SPIRITUALISM – SPIRITUAL BEING AND SELF-REALIZATION :
What is Man? I want to respectfully begin this conversation by stating my motivation for asking this question. The motivation to ask comes from a statement expressed in Sanskrit language: “Sarvesham Swastir Bhavatu”, a statement which seeks the well-being of all humans, of all races, of all cultures, of all religions, and of all nations. The meaning and purpose of human life are affected by whatever we think is the ‘real’, or ‘true’ nature of Man. But, more importantly, our efforts to support the well-being of man would require correct understanding and knowledge of ‘real’, or ‘true’ Man. In human cultures all over the world, in the history of a variety of religions, we have come to know about people who have distinguished themselves as Prophets, Saints, and as people of Spiritual Knowledge. Several of them have won the recognition of a higher status of being Spiritual Masters, Spiritual Teachers, or Spiritual Gurus and people have given them attention with a sense of humility, and devotion with the hope of obtaining Self-Realization which could be defined as complete fulfillment of the Self or full development of one’s ‘real’, or ‘true’ Self. I would like to submit to my readers that I do not intend to show any disrespect towards any of these Masters of Spiritual Learning and Teachers of various kinds of Spiritual Practices. I have a basic right to know and understand ‘true’ or ‘real’ Self and I believe that understanding could be applied to promote and preserve the well-being of all humanity. The reasoning process that I use could be called Applied Philosophy which involves the application of conceptual analysis to questions of belief and ideology which affect what we think about ourselves and what we think we ought to do individually and socially. We need to carefully verify the concepts of Soul, and Spirituality to attain Self-Realization.
HUMAN BIRTH IS A DIVINE PHENOMENON :
Spiritualism is the potency that brings Man’s Essence and Man’s Existence to come together to provide Man the Subjective and Objective Reality of his own biological existence in the Physical and Material Realm. Spiritualism is the potency that determines Man’s Existence as a Spiritual Being. Human birth is a Divine Phenomenon. The newborn baby always arrives as a Spiritual Being. This statement has two important implications; 1. There is complete development and fulfillment at birth for Man to exist as a Spiritual Being, and 2. Spiritualism is not Learned or Acquired Knowledge and Behavior. Man does not transform himself into a Spiritual Being by his physical or mental efforts. In other words, Spiritualism does not involve learning from Holy Scriptures, practice of techniques like Meditation, and observation of religious rituals like pilgrimage and Temple worship. Man, the Physical Being is created not as an Embodied Soul but as a Living Soul that lives as a Spiritual Being. There could be several important benefits that Man may acquire by reading Holy Scriptures and through religious practices such as Prayer, Meditation, and Worship. While I would not discourage or disrespect such practices and religious behavior, I would like to categorically submit to my readers that Man does not transform himself into a Spiritual Being by virtue of any of his physical, and mental efforts. To think that Man is born as a Physical Being and slowly transforms himself into a Spiritual Being through a process called Self-Realization is a myth. If the human body is described as a field of activity or ‘KSHETRA’, the Knower, and the Enjoyer of this field of activity called ‘KSHETRAJNA’ exists at birth and this Spiritual Being does not come into existence during a later part of life through a process of Learning from sensory experience or intellectual introspection.
CREATION AND SELF-REALIZATION :
Man, like all other living entities represents a thermodynamically unstable system. Man does not exist in the physical, material world because of his own Power/Force/Energy. Man needs continuous supply of energy from an external source during the entire span of his life. The fact of Man’s Physical Existence in the world could be understood as the manifestation of the Power/Force/Energy of the Supreme Being. The operation of this Divine Power or Potency is revealed as Self-Realization, the process or mechanism by which the Creative Power/Force/Energy establishes the complete Self which for reasons of clarity and understanding could be divided into four stages as follows:
1. First Stage of Self-Realization – The Establishment of Knowledge :
Human life begins at conception as a single, fertilized Egg Cell. This Egg Cell always comes from a previously existing Egg Cell that has grown and developed into a human being. Father is the Originating Principle. Mother, the divine source of Life, Energy, and Knowledge is the Providing Principle. Knowledge is implanted in the substance of the Egg Cell giving its Consciousness, ability to grow and develop into embryo, fetus, and a fully formed human baby. Hence, Life could be defined as “Knowledge in Action.” In Indian tradition, this aspect of Self-Realization is described as “Jnanamoya”, the living symptoms that are manifested as Consciousness.
2. The Second Stage of Self-Realization or The Establishment of Vital Functions :
The newborn baby upon separation from its mother, begins life as an independent living entity by initiation of its vital, living functions such as Respiration and Circulation. To survive in the physical world, the baby needs to breathe on its own and circulate the vital supply of Oxygen to all the tissues, and organs of entire human body. In Indian tradition this aspect of Self-Realization is described as “Pranamoya”, the ability to perform vital functions like breathing on its own.
3. The Third Stage of Self-Realization or The Establishment of Nutrition :
During the stages of embryo and fetus, nutritional support is provided by the mother. The newborn baby must continue to feed through all the stages of its physical existence for the rest of its entire life span. In Indian tradition this dependence upon food for existence is described as “Annamoya”, or the Materialistic Realization of the Supreme Being and Divine Power or Potency.
4. The Fourth Stage of Self-Realization or The Establishment of ‘The Knowing-Self’ :
The cells, tissues, and organ systems of the newborn baby display functional subservience for the benefit of Self which lives because of their living functions. Reticular Formation in the Brain Stem functions as ‘The Knowing-Self’, and is involved in the composition of Consciousness which brings functional unity in the complex, multicellular human organism. It could be described as the “Knower”, and the “Enjoyer” or “KSHETRAJNA” of the field of activities of human body called “KSHETRA”. In Indian Tradition, the establishment of this “Knower”, “Enjoyer”, or the ‘Knowing-Self’ is described as the Fourth Stage of Self- Realization, or ‘Brahman-Realization and is called “Vijnanamoya.”
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,
M.B.B.S. Class of April, 1970.
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