How appreciating other spiritual paths can distract us — and inspire us

We live today in a multicultural world where people from many different faith-traditions interact at the workplace as well as in cyberspace. In order to be broad-minded or at least appear broad-minded, we may be inclined to understand and appreciate others’ spiritual paths. 

While broadening our understanding thus can be helpful, we need to ensure that it doesn’t come at the cost of our efforts to deepen our spirituality. Spiritual growth requires us to go deep within, beyond the various conceptions that populate our psyche, to the core of who we are — the soul, and to the whole whose parts we are — Krishna. Through disciplined study of wisdom-texts and dedicated practice of those texts, we can progress toward realizing spiritual truths, thereby relishing profound nonmaterial enrichment. 

If we compare the spiritual journey to excavating gold, we need to be broad-minded enough to understand that others may productively dig for gold at other places within the area where the ore is found. Simultaneously, we can’t get so caught in seeing how and where others are digging and what they are getting that we stop digging ourselves. When we focus our efforts to reach gold ourselves and appreciate its beauty, then we will be able to truly appreciate others’ efforts and accomplishments — and their endeavors can inspire us to increase our endeavors too. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (04.11) states that all people are on the path to the supreme reality, Krishna, and He reveals himself to seekers in proportion to their surrender. This means we need to balance broadening our spirituality by exploring others’ paths with deepening our spirituality to progress on our path. . 

One-sentence summary:

Broaden your spiritual understanding to appreciate others’ paths, deepen your spiritual understanding to relish what your path offers. 

Think it over:

  • What does broadening our spirituality mean?
  • What does deepening our spirituality mean?
  • How can broadening our spirituality help and hinder the deepening of our spirituality?

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04.11: As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Prutha.

To know more about this verse, please click on the image

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