SPIRITUALITY - THE SOUL OF SUPREME LIFE
We often hear the word SPIRITUALITY in our daily life. Now let us go into it's inner meaning and study about it. There are many creatures in the world. Out of them, the man is the most intelligent and the most typical creature. Man exhibits his behaviour in a unique way when compared to the other creatures. Man is completely different from the other cretures even in structure, language and body language. This unique difference provides him many ultimate features and a set of responsibilities to lead an excellent life. Man requires a lot of physical and mental strength to fulfil his responsibilities. Physical strength can be obtained through the sources like food and exercise. THEN WHAT ABOUT MENTAL STRENGTH? Sources like food and exercise can provide us only physical strength. They cannot provide mental strength. Infact, there are no physical sources of mental strength. There is a kind of energy which is known as SPIRITUAL ENERGY or SPIRITUALITY. It is the only source of Mental strength. WHAT IS SPIRITUALITY? Spirituality is the science that connects the Man and the God. In other terms, Spirituality is defined as the science that deals with the development of positive energy, removal of negative energy and the establishment of good health and behaviour. Sprituality is the greatest source of energy given by the ancient Indian sages to the mankind. It makes the relation between the man and the nature more stronger. NECESSITY OF SPIRITUALITY : Modern man needs Spirituality to fulfil his responsibilities without loosing peace of mind, health and charecter. Mainly Spiritual energy is necessary for building up the charecter which is the only quality which can make or break an individual. So it is very important to establish Spiritual energy in our body and soul. The most popular form of Spiritual energy is The Yoga. The credit of introducing Yoga to the world goes to Maharshi Patanjali. There are 8 limbs of Yoga. They are: Yama,Niyama,Asana,Pranayama,Pratyahara,Dharana,Dhyana and Samadhi. These 8 limbs of Yoga together is known as ASHTANGA YOGA. Meditation plays a keyrole in many of these limbs. Now let us discuss about the 8 limbs of Yoga in a brief manner.
1.Yama : This is the first limb of Yoga. In it, Patanjali describes the prohibitory rules of Yoga. Vicious habits like violence, lying, stealing and immorality are strictly prohibited. An individual who is interested in the Spiritual practice must be away from these habits. Mahashi Patanjali listed 5 rules that must be followed by an individual during the Spiritual practice. They are Ahimsa(Non-violence) , Satya(Truthfulness), Asteya(Non-stealing),Brahmacharya(Sensory restraint) and Aparigraha(Non possessiveness).
2.Niyama : This is the second limb of Yoga. In this limb, Patanjali described the five mandatory rules that must be followed by an individual during the Spiritual practice. They are Shaucha(Purity of the body, mind and soul), Santosha(Contentment/Satisfaction),Tapa(Perseverance and self discipline),Swadhyaya(Study of the self) and Eshwarapranidhana(Contemplation of the God).
3.Asana: This limb has a wide range of popularity in Yoga. It includes both physical and mental attention of the individual. Asanas in Yoga play a keyrole in the development of life processes like respiration, digestion, excretion, transportation and so on. Asanas play a keyrole in the trasportation of blood to all the parts of the body. Asanas such as Vajrasana, Padmasana, Bhujangasana and Tadasana are some of the most practised asanas. In the Spiritual terminology, a male who practices the Yoga is called as Yogi and a female who practices the Yoga is called as Yogini.
4.Pranayama: This is the fourth limb of Yoga and it deals with the different techniques of breathing. The practice of these techniques improve the Respiration process in our body and results in the better functioning of vital organs like heart, lung and kidneys.Thus, it leads to the better transportation of blood in the body. Asana and Pranayama are the most practised limbs of Yoga.
5.Prathyahara: This is the fifth limb of Yoga. It is the process of withdrawing the sensory experience from the external world. It is a stage in which The Yogi/The Yogini stops being commanded by the extrernal situations and attains the interest to seek self knowledge. In simple language, Prathyahara is defined as a state in which our senses can be controlled.
