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January 26, 2024

What is the relationship between spirituality and living in the present moment?

Only with spirituality, does living in the present moment become possible, and only when one is living in the present moment, can it be called spirituality. So, the two are synchronous; there’s a direct relationship between the two!

Life is really lived only in the present moment

What happened a second ago is past, it is gone forever. And what is going to happen in future, that we do not know; we shall know only when it happens. And when it happens, it is no longer future then, it’s already present. Hence, life can be lived in the current moment only.

But do we live in the present moment?

No! Thoughts keep arising in our mind, and these thoughts are generally of something that has happened in past or something that we imagine may or we wish should happen in future. Now, our tendency or call it an age-old habit is to constantly roll in those thoughts.

When it is a thought which seems good and agreeable to us, we feel very happy and nice. On the other hand, if it’s a thought which we believe is bad and not agreeable, we feel very unhappy and anxious. Because of this pleasant or unpleasant feeling that we experience, our consciousness gets stuck and held up there. It keeps hovering over the same thought again and again. The pleasant feeling gives rise to a craving within, “Oh, this is good, I want more of this, I want some more of this, I want much more of this”, whereas where there’s an unpleasant feeling, hatred develops as we are not ready to accept it, “Oh, this is bad, I don’t want this, I don’t want any of this, this should never happen at all.” Similar is the case with any activity that we may indulge in.

This is how moment to moment attachment and hatred keep happening constantly. And we are so absorbed into it that we remain bound in that series of attachment and hatred all the time. Consequently, we are never able to experience freedom, the real freedom that lies in living in the present moment. We bind karmas that bind us further into the vicious cycle of birth and rebirth.

Knowing the Soul and Walking Towards It is Spirituality

Spirituality takes one towards the Soul, and ultimately, as one becomes free from all karmas, one attains the stage of the Absolute Soul. So the goal of spirituality is to eradicate all the mental impurities that of anger, pride, deceit, greed, attachment, hatred, etc. and attain the state of Absolute Soul. For this, it is essential that one must first attain Self-Realization, know who really am I?

To Attain Spirituality, We Need Gnani!!!

“You can attain moksha (complete freedom) only from the Gnani Purush. The One who is himself free can give you freedom. How can a man free others when he himself is shackled? So you are free to go to whichever ‘shop’ (Guru) you want to. But you must ask there, ‘Sir, will you give me moksha (ultimate freedom)?’ If he says, ‘No, I can’t’, then you go to second shop and then to a third one. You have to keep looking until you find one that will give you what you want. What happens if you just stay in one shop? You will just end up taking a beating.

The reason that you have wandered around for countless lifetimes is because you have been sitting in just one shop not bothering to investigate: ‘By sitting here, am I experiencing freedom or not? Have my anger, pride, deceit and greed decreased?’ You’ve never looked at that. When you want to get married, don’t you inquire about the family and its background. You investigate everything, but here, you don’t. What a huge blunder this is!”

~ Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan

So, to attain Moksha (ultimate freedom), which is the final destination on the path of spirituality, Self-Realization is the first milestone. And this milestone can only be achieved with the grace of the Living Gnani, the Enlightened One. In His divine presence, we can actually experience the taste of freedom, and following His words, we can actually learn to live in the present moment as we see our anger, pride, deceit, greed, hatred and attachment gradually dissolve one after another.

Spirituality is all about developing the awareness of present reality, and only the One who has this awareness can help us develop that!

The Enlightened One teaches how after Self-Realization, we can enhance our awareness of the present moment while we are busy in our daily chores:

“One who carries out the activity, allow him to work through the daily struggles and challenges, without any interference from your side. and You remain in the awareness of the Soul and keep seeing. Then, you are said to have remained in the present moment.

When one activity finishes and the other begins, one is focused on that other activity, and as the third activity begins, one is in that activity then. And in that, we know whether the activity is being carried out properly or not. Thus, we are in the present only every time. One carrying out the activity moves from one struggle / challenge to another and we see the one carrying out the activity, so we are said to be in the present. The external activity will keep changing. For instance, when one is eating, one is focused onto eating.

Now while eating, if one gets busy talking, then one is not in the present moment, because the activity being carried out is that of eating; however we are not seeing that, and we started seeing something else, “Oh, it was nice satsang, today many people were there in the hall.’ So, while the body is eating, the consciousness is somewhere else, in the hall. There, we have lost the awareness of the present moment. Present means in that moment, we (the awareness) remain present there and then… 

After one work gets over, if we remain glued to it, then we must understand that our awareness needs to be increased. (Ideally,) as the task is accomplished, our consciousness gets released from there and gets into another task. Since we are not stuck up (thinking about that work on and on), we are said to be free only.”

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