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Spiritual Hunger -Inner Journey

Spiritual Hunger -Inner Journey

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A brief article on spiritual hunger which arises in many persons and need to be addressed with several eternal,existential questions arising in the mind.The approach to satisfy this hunger with inner journey of devotional practices,chanting,meditation to develop intuition and go beyond that-- for finding the "heart" is explained.The path is beyond religion and narrow sectarian views.
A brief article on spiritual hunger which arises in many persons and need to be addressed with several eternal,existential questions arising in the mind.The approach to satisfy this hunger with inner journey of devotional practices,chanting,meditation to develop intuition and go beyond that-- for finding the "heart" is explained.The path is beyond religion and narrow sectarian views.

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Published by: Dr Srinivasan Nenmeli -K on Feb 17, 2011
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SPIRITUAL HUNGER 
Dr N K SrinivasanPhysical hunger is one of the most widely studied subject,especially by economists. For instance ,Amartya Sen at Oxford,studied famine and hunger in India and elsewhere, and receivedNobel prize for his work. Psychological hunger or needs havebeen studied by noted psychologists such as Abraham Maslow andWilliam James. The role of relationships is a key factor insatisfying psychological hunger. But what is spiritual hunger?Have our spiritual leaders and gurus studied this ? If so, whatthey have to say about this hunger? What are their suggestionsand methods to satisfy this hunger?Many would call this "spiritual yearning" or 'spiritualdesire'or 'restlessness of the spirit' , but not the same ashunger,though these are close in meaning.Spiritual hunger is adefinite gnawing hunger which torments the mind and intellect,and the "being" of a person. One gets it at certain moments orwith certain life-changing situations. This may happen intraumatic situations or when one loses a dear person.Spiritualhunger grows with introspective life.One constantly asks oneself: What is the meaning of this life?I am one among 6.5 billion people populating the earth. I caneat,sleep ,attend to my work,satisfy my carnal desires, live alittle better than an animal, interact with others, do goodwork or charities or show compassion. But what is life afterall? I may be taken out of this world in a second. Then it isall over as far as I am concerned? Is there any "life" afterdeath?Many spiritual masters give some answers, often vague or notso logical. Hindu philosophers, based on their sacred textslike the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita say that there is asoul or 'atman' which lives for ever. Only your body dies.Thesoul or atman takes on another body--reborn in another place.Such explanations may give some solace and temporary calmness.The question arises again.[The druids also held similar viewsabout soul.]
 
Some religions like Buddhism do not talk about God or acceptthe notion of an eternal Soul or atman, but instead speak of amind.Why am I born or created in the first place ? Some would saythat that is due to unfulfilled desires in previous lives. Somewould say that you are neither born nor you die, if youidentify with your soul or atman. What takes birth and whatdies is the physical body. Your mind travels to another realm.Some would say that you are born only to find the answers tothe specific question you are asking now .That is your primegoal in this life or "Purushartha"--to find answers for theseeternal questions about your own life and existence.Some would say that this life and lives of all living things--humans,insects,animals...all are the sport or "lila" of God.Avery evasive reply.Some would say that one should undergo his cycle of birth anddeath or samsara till the cycle ceases .In some other religion you would be told that , at the end ofyour life, depending on your deeds you end up in Heaven orhell. If you did heinous crimes,you are condemned into hell forever---eternal damnation.If you did good things, the Lord savesyou,recommends you for a seat in heaven! Ypou may sit close toyour Lord in heaven.You would have a heavenly life there. Thisappears childish to many people---the concept of heaven andhell.Of course, you may be saved from eternal damnation if yourepent and are blessed by the Lord--you are redeemed by someforce. While some sects proclaim that there is no escape frometernal damnation--you are born again and again in bad wombs todo evil and suffer as such.These explanations go on.
hat are the signs of Spiritual hunger?
One becomes introspective, withdrawn and may seek solitude,silence and peace in the surroundings. He or she cannot be inthe din of market place or involve mundane matters. One visitstemples, undertakes pilgrimage or lonely spots ,say a lonelybeach or quiet cave up the hills and feel the silence.
 
One begins to 'converse with God', invokes God or Lord throughprayers and rituals , and seek the company of holy ones, hopingto get some tips or even sudden revelation or illumination. Onemay read tons of books and start some practice.Some hop fromone guru to another in the hope that some quick answer or easymethod would be given.It takes a while to realize that another person cannot give youthe answer or even indicate the method or answer. They maysuggest some steps and put you through paces. They may givesome 'thrilling' experiences and talk of raising your innerenergies or 'kundalini' for ecstatic experiences. All these arelike taking short bites for your hunger.The thrill vanishes.
The methods to satisfy your hunger?
In the first place, stick to one path or method or guru. If youare a Hindu ,follow some path well defined in that religion.Ifyou are a Catholic, respect the methods and follow thediscipline.and so on.Then keep your mind open to influences which may indicate whichway to go. If you believe in a loving, compassionate God, thenthat God must show you the way.Surrender to the will of God. Ingood time, you would find the answer.If you are not of devotional type, continue asking what you arehere for? What is my "ROLE" in life? What would you like to doif you are going to drop dead in a few hours today? Who are youin the ultimate sense? You cannot be any of the physical organs;they can be replaced at the surgeon's table in no time!.Don't worry too much about others' experiences. It is not goingto help much ,except satisfy your curiosity. It may give youhelpful tips, like a fellow traveler or someone who had troddenthe path before you. Ask yourself what you feel are the momentsof peace and harmony? Can you seek that? Cut off all frivolousand trivial activities. Seek silence and solitude and reflect.No one can satisfy your spiritual hunger. That is the truth. Noone can answer those questions beyond what had been told in theearlier paragraphs or told in formal religions. These are

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