Great Spiritual Leaders
The reason why many turn to substance abuse is that they are unable to deal with life’s problems. Depression and anger, sadness and frustration are further fuelled by drug-dependency, alcoholism or both.
Daniel Goleman in a book entitled Emotional Intelligence says that it is the lack of application of intelligence to emotions that makes one lonely, depressed, angry, unruly, prone to worry, impulsive and aggressive.
A scientific assessment of the emotional and spiritual mind has emerged in an attempt to understand why we can be reasonable one moment and irrational the very next moment. Goleman attributed it to two minds, one emotional and the other rational; one that feels and one that thinks. The rational mind is prominent in analytical approach while the other one can be impulsive, powerful and at times illogical. He argues that the emotional mind is far quicker than the rational mind at making split-second decisions without analytical reflection about the potential consequences. This can be bewildering to the analytically inclined rational mind.
Spiritual teachers such as Buddha and Jesus touched their disciples’ hearts by speaking the language of emotions. This is why their teachings are so effective.
Why is improving the emotional quotient (EQ) or imbibing spiritual intelligence important? Because it helps us deal with problems in a constructive manner, and stops us getting addicted to harmful habits like substance abuse.
Family members can take an interest in improving the EQ and spiritual quotient (SQ) of their near and dear ones as an effective way to combat drug abuse. One method is practising yoga and meditation to enhance emotional intelligence and manage stress. To manage stress, we need to leverage intelligence without having to make drastic changes in lifestyle. Not everyone can retreat to the Himalayas or engage in difficult Hatha Yoga.
Sahaja Yoga, founded by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, is a method which helps achieve self-realisation in a simple and practical manner. Sahaja Yoga is based on the principle that enlightenment and good health require proper balance within the seven major chakras.
Shri Mataji says, “En masse inner transformation by self-realization is the reality now. Sahaja Yoga is the spontaneous union of individual consciousness with the all-pervading power through the awakening of the residual power of the Kundalini.
“Just as an egg gets transformed into a bird or a seed into a plant, Sahaja Yoga helps transformation of a person to a higher awareness level. The awakening of the inherent dormant energy can be accomplished in a practical and simple manner.”
Adapted from India Times
When you meditate, try not to … make some sort of a function out of it. No. Meditation is something silencing yourself, silencing your thoughts and the going to that deep ocean which is within you…
But supposing you don’t do that; if you don’t meditate, I can make out immediately those who are meditating and those who are not – it’s not difficult for me. Those who do not meditate are always hesitating; they are confused; they can’t understand.
And that’s why meditation is the most important thing in Sahaj Yoga. Just like a light burns, in the electricity flowing in it, you can say, or … because of the candles, in the same way meditation is a continuous availability of the Divine force.
Shri Mataji, 2002
Guru Nanaka was born into a Hindu family in 1439 in what is now Pakistan. Following a transformative realisation while bathing in the river Bein, He gave up his career as an accountant and began to travel throughout India teaching, composing hymns and establishing centres of worship known as dharamsalas.
He taught the absolute unity of God; everything is God, and everything is dependent on the will of God; therefore, spirit and matter are not ultimately antagonistic. Spirit is the only reality, and matter is a form of spirit.
“When I saw truly, I knew that all was primeval. Nanak, the subtle (Spirit) and the gross (material) are, in fact, identical,” Guru Nanak said. “That which is inside a person, the same is outside; nothing else exists; by Divine prompting look upon all existence as one and undifferentiated.”
It was a time in India’s history when Mughal domination had led to increasing tension between Hindu and Muslim. Seeing the divisiveness of human religions, He said: “There is no Hindu or Muslim, so whose path shall I follow? I shall follow the path of God.”
With a group of companions He visited Mecca and infuriated a local official who had discovered that the party were sleeping with their feet towards the Ka’ba, the holy shrine of Islam. As they were dragged away, the Ka’ba was miraculously seen to move also. Guru Nanak declared, “God does not live in one place. He lives everywhere.”
Guru Nanak taught that the way to connect with the Supreme is not through the mind or through rituals, but through direct personal experience. Therefore, He emphasised meditation on the Name and Presence of God.
“As fragrance abides in the flower, as reflection is within the mirror, so does your Lord abide within you. Why search for Him without?”
He also made it clear that realisation of Self/God is not possible without the compassionate agency of a true guru:
“The Guru is my ship to cross the world ocean. The Guru is my place of pilgrimage and sacred stream.”
“Let no man in the world live in delusion. Without a Guru none can cross over to the other shore.”
Before His death in 1539, Guru Nanaka chose one of his followers to take responsibility for establishing the principles He had taught. The principles were then passed down through a succession of gurus in the Sikh religion. Sikhism was not initially intended to be a separate religion from Hinduism or Islam but, due to a long period of persecution, it became increasingly distinct.