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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014
A householder’s quest
Pankaj Kumar, Hindustan Times
August 11, 2013
First Published: 23:11 IST(11/8/2013)
Last Updated: 23:13 IST(11/8/2013)

A householder’s spiritual quest can be put in the form of a question: How can we attain enlightenment and ensure the well-being of our loved ones?

The first requirement is to follow the essential teachings of our religion and spend time with our loved ones. If we listen to our family members carefully when they speak, we will understand them better and intuitively know what we should say or do. And to support ourselves and our families, we need to do some work. As Guru Nanak said: Work and remember God.

For spiritual growth, we can read religious books and meditate using a method that suits us.

Mantra meditation suits many people. We need to set goals for the medium term, say one year, and try to achieve them.

It would help if we can have an enlightened person to guide us; otherwise we can rely on good books. We should also learn to think for ourselves. Journal writing teaches us to think independently.

We have to accept the fact that we will never find the ideal circumstances for our spiritual activities. We will have to strive in the given circumstances.

It is beneficial to spend an hour or two alone every day. During this time, we can read, write, meditate and ward off lethargy, hatred and lustful thoughts. Even if we are in the midst of people, we can find solitude if we do not talk.

No matter what the obstacles are, we have to keep on trying. And most of these obstacles will be internal such as laziness and negative thoughts. As Mahatma Gandhi said: “Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory.”

Conversations are essential for our personal growth, but we cannot waste our lives in idle talk. Unnecessary talking makes it difficult to concentrate on reading or work.

And we have to realise that for leading a good life, we need money but not too much of it; we can adopt the motto: Simple living and lofty thinking.


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