Sunday, January 30, 2005

Religion and Spirituality - 1

I went to a lecture by Swami Dayananda Saraswati on Saturday. The hall was packed to capacity. I was fortunate enough to get a seat.
What was surprising was the presence of youngsters, who comprised more than half the audience - this in an era of hidden-cams and seedy MMS clips.
I feel the interest taken by the youth nowadays in sprituality is mainly due to the efforts of Gurus like Swami Vivekananda, Swami Chinmayananda, Swami Chidbhavananda and Mata Amritananda Mayi. What they have done is to talk in a language understood by the youth. There are also teachers like Eknath Easwaran of Kerala, who set up an ashram in the US. He regards, of all persons, his grandmother as his spiritual guide. (I regard the three part Bhagavad Gita commentary by him as one of the best I have come across).
In these days of information explosion, when everything, including sex, is available at a click of a mouse or just a phone call, parents have a responsibility to guide children towards religion/spiritualism. This doesn't mean we have to make them take sannyas, but provide them with something in which they can fall back upon in times of crises.
But at the same time, we have to watch out for fake swamijis and organisations.
Mahatma Gandhi used to say whenever he faced a problem, all he had to do was to browse the Bhagawad Gita. In fact, the quote is quite famous, but I don't remember it.
More later.