What is Spiritual?


I am an undergraduate student. My department elections are about to take place. Elections and office holding involve politics which means being tactical and prudential — both of which entail moving away from God. Love for God is a very recent development in my life —for a month or so I’ve been feeling the presence of God. If I enter the contest for elections, that joyous equilibrium might get disturbed or destroyed because it involves social media and a lot of interaction. So should I contest? Thanks.

—Anonymous, India


Dear Friend,

While in principle no legitimate human activity is contrary to God-realization (through devotion, mindfulness, and japa), your instinct that participating in elections at school will distract or dilute your equanimity and God remembrance should be listened to. You didn’t indicate whether something important is at stake or will be lost if you fail to participate, so why not give it a miss for now? As your soul-equanimity deepens, you’ll be better able to handle the intensity of such activities.

My only caution is that you not fall into the mental trap of judging human activities as “spiritual” or “worldly” when in fact duty and dharma may call.

One of the great lessons of the Gita is that inaction cannot lead to the actionless state of yoga. Each of us must fulfill our karma-driven and God-given duties in this world, even if our highest duty is to “know thy Self” as the immortal Brahma.

May the wisdom of your soul shine its Light upon all that you do!

Nayaswami Hriman
Seattle WA USA