Advancing Spiritually in Daily Life by Yogacharya Claudia Cremers

Claudia Cremers
Dear Kriyavans

The new year 2021 is just a few weeks old when I write this message. I wish all readers a very healthy 2021, in every aspect, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I wish everybody success and growth in all your noble endeavours.

Day and night we are seeking success in the five lower chakras of the body. We try to be successful in our material and professional life, in our family life, in keeping up our health (especially in these trying Covid-times), in our social life, and some also strive for success in their spiritual life.

Our Master, Gurudev Baba Hariharanandaji told us again and again to develop all round success in life. He meant that our day-to-day life should be integrated with our spiritual life, and that spiritual life is an active, practical part of our day-to-day life.

Many times we meditate and pray and the moment we get up and become involved in the world again, we have forgotten our elevated state of prayer and meditation. The world then demands our undivided, full attention. But the world is also a manifestation of the Divine. Gurudev said, “There is no non-God in this world.” He said that we have to realize the Divine, living in the midst of the world, just like Lahiri Mahasaya, who was a householder, having a big family and who had to earn money for many family members. Yet he became one of the greatest saints in the modern history of India. Many great monks bowed at his feet and recognized him as a superior being.

Gurudev told, “In the office there are many Gurus.” And also, “Boss is God.” He meant to say that your place in the world is designed in such a way that you can learn a lot from the people around you. You may learn what to do, and also often what not to do. To accept your superior as someone who had the destiny to become your “boss”. If we see our superiors like that, and treat them nicely, even if they give us difficulties, this may make our working life more spiritual and easier to accept.

We may perceive this as a very “Indian way” of dealing with others, but Gurudev’s message was, “See God in everybody and in everything.” He told, “Wife is God, husband is God, children are God.” Meaning that relationship and marriage is not just for sexual pleasure but as a way to help each other to come closer to God. Marriage should be a wonderful tool to mutually advance in spirituality, extending love also to children and parents, who may be our best Gurus.
Gurudev said, “Food is God. Offer your food with every breath while you are eating, then that food will be eaten in heaven.” Well, that’s a bit different than the way we usually eat, isn’t it? Eating in front of television, pc, or while talking to others or while doing this or that. Gurudev demonstrated with his life that if you keep some time to eat silently and to chew well and eat the food which is appropriate for you, or at least to offer your food with outer or inner prayer, then that food will work as a medicine to heal and protect your body. Then it does not only serve to still our appetite for taste or immediate “hunger” or as a relief from stress.

Another of Gurudev’s practical teachings is to perceive the presence of the Divine even in every emotion. Knowing that many negative or unpleasant emotions would come to us, he would say, “Perceive that God is even in the negative thought, and then pray to God to take it back.”

Even in spiritual practices such as chanting, reading and doing puja-worship he warned to be conscious of “Who is worshipping, otherwise your worship is useless.” Many times Gurudev told, “An ounce of practise is far better than tons of theories.” Meaning not that we should not study or sing or chant, but that afterwards we should also meditate, go in that all-transforming formless state and then when again worshipping not to forget “who is breathing, who is singing”. Gurudev warned against formal (unconscious) worship and called it “A waste of time.”

Thus, we have walked through the 5 lower chakras, that relate to the world in which we live. To perceive God in all the chakras, when earning and spending money, while living family life, while eating and drinking, while living as social beings with emotions, and while absorbed in study or worship: always to try to perceive the Power of God, in every person, in every circumstance.

When we do this, then surely also our meditation will be easier and will be more likely to further deepen. When we “meditate” but never have a notion of the Divine, playing in this world and in our bodies, then why should we meditate? The peace of our meditation should extend throughout the day. If we don’t feel peace, again try to meditate, again try to watch the breath, again try to see His face in all faces, in the whole creation.

Change cannot be realized overnight. Gurudev said, “It takes time to become good.” But if we don’t do anything, our lives will be stagnant or even shrink. As the children of God, we should grow and expand every day, even a little bit.

I wish everybody to grow up every day under the loving care of the Divine Mother and Divine Masters.

I bow to everyone, even while not personally knowing you, I wish you growth in every aspect of your life and in your whole being. May we be and express ourselves as the loving children of God.

Hari OM, with love,
Claudia Ma

Claudia Ma