Wednesday, June 23, 2010


ABOUT SPIRITUALITY. HOW DO THEY DEFINE IT? - Youth describe spirituality with regards to positive expressions, feelings and relationships says an American study. The study revealed the results of the analysis of the differences between spirituality and religion in adolescents. Anthony James, a graduate student in the University of Missouri Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS), who is undertaking the research said: “Ultimately, we want to determine the impact of spirituality on positive youth development, including self-esteem and pro-social behaviour, and if it buffers against negative or risky behaviour.” The study, was presented at the 2010 Northwestern Black Graduate Student Association Conference. “To begin that research, we first need to identify how youth define and practice spirituality.” James examined the responses of adolescents to the question, “What does it mean to be a spiritual young person?”

The answers of youth revealed the fact that they described their spiritual behaviour in terms of seven categories with regards to personal and social developments. They were categorized as: to have purpose; to have the bond of connections, including those to a higher power (typically God), people and nature; to have a foundation of well-being, including joy and fulfillment, energy and peace; to have conviction; to have self-confidence, and to have an impetus for virtue. The study found many youths who called themselves “spiritual”, but there is a disconnect between calling oneself as spiritual and defining what that entails. James said: “Although the assumption is that many people are “spiritual”, the term “spirituality” is not something that is easy to articulate and define. People have a hard time separating spirituality from religion, but the differences are important to understanding behaviour and development.”

People know very little of the spiritual and transcendental world, and they usually confuse spirituality with material joy and happiness. We have to learn knowledge about Krishna from Vaishnavas intensely dedicated, those where the Bhakti is lit in their hearts and are absorbed in the seva; everything they do is in service to Krishna and they run to serve Him.

Śrīla Prabhupada says “when a devotee is making progress in spiritual realization, his only goal is to serve the Personality of God”, if you have more desire to serve Krishna that means that you are progressing spiritually; perhaps you are not feeling any ecstasy, no pleasure, you may not feel any happiness, it does not matter, are two things really matter, that you feel more disinterest to this world and are more inclined to serve God. The enjoyment side decreases and the dedication side increases ... our school is to serve Krishna, we have come to enjoy Krishna, we are here to serve Krishna, we really have enjoyed ourselves and the external energy of Krishna, we are bored of abusing Krishna, and now we want to serve Him. ... If I want to see Krishna that is not a pure desire, if I want to serve Krishna that is a pure desire.

Śrīla Atulananda Ācārya :
“Paradharma, Duties of the Soul”


Vijay Kumar Jain said...

True... Spirituality is path travelling which human beings reached their true inner self... their soul atman... the spirit within! Realizing self... realizing god one finally reached stage of enlightenment (termed kaivalya jnana in Hinduism) and finally salvation (moksha)!

God Almighty could only be reached via path of spirituality... never religion... path of rituals! Path of spirituality was best travelled following teachings contained in sacred Bhagavad Gita of Hinduism... foremost of all sacred scriptures existing on mother earth!

dasavatara das said...

Hare Krishna,

Thank you for your wise comments on this topic. Undoubtedly, the Bhagavad Gita is the foremost of all sacred scriptures.

Gaura Haribol!!!

Spiritual Development said...

Great post, thanks for sharing.