From a very young age, I was habitually exposed to various spiritual practices by my family. My mom would chant mantras during bedtime; she’d say they would protect me. My child-like mind never comprehended the depth of her words, but now there are instances when it resonates more. Active listening was one key element to consider when it comes to mastering the skill of chanting. For the obvious reasons, I began to know mantras by heart and was also rewarded in a competition during school times. This moment is still very close to heart, and since it was the first time, I felt a sense of accomplishment.
As I started growing older, I would accompany my parents to various yoga and meditation practices, and it allowed me the freedom to choose my learning.
My mom also went to Parayans quite often, wherein all devotees met with chanting for long hours. The program would begin at midnight and go all the way till early mornings, sometimes afternoon too. This one time, my mom asked me to tag along for a little change. When I entered the temple, its graceful ambiance took over me.
There was an intense yet calm vibe that built up. As soon as I was engrossed in the recitation, tears began to roll down my cheeks. I didn’t even realize I was crying, but this was different, something I’d never experienced. The loud gong of the ringing bells, the chanting of Vedic mantras, everything was in perfect sync. It almost felt like I was in a trance state. Everything around me faded away, with a sense of wholeness within me. I felt at peace. This was the closest I’d been to the process of spiritual surrender. My senses were so magnified, yet I was lost into the moment. It was as if I was drenched in a shower of unconditional love bestowed upon me by the almighty!
The question is not whether one is spiritual or religious. Why is there a supremacy conflict between these two modalities? The question is, what do we believe in? Where does faith reside? The moment we strongly identify ourselves with anything, that is the very instance when we are hampering ourselves to limitless possibilities of life. Identifying will give rise to austerity in an individual. It might temporarily satisfy our pride and give us a sense of self, but cause injustice to our life purpose. Self-transformation is not achieved by following different doctrines and philosophies. Instead, it’s achieved when one can radically change their lens of perception towards life events and make joy as the basic nature of existence. Whether you believe in God’s presence or whether you just believe in some higher power, all that matters is what meaning it holds in your life. Ultimately, your beliefs should aim at broadening your consciousness.
If you think about it, even if God appeared in front of us the next day, we’d keep questioning and asking for some sort of proof or evidence. You see, we humans are so wired to reasoning everything out, relying on cognition that sometimes, we might miss miracles. These miracles might not pertain to something mystical, but even the small things in life. Even though having faith is not so popular in this generation of logic, one cannot deny its immense magnetic power.