The failure of spirituality

Spirituality has failed us completely. It has not served the purpose for which this disciplines stands for. In a large part spirituality nowadays only serves two purposes. The first one is that spirituality serves as an intellectual exercise. The other is that it serves as a quick fix for our problems in life. The real purpose of serving humanity is not there at all.

We, as human beings, are so fascinated by terms like the atman, gunas, sattva, Brahman that we  simply love to juggle with these esoteric ideas in our minds. We feel pretty smart in dabbling with these terms. To us we just feel clever intellectualizing about these esoteric concepts. There are others who prefer Zen kaons s for e.g. “where were you before you were born?” or “does a dog have Buddha nature? When we play with these questions or concepts we feel we are having understood the mysteries of the mind.

There are others who to whom spirituality is a panacea for all of daily problems in life. People feel that just pondering on concepts like God, Supreme consciousness and truth will somehow magically spirit away all their problems in life. To some extent these people just hypnotize themselves into believing that they are contented. They do achieve a certain amount of temporary relief.

Spirituality is neither an intellectual exercise nor is it the cure of the troubles of mankind. The message of Hinduism is “to perform one’s duty selflessly while maintaining dharma”, for Christians it is the “message of love”, for Muslims “brotherhood of humanity” and Buddhists “overarching compassion”.

With these simple lessons of the religion man’s purpose in life is to serve humanity. The pursuit of religion is neither an intellectual exercise nor a cure for our problems. It is not the real purpose of why we are here in this world.

Fortunately there are a few great luminaries who stand as beacons in this world of ours who devoted their life to humanity for e.g. Mother Teresa,  Sathya Sai Baba, Gandhiji. There are quite a few still living among us who have bequeathed their fortunes for the  eradicating of diseases, improving education of the underprivileged etc like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Azim Premji and Tatas.

The issue of spirituality these days is that message of service to humanity is lost in the spiritual jargon.



4 thoughts on “The failure of spirituality

  1. Christ-Follower August 21, 2011 at 12:48 pm Reply

    Dear Sir,
    The message of Christianity is not “the message of love.” Anyone can love. Instead it is the “message of agape love.” Agape love is unconditional love. It’s the love that Christ shows to His Children (Christians) who then share it with the world.

    I’d like to say that spirituality has not failed us. We have failed spirituality. We have taken what God has given to us and reduced it to a problem-fixing intellectual exercise. We’re the problem. Not spirituality.

    • TInniam V Ganesh August 22, 2011 at 7:23 am Reply

      You are right. Most of us have missed the key teachings of spirituality and get lost in intellectual exercises.

      Tinniam V Ganesh

  2. donteattrash August 21, 2011 at 2:03 pm Reply

    and lost in divisions brought on by elitism.

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