Spirituality has become a fashion over time. I come across many rumors and myths about spirituality every day. People feign about spirituality by quoting verses that they read on some religious texts to put up a benign facade. They shade their true selves and some innocent people get conned. They do it to show their authority or try to achieve their ends.
People relate spirituality to religious symbolism. If the person wears a skull cap, has symbols painted on the forehead, wears typical colored clothing, that means he is a true guru. Isn’t it what most people think?
This is one of the biggest myths. A person wearing a black suit, working on wall street could be spiritually active. A primary school teacher, a homemaker, a high school girl, they all could be spiritually active.
Spirituality is not about what’s outside, but rather what’s inside.
Some people try to convey a fake message and convince you. If they are unable to do so, they confuse you.
Spirituality opens up your mind and heart rather than making it more complex.
There are many controversies, myths, and fake stories related to spirituality. Let’s look at each one of them and know the reality.
Conspiracies and myths about Spirituality
The path of true spirituality only gives us hope and optimism. It gives us a sense of community with the meaning and purpose in life. Unlike fake spiritual practices, it never confuses you.
But there are thousands of definitions, paths, and practices out there. Which one to believe?
This is probably the first question that enters your mind. Let us first look at some of the myths that can drift us from the true benefits of spirituality.
Myths about spirituality
- Spirituality will help you escape worldly responsibilities – Many people escape spirituality because they think it’s only possible if you leave your social life behind (which not everyone is willing to do). They have seen great saints like Buddha and Swami Vivekananda leaving their families to seek salvation.
It’s a choice, not a necessity. Spirituality will help you live your life fully and do 100% in whatever job you take up. It helps you maintain a perfect balance between your social and professional life.
- Spirituality can’t exist with material success – People who are driven highly by materialistic success think that spirituality will take them away from it. And spiritually insightful people tend to think that it will take them away from their family.
What we fail to remember is that all matter is manifested by spiritual energy itself.
Another thing that we all should understand is that spirituality helps you grow from the inside. And if that is true, a happy inside will automatically help you grow outside.
- There is a point where you get there, a pinnacle to reach – Spirituality is not a race to cross the finish line. There is no mountain top to reach. It’s a journey of constant change and growth. The more you learn, the more you will understand what you know and what you don’t know.
It’s an endless loop of learning and growing as long as you breathe.
- Spirituality can’t begin without a trip or pilgrimage – It’s not needed to embark on a spiritual trip to understand or begin your journey of spirituality. Many fake practitioners ask you to travel to different places ensuring that only that trip can awaken the sense of spirituality inside you. Spirituality is not an object found in rare places that amazon should add to its list!
- A specific way or some special rituals are needed – How many people have tons of you that you need to meditate and do special yoga to be spiritual? I bet the number is in the hundreds. Many might have told you that you need to read specific books or worship a special God or at a specific place. Fake gurus have been spotted to tell you that “special” place and many people end up being looted or trapped.
- You can achieve spirituality only if you follow a known guru – No! Not true. You can seek guidance from gurus and practitioners but it’s not an absolute need to have a guru to walk on the spiritual path.
- Being spiritual means being cultish – Cult practices follow a fixed path and are not open to questions and discussions. While spirituality has no such fixed beliefs and rituals. Spirituality is actually about asking questions and doesn’t have a single line of thought. Spirituality is about seeing through hoaxes.
True stories about fake spiritual Gurus
We come across many stories depicting the horrible incidents of fake gurus. People get robbed, cheated on, and some of them even die during the process. They take advantage of people’s weaknesses and illiteracy.
It’s important to know about such stories and become aware of them. Here is one such conspiratorial story that gave me goosebumps when I first heard about it.
Note: This is a real story but names are changed.
~ Bansi Lal, a retired police officer from Delhi (capital of India) was devoted to Virendra Dev Dixit, a popular guru then. They were visiting the institute where Virendra taught spirituality.
Bansi took a 7-day preliminary course about Adhyatmik Gyan (spiritual knowledge). After the course, he gained confidence in the institute and made his two daughters join the institute.
During their summer vacation, Bansi made his two daughters, who were minors, join the institute. The guru would fake spirituality, use people’s weaknesses, and tell them a fake remedy for it and then he made girls join the ashram to gain spiritual awakening.
People who were too innocent to understand would enroll their daughters.
What happened with Bansi’s elder daughter was shocking. Virendra was teaching them a fake story about Shiva (Indian Deity) and taking sexual advantages of them against their will.
She escaped that place somehow but her younger sister was completely brainwashed to be set free.
Another story that many of you could relate to is something we should all be beware of.
~ Remember how we all are asked to never share our OTP with anyone to be safe from banking frauds? But many of us still get trapped due to illiteracy and innocence.
A small village in Uttar Pradesh, India was suffering from poverty and lack of facilities. People who were well financially were losing their farming businesses.
A preacher passes by that village with his helpers. They boasted about how magical he was and how he helped people become rich, happy, and healthy.
The innocent people of the village came to him with their problems. The solution he provided them all was that they were being too greedy and this was a punishment that God gave them.
They should all give up whatever possessions they had for a few days to him and meditate with him daily to please God.
Before taking their money, he guided them about basic yoga steps and meditation which made them all trust him blindly. He would talk about their problems and promise them a future full of happiness. They were trapped in the way he spoke and were ready to do as he asked.
That night they all gave him whatever they had and slept peacefully thinking that their problems would come to an end.
The preacher escaped that village later that night with all their money.
Similarly, people get lost with fake teachers, shamans, gurus who promise to help them attain true spirituality.
What people in all these cases failed to understand is Spirituality never takes but only gives.
It helps you attain clarity rather than pushing you into darkness and uncertainty.
No matter how tempting their offer is, remember to check their background and what it is costing you.