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Spiritual Life

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MOKSHA: A Spiritual Journey & Spiritual Life

The ancient Hindu way of spirituality suggests that there are four goals in life. The first is Kama, the desire for pleasure, happiness and joy. The second is Artha, the desire for prosperity, success and abundance. The third is Dharma, the need for meaning, morality and purpose. We need to meet all three of these goals to feel we have succeeded in life. But for some of us, this is not enough.

The most subtle and mysterious goal of all is for Moksha. Moksha means release, liberation from bondage. Moksha is our desire for spiritual freedom. This is the desire to be truly free. Freedom is something that we all want in one form or another. All of us want freedom from fear, oppression and want. That’s obvious. But how to escape the tyranny of being ourselves? Many of us feel bound by our negative and repetitive thoughts, doubts, anxieties, beliefs, fears – even our desires. We feel the restrictions of our routine expectations, conventions, and habits of mind. We seem to be in a cage, bound by mysterious forces that we can’t quite understand. We realize, sometimes with brilliant clarity, the depths of our ignorance and bondage.

To Live A Spiritual Life

  • "It has become a commonplace to hear someone say, “I’m spiritual but not religious.” Most people have a general understanding of what is meant. I usually assume that the person holds to a number of ideas that are considered “spiritual” in our culture, but that they are not particularly interested in “organized religion.” I understand this, because organized religion can often be the bane of spiritual existence.

  • What is Bhakti?

    Bhakti involves becoming free from the attachments of this material world and becoming attached instead to Krishna. One cannot become unattached, for one must be attached to something, but in order to become attached to Krishna or enter into the devotional service of the Lord, one has to become detached from material affection.

    Sadhana-bhakti, or practice of devotional service, can be divided into two parts. The first part is called regulative principles: one has to follow these different regulative principles by the order of the spiritual master, or on the strength of authoritative scriptures, and there can be no question of refusal. That is called vaidhi, or regulated. One has to do it without any argument. Another part of sadhana-bhakti is called raganuga. Raganuga refers to the point at which, by following the regulative principles, one becomes a little more attached to Krishna and executes devotional service out of natural love.

    For example, a person engaged in devotional service may be ordered to rise early in the morning and offers arati, which is a form of Deity worship. In the beginning, by the order of his spiritual master, one rises early in the morning and offers arati, but then he develops a real attachment. When he gets this attachment, he automatically tries to decorate the Deity and prepare different kinds of dresses and thinks of different plans to execute his devotional service nicely. Although it is within the category of practice, this offering of loving service is spontaneous. So the practice of devotional service, sadhana-bhakti, can be divided into two parts-namely, regulative and spontaneous.


    Well, we have endless questions in our mind with respect to creation, the purpose of our existence, why there is so much suffering & inequality in the world, to name a few. And we may even get answers to our questions if we refer to authorized scriptures. However, simply to have knowledge is not enough if we want to seriously progress in our spiritual life. In the material concept of life, we are busy in the matter of sense gratification as if we were in the lower, animal stage. A little elevated from this status of sense gratification, one is engaged in mental speculation for the purpose of getting out of the material clutches. A little elevated from this speculative status, when one is intelligent enough, one tries to find out the supreme cause of all causes-within and without. And when one is factually on the plane of spiritual understanding, surpassing the stages of sense, mind, and intelligence, he is then on the transcendental plane. One needs to follow a process to progress in spiritual life. So the question is which process? Is the process sublime and to whom we should reach out for the guidance.

    The process starts with Hearing (Sravanam) this is the first step in devotional service. In this age, it is very difficult to follow thoroughly the regulative principles and studies of the Vedas which were formerly recommended. However, if one gives aural reception to the sound vibrated by great devotees and acaryas, that alone will give him relief from all material contamination. Therefore it is the recommendation of Caitanya Mahaprabhu that one should simply hear from authorities who are actually devotees of the Lord. Hearing from professional men will not help. If we hear from those who are actually self-realized, then the Nectarine Rivers, like those which are flowing on the moon planet, will flow into our ears. One can easily get authorized audios of lectures on Bhagavad-Gita and Srimad-Bhagvatam online or from other devotees associated with Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. The word authorized here is, as there are many unauthorized versions freely available online. One should be very careful in what they hear, as it is the first and the most important.

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