Spiritual Intelligence is the Intuitive knowledge of the Self, others, situations and techniques to achieve the desired objectives of the world. – Awdhesh Singh
We had IQ. Now we have EQ. The day is not far off when we judge a person based on his spiritual quotient (SQ). We do not need to search far and wide to seek the qualities a spiritually aware person must possess. Our religious books abound in them. In fact, The Sreemad Bhagavatham extols 28 qualities of an enlightened soul or devotee. (SB Canto 11, Chapter 11, Verses 29-32). The Bhagavad Gita details upto 28 signs of a person who is dear to God (BG Chapter 12, Verses 13-19).
But are these qualities possible in today’s world? Aren’t they impractical and outdated? How about ambition, fire in the belly, and a go-getting attitude that every person needs today to succeed?
We could argue back and forth until kingdom comes on the merit of these qualities for our everyday life, and not find consensus. Instead let us look at FOUR practical qualities that we desperately need just to achieve mental peace and happiness in today’s world. And ideally, these qualities are also the precise qualities you have or need for a strong spiritual life. A win-win situation indeed!
A spiritually aware person is not governed by a sense of fear, guilt or duty:
Let’s face it. From the moment we are born, we are governed by a sense of expectation from our parents/family/friends/society/community/nation/workplace etc. These expectations carry with it an intrinsic sense of fear, guilt or duty. If you were to truly introspect, every action or even thought, is governed by one or more of these emotions.
A truly spiritual person is not governed by any of these emotions. Instead, her actions stem from a feeling of love and compassion. In fact, her expectations from her actions, or of others, is practically nil.
A spiritually aware person carries her happiness with her wherever she goes:
When expectations are nil, or non-existent, a spiritual person does not depend on what someone does or does not do, or if something happens or not, to decide if she is happy. She is connected to the inner divine (or inner spring of wellness or a secret happy place – the label does not matter) and knows that material or worldly things are by nature temporary or transient. This connection also keeps replenishing and reassuring her no matter what happens.
And when things go wrong (as things usually do), she may go down but her ability to bounce back is phenomenal. This is because she does not waste time complaining or playing the blame game. She also accepts that life is sometimes unfair, that she is NOT the center of the universe (!) and therefore tries to do the best she can in the situation.
A spiritually aware person does not believe or buy into labels:
Nope, we are not talking about designer labels though that is also something a spiritually aware person does not worry about. She does not get entangled in common parlance like race, gender, religion, caste, creed or even humans. She treats everyone as a divine being, or at the very least a living being, that demands respect and love. Simply because they or it is alive and breathing, she feels a connect with them that is beyond simple labels.
This kind of thinking is incredibly tough to achieve. Every time we see a person or a thing, we immediately surround it with adjectives and proper nouns based on our experience, memories or biases. In fact, from the time we are born we are asked to identify the world with these words. A spiritually aware person has successfully unlearned the connotations that these words bring!
A spiritually aware person lives in total harmony:
For this to happen, her thoughts, feelings, words and action must be totally synchronized, with no loss of energy or intention as she moves from one to the other. A spiritual person acts as she thinks, says what she feels, and every possible combination thereof between these 4 without any change or loss of intention.
Most of us never say what we think or feel, or dilute it depending on who is listening. We may hate a person, say bad things about him, but the moment we come face-to-face with him, we pretend to be nice. If we analyze our daily activities, we constantly act or put up a brave face to the world. A spiritual person has no intention of playing mind games. She thinks, feels, says and acts in tune, in perfect harmony so that no one is under any doubt as to what she stands for. This perfect harmony comes or stems from total self-knowledge and a non-judgmental, non-biased view of life. It also comes from not doing or saying things based on guilt, fear or duty.
This lack of perfect harmony is what critically differentiates us from being truly spiritual.
How do we become spiritual?
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
That is the million dollar question, isn’t it? Gurudev (Sree Sree) has this very simple recipe for achieving spiritual awareness: Sadhana, Seva and Satsang. Through discipline, hard work, focus and persistence, by serving others and guru, by staying among good souls and listening repeatedly to good deeds and stories, it is possible to elevate ourselves to spirituality.
But above all these, there is something that best can be described as receiving Grace. Whether you believe in the existence of a divine being or not, this is an incredibly impossible quality to achieve or receive on a 24 by 7 by 365 basis! I firmly believe this is the only route to achieving true awareness, knowledge and spirituality.
PS: This blog refers to the spiritual person as a female. Rest assured, there is no bias towards women when it comes to spirituality. It applies equally to both (or to be politically correct, all) genders!