6.Dharana: This is the sixth limb of Yoga. Dharana means the uninterrupted concentration of the mind. Generally our mind experiences a lot of stress as it contains a lot of ideas, emotions, strategies and memories. As there are many worries in our mind, it is difficult for our mind to focus in a particular way or on a particular point. The main theme of Dharana is confining our mind to a particular point. It is a form of meditation in which a set of rules are created in the mind and help it in focussing in a particular way ar an a particular point.
7.Dhyana: This is the penultimate limb of Yoga. Dhyana involves the practice of deep meditation. The practice of the previous limbs Asana, Pranayama, Prathyahara and Dharana gralually lead to Dhyana. In this stage, The Yogi/ The Yogini becomes almost equal to a saint. This stage leads to the ultimate state samadhi.
8.Samadhi: This is the ultimate limb of Yoga. In this state, The Yogi/The Yogini represent the entire universe. There is no interruption to those people who are in Samadhi state as they represent the entire universe. Reaching this stage is very much difficult.
We often use the word MEDITATION in our daily life. What is Meditation? Meditation is a part of Yoga in which the Yogi concentrates in his breathing process and experiences the fact that Positive energy is being collected by his body during inhalation and the negative energy in his body is being sent out during exhalation. Meditation enables us to take control over our senses. It also provides good health and peacefulness.
IMPORTANCE AND SPECIALITY OF SPIRITUALITY: The present day world recognised the greatness of Spirituality and it's impact on the lives of humans. Many countries added this divine programme in their daily routine. Every year, 21st June is celebrated as THE YOGA DAY. The entire victory of bringing a wide range of popularity to Spirituality goes to the people of Hindusthan. Yoga shows it's impact on both Physical & Mental development of the individual. Some of the branches of Yoga like Surya Namaskara includes the chanting of mantras along with the assigned physical posture of the body. This develops a spontaneous Spirituality in humans and thus leads to their overall development.
SURYA NAMASKARA AND IT'S BENEFITS: Surya Namaskara is a sequence of 12 Asanas. These are especially meant for obeissance to Lord Surya. These 12 asanas can be practiced regularly by chanting the mantras : 1. Om Mitraya Namaha 2. Om Ravaye Namaha 3. Om Suryaya Namaha 4. Om Bhanave Namaha 5. Om Khagaya Namaha 6. Om Pushne Namaha 7. Om Hiranya Garbhaya Namaha 8. Om Mareechaye Namaha 9. Om Adityaya Namaha 10. Om Savitre Namaha 11. Om Arkaya Namaha 12. Om Bhaskaraya Namaha respectively. In the practice of asanas numbered 1,3,5,7,9&11, the air must be exhaled and in the practice of remaining asanas, the air must be inhaled. The regular practice of Surya Namaskara improves Digestion process in the body, controls the sugar levels, keeps the body flexible, improves blood circulation, cures Insomnia (sleeplessness), provides mental relaxation and so on. Hence, the regular practice of Surya Namaskara help us in multiple ways.
Spirituality has been ragarded as one of the greatest qualities that a human can possess. Once Swami Vivekananda said ''Spirituality as a science, as a study is the greatest and healthiest exercise that the human mind can have." He also said "It is Meditation that brings us nearer to truth than anything else." By these words, we can understand the greatness of Spirituality.
PRESENT DAY'S POOR CONDITION: Hindusthan is the birth place of Arts and Epics. It is a holy place which gave many sources of Spirituality to the world. Today, the entire world recognised the greatness of those spiritual sources. But unfortunately, those spiritual sources are being under estimated by some of the people in our country itself. Some of the innocent people argue that Spirituality is full of superstitious believes. But the fact is , believing that Spirituality is full of superstitious believes is the real superstitious belief. Every rule prescribed by our sages has it's own importance. So it is better to follow them without rude questioning. Another unfortunate situation is being faced in our country. That is our media is encoursging the scrap minds to judge Spirituality whether it is good or bad. But the fact is Spirituality is not a newly released film to write reviews.It is an outstanding source of energy which is already successful in all the ways. So now it is our responsibility to protest against this situation and prove that SPIRITUALITY=SCIENCE
-DEEKSHITULA SHANMUKHA SIVANAND