By Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj
In the past, educators all over the world have placed tremendous stress on the intellectual and physical development of students. The result is that we have turned out to be human beings who are physically and intellectually superior to our predecessors. The amount of knowledge that we are gaining today is doubling at a much faster rate than it did previously. About two centuries ago, the knowledge available to the general public used to double in one century. But according to research done in 1986, studies have shown that knowledge is now doubling every five years.
There is so much research in all areas that we are exposed to a greater amount of information now than we were just a few years ago. This information explosion has led us to become more and more involved in a materialistic way of life. With the advancement in the electronics field in the last twenty-five years, so many gadgets have been invented that they should have given us more time for leisure, more time to enjoy ourselves, and more time to explore who we are, where we came from, and what our purpose in life is. It takes so much time and effort to learn how to operate these devices that rather than giving us the leisure time we thought we would have, we are becoming more and more involved with the gadgetry.
As we grow older, we have the responsibility of our children on our shoulders. We spend time wondering about the best way to raise our children so that they will grow up to become better human beings than we are. We want them to have an easier time in their lives than we had. We find ourselves preoccupied in making a living and raising our children. We lead such busy lives that we have little time for leisure. As we get older and life begins to pass us by, we begin to question, “Is the purpose of life only to be born, grow old, and die? Or is there something else?”
Spirituality deals with developing the higher values of life and with becoming a better person.
Spirituality means inculcating love in our hearts for all humanity, irrespective of skin color, religion, or nationality, irrespective of whether a person is rich or poor, or from the East or the West. If everyone would start seeing the Light of God in all people, this will help bring peace and harmony to the world. Once we realize that our soul is a part of God, and that part is the same in each human being—and not only in human beings but in all living creatures—we will not want to harm anyone. We will then start to see the goodness in everyone. We will begin to think about the welfare of others. We will also be concerned about the ecology of the world.
We will stop destroying our forests, our air, our water, and all of nature which God has given to us for our life here on earth. When we destroy anything that we have received, when we take so much from the soil for our sustenance yet pollute the land instead of trying to rejuvenate it, we are harming the whole world. The universes have been created in perfect harmony. There is so much lost when we do not take proper care of nature. And if we do not take proper care of ourselves, whether it be physically, intellectually, or spiritually, it affects our life in this universe.
To develop our spiritual side it is important to start the basic moral instruction about spirituality at an early age. It is important that the spiritual and ethical values of life are taught properly.
We can develop spiritually through a process of meditation. Through meditation we not only develop the higher human values, but we also realize our true selves and gain knowledge about the soul in our body. Meditation is another form of concentration. The process of meditation is one in which we close our eyes and try to enter the inner realms. God is within each of us. The human body is the highest form of all creation and the holiest of the temples and churches because it was not made by any human hand; it was made by the hand of God. To practice spirituality does not require any religious conversion. Spirituality is a science that can be practiced by a member of any religion, and even by those who do not belong to any religion. It is not necessary for people to convert from one religion to another. We do not believe in any conversion; we believe instead in “inversion.” This means that we invert our attention to go within. Contact with this current of divinity within us brings us peace and joy.
Education is a means by which we train children to deal with the problems of life. Children have to be taught right from wrong. They have to be taught how to make good decisions. If we can teach children to make decisions properly, then when a problem arises in life, they will make the right choice. We also need to teach children that their decisions not only affect them, but they affect many other human beings all around them. If all of us start making good decisions, we will be moving in a direction which will benefit everyone. Along with being able to make a good intellectual decision, along with being able to make a good physical decision, we have to learn to make good spiritual decisions. What do we have to learn in life that will help us? We need to learn that if we have love in our hearts for everyone, then we will have a society in which people would behave as if others were members of their own family. If along with the intellectual and physical traits, the spiritual traits can be taught to children, then this world will become a haven of joy and peace.Read More