Does Spirituality Have To Be Esoteric?

The Times of India (Mumbai edition)5 Aug 2017 & Speaking Tree, Aug 24th 2017 Janki Santoke

Many believe that Vedanta is abstruse, obscure, arcane. That it is too high, is not practical, it is for another age or another stage – one hears this chorus from non-believers. Is religion not really for the common person going about his common duties, something for some special types? Is it all esoteric stuff beyond the reach of the general populace?
Spirituality is for the everyday person. Religion and spirituality are far too important to be exclusivist.
Religion is something that concerns the very essence of our personality; it is for all of us, for all the time. It is the art of knowing our Self and relating to the world. It is the attitude with which we do our work, live in families, and deal with the world. It is not something that separates us from the world but teaches us to relate to it. Life needs to be learnt. Living is an art, a skill, says Swami Parthasarathy.
There are two ways to relate to the world – with our emotions, whims and fancies, moods, hopes and desires, that is, with manas, mind. Or we could relate with our buddhi, intellect. The intellect is discrimination, reason, judgement and analysis.
The world throws us stimuli. The body, the senses, register the stimuli. The mind reacts. It either likes it or it doesn’t. It becomes happy or unhappy. Maybe it is sad or envious, loving or angry. This is natural. The mind will react. Up to this point there is no problem. The problem will start if the mind will force or propel the body into action. One can feel whatever one wants. That is one’s prerogative. But when that converts to action, the consequences become inevitable. One can hate someone all one wants. But if one does something about it, there are consequences. Similarly one can love someone all one wants. But if one does something about it, the consequences will start.
Since action is going to bring results, we ought to consider action carefully. Randomly performed actions will bring random results. Actions that are well considered bring about desirable results. The quality of the action is the quality of the fruit or result.
Hence one ought to choose action carefully. If i perform this action, will it bring the result i am looking for? If i shout at my child now, will i get him to study? Or is there another way?
This requires discrimination, knowledge. Discrimination is the intellect and it is built with knowledge of the scriptures. Knowledge tells us of cause and effect relationships. Intellect helps us apply them to real life situations. To try to live without this knowledge is like going to unknown territory without a map! One would never reach one’s destination. Scriptural knowledge is like a GPS. It tells us whether the turn we are about to take will lead us to the destination or not.
To deprive ourselves of this knowledge and call it esoteric deprives us of the knowledge we are all heir to, the wisdom of the past. This, in combination with the knowledge of the present, will take us to a glorious future.