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Nature of spiritual laws

Spiritual laws tell us how we can find happiness and eventually attain self-realisation.

columns Updated: May 15, 2013 23:47 IST
Pankaj Kumar

Spiritual laws tell us how we can find happiness and eventually attain self-realisation. These laws are realised intuitively by sages, and in our inspired moments we too may get a glimpse of them. But we cannot see their usefulness by logical reasoning.

One wonders whether it is beneficial to act in accordance with spiritual laws discovered thousands of years ago. The answer is that spiritual laws remain the same through the centuries, though they may require a fresh reinterpretation according to social conditions of the period. Mahatma Gandhi said, “The truths I teach are as old as the hills.”

Today, the teachings can be modified to encourage people to protect the environment, limit the size of families, work hard and have a sustainable level of consumption of material goods. Traditional religion does not stress upon these subjects.

Spiritual leaders, psychologists, and social scientists can sit together to evolve guidelines in this regard. Saints become aware of spiritual laws through their intuition, while natural and social scientists formulate their laws on the basis of empirical evidence. In every age, saints have devised their teachings according to social realities.

Spiritual laws do not have rational explanations. One needs to have faith in the beginning and then experience will show that these laws are true.

The spiritual law of Karma is an essential feature of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. It states that a person is punished for bad behaviour and rewarded for good behaviour. That means, spiritual guidelines ensure that a person lives in coordination with others in society. He refrains from hurting others physically or verbally.

He exercises control over lust, anger and greed. He strives to grow intellectually and spiritually and stay healthy.

As philosopher HS Olcott said, “the universe was evolved, not created; and it functions according to law, not according to the caprice of any God.”