Just now I had an extensive talk with a friend on spiritual advancement. Whether there is a need of this sort of advancement at all, how to know whether the path I am following is correct and things of this kind. Well, I just want to put forth the salient points here.
First of all, is there any need of spiritual development? Yes, there is a need, rather urgent need. After all, why do we live? It is for happiness. Our every work is having single objective, i.e. to attain pleasure. We never do something which gives us grief. If we take pains for others then it is the pleasure of helping somebody that outweighs our pain. Now, are we really happy? I don’t really feel that anybody will admit that he is happy. There are always several things because of which he is ‘not happy’. And there is a profound reason for the same. It is the very nature of material things that the pleasure derived therefrom is temporary and therefore a person, who wants that pleasure again, has to go back to the same thing. If that thing is unavailable then the sorrow comes. Therefore, it can be safely concluded that the temporary nature of material things and lack of their permanent availability is the root cause of unhappiness. So, where lies the solution? It is in going for permanent and never-ending source of happiness. And that is where spirituality comes into picture. Therefore, there is an urgent need of spiritual development.
Now, spirituality has got a very obvious question. Whether there is God or there is not. And to my knowledge, there is no conclusive proof by virtue whereof one can either prove or disprove the existence of God. Therefore, I will take a hypothesis. Let us assume that there in no God. Things are very easy then. There is nothing good or bad objectively then. You do whatever you like. There is no question of morality or humanity etc. At the end of the day, you are going to die and nothing will happen. So, no need of all this discussion. Put your pen down, go and sleep!
However, if God exists then there is a real puzzle. That puzzle is how to get Him. Now, I would just like to quote a line of Tulsidas, which I have realized after years of endless and conclusion-less discussions and study.
रामु अतर्क्य बुद्धि मन बानी। अस बिचारि तेहिं भजहु भवानी।।
Ram is beyond logic and knowing this, O Bhavani, worship Ram.
Let me tell you upfront that it is not easy to realize and feel this line. So, mental speculations will not help if God exists. You have to do something tangible. Now, my solution is that given the fact that God exists, I assume that He loves me and if I sincerely aspire to reach Him, He will help me. After all it was my desire to get separated from Him, it is I who will have to put in effort( This is Vaishnava school of thought). So, the key is that you take a path, be it any path which you sincerely believe, not by your mind but from your heart. Go ahead on that. Fix some spiritual parameters for yourself and keep on checking whether you are achieving them or not. Change your track if you are not satisfied. If you are really sincere and eager to achieve God, it is my intuitive feeling that God will not only show you the correct path but also make you eternally happy.
Now, I have got neither any proof nor any strong logical reasoning to support my stand. Still, this is the best thing which I have realized in my so many years of existence.