Spiritual Atmosphere – The Body and the Soul
One of the central teachings of the Bhagavad Gita and of the other ancient Hindu religious texts is that a human being is not his body but his atman or soul. Just like we remove our worn out clothes and wear new ones on a daily basis, the atman or soul also discards the body at the time of death and then takes on a new body at birth.
The cycle of life, death and rebirth and Spiritual atmosphere continues in this manner till eternity and the soul never really dies.
The Body and the Soul
When we clearly understand that we are not our body but consciousness that resides inside that body, we can consider our bodies as homes and our actual selves as residents of that home.
We feel good when we live in a clean and pleasant home and terrible when we have to live in ugliness and dirt. We put in effort to maintain our homes as well as possible so we will feel good while living inside them since we are sensitive to our environment.
Similarly, we must focus on maintaining our body well and keeping it free from disease since our soul (our actual self) dwells inside that body for an entire lifetime.
The spiritual atmosphere we create inside ourselves must also be pleasant and clean if we want to keep our real self, i.e. our atman, happy.
Don’t allow Dirt to Enter
To keep our house clean, we try to ensure that no dirt finds its way inside the house through the doors or windows of our homes. However, when it comes to our mind and soul, we allow negative information and wasteful thoughts to enter our soul through our eyes and ears—which are like the doors and windows of our body—freely. How can we then expect to keep our soul satisfied and happy?
The Attraction of Negative Stimuli
Rashmi was a middle-class Indian homemaker who was very particular about following her daily routine every day. She would wake up at 5 am, freshen up a bit and then do 15 minutes of yoga followed by 15 minutes of meditation. She would then read the newspaper and complete her household chores through the day.
After sending her husband and children to work and school respectively, she had plenty of time to spare for herself. She filled this time by watching television soaps that showed household politics and how one member of the family manipulated another by playing tricks and fooling everyone. She loved the exciting twists and turns in the soaps and looked forward to watching them every day.
Since she was quite active socially, her friends and relatives called her to chat almost every day and a substantial amount of her time was spent in chatting with them over the phone or meeting them in person.
During these chats, she would talk about how another friend of theirs behaved strangely or wore unfashionable clothes or did not possess the great qualities she possessed . . . so on and so forth. Talking ill about others gave her an instant high and her friends too indulged in similar gossip.
When her husband returned from work, she would fill him up on all the exciting gossip of the day over their cup of evening tea even though he had never displayed much interest in it. There was no concept of connecting emotionally with her children whom she sent off for playing in the park with their friends.
Over time, however, Rashmi started to lose her zest for life. Though she would never admit it to anyone, she did not feel like waking up in the mornings and going through another day.
She joined a spiritual group that her friends had joined too and it was there that she recognized how she herself, had been filling her time—therefore her own life—with negative information and thoughts.
When she brought about positive changes by controlling her old patterns of spending time and filled her time with constructive and positive pursuits like reading good books and painting, she experienced a slow but lasting improvement in her state of mind.
Her friend circle reduced as her older friends didn’t find her exciting or gossipy enough to spend time with but she realized that she didn’t need or enjoy them anymore, anyway.
Conclusion – Spiritual Atmosphere
We are not human beings having a Spiritual experience. We are Spiritual beings having a human experience. ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (Tweet this)
Through meditation, get in touch with the real spiritual atmosphere that exists inside you and maintain that connection through the day. If any stimulus (could be a person, a piece of news or even a movie scene) leads to the creation of a negative feeling like jealousy, insecurity, worry or stress, make attempts to stay away from that stimulus and replace it with positive stimulus instead.