Q: Why are a lot of Hindu gurus concentrating on teaching abroad while they advise youth to practice their expertise gained abroad in India?
A: Any teacher responds enthusiastically to those who eagerly seek the knowledge he has. Certain groups of people abroad have sincerely “asked for” the wisdom of these Indian masters. The masters’ love for their own land remains evergreen. In fact, such gurus do humanity a great service by way of building a bridge of understanding between the East and the West. They contribute to unify the world.
Q: Is it easier to practice spirituality if you are wealthy?
A: Is it easier to become a poet or an artist if one is wealthy? Marginally, in some cases, it may help. Otherwise, being wealthy is not related to spiritual practices, neither a help nor an obstruction. Attachment to wealth, conceit of being wealthy are obstacles. Being utterly poor, having no basic necessities are an obstacle to an average man in his “spiritual practices”. When the mind is highly evolved, however, the place of having or not having wealth, becomes rather unimportant.
Q: To whom and when are rituals relevant?
A: Rituals involve the body, speech and mind and thus engage our whole personality in the “practice” aimed at lifting us to purer and more mature ways of living. When a man performs the rituals, with understanding of their meanings, he cannot but be transformed, over a period, to another person of a divinised set of attitudes. The vast majority of people need some amount of rituals to reorganise their own thinking. Only after some amount of self-chastening, men can take to “practices” involving only speech and mind, like the Japa. The highest practice involving mind alone, viz. meditation, is not everybody’s cup of tea. If an average man attempts that, he only deceives himself, for he cannot succeed.
Prarthna Saran, President Chinmaya Mission Delhi, prarthnasaran@gmail.com