Reflections, 9

Materialism and Spiritualism

The soul belongs only to God and the body belongs to the world. These two are entirely different departments; there is no conflict between them and both are necessary. If you do not keep the body well with the help of this world, then you will not be able to practice devotion to God. You will instead moan and groan all the time. You will feel old even at a young age. It is not a bad thing to get old, but when you have bodily pain, which we call disease, your mind will constantly think about it. When your Guru tells you to take your mind to God, your mind will not be able to do it. When the body is healthy, on the other hand, the mind can concentrate on God anywhere and so you are able to practice much better.

This world is for your body and this is called materialism. God is for the soul and this is called spiritualism. There is a balance between the two and both are needed. Some babas say, however, that this world is not real. They should be locked up in a mental hospital! "Tell me, babaji, if this world is not real, then why do you walk on our earth? Why do you drink our water? Why do you eat our food or breathe our air? Did you give up all this? These things are not real?"

The Brahma Sutra states that even after God-realisation you will experience hunger and thirst – everything! The body's nature remains the same as it was when that soul was under maya. It's alright if you are a sanyasi and you may not make your food; you may beg for it. But you still have to eat. Take proper care of your body. This world is made for your use and not for enjoyment. You will not attain happiness from it. When you use the world properly, you will stay in good health.  


An English translation of an excerpt from a speech originally given in Hindi by:

Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj


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Vishva Shanti - Hindi or English


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