By Kamlesh Patel author of The Heartfulness Way
“Sacredness” is another superfine concept in life, like “etiquette,” “reverence,” and “respect.” The word comes from the Latin root sacrare, meaning “holy,” so something is sacred when it deserves veneration because of its Godliness. Sacredness can be about places—like temples and sacred grounds—and it can also be about people, music, ideas, processes, thoughts, and objects like idols. It can be about ceremonies, symbols, geometry, moments, and existence.
Everything, including the most ordinary, becomes sacred when prayerfulness, meditativeness, respect, adoration, and deep silence is felt from within at sacred places. We often associate sacred places with bodily purity, which is why we generally enter one without shoes, and with clean feet. Bodily purity is a prerequisite for anything sacred. We also observe silence and sharpen our awareness, as we cannot afford levity in such moments. For example, on entering the gate of an ashram or any known holy place, there always should be openness of the heart. All are welcome, and once we are welcomed there is a responsibility on our part.
When people enter the room of the Guru or the place of group meditation, are they busy looking for the best chair or the front line or scanning who is sitting in front? Or has the heart already drooped in complete receptivity, in finer tuning with one’s Guru? If they enter blatantly, ruffling the already-seated group, making noise, being careless about mobile phones and the noise of moving chairs, can they expect to feel even simple harmony with their fellow seekers, let alone God?
Consider these questions: What are those sacred, unwritten responsibilities? Can we demand and be at peace? Can we impose and be relaxed? Please think over this.
Even the most insignificant cow can become a sacred symbol if we have the attitude of sacredness toward it, while profound things can become unholy if our attitude is wrong. But for an individual who is God-Realized, Self-Realized, there is Godliness in everything. For such an individual, everything becomes a holy shrine, a temple, a mosque, a church. Sacredness can emerge only when spiritual life is breathed into material life—when the two are seamlessly integrated to become one. And it cannot be manufactured artificially or through set rules about sacredness.
The Heartfulness Way of life makes every moment, phase, protocol, and procedure sacred because of the inner harmony. There is no artificial sacredness, as sacred essence radiates from within. Such a sacred feeling connects the worlds: this and that, East and West, material and spiritual. This world becomes The Brighter World, heavenly. Methods can be given—meditation, cleaning, and prayer—but it is necessary to meet the Guide or Guru to make these processes even more dynamic. His presence will be a catalyst, accelerating the alchemical process of inner change if we approach him with a sacred feeling in our heart.
However artificial it may be, remaining proactive with the heart, allowing all our inner attention to be touched with a reminder of the seeker-Guru relationship, can at some level build the genuine bond. It is through this subtle connection between Guru and seeker that magical realization happens. When seekers meet the Guru, unfortunately things like expectations, greed, or desires destroy sacredness—and eventually also the subtle bond which builds the spiritual empire.
There is also tremendous incompatibility between sacredness and certain attitudes, such as idle curiosity, doubt, and having to be cool. When love becomes mainstream in life, it transforms mundane acts into sacred and holy acts. So partaking of food becomes puja or worship; going to work becomes a pilgrimage; procreation is no longer perceived as profane. The very act of breathing in and out can become a sacred activity.
Sacredness brings new meaning to life. There are some significant corollaries to a sacred approach to life. Acceptance is one of them, because seeing Godliness in all is sacredness. Acceptance kindles relaxation whereas nonacceptance harbors tension. The Heartfulness Way cannot tolerate the sentiment that others are any less, as all are significant.
Also, can possessiveness, greed, anger, and vice coexist with sacredness? When sacredness is removed, these are the outcomes: nonacceptance, thinking others are low, and negative traits. These happen because the main thing has been removed—the acknowledgment of Godliness in all. The feeling that “I am holier than thou” must become taboo. When we see oneness everywhere, where is the question of being better than others? Once we let go of all the negatives, we will enjoy tremendous relaxation.
Objects used by sages during their lifetimes are regarded as sacred. Is it this belief that creates the powerful effect of touching one, or is the effect already there that creates the feeling? It is both, and from our side we can help by creating a sacred feeling in our hearts. Touching any object with this sacred feeling changes our reality, our perception of things—even such mundane acts as turning a doorknob or water faucet, and taking a spoon to eat. This is not just being mindfully aware, as there is something far beyond mere awareness. It is being heartfully connected with sacredness.
The way we treat Mother Nature reveals our level of sacredness. Water pollution, air pollution, thought pollution, emotional pollution, and spiritual pollution—all are the results of the absence of sacredness. This creates complexities and impurities that eventually result in inner pollution.
What is the best attitude to cultivate? It is an attitude of lowliness without inferiority, of reverence and respect for everything. That is an expression of the maxim, “Finding Godliness in everything is sacredness.”
Kamlesh D. Patel, known widely as Daaji, is the fourth and current spiritual guide of the global Heartfulness movement. His teachings arise from his personal experience on the path of Heartfulness, while reflecting his deep spirit of inquiry and respect for the world’s great spiritual traditions and scientific advancements.
As a modern-day guru, he travels widely, extending his support to spiritual seekers everywhere. A self-professed student of spirituality, he devotes much of his time and energy to research in the field of consciousness and spirituality, approaching the subject with scientific methodology—a practical approach that stems from his own experience and mastery in the field.