Q: What norm should people set for themselves when greed itself is the common norm today.?
A: Just as we cannot accept pollution as part of life but have to do something about it. We should regard ‘greed’ as the bane of modern society and seek its cure in contentment. Like drives for population control, for awareness of evil drugs etc.. there should be concrete steps in the direction of better values in life.
Q: In a society where corruption has touched every aspect of our lives, how does one keep sound human values intact?
A: Admittedly there is much corruption in society, and as an inescapable result of it there is much suffering too. We must tackle this by beginning with ourselves. Little by little, step by step let us make ourselves honest. Let us set our own house in order. It is possible, and it pays richly in the long run.
Q: Is Pooja or visits to a temple necessary for spiritual growth?
A: They are indeed very helpful in training our minds. Pujya Gurudev (Swami Shivanandaji) used to compare temples with gymnasia. If the latter provides exercises for the body, the former does so for the mind.Pooja is also an exercise for developing a more intense relationship with God. By turning the mind towards God with loving devotion (prema yukta Bhakti) spiritual growth, consisting of our coming to assert the supremacy of the spirit over matter takes place
Q.: Is vegetarianism necessary for spiritual growth? Why?
A: It is regarded as very helpful by most masters. It is ‘a’ factor and not ‘the’ factor in influencing spiritual growth. There are many other factors. Some of them on a subtler plane.Vegetarian food is considered ‘Sattwik’ i.e. influencing the mind to make it calm, non-extrovert etc.
Prarthna Saran, President Chinmaya Mission Delhi. Email: prarthnasaran@gmail.com