Ruzbeh N. Bharucha
The fact is that there is no one particular path to reach God, Goddess, Guru. Innumerable ways, beautiful by lanes, various peaks and valleys and if you keep on walking calmly and with pure Love within for The One, you will reach your destination. When and how, is karmic, but what goes beyond karma too, is one’s yearning to breathe deep the khushboo or Divine fragrance. If the need is all pervasive, not even your own destiny blueprint can prevent you from reaching The Old Chap with that vague sense of music.
Nobody can give you directions regarding this journey. It is your flight and expedition and in all probability the scenery and the road may not have been traversed by anybody before you.
You can read about the travels of others and how they reached their destination and how to avoid certain terrain and the climate and where to halt and where to refuel and where to eat and stay or not eat and run for your life. You can read accounts of countless such road trips. But eventually you might never steer your vehicle on that particular road, thus all you have read and memorized would mean nothing, as nothing you have read and been cautioned about or encouraged towards will matter as the damn pathway is different. Even the seasons might differ and the intensity of the season might be completely off the barometer.
This is your path. This is about you and your God, Goddess, Guru. I can harp till I develop a third kidney but all I talk to you about is my reality. It may not be your reality. Thus my blabber is only for those who are taking the same route I have and it would make sense to know the stuff I have witnessed but even my path may have innumerable by lanes and you might choose another by lane and Lord love a defrosted politician, everything I have witnessed might no longer be applicable as now you are on a terrain which nobody has written about.
The problem is not that there are innumerable roads leading to The One but in reality the mess up is that most people are certain that their pathway is the only true approach to liberation, heaven, God-Goddess-Guru.
This gives birth to divide and mankind’s history is a testimony of the senseless bloodshed that has taken place all in the name of God and religion. The sad reality is that there have been more wars fought in the name of God than in the name of the devil. The devil, the lucky bastard, has to do nothing, but smoke a joint, scratch his privates, belch and see mankind destroy themselves and make the heavens weep.
The only reality about liberation and moksha and all this spiritual orchestra is that there are innumerable ways of reaching The One and that The One is truly cool and loving and kind and needs a shave. I read somewhere that Lord Buddha had told His disciples that just as there are countless ways of meditation, similarly there are myriad ways of reaching The Big Boy.
Time and again I have mentioned in books, blogs and in videos that indulging in charity and helping those less fortunate than you is one of the easiest and most sublime ways of pleasing The Grumpy One, and also that you can be assured of reaching one’s spiritual destination and even liberation via prayers and meditation.
The sad fact is that even here people seem to have taken the act of helping others and charity, or the act of compassion and the time spent in prayer and meditation as a means to prove one’s superiority and in some way or the other make the rest feel less spiritual or even good human beings.
We are so spiritually bankrupt that we somehow can take the most sublime act and smear it with our self centeredness and insistence for self glorification. I have known people who will throw it on your face of how kind, generous, charitable they are, how often they meditate and pray, in order to gain self glorification and also in a way to put the other person down. This is akin to preparing an elaborate meal for one’s Master and then pissing in it.
Of course, there are people who will slander those who are genuinely kind hearted and charitable and also those who are truly immersed in prayer and meditation. We are like crabs who will pull down anyone who is just about to get out of captivity. Most often it is truly about ‘i-me-myself’.
Many times I have been told by friends that maybe they are not spiritual or blessed as they neither have the means for indulging in charity or helping others as well as they do not have the time for prayers and meditation due to their circumstances of life and home. It does not help that others have tried their level best to flaunt either their financial generosity or hours spent in prayer and meditation.
The question to ask is what happens if you do not have the resources to go all out and indulge in sharing your wealth with the less financially fortunate? Or that you do not have the time and circumstances to be able to pray for long or meditate for more than maybe a few minutes? Does that mean you are not as spiritual as those who have the money to help others or the means and time and environment to spend time in prayers and meditation?
I never really imagined that there were people who were grappling with an inferiority complex because Holy Books or sermons or writings, kept drubbing into their heads that, the more you indulge in charity and prayers and meditation, makes you a more spiritual person, a cut above the ‘mango people’ the aam admi, not Kegri’s admi but the true common man. The doubt that ‘Maybe I am not doing enough to qualify to be a spiritual person or somebody dear to God, as I do not have the means or circumstances to go all ballistic with charity and prayers?’ seems to be bothering more people than not.
Often I have been told that so and so is a very pious man or woman, as s(h)e helps the less fortunate with time and money or spends hours in prayers and contemplation. Indirectly hinting that they or me are not in the league of these spiritually enhanced people due to our inability to indulge in charity or prayers to such a high magnitude.
I do not have an answer to what pleases God. I barely know the Unshaven One. All I do know is I am deeply flawed but in all my flaws there is still deep love for Him and Her. Also if I am flawed it is for no other reason but due to my own failing and weaknesses at different points in time. Nothing to do with God, Goddess, Guru, and the lack of charity, prayers, meditation. My being flawed is due to my inherent issues. I do not believe God or anything outside me, has any role to play in my being such a monumental dork and no amount of prayers, meditation and indulging in charity is going to change my inherent self and it is my inherent self that shall decide when and how I reach my final destination of being face to face with The One and sort of tickle His and Her funny bone. Who I am is going to decide my true destination and not what I do or not do.
