Introduction Throughout India, the spirituality wave is now even more telling than ever before. Any normal human being is now subject to pulls and pressures in various directions and life has changed to a huge extent even in rural India. On the one hand, the advent of information technology has had a profound impact on human beings. On the other hand, the consequent changes in behavior have totally confused any normal human being across age groups and across religions.
Be that as it may, even we have an entire generation engaged in jobs that drain their energies like never before, it is also observed that there are new patterns of beliefs in spirituality that are not only interesting but also amazing to a great extent. For example, if a Tamil Brahmin girl gets married to a Christian, there are both types of festivals celebrated. There are visits to both temples and mosques. Spirituality acquires a new dimension. Those who are spiritual always are more tolerant about other human beings at all levels and respect for others goes far beyond normal limits.
In general, spirituality leads to a) Greater appreciation of everything good about human nature b) Far better peace of mind as a norm c) Diversion of the human mind to positivity d) Indices hope and optimism and e) Promotes peace and Harmony in The wider society.
Greater appreciation of everything good about human nature Have you seen people talking politics in temples? Or Gossiping in any place of worship? Never. The oneness with God is complete. A serene peace takes over. The atmosphere is very calm and people do understand each other far better. Any ritual, irrespective of religion has an underlying meaning and it does become obvious that ultimate peace reigns in such places of worship and people do talk about very many good things and about doing very good things. There is always a very wide appreciation of everything that is good about human nature, as places of worship and prescribed rituals do bring about more understanding and peace to a larger extent.
Far better peace of mind as a norm Have you not experienced a far better peace of mind after going to a temple or a church? Yes, we all have it. In fact, far in excess of what we want. This is because of what we call focus. The mind is simply empty and we are in a sort of subconscious state of mind. Our thoughts are channelized towards some superpower that we call God. It is our belief that most, if not all, events around us happen only because of Him. This belief gets firmly implanted in our minds and a huge range of positive things happen. Very rich people are known to have donated hundreds of thousands of rupees when this sort of a belief transcends normal human emotions and goes into a sort of sublime state of happiness. This, of course, can vary from person to person. Yet, the end is common. That is, the end is nothing but peace of mind. This, in turn, leads to several good things. For instance, we never tend to indulge in any violence, howsoever big or small that may be.
Diversion of the human mind to positivity This is another big plus and it follows from the peace of mind. Those who do temple related social work or the numerous social work-oriented Christian volunteers exhibit this in abundance. For them, human values are so important. When they respect human values, a huge amount of positivity becomes a norm. It becomes a way of life. It becomes something that brings with it positivity of a big order. This demolishes all negative thoughts of every kind. Spirituality is known to bring about pronounced change through this process of first bringing peace of mind to the individual and then taking the subsequent actions through and by infusing a huge amount of positivity in people.
Yes, spirituality by itself is not a cure for all social ills. Yet, it does make a big difference in our lives at many times. It is only the cumulative positivity in our society that keeps even the economic engine in working condition. This is one fact that should be clearly understood by every human being in this world. Atheists may grudgingly accept such a fact at some point in time in their lives.
Infuses hope and optimism This is exactly the Crux of all spirituality. We turn towards God in desperate situations. We often notice several good things happening when He seemingly listens to our prayers. This hope leads to the optimism of a tall order. Hope and optimism are very effective positive twins that can easily demolish any unwanted or negative thoughts centered around pessimism at any point in time. For example, millions did pray that the global war against terrorism should take a turn towards a far better and peaceful world. It has happened. There is far greater peace. Spiritualism also gives any human being that bit of extra energy to take on far better challenges. That Indians have withstood huge floods, droughts, famines and what have you is a case in point.
One must witness the massive amount of hope and optimism in the latter half of the month of May, across Tamil Nadu. Even if there is big water scarcity, most temples in different places have their yearly festival during this time. Hundreds of new mobile shops selling glass bangles appear from nowhere. There are shops selling cheap textile goods and agricultural produce. Everyone soaks in the festive atmosphere. Community feeding takes place at hundreds of places. Even thousands of safe drinking water is suddenly made available, by sponsoring such things. The rich traders and other rich people also chip in with resources, in cash and kind. The reactions are infectious and the entire community is one, irrespective of caste, color or Creed. This has now become such a regular festival practice, that it promotes harmony of the tallest order.
Promotes Peace and Harmony in the wider societyThose who know the fabulous work done by Mother Theresa and her team, throughout Kolkatta and in other places will jolly well understand the wide-ranging effects of spirituality as far as peace and harmony are concerned, in the society at large. There are other examples. The spiritual thoughts of Kanchi Maha periyavaa, as he was and is still called, had influenced the minds of millions of followers worldwide. He had thousands of devotees from Europe as well. He was able to influence them to live peaceful lives with harmony. He was instrumental in making so many good things humanly possible in so many parts of the world.
Another reference to a particular locality of a big city in Tamil Nadu. The city is called Tiruchirapalli. The locality is called Palakkarai. There are Muslims as the majority community. However, Hindus live nearby in absolute peace. Better still, there are Tamil Brahmins for neighbors. All people live in absolute peace and the people of both religions go to their places of worship, with great respect. Muslims are very well known to donate liberally to temple festivals and they would take part in every social work carried out in the locality. This is the effect of spirituality that goes far beyond normal commercial considerations. The mutual respect of people has to be seen to be believed.
Conclusion Whatever be our present economic status, it is important to note what spirituality can mean to each one of us. It effectively demolishes all negative forces and enables a terrific amount of positive change in so many walks of life. Though we cannot be totally spiritual, it is vital that we understand it's core dimensions and lead far more peaceful lives than what we are doing now. Simply doing this will have positive spin-offs everywhere.