Many of us recognize that there is much more to life than what we experience on the material level of living. We understand both intuitively, and through our own direct experiences, that simply trying to satisfy the urges of our mind and bodily senses is not fulfilling for us. It is not deeply meaningful, nor does it bring us the real and lasting happiness that we long for in our heart of hearts. Thus, we turn to spiritual life to find what we are seeking.
When we want to understand the truth of our spiritual nature, it is important to look to the bonafide scriptures of the world. These ancient scriptures contain timeless wisdom that can help us rediscover our eternal nature and inherent relationship with the Supreme Person.
Within the yoga scriptures , it is explained that we are eternal spiritual beings, currently covered by layers of material energy, like a set of clothes. The mind or subtle energy body is like an under layer of clothes. The gross physical body is like an outer layer of clothes. Just as we are not the shirt, pants, and undergarments we are currently wearing, we are not these “clothes” either. However, if we have no real information about our true nature as spiritual beings, it is easy for us to fall into the misunderstanding that we are these temporary material coverings.
If we erroneously conclude that we are the mind and body, then our entire existence becomes focused on taking care of these “clothes.” Thinking we are them, we will look for happiness and fulfillment in terms of our mind and body. We will constantly be striving for satisfaction through feeding the mind and body with various material objects, such as pleasurable thoughts or ideas, things to stimulate the senses, and so on. However, no matter how nicely or extravagantly or diligently we do this, we will remain empty within the core of our being – always anxious searching for the vital something that is missing from our lives and hearts. Material experiences do not actually touch us. They can feed the mind and body, but do absolutely nothing to nourish us, the spiritual self.
This is why our repeated attempts at material gratification are never successful. We may get the external object or situation that we strive for, but it does not result in the permanent inner fullness that we seek.
As we are spiritual beings, real satisfaction comes to us only through consciously relating with our spiritual Source. As the great spiritual teacher Jagad Guru Chris Butler says when we direct our longing for happiness , meaning, purpose, shelter, love toward the temporary objects and relationships of this world, we are endlessly frustrated. But when we direct this longing toward our inner relationship with the Supreme Person, we find complete and utter fulfillment. Fortunately, in the scriptures, we are given clear instructions on how to revive and deepen our relationship with our eternal Friend.
In this day and age, the recommended process for consciously linking up with the Supreme Person is through real meditation on His transcendental Names. (In the yoga scriptures, this is called Mantra Meditation.) The Names of the Supreme Being are not ordinary sound. Rather, there is no difference between the Supreme Person Himself and the spiritual sound vibration. He appears in this world as spiritual sound in order to give those who sincerely want to know Him the opportunity to associate directly with Him.
In this way, we can relate intimately with the Supreme Person simply by hearing and repeating His Names. These Names are purely spiritual and never lose any potency on coming into contact with matter. On the contrary, the Names of the Supreme have unlimited power to purify us of the material influences that we have taken on from living in such close association with matter for so long. By regularly listening, chanting, singing these Names, our consciousness is gradually purified of all material miseries. As the material influence on our consciousness dissipates, we are able to increasingly experience the presence of God in His Names and in our hearts – and our relationship with Him blossoms in the most wonderful ways.
In the yoga scriptures, it is described that when all that is false is stripped away from us, naturally what we will do is try to be pleasing to God, our eternal Friend. We have an innate love for the Supreme Person and He has a similar innate love for us. Loving Him is the actual purport of our existence, the highest goal of our life. The great spiritual teachers or the acaryas such as Jagad Guru Chris Butler have said that Within our natural loving relationship with God, we find the perfection of all that we seek.
It may seem amazing to us that everything we have been longing for is contained within this one relationship, within loving this most special and unique Person. But this is the Absolute Truth that is confirmed in the scriptures, and through the lives and teachings of the topmost saintly persons. Realizing this essential and most wonderful truth of our existence is the key to our actual fulfillment . Our truest nature, our highest happiness, is in loving this Person who is the very Source and essence. There is no higher truth, no higher attainment, no higher joy, than the actual realization of this eternal relationship of loving exchange with our Supreme Friend.
Spiritual life is knowing God as our Best Friend. It is our genuine personal awakening to our eternal relationship with our supreme dear most Beloved. It is truly knowing for our self that our heart is completely safe with Him – and so without the tiniest bit of reservation or fear , we are joyfully, eagerly loving Him with all our heart and trying to please Him with our life.
If we are not already consciously relating with God, we can begin doing so immediately through hearing, chanting, singing His Names. And if we are already relating with Him, this relationship can become infinitely more deep, intimate, and blissful in this way.
Spiritual life is our real life that has only been forgotten and covered over by the facade of material misconception. Jagad Guru Chris Butler in his amazing videos clearly communicates that Through regular hearing and repeating the Names of God, we can revive our inner life of wonder and sweetness, of transcendental happiness, of natural loving service to our supremely lovable dear most Friend. In this, our real life, we are completely fulfilled.