I can pray for hours all through the day but if in those hours while am not praying I do not live as a decent human being, compassionate to the pain, suffering, circumstances of others around me, what good is my praying for hours, no matter with what intensity or purity I might pray. It will not matter, as if I cannot make my life a living prayer, nothing else matters. It is not just about my time spent in prayer but also my time when I make life either a living prayer or a living hell for those around me, which is going to decide which side of the spiritual barometer I truly stand.
Yes it would be beautiful if I could pray and also live a life that makes my God, Goddess, Guru, happy and proud of me. That would be truly beautiful and it is this aspect of my life which shall decide how truly spiritual I am; not the hours spent in prayers; but in reality the time spent not in prayer, which will spell from operating from being soul conscious and not body conscious.
I have known atheists who are far more spiritual than those who spend hours in prayers and even if the atheist does not believe in God, I am certain, God believes and respects the atheist, for he or she has made life into a prayer, by behaving in a manner that makes The Great Flame Radiance brighter as the atheist in reality is reflecting the glory, radiance, fragrance of his or her Source, even if that person does not believe in that Source; it truly doesn’t matter.
It is important to pray but it is a million times more important to make your life a prayer.
For me, charity or helping those in need is a sublime way of making life into a living prayer. How much you can do in tangible ways will depend upon your circumstances and your inclination. A man who can donate a million, and does donate a million, is doing so, because his or her circumstance permits the individual to do so. Great. It is a beautiful gesture to be able through donation of money or kind, be able to spread happiness, comfort, and compassion to the most needy.
But if you indulge in charity to make yourself feel good, noble, more spiritual or to prove a point to someone or pamper your ego through the means of comparison, then you have really not got the lyrics of The Great Song. Prayers, meditation, charity, should be a way of life, for that is the right way of life. Not because it gains you spiritual brownie points. Then it is just business. And God is a lousy business man.
Also you may not have money to be able to help others. Does that make you less spiritual? Is it not your primary duty to first take care of your home? I believe it is. Charity begins at home. Do your bit for your family and if there is something left, do the needful for those who are in need. Your every small act of kindness helps people and the energy attached to it carries on for eons.
Also charity need not be just about money. It is not necessary that only big bucks is a way of helping others. You being a kind individual. An understanding person. A compassionate idiot. Helping someone selflessly, all these things are equally important to spread The Light. It is not always about money. It is about what comes about by you sharing money or your time or your inclination or just a smile or a packet of biscuits to a hungry child or animal or water to someone who is thirsty.
Sometimes a glass of water can save a person’s life and at other times an ocean of water might not be able to quench the thirst of a bird.
Do not equate everything into what makes God happy or win you brownie points or whatever. We need to do what we can do as we need to light candles and with the help of one lit candle, the most dense darkness does not stand a chance.
Yes it is great if you have the finance and you go all out and help the needy. And it would be better if not only you have helped those in need but also you are inherently a good human being. You refrain from slander, gossip and the other equally repellent dark forces. But very often all a person might need is a smile and a kind word to get the strength to go on with life. All the money in the world might not help over here, but your smile and kind word, might change the mind of an individual from ending his or her miserable life. Is that not the greatest prayer or act of charity? I think it is. It financially amounts to nothing and also no time spent in meditation and prayer, but that one smile can save a life.
Who is to judge who is more spiritual than the other? God does not judge. If God does judge, then S(H)e is no God of mine. My God is not a freaking human being with feathers attached to the posterior and a funny halo around His or Her fat head. My God is cool and loving and peaceful and joyous and understanding and doesn’t ever judge anyone knowing each one is on his or her own journey and eventually going to merge within Him and Her and most importantly filled with compassion and largeness of heart. S(H)e does not need anything from you and me. All we do for Him and Her, is for our own selves. We are spiritual or kind or whatever because that is the way we are supposed to be. We are not doing anybody a favour by being decent or indulging in charity or prayers or meditation. If anybody is the biggest gainer, it is the individual. Not God. God does not need anything, not even our spirituality. May be S(H)e needs our true love. Love for the sake of love. No give and take. No conditions apply.
For me that is the greatest spiritual gift you can give yourself and your God, Goddess, Guru. Come from a place of love, operate from the place of love. Become a throbbing, radiant, fragrant, being of love. When you reach that stage, you do not need to do anything. Your very presence will uplift all around you and give a beautiful nudge to all of creation to walk The Path.
Sometimes feeding a tired, mangy dog a packet of biscuits can be the most meaningful, spiritual, divine act of spirituality. Do not judge yourself for what you are not but for what you are.
Spread the Light. Spread the joy. Spread the love. Everything else is shadow boxing.
Be blessed always.
Ruzbeh N. Bharucha