Practical Spiritualism

Practical Spiritualism and Its relevance to modern times

What is spiritualism?

Does it mean that we should give up this cozy life and enter into monasteries, caves or Ashrams?

Spirit stands for God or Soul, Who is undefinable. He is unