Ask Auntyji: spirituality for beginners

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Dear Auntyji

I grew up in a non-religious household. Now in my 60s, I listen to some people who are spiritual and have faith and I wish I too had that contentment, that belief in something bigger than myself. Are you able to provide me with guidance on what I should do to live a more spiritual life, Auntyji – I mean I know all the basic tenets of Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism and Christianity but I feel the major religions are not for me.

I want to have a 1:1 relationship with my creator. But I do not know where to even start. What should I read? Who should I talk to? Which podcast should I listen to? Do you have any advice to offer, please Auntyji?

Auntyji says

Far be it for me to mock anyone who as their foot starts dangling in the grave, want to get closer to god. And it’s better to have spiritual aspirations at a late stage than never. So yes, I certainly have some advice to offer you, fellow pilgrim.

In the first instance, I am not going to point you to some website or a podcast because they won’t tell you the fundamental truth (or if they do, you will have to sift through lots of noise to get to the main idea). So, the truth is, god is in each of us. Every single being on the planet is a manifestation of the divine. So to get closer to this divinity, the first thing we need to do is to serve. Ask yourself, how can I better serve those around me?  And perhaps, the answer might be to reflect within yourself and ask yourself whether every interaction you have with those around you is one grounded in love and respect. So for your spouse, as an example, do you choose your words carefully, or do you use words and actions that belittle, diminish and damage? Do your words and deeds build up those around you, or do they handicap and destroy?

Start by changing how you speak and act. Every word that spills forth from your mouh should be underpinned by love and care. When you start doing this, you will be honouring your creator. Start looking at your thoughts – each time you hear gossip, do you join in and add chutney to the masala, or do you gently chide others that gossip is damaging? Do you know at all the flaws and foibles of others and accept these without judgement, or do you allow your inner rakshas to guide your thoughts? When you see your family and friends in distress, do you reach out to help, or do you want to pry only? Focus on how you can bring out the best in others, and before you know it, you will already be having a 1:1 with the divinity.

And this, my dear, is how you get closer to your creator. All the best and let me know how you go. I am very interested in your progress, so can you please keep me updated?

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