their loving attitude and manner of speaking moved me to tears and I felt as if I had known them for a very long time. I disclosed my difficulty regarding my habit to them and my resolution to put an end to it.
They advised me to:
- Begin chanting the Name of God as per my religion of birth.
- Begin chanting the Name of Lord Datta, which is a specific remedy to overcome difficulties due to ancestral problems.
- Pray to God.
- Participate in the arrangements for the discourse by H.H. Dr. Athavale on 4th April as a part of my spiritual practice, to derive the benefit of service unto the Absolute Truth (satsēvā).
2. The efforts of Mr. Nikam and the change
I started chanting the Name of my family deity on the spot and participated in the arrangements for the public discourse by H.H. Dr. Athavale. Over the next few days, I slowly started experiencing a change within me. My restlessness and anxiety decreased. I could attend to my job better and I actually started enjoying it. Previously, I would find it stressful to complete obligations at work but now I found that I could meet all the deadlines and still find enough time, energy and enthusiasm to participate in the preparations for the public discourse. I found myself looking forward to the evenings, when I would meet with the seekers from SSRF and work till late into the night with the preparations. The need for alcohol drinking that ordinarily would have been at the top of my mind took a backseat without my knowledge or any conscious effort. Soon I found that I did not need it to sustain my day. In one and a half months, i.e. before the discourse on 4th April my drinking habit of 15 years was gone. Since then for the last 6 years, I have been totally abstinent.
3. The spiritual perspective of what happened to bring about the change in Mr. Nikam
3.1 Reason for the spiritual root cause of any difficulty
According to the science of Spirituality, the spiritual root cause of any difficulty or illness is twofold:
- At a general level it is because of an increase in the Tama component with a concomitant decrease in the Sattva. (Read more about the three subtle-components)
- At a more specific level it is because of a specific factor like an attack by a specific ghost (demon, devil, negative energy etc.).
As addictions are due to either possession by subtle-bodies of ancestors or possession by ghosts (demons, devils, negative energies, etc.) any attempt to overcome them, without incorporating specific spiritual efforts, one cannot attain complete and permanent success. This explained Mr. Nikam’s earlier failures in overcoming his drinking habit despite many attempts.
3.2 How exactly did the spiritual remedies act in Mr. Nikam’s case?
3.2A Chanting the Name of God
At the psychological level: By repeating the Name of God, a ‘Devotion centre’ is created in the subconscious mind. This centre then fights the thoughts pertaining to the fulfilment of addiction by what is known as the ‘Deflection method’.
Refer to the article: How chanting works through the Deflection method.
At the spiritual level: There is a spiritual principle that the Name of God, touch, form, taste, odour and associated Divine Energy all co-exist. Therefore when we chant the Name of God we receive the Divine Energy associated with it, which increases the Sattva component in us. It also gives us the spiritual strength to fight the addiction. The Divine Energy also acts as a specific remedy and fights the ghost (demon, devil, negative energy, etc.) thereby dispelling it and reducing the Tama component.
Refer to the article: Mechanism of chanting as a spiritual remedy.
By chanting we receive the Divine Energy of God. By praying we give direction to the flow of this energy. Prayer also helps us to fight the ghost (demon, devil, negative energy, etc.).
Refer to the article: Mechanism of prayer as a spiritual remedy.
3.2C Company of the Truth
Being in the company of seekers gives a person the benefit of enhanced Sattva component in the environment. This is because the seekers themselves, their conversation and actions are more Sattva-predominant than those of the non-seekers.
Refer to the article: Company of the Truth (satsang)
3.2D Service unto the Absolute Truth
This gives the maximum benefit of the Sattva component.
Refer to the article: Service unto the Truth
3.3 What else can be done by a person trying for quitting alcohol drinking addiction?
- Personality defect removal: Our personality defects such as anger, greed, etc. are like open wounds in our mind. They are the weaknesses that the ghosts exploit and use as entry points for possession.
Refer to the article: Personality defect removal
- Eradication of ego – acts similar to the personality defects.
Refer to the articles on: Ego