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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

The Universality of Belief: A Glimpse into Spiritual Perspectives

ReligionThe Universality of Belief: A Glimpse into Spiritual Perspectives

Getting a glimpse into different spiritual perspectives and embracing the diversity of beliefs enables room for acceptance of different beliefs.

Spirituality is a deeply personal and subjective journey that encompasses a wide range of beliefs, experiences, and practices. For those with a keen interest in spirituality, such as yourself, the exploration of different paths and the contemplation of various subjects can often lead to internal conflicts and questions. It is not uncommon to come across accounts of extraordinary spiritual experiences, miracles, or profound realizations from others while feeling that such experiences have eluded oneself. In this article, we will delve into the realm of spirituality, acknowledging the diversity of experiences and the universality of belief, using a personal incident as a starting point.

The Quest for Spiritual Experience

The path of spirituality, particularly Sufism, has captivated your interest and curiosity. Engaging in reading, contemplation, and meditation exercises, such as riyazat or ibaadat, reflects your commitment to exploring the depths of spirituality. Visiting dargahs and other spiritual sites demonstrates your dedication to seeking higher spiritual connections.

The Absence of Miraculous Experiences

Despite your profound interest and involvement in spiritual practices, you candidly express that you have never personally witnessed any spiritual experiences, miracles, or realizations. This apparent absence of extraordinary encounters has led you to question why others seem to have such experiences while you have not. You ponder whether you are too insignificant to be blessed with such encounters or if your rationality prevents you from perceiving them.

The Acceptance of Others’ Experiences

Throughout your spiritual journey, you have maintained an open mind and accepted the spiritual experiences, feelings, and understandings of others without judgment. You recognize that personal experiences are valid and genuine for those who have them, even if you have not had similar encounters. This acceptance stems from the understanding that your own limitations or perspectives do not diminish the truth of others’ experiences.

Belief as a Universal Thread

I have an immense interest in spirituality in general and Sufism in particular. I read, contemplate, and have queries and internal conflicts about various relative subjects. I do venture into riyazat (meditation exercise) or ibaadat too. I visit aastaan’s dargah’s and various places of spiritual interest but with sheer honesty, I have never witnessed any spiritual experience, miracle, realisation (kashaf) at any stage of my life.

I have read, heard many such experiences from known, unknown people, writers, spiritualists etc. I had always heard, read them in awe, and wondered why did I not experience any. I have settled down to a thought I am too irrelevant in this big scheme of miracles and realizations to be blessed or maybe too rational to register any such event in its spirit.

I have never judged any spiritual experience, feeling, or understanding of people. I accept their verdict as they say. I don’t dismiss it weighing upon my experience, observation, and understanding. I have learned it long back that just because I lack the ability to see things as others perceive they don’t cease to be true.

Anyway coming to the incident that just flashed in my memory reading a post is like this.
A few months ago, returning from court I boarded an auto and the auto wala was benaras ka pandit (as he told me later) All through the way, he played jai Siya Ram bhajan in probably local western UP language in full voice in auto. I saw him singing along and in between clapping his hands as part of his bhajan singing. He was not loud but was full of reverence.

I could see he had a lot of belief in God and singing the bhajan gave him spiritual satisfaction. I could follow the words out of sheer instinct. When he dropped me he said to me you might have got disturbed but I believe as long as I play the bhajan, my livelihood is consistent and I get good customers.

I agreed with him that he has good and righteous beliefs and must continue but with a lesser volume of audio. He agreed to take care in the future.

That illiterate auto-waala’s belief in bhajan being the source of his earnings is no less than my belief of Dua-e-Rizq (prayer for providence) after my namaz. Just because the bhajan is in rustic language and appeared loud the intentions nowhere changes. My neeyat (intent) at dua is not more than his intent with bhajan. Many times it is a mere matter of articulation of jargon of words rest the heart feels and believes the same. All believers regardless of what and how they believe, their intent and belief is uniformly pure.

The incident involving the auto-rickshaw driver serves as a reminder of the universality of belief. The driver, a pandit from Varanasi, expressed his devotion through singing bhajans and held a firm belief that doing so brings him spiritual satisfaction and financial stability. Despite differences in language, cultural context, and specific practices, the driver’s intent and belief were no different from your own prayers for providence after namaz.

Understanding the Intent and Belief

It becomes evident that the articulation and external expression of one’s faith or spiritual practices may vary, but the underlying intentions and beliefs often remain pure and heartfelt. The heartfelt devotion expressed through the rustic language and volume of the bhajan is akin to the sincerity of your dua-e-rizq after namaz. Both expressions of faith are rooted in a genuine desire for spiritual connection and divine assistance.

Embracing the Diversity of Belief

Spirituality is a deeply personal and transformative journey that manifests differently for each individual. The absence of extraordinary experiences in one’s own spiritual path should not diminish the significance of personal beliefs, intentions, and practices. The incident with the auto-rickshaw driver reminds us that diversity in spiritual expressions does not negate the purity of belief.

By embracing the universality of intent and recognizing the common thread that unites believers, we can foster a greater understanding and appreciation for the diverse paths people embark upon in their quest for spiritual connection and fulfillment.

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