CHENNAI : Recently, a prominent English Daily did a story on subject ‘The world of godmen: From sublime to ridiculous’ which raised a lot of questions that were until now merged in people’s mind. It made people question their beliefs as well as the faith that they have invested in their so called gurus. There is no doubt in it that there are some people who have intense love for spiritualism but that brand of spiritualism is not constituted of pure spirituality. It has streaks of materialism of one sort or the other. No doubt, these people engage themselves in spiritual practices and persuade others also to have spirituality in their life but still their own mind is tied in knots of materialism.
They devote their time and energy in propagating spirituality and are dedicated to high ideals but their manners and methods and their hopes and aspirations clearly reflect some special kind of materialism. It is true that they understand the benefits of soul-consciousness and advise others to give up bodyconsciousness and they themselves also practise soul-consciousness but, in their zeal to spread spiritualism, they have their eyes set on those people who have money and material goods so that their money and material things can be used for the spread of spiritualism.
But in doing this, their intent is not wholly spiritualistic but it has always a touch of worldly ambition, for the have hidden desire for glory and praise. They hold big congregations and mass gatherings where people in large numbers come to listen to their discourse and to have community dining. But the purpose for holding these mass scale programmes is not to spread waves and vibrations of spirituality but to have a large number of people who remain in their fold.
Thus, they have desire for name and fame and material abundance. In this sense, they are protagonists of materialistic spiritualism. Such people start their spiritual career by just being seekers of truth or being simple spiritual practitioners. As they march forward on the spiritual path, people begin to praise and adore them for their noble intent, simple life and their spirituality and start offering them money, materials and lands, as a result of which these spiritual practitioners get bitten by the money-bug.
They also acquire or accept grand titles or high epithets and develop a taste for such programmes as are meant to felicitate and honour them as persons. It is said that the path of spirituality is paved with many slipping tiles and hence one has to be very cautious in one’s gait. One may, sometimes, see the self, surrounded by flatterers and flippants and, at other times, by those who want some special favours by offering fat purses, costly gifts, big bouquets or highflown words of praise.
This may sharpen one’s thirst for fame, hunger for position, power, high profile or honour. However, a true spiritualist is one who remains above all these temptations and is a living example of lotus in mud. At the same time it should also be noted that true spirituality does not mean that one should not accept any money, raise any building or have any programme. It only requires that one should have the spirit of sacrifice — renunciation and must not hanker after worldly things that are short-lived, evanescent and hollow. One must only love things that are of the spirit and not of the matter. Needless to say that one must look after one’s health and have necessary things but at the same time one must lead a simple life and not stretch things out of limit.