How is a spiritual way relevant for today's people?
I thought you are going to elaborate on how is it relevant to today's people. Isn't it?
First, people are increasingly realizing the importance of a well cultivated human mind. A human being is able to 'think' using his mind. No other living creature on earth possesses this ability to think.
But, it has been proved that humans are able to use - at best - a very small percentage of what mind is capable of, may be 4 to 5% not more. Why is that? One problem is that mind is perpetually in a state of activity. It gets some rest only during the sleep. But, during waking state one thought leads to another, giving rise to incessant thoughts; very similar to the Brownian motion observed in liquid by scientists.
Can this incessant movement of thoughts be controlled or regulated? If yes, it may become possible to exceed our current level of understanding and knowledge of the world around us.
Sahaj marg helps here because it is yoga of the mind. It helps to bring the ever wavering mind to a regulated state by taking up the regular practice of meditation and cleaning. Result of such a practice is a regulated and clean mind - that does not allow impressions to form or settle.
For one who is not doing this type of practice, what happens is that impressions created by daily thoughts and actions settle and become hardened in to something called grossness. Over a period of time such grossness settles down on heart - called samskars. This samskars are responsible for our habits and behaviour patterns. It's a teacher's job in Sahaj Marg to get rid of this grossness settled on the heart. When done, heart is cleared of habits, behaviour patterns and emotions; and one becomes free from the binding effects of grossness. When this happens, one is liberated from effects of the past.
Second, in today's world there is a lot of easiness compared to a world say 200 years back. It's all due to advancement of science and technology in the last 150 years or so. But due to this easiness people's body and mind are becoming weaker every day. We feel helpless when any of this technology props viz., electricity, vehicles, telephones, water in the tap and information at the fingertips is not available.
Being surrounded by so many things and conveniences, do we feel complete? Temporarily yes, when desired object is available. But after some time the joy wears off and we start looking for something new, better, innovative and so on. Is there any end to this quest for novelty? Not really. In fact, a time comes when we feel emptiness.
Why do we feel emptiness, in spite of having everything?
It is because we intuitively realize that all these things may fill up space and make life easy, but it does not give satisfaction in the long run. There is something that is missing. We don't feel full, complete, satisfied and contented.
What is missing? Why does a modern man feel that his life is not fulfilled?
Let us examine. It is said that soul resides in the heart of the human beings. Many experiments have been done by modern scientists to find out property of such soul (if it exists) say weight - by accurately weighing body of a dying person before and after the death. But such experiments have not yielded any satisfactory answers.
Answer to this mystery of what gives life to the human and other living creatures has been reasonably well explained by saying that soul enters a body giving it a life and soul leaves body by making it dead. But, such answers do not make us much wise.
Because, until we are able to directly experience it, we are unable to find use of such a knowledge. Till then it is just a hypothesis. Isn't it?
True. Everyone says god or soul is there inside the heart of every living being; but I can't identify with it in any way. What's use of such knowledge?
Good. You have hit the nail on the head.
Sahaj marg says that soul not only resides in the heart of a human being, it has got life of its own. Purpose of our assuming this body is that we do something so that soul gets back its life while we are living; and it continues thereafter, after the soul has left this body.
Is it possible to offer life back to the soul? Isn't it supposed to be immortal etc.? You must be joking.
No. What happens is that soul has become trapped in a web of its own making due to the hardening of impressions called grossness that we form due to our daily thoughts and actions - things I referred to while explaining cleaning. Do you remember it?
Yes. And you said it's teacher's role to take care of impressions or grossness that were already formed.
True. What happens is that although soul is immortal etc. it has got trapped in a sort of cocoon of grossness. Due to the effort of meditation and cleaning - assisted by the teacher's transmission, slowly this grossness is removed or peeled off; and soul slowly becomes free to move.
Its only when a soul becomes free that the possibility of its journey on its onward path becomes possible. When this happens it's a joyous moment because soul has got back its life, of course not fully but to an extent, where it is able to move further, after lapse of possibly thousands of years. Of course, much journey remains to be done before it reaches its homeland or final destination. That state is known as self-realization.
But, aren't we supposed to take up journey to holy places to reach the state of self-realization?
No. It is very unfortunate that this idea of journey of the soul within human system was known and discovered by the founders of great religious movements thousands of years back; and it got degenerated over a period of time into this idea of physical journey over land to holy places.
Proof of same is evident from the fact that even though people take up many a times very arduous journey to the holy places, they feel only a temporary elation. When they come back home they have not changed in any way. So, only journey worthwhile taking up is this inner journey of the soul within human system. But, even this journey starts only after great deal of effort is made in freeing up the soul from its bondage of grossness, also known as samskars.
So, after that I believe soul's journey must be easy?
Not really. It's only a beginning of a long journey. Path is long and slippery. By self-effort such journey takes thousands of years, as mentioned in old yogic literature, taking up numerous lives. During this journey soul sheds various coverings like that of illusion (maya), ego etc., and becomes more and more free.
Only a capable teacher who has travelled this path himself; and has capacity to help other people through yogic transmission can make journey easy. Of course, even the aspirant has to put in his own effort and co-operate with the teacher to cut down this journey time.
Good news is that teacher in Sahaj marg is able to cut down this time to just one life i.e., this life itself. Who knows what will be there after this life?
Come on, you are just making an exaggerated claim or promise.
Ok. Assuming that what is claimed is not true, isn't it great to know that at least some one is there who says I've a method, if you follow it sincerely while co-operating with my work on you, it is possible to lead to self-realization in one life time. Isn't it worth trying?
Tell me honestly how many people you have heard or known, in the history of mankind, who have been bold to make such a claim? Human history has no knowledge of any. So, it may be worth giving Sahaj marg a try and see if it is really able to offer something that gives direction and fulfillment to the life.
I see your point. It seems worth trying. But, can you tell me more about it before I decide?
Proof of pudding is in eating and then deciding. Visit www.heartfulness.org for an experiential try. It is worth giving a sincere try - at least for 3 months. You need not contact any one; and one can try in the comfort of the home. If you would like to explore more then try meditation with a trainer and you should be able to get a taste of the 'beyond.'
Note: Heartfulness is an invitation (or an approach) to Sahaj Marg. So, if one likes Heartfulness Relaxation and Meditation then for a deeper experience one starts Sahaj Marg practice where apart from mediation there is a practice of cleaning and few other things.