In the current pandemic situation, which has crippled the world, there are discussions of becoming self-reliant in every aspect of life. While we talk about becoming self-reliant physically or in terms of production in a country, we often neglect about becoming spiritually self-reliant.
Differentiating between good and evil is very important. Our karma (actions) should align with what we are trying to achieve in our respective lives. Honesty, integrity and living a life of purity should be of utmost importance to anyone who is trying to achieve spiritual self-reliance.
Spiritual self-reliance is extremely important to live a balanced life. When we are spiritually self-reliant, we can live blissfully without worrying about the acceptance of us by others. Whether anyone else agrees with us or not, does not matter to us anymore. Everyone likes to be accepted by others in the community, however, if we are walking on a new path, at least in the initial days, others will not believe us. However, if we are spiritually self-reliant, then the testimonies of the society do not bother us.
How can I become spiritually self-reliant?
We should listen to the signals which the Universe is conveying to us. There is no short-cut available to achieve spiritual self-reliance. Now let’s look at some of the methods which we can adopt in order to achieve spiritual self-reliance.
Prayers have a lot of powers and it does not matter which religion you follow; be it Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, or any other religion. Our prayers should be directed towards the supreme power whom we call God. And most importantly, we should pray for other people and humanity.
If we use prayers as a method to ask for materialistic pleasures from the supreme power, then it can not be called as prayers. Prayers always are meant for the well-being of other human beings. One can move towards spiritual self-reliance as prayers become an integral part of our existence.
Get into the habit of reading the Holy bible. In Matthew 25:1-13 Jesus gave the parables of the ten virgins, and how one needs to live life wisely. In Mormon 9:27, it is taught how we should work out our own salvation.
Read the holy Quran and learn about the teachings of prophet Mohammad. In 2:143 it is taught that Muslims should be kind and merciful to all the creations of God.
In Bhagvat Gita, it is written that we should only focus on our karma (actions), not the results which arise out of it. We only have control over the actions, not the fruits which it bears. If our actions are good, eventually it will bear good fruits.
Read about all the positive actions which we can take during the day and the actions which we can use to help others. Do not leave it only at reading. Along with reading, we must learn to exercise and take actions too. Our mind, body and soul should be in sync and we should think, speak, and do the same thing.
Exercising the faith in God-
Spirituality is more profound than following the rituals and going to the Church, Mosque, or temple regularly. There are many people on this earth who are spiritually at a superior level compared to many who merely follow the rituals without putting in their heart and soul.
Having a faith in the supreme power makes our path easy as we have something concrete to hold on to. We have scriptures and methods which are defined in them to follow to attain spiritual self-reliance. However, the most important thing on this earth is to live a pious life. If we harm and hurt others and visit the Church every Sunday and sing in the mass, God will not forgive us.
Instead of being God fearing, we should cultivate the habit of being God loving. One should tell everything what is happening in their lives to God as if the supreme power is our friend. Once you start leaving everything to God, you will start experiencing bliss. You will realise that you are no longer worried, and your problems are getting dissolved. It is not that the problems are getting resolved on their own, the faith helps to look for other alternatives and solutions.
Do your own chores
In today’s fast-paced life, we are dependent on others for many things in life. We are on farmers to give us our food on plate, on the dairy farmers for our daily dose of milk and yoghurt. We are dependent on fishermen and poultry farmers for our supply of meats, on the laundry man to get our clothes done etc.
It is practically impossible to start farming or cultivating a fishery, however what is possible is to make that effort. If we have a small piece of land in the garden, or we can use our terrace, convert it into a kitchen garden. Have a small plant for herbs like aloe vera, tulasi etc. at home and get into the habit of nurturing plants.
One needs to try to do the household chores by himself/herself because before becoming spiritually self-reliant, it is important to become physically self-reliant.
Take care of your physical self
When a body and soul come together, a new life takes birth. Hence unless one takes care of his/her body, taking care of the soul will not be possible. To become spiritually self-reliant, you need to eat nutritious food at the right time and do moderate exercise daily.
You need to get proper sleep and keep stress at bay. Keep the bad habits like smoking, drinking or any kind of substance abuse at bay and take good care of your health. A happy soul resides within a fit body. Taking care of physical hygiene too is very important.
Taking care of your state of mind is very important. If you are frustrated and irritated all the time, it secretes negative hormones which impacts the health negatively. However, laughter, positive thoughts, having healthy relationships will take care of your complete well-being. Your body will secrete happy hormones like endorphin, and you will be physically healthy and mentally calm.
