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How Do I Become Spiritual When I Have So Much of Attraction towards Material Things?

If you are living a worldly life and material things tend to fascinate you, you may think that the journey of spirituality is not going to be smooth for you. However, this is not true. You can still progress spiritually. You only need to know the key to how to be spiritual while living a worldly life.


Anything that one does in order to attain the Self (Atma) is the main production, as a consequence of which, one automatically gets all worldly necessities as its by-product.

Once a seeker asked Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan as to whether the ‘desire’ for material things or worldly desires obstruct spirituality or not. Let’s see what He had to say...

Questioner: Are the desire and efforts to acquire worldly prosperity actually detrimental to spiritual progress and if they are, then in what way? If they are not, then in what way?

Dadashri: If you want to acquire worldly prosperity, then you have to go in one direction, and if you want to acquire spiritual prosperity, then you should go in this other direction. So instead of going in this direction, if you are going in the other direction, then is it actually detrimental or not?

Questioner: Yes, that is considered detrimental!

Dadashri: Meaning, it is completely detrimental. If spirituality is in this direction, then worldly [prosperity] is in the opposite direction.

Questioner: But how can one do without worldly prosperity?

Dadashri: Has anyone ever truly attained prosperity in this world? Everyone is chasing after worldly prosperity. Has anyone ever really achieved it?

Questioner: Some, only a rare person has it, everyone does not have it.

Dadashri: It is not something that a person has any control (satta) over. Where there is no control, what is the point in unnecessarily making a lot of noise about it? It is meaningless!

Questioner: As long as a person has any desire (kaamna) for it, how can he go towards spirituality?

Dadashri: Yes, it is fi ne that there is a desire. The desire may be there, but the control is not in your hands.

Questioner: How can that desire come to an end?

Dadashri: All the circumstances to bring the desire to an end will also come. You should not fret too much over it. Just keep pursuing spirituality. This worldly prosperity is simply a by-product. As you begin the ‘production’ of spirituality; as you go in this direction and begin spiritual ‘production’, then worldly prosperity will come to you as a by-product, free of cost.

Questioner: What do you mean to say if one wants to pursue spirituality? How are we supposed to do that?

Dadashri: No but first, do you understand that when the ‘production’ is spiritual, then worldly prosperity will be the by-product; has that come into your understanding?

Questioner: I believe what you are saying, but I do not understand it.

Dadashri: So even if you believe it, then too, all this is a by-product. By-product means that it is free of cost. All the temporary pleasures of this world have been acquired free of cost. In trying to obtain spiritual happiness, this has been gained along the way as by-production.

Questioner: I have seen many people who are not spiritually inclined but they are very prosperous in the world and they are happy in that.

Dadashri: Yes, they do not appear to be spiritually inclined, but they have practiced spirituality [in their past life] and this is the result of that.

Questioner: Does that mean that the spiritual endeavors of this life will pay off in material pleasures in the next life?

Dadashri: Yes, you will reap its benefits in the next life. Though that person may not be spiritually inclined in this life, the results may be evident in this life.

This brings us to the point that every living being is constantly undergoing spiritual development. How? Let’s understand...


The journey towards Spirituality

When we begin our journey in this world, our Soul is totally covered with karmic atoms. These coverings are responsible for ignorance or unawareness of the soul. As and when little of the covering breaks, the light of Soul comes out from that hole and one comes into the developmental stage of being a one-sensed creature, where the sense of touch starts. Thus, that Soul takes the body of a one-sensed creature.

After too many births, when some more coverings on the Soul break, it develops into a two-sensed creature. Further, after many more lives, one more sensory organ manifests to become a three-sensed creature. This is the way development takes place. In five-sensed living being such as cows and chimpanzees, mind is developed a little. When that Soul takes the form of human body; slowly, the mind, intellect, ego, consciousness and awareness develop along with anger, pride, deceit, greed, attachment and hatred.

While this development is taking place, one experiences a lot of discomfort, pain and suffering. In every stage of development, one is attracted towards different material things, one after another. One tries to get happiness from every object, and after some time, when no happiness comes from that object, attraction towards another material object begins. As one evolves from one sense being to five sense being, one is constantly experiencing, knowing, and finally deciding that there is no happiness in these five senses of vision, taste, smell, listening or in touch.

Through the five senses and with the help of ego, intellect, mind, and chit; we experience worldly pleasures. This continues life after life, and lastly, we find out that there is no permanent happiness in this material world; all the material happiness is temporary and material things also are temporary - they give only temporary happiness.

This is when the person starts hunting for permanent happiness.

One strives to find a place where he can find permanent happiness. It is only spirituality that can give this happiness. This is why one starts finding an answer to how to be spiritual while living a worldly life.

The Soul is permanent and is full of never-fading bliss! When one realizes that, ‘I am a Pure Soul’, one tastes permanent happiness. Thereafter, as one stays more and more in the awareness of Pure Soul; attraction or hatred towards any material thing does not occur.

This awareness also stops the charging of new karma. So, gradually, the old karmas bear fruits one-by-one and get discharged. Consequently, the Soul comes to a state where it is free of all the coverings.

When no covering of ignorance or karmas remain on the Soul, it experiences permanent happiness and gets ultimate liberation from the cycle of birth and death!!

Hence, it is important to develop and reach to a stage where one, through one’s experiences, arrives at a conclusion that all material things are temporary and so is the worldly happiness derived from them.

The obvious advantages of spirituality over materialism

  • By being spiritual, one gets rid of all unhappiness and attains permanent happiness; whereas attraction towards material things gives only temporary happiness followed by lot of unhappiness.
  • To attain spiritual happiness, we don’t have to go far; it is located right within us. On the other hand, when attracted to a material thing, it makes us constantly run in vain after it all life after life.
  • Spirituality gives us an illumined life; whereas materialism makes us a slave for life.
  • Material science helps us live our worldly life with comfort and ease. For example, things such as mobiles, lift, car, AC, fan, and grinder-mixer give temporary happiness. To attain inner happiness or eternal happiness, i.e., the happiness that lasts forever, we will have to understand the spiritual science.
  • Spiritual science can only dissolve anger-pride-lust-greed, which materialism cannot.

Therefore, wisdom is in following the path of spirituality even while living a worldly life. To get started with how to be spiritual while living a worldly life and having worldly desires, we can pray with all our heart, “Oh God! May all the desires to engage in worldly pleasures come to an end naturally. Please facilitate this.

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