Many Ways to Bliss
Based on an article by Shri Nimishananda Guru
There are three paths by which sanatana dharma (eternal religion) can be accessed. These are through the puranas, upanishads and the vedas. The vedic age was marked by an austere, pure lifestyle that may not be compatible with today’s demanding, hectic, modern world.
The Puranic Model
This approach advocates molding one’s spiritual character through anecdotes and stories from the scriptures. This path is for the traditionally religious-minded, who practise ritualistic worship and rites. The puranic model also recommends chanting of mantras to invoke particular deities. One needs to chant mantras with devotion and faith to receive the grace of a particular deity.
The upanishadic model
The upanishads teach us how to realize and recognize the divinity latent in us. Ancient sages reached subtle inner realms by adopting certain principles. In this state, they maintained restful awareness for prolonged periods. This enlightened state is marked by the absence of limitations, expectations, negativity, desires and even thoughts. Moreover, the enlightened sages experienced ecstasy and unalloyed bliss. These saints codified the principles in the upanishads.
Helping Sadguru (True Teacher)
A sadguru activates a disciple’s innermost core by leading him/her to the path of self-enquiry. Disciples imbibe the sadguru’s wisdom, which shatters their egoistic attitudes and mindsets. The sadguru thus helps the disciples to dissolve the karma, which had stopped them from identifying with their divine soul. The sadguru’s energy invokes stability, faith and divinity in the disciples.
The disciple evolves spiritually, and his/her worldly life becomes free from worries, problems and troubles. Each passing day becomes fulfilling, joyous and stable. The disciple starts to exhibit the soul’s qualities such as care, compassion, tolerance, patience, peace and love. He/she harmoniously integrates material prosperity with spiritual progress. Sanatana dharma thus offers us simple and practical formulae to attune our lives to the qualities of unconditional love, non-violence, noble principles, truth and righteousness.