Repent thoroughly and quickly
One needs to keep the conscience clean through our acts and words every day. You need to be very mindful before performing any deed, and if you are confused, always think before you do something. Any act of ours, if it hurts or harms someone else, then it is a sin. And if one is mindful, then one can get rid of these sins easily.
However, if we have done a sin, and we realise our mistake, then we should take no time in repenting. If there is a way you can make amends and improve the situation, take action immediately. And if the damage is already done, then repent immediately. Get hold of the person whom you have wronged and seek his/her forgiveness.
Keeping the guilt inside our system blocks the spiritual energies and stops us from becoming spiritually self-reliant. You may choose to go for formal confession in the church or any holy place or do it informally at heart. However, it is very important to communicate with the person who is impacted by your wrong doings. If you are unable to speak to the person, send a written apology, but clean up your karma. Else it will come back to you in some form or the other.
Be open and receptive
Always be thankful to the Universe for showering you with the great blessings which you have in your life. Always show gratitude for what you have, and the Universe will give you more. People who always complain, do not appreciate what they have, do not get an opportunity to experience the abundance which the Universe has in store for them.
Receive with gratitude
We always accept and appreciate the good things which happens in our life; however, life will always have two sides. There will be unpleasant incidents which we all have to go through in the due course of life. If we accept the unpleasant things in our life with the same gratitude as we accepted the happy moments, then the Universe will guide us towards eternal bliss.
As per Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, our first need is physiological in nature. We all need food, air, water, shelter, clothing, and physical intimacy. And going up in the pyramid, everyone aspires for self-actualisation. In this level, a person wants to feel fulfilled, and he/she feels that all his/her potential was put to good use.
If we become spiritually self-reliant, then it is easy to attain self-actualisation. At this stage, all our needs diminish, and we feel that we have served the purpose of our being on this planet.
Preparation for the second coming
Most of the religions believe that there is a judgement day after our death, and we have to pay for all what we have done in our lifetimes. Our religious books tell us to be prepared for that day and live our lives accordingly. Our scriptures tell us to do good deeds, so that on the judgement day we get to go to heaven, not hell.
Members of the LDS church believe that Jesus Christ will be born again, and the mere mortals should always be prepared for that day. It is also believed that there will be tsunami, earthquakes, hurricanes, diseases, and other natural disasters prior to the Second Coming. It is also believed that man-made disasters like wars, nuclear explosions, environmental pollution leading to severe diseases and many man-made calamities prior to the Second coming will occur.
Even Islam believes, there will be a day of resurrection (Qayamat ka din) and Allah/God will appear on that day and give His verdict to the mere mortals. People who have sinned will rot in hell (dozakh) and the ones who have lived a pious life, will go to heaven (jannat). Hence even Islam believes in becoming spiritually self-reliant and do good deeds as per the scriptures (Hadith).
In Hindu scriptures, it is believed that after every era (yuga) there is a massive destruction, and a majority of the humanity is destroyed. After the destruction, there is a rebirth of a new era. It is believed that there was Satya yuga which lasted for 1,728,000 years or 4800 divine years and it was the golden period for humanity. There was very less crime and treachery in the society and people practiced a pious living in that era.
Then came Treta yuga which lasted for 1,296,000 years and Dwapar yuga which lasted for 864,000 years. It is believed that the current yuga which is the most turbulent one amongst all the four yugas will last for 432,000 years or 1200 divine years.
So, whether we believe in the judgement day or not is a personal opinion based on our beliefs, however becoming spiritually self-reliant is in our hands.
In our day to day lives, we go through experiences when we feel cheated and dejected by others’ behaviour. When we feel that someone else has taken advantage of us, we are filled with hatred and we carry grudges towards that person. The grudges that we carry does not do any harm to the person for whom we have it, but internally it makes us bitter.
Our bitterness takes the form of negative energy, and it starts impacting our complete well-being. The sense of being a victim is not good and we must get rid of it. Hence, we need to practice forgiveness against everyone where we feel hurt and dejected. When we broaden our horizon and include people who have ill-treated us, we take one step closer to divinity.
The prime reason to be born on this earth is to fulfil our duties and when the time comes, unite with the Supreme power. We should always be in the lookout for open messages from God. Our conscience always guides us, and that little voice always propels us towards the right direction. If we are able to follow these signs and impressions from the Universe, we get to live a fulfilling and successful life. Our positive experiences will guide us towards attaining spiritual self-reliance.