logo

What is Spirituality?

Lots of people these days claim that they are spiritual (and often embellish it by saying that they are not religious).

In my experience, many such people are a bit confused about what they mean by Spirituality and often conflate it with ideas of mindfulness, awareness, "living in the present" etc.

According to all Indic knowledge traditions - from Tantra to Vedanta and from Buddhism to Ajivika - spirituality is a singular thing. It is our pursuit to realise the larger reality that is normally not visible to the human being

According to Indic sages of yore, the grand reality that we are unable to observe is that the huge multitude of forms we see (ie. every person, every life, every non-life object, every cosmic phenomenon, every idea, every thought etc) is nothing but a tiny manifestation of a single, huge & all pervasive consciousness. The analogy used in a lot of Indic literature to illustrate this is to compare the all-pervasive consciousness to a vast ocean and the multitude of forms to individual waves on top of that vast & deep ocean

Spirituality, according to Indic knowledge, is the process of enabling ourselves to be able to see (or at least catch a glimpse of) this grand reality

Indic knowledge proposes many routes to equip ourselves to see this reality. Over the 5000-odd years of Indic civilisation, the most prominent of these enabling routes have been Yoga, Meditation (Dhyana), Surrender (Bhakti), Knowledge (Jnana) and Conscious Living (Karma)

So...

If you are on a quest to discover the grand reality beyond your immediate self AND are following one or more paths to enabling yourself to perceive this reality, Indic tradition considers you Spiritual