Ask Parvati 22: It's A Spiritual Life – Part 1
IT’S A SPIRITUAL LIFE
Dear Parvati Devi, Do you have any guidance for me? Could you see me through your divine vision and guide me to be pure and spiritual? Could you ask Mata Parvati whom I love dearly, if she has anything to say to me? I am in Kolkata, India. Thank you.
Thank you for your question. Though my guru named me Parvati, I am no more the Divine Mother than you. In each one of us, Devi, the supreme, primordial force, exists, if we are willing to see Her.
Since you write me your question from India, I feel that you are blessed to live in the same country of a great living saint who is a fully realized master and one with the Mother Goddess Parvati. She is the one who gave me the name Parvati.
If you do want a blessing from Devi, go to Kerala and have darshan with Mata Amritanandamayi Devi at Her ashram, Amritapuri. If you cannot get there, Amma, as she is also known, tours India regularly. For information and tour dates and locations, you can go to www.amma.org.
Not yet being a realized being myself, I have chosen to see your question as an invitation to share how I have and continue to invite the divine into my life.
IT’S A SPIRITUAL LIFE
At every moment of every day, we are faced with a choice. Do I choose love or do I choose fear? Do I choose to expand and flow or do I choose to constrict and resist the perfection of this moment?
The great saints and sages of all world religions tell us that the purpose of our birth is to realize God, the oneness with all that is. Due to our ignorance and limited ego, we see life as divided by what we want and what we perceive to be real.
By cultivating spiritual understanding, we loosen the grip of our ego and attachments. We begin to see beyond what we perceive, and open to the experience of union with what is. In so doing, we return to the one flow of pure consciousness that is our true nature.
Spirituality is explored, cultivated and expressed through many diverse world religions. Yet all spiritual practices share common spiritual qualities and goals. His Holiness the Dalai Lama says of his Tibetan Buddhist tradition that his religion is kindness. Mata Amritanandamayi Devi says her religion is love.
Kindness, love, compassion, selfless service, unity consciousness are some of the attributes that spiritual aspirants develop along their path. Just as with any seed planted in the ground, spiritual qualities need the right environment in which to grow, ripen and ultimately flower.
To follow a spiritual life, we need what the Buddhists call the three jewels: a strong spiritual community that supports our righteous choices (sangha), the pure and wise teachings of a spiritual master (dharma), and divine grace (Buddha).
These three jewels can be found in most spiritual traditions. Whatever our path may be, we need the right environment (community) in which to grow spiritually. We must have the correct perspective (the teachings) to guide our actions. We require grace in order to evolve and become enlightened.
To cultivate a spiritual life, we need to make a firm resolve to put God, the divine or pure consciousness as the highest priority in our life. Then we need to practice seeing that divinity in everything, everyday, everywhere, all the time.
To see the divine everywhere, we learn to let go of our habits that tells us that life is against us. We let go of our wants that push against what is. We begin to feel a sense of place within the whole. We feel that we are a welcomed, loved part of nature. We begin to see that the divine exists in everything, even our own self.
(Continues tomorrow with “We Are Divine”)