Uniting EAST & WEST spiritually..!!

What if there is no God? What if Spirituality is sham?

This is an interesting question, a friend of mine asked this. It's possible that there is no God or that there is no enlightenment. Then aren't we wasting time on things that are useless to life? isn't it better to eat drink, make merry than meditate god or worship him?

Let's look at different spiritual practices and what becomes of them if spirituality or God is just a belief and not reality.

RajaYoga [Practice of Hatha Ygoa, Pranayama, Meditation]

: The highest purpose of all these activities is to attain freedom (Moksha),  but does meditation go waste? definitely not. A regular meditator: 

  • Has cheerfulness which doesn't go away with the knowledge that there is no God.
  • Has calmness around them that their family and friends recognize very soon.
  • Has better sleep quality wise than most others in comparison. infact even short sleep if associated with regular meditative habit is much more beneficial to body than sleeping for 8-10 hours with stress.
  • Enjoys food better for his mind equipoised, attention is higher and brain (and nerve) are not over strained, his ability to enjoy music or beauty of any kind is higher than others.
  • Has better control over their tongue, both input (food) & output (speech)
  • Has increased brain capacity to be rational.
  • Quality of life is increased over all.

JnanaYoga [Yoga of Wisdom]:

Yoga of wisdom involves three kinds of knowledge;

  • knowledge of the self
  • knowledge of bigger Self (God)
  • Knowledge of the journey

Surely knowledge of God may not be helpful if there is no God, however knowledge of the self & knowledge of the path to higher reality are independent of the ultimate reality, as this knowledge is rooted in present reality & making it little more better; However Submitting to a belief entirely without fact checking would be waste of time & mind.

What are the basic aspects of JnanaYoga?

  • Am I happy? what can I do to be more happy?
  • What am I? this mind? this body? something which transcends both?
  • Is happiness all about seeking pleasures? is stimulation of mind through physical & mental means the highest form of happiness there is?
  • Isn't freedom from non-clinging to sense originating pleasures far liberating?
  • Are pain & pleasure two sides of the same coin? is to possible to just enjoy life without facinf pain? how is such a life possible?
  • Does equanimity mean we shouldn't enjoy pleasure of life fearing pain will get us if we do? or does equanimity mean enjoying but without clinging and desiring?
  • What is it about Charity, Love compassion that so satisfying even to think of. Though these are not mentally or physically stimulating to the brain, why are these expansive qualities so satisfying.
  • What is true love? is it in relationships or is it the nature of humans rather than relationships? it surely is unconditional just like a sun giving his rays equally in each direction.

These are eternal questions, Gita, Upanishads, Tripitakas, Agamas try to address these, these expand human thinking and are undoubtedly better than Plato, Socrates or Dante. JnanaYoga is great exercise of Self-analysis, it helps regardless of one's belief in God.

KarmaYoga [Yoga of Right action]:

Karma Yoga is about acting from right perspective. If it isn't based on beliefs but better understanding of the reality, then it does not become invalid in the absence of God.

If our actions are rooted in the belief that there is a Karma, or that there are Heaven & hell, such actions are not liberating though good sometimes.

Actions that have origin in rationality, Love & compassion are far liberating and better than good actions done from fear born of belief.

A KarmaYogi :

  • Acts for the sake of action, does not mentally get attached to fruits.
  • Acts for the sake of everyone rather than self. He doesn't consider himself the "only" special person.
  • Acts keeping bigger picture in mind, generous in helping others.
  • Shares with others, as he realizes everyone is the same and deserve equality.

Purpose of KarmaYoga is to help one perfect his mind gradually by sticking to the right ways of thinking by acting on them. Even the staunch anti-theist would appreciate this philosophy though he/she might disagree on the finality of finding God through service.

BhaktiYoga [Yoga of Devotion]:

Devotional practices like singing, chanting, praying together, serving together bring us closer to other people, enhance the sweetness within, a relief from the routine life.

Devotional practices if are more ritualistic than idealistic perhaps are waste of time.

conclusion: Spirituality in actual if understood & practiced correctly is helpful regardless of one's belief in God. Though we can disagree on the finality, the assessment of "human condition" as per paths of "wisdom" (JnanaYoga) & "right action" (KarmaYoga)  are spot on and intellectually & emotionally enriching. Meditation helps everyone gain a grip on reality than on the idea of reality as enforced by persistent linear belief. It surely is liberating regardless of God.

Believing in certain practices of food, clothing, drinking, social rules just because the texts say so but offer no explanation is detrimental, that certainly is waste of time & one will feel cheated when such person comes out of the rut.

Real spirituality happens within, it is not ritualistic (though rituals may help), he/she who has understood the essence of spirituality will never be disappointed, spirituality is rooted in liberating man regardless of his/her belief. If belief isn't helping in that direction, then such beliefs deserve to be discarded.


Related content