Stages Of Spiritual Evolution

Stages of spiritual evolution.                                                                                                               Speaking Tree, Nov 10, 2010. Janki Santoke.


Spiritual development and its evolution is a slow process. It goes through some distinct stages. And in each stage, the world appears different. How life appears to us depends on where we are placed. The view is dependent on where we stand. Management will always look at things from a particular perspective, labour from another. Man from one, woman from another. The way we look at things gives them their meaning. At different levels of spiritual development the world will inevitably appear different. Broadly speaking these would be influenced by the major experiences on the path.

The Age of Innocence is a stage when we believe that everything will be perfect. When you are a child, you take it for granted that everybody exists only to fulfil your needs, whims and fancies. A child takes it as a right that when he cries at night somebody will come and attend to the problem. Many adults have not outgrown this stage. They expect to be taken care of and loved. They are always expecting somebody to do something. The government should do this , the teachers should do that, the neighbours should be thus. Everybody should do everything so that I will live a happy life. When such persons come to spirituality, they have the same relationship with God. They look upon Him as some kind of Santa Claus whose primary function is to grant wishes.

The Age of Disillusionment is when we find out that life is not perfect and things are inherently flawed. The child grows up and faces the reality that he is not the centre of the universe and for the most part the universe doesn’t know he exists or is indifferent to his existence. This is the pain of adolescence. People in this stage say there is no God or there is no use believing in Him. They may become cynical or atheistic.

The Age of Responsibility is a stage when we start taking responsibility for our life. No more will others look after us. We will operate within the realm of cause and effect. We will get the just rewards of our actions. Nobody is looking out for me and I must look out for myself says a person in the age of responsibility. He takes responsibility for his life. Many materialistic achievers fall in this category.

The Age of Keeperhood is when a person starts really growing spiritually It dawns on him that he is ‘ his brother’ s keeper’. Far from the world being there to take care of him, he is there to take care of the world. Instead of wanting others to share his pain, he wishes to relieve the pain of others. These are the noble people, the Mahatma Gandhis or Abraham Lincolns. Who fight to serve the world they came to and leave it a better place for their service.

The Age of Enlightenment extends far beyond that of ‘ keeperhood’. When love becomes universal, when there is complete identification. People are no more my brothers. They are me. I and they are one. My Self is the Self in all. Even to love someone there must be two. Enlightenment sees only the One, the non-dual. It is the culmination of spiritual growth, the state of a Krishna or Rama, a Buddha or Christ, a Mahavir or Mohammed. It is the blessed state of Self-Realisation or moksha, the zenith of spiritual growth, the state of complete knowledge.

10 Responses to Stages Of Spiritual Evolution

  1. urvi mehta says:

    dear jankiji,thanking u is not enough.i hv few of yr articles 1)contradictory nature of what we call truth 2)satisfaction of loss with u want to put it on blog?

  2. Mahesh Ursekar says:

    Could you share what happens in the “Age of Enlightenment”? How does a person behave then? Does it apply only to the Self-realized person?

  3. Shilpa says:

    Please explain “Age of Enlightenment”?

    • janki says:

      Sorry Shilpa and Mahesh. The last para of the article seems to have gotten omitted. Have added it now. Please read and let me know if there is a further question. Thank you for drawing it to my attention

  4. Mahesh Ursekar says:

    Thanks for the last answer. I have one more question:
    You write, “I must look out for myself says a person in the age of responsibility. He takes responsibility for his life.”
    But one finds, particularly in bhaktas, that rather than “looking out for themselves”, they entrust their life to God, who they believe will take care of them. This is niecely reflected in the poem ‘The Olive Tree’ where the hermit says: “I entrusted to its God my little tree..”
    Could you clarify?

    • janki says:

      The Age of Responsibility is not the age the bhakta is in. This is the age of ego.
      As bhakti (devotion) develops one enters the age of Keeperhood. A bhakta looks after God’s creatures. A true bhakta is not interested in God looking after him. He feels he is in the service of the Lord. Not the Lord is in service of him!

      • Mahesh Ursekar says:

        I see. That makes sense. The true Bhakta has gone beyond the Age of Responsibility and is in one of the higher stages. It is an evolution, I think. At first you think you are the doer (ego) and act according to your will, till, at some point, you realize the divine plan and act in tune with it. Or, as you put it, you act “in the service of the Lord”.

  5. Ricardo says:

    If you organize the four dneiismons of mind,body and energy in one direction, the source of Creation is with you. You are a Kalpavriksha; you have the power to create what you want Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. You are nearly there you didn’t really want that job so you didn’t get it. Now simply focus on all that you DO want the source of your creation has no choice but to conspire with you:)

  6. Madhva Muni Rao. Sandhyavandanam says:

    Human spirit is psychic energy unit and is applied in physical and psychological aspects of living. In physical one can know with minimal effort the causal and effects in ideas,imagination,and discovery ending belief and superstition aided by empirical truth and fact. In psychological psychic energy is used for speculations unconcerned with fact and establishing truth by popular authorities, accepted, endorsed, supported by all the escapists for the ease and comfort of truth of belief as opposed to the truth of fact.Spirit is to end the conditioning of speculative knowledge, use the full power of brain-conscious-mind-intelligence becoming a seeker in search of truth. This becoming is spirituality. In this state all identities are being transcended. The state of self witness, directly perceiving the reality, factual and the truth of facts, progressing towards the ultimate and absolute.

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