Adhyatmikta, spirituality, means that which deals with ‘what is within man’-the atman. It deals with Spirit or Self or atman which is divine, holy and immortal. Spirituality, thus, is the process of manifestation of this inherent divinity and holiness. Spirituality is the method through which one learns, and succeeds, in overcoming his lower nature which is characterised by attachment, greed, lust, egoism, jealousy and so on. With his mind transformed by spiritual practices such as prayer, worship, japa, dhyana, reading scriptures, chanting of hymns, singing of bhajans, seva, selfless action, and so on, a spiritual aspirant succeeds in attenuating his lower nature. When one`s lower nature is subdued, one`s higher nature reflects divinity in all his actions.
It depends on the individual which goal he is looking to achieve: one that relates to the physical body (materialism) or the other one that relates to the Self or Spirit (spirituality). It is the mind which is the guiding light in our spiritual quest. We should look upon it as a great fortune that for some reason or other, if our mind possesses an attraction for the higher goal of spirituality. Of course, we have to steadily proceed in our spiritual quest with perseverance to achieve the spiritual goal.
An individual born into this world is supposed to live for fulfilling four objectives which are called purusharthas in our scriptures. These are dharma, artha, kama and moksha. Dharma is learning the righteous ways of living; artha is earning one`s living; kama is fulfilling one`s legitimate desires by honest and righteous means. Moksha, the last and the spiritual objective is to be perceived by exploring spirituality to seek who, how and why of creation; and find out the way of spirit within self known as soul to finally merge with the supreme soul so that it need not come back to same world again.
We can only be able to experience the feelings, moods and essence of freedom in spirituality. We seek spiritual freedom to be aware of atman.
Dr.Mahesh Chandra Panda