“Spirituality” – A Different Perspective
It all started on the auspicious day of Mahashivratri. My wife asked my son to get better pooja material for worshipping Lord Shiva. She asked him to get better Bael Patra (Stone Apple / Aegle Marmelos). She sent him back three times. All the Shiv Temples were crowded with devotees and cost of all the pooja materials are very high on this day or any other festival for that matters. Is this the only way to worship God, on this particular day, place with only these kinds of materials? When the fact is that we have been taught that God is everywhere and in everything. Then why there is so much of fuss all about?
I was driving to go to my clinic and it struck to me, what exactly are we doing? What are we teaching to our kids?
Let’s go back to where it all started. I was born into a typical Hindu family, where I had been taught all about the rituals and also that God is everywhere and resides in everything. I accepted it the way it was told to me. But I was not able to understand it completely at a very tender age. So on this day when I was looking at all the people celebrating this day with so much of vigor I thought are we understanding it or just doing it blindly as we were taught? Why worship just one Idol? Then it dawned to me that according to Hindu Mythology we have been worshipping everything in different forms.
We worship different idols like Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. The Trimurti is the trinity of supreme divinity in Hinduism in which the cosmic functions of Creation, Maintenance and Destruction are personified as a triad of deities, typically Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the Destroyer. So we worship even the DESTROYER.
We worship and celebrate days, weeks, months and all the five elements in different forms. We worship days in the form of Chaitra Pratipada( New Year Celebration), we worship Darkness (Amavasya – Laxmi Poojan ( Goddess of Wealth) in the form of Diwali, a Festival of Lights. We celebrate different times of the day in many forms like Morning as Brahma Muhurat, Noon as Abhijit and Evening as Godhuli Bela.
We even worship all the five elements, Ether/Aakash, Air/ Vaayu, Fire/Agni, Jal/Water, Prithvi/Earth in many forms. As we all know that everything is made up of all these five elements. Hence we can say that God is there in everything at any given moment and according to Hindu Mythology, we have been worshipping them in all the forms.
This is what a group of people are following a particular process of worship before knowing that every process of worship is suitable for their individual identity (Svadharm). So before following any kind of worship do research in your inner (psychological & spiritual) laboratory. Like in the outer world scientists keep researching in the laboratories, looking for ways to explain everything. Scientists are looking for answers outside. Spirituality sends us inwards. We have to search for answers in the lab inside us. Only then we will be able to find our own unique path which would be explored only by us.
Being an Ayurvedic doctor, these are my personal thoughts on the success of this journey. There are four milestones to it – health, wealth, love and peace. First you have to love yourself, love your body, and take care of your physical health. When you are physically fit then you can enjoy everything. Then take care of your thoughts. Nourish good thoughts about yourself, about people around you. Give love to yourself but others as well. You should send such vibes even to your enemy that he/she could feel the love even without talking to you. Spread it around. You would feel at peace with yourself.
Now you are free to worship any element, any time, or any path you feel more connected to. It’s completely your choice, not based on your birth or society in which you are born in. Explore all the paths of spirituality and then make your own path which would be individual as you are unique on this planet earth. Then there would be no conflict and peace would be there everywhere.
All I can say is Hinduism is not a religion; it’s a way of life. It’s about celebrating all aspects of life. Ayurveda helps you in achieving that.
Dr. Pashupati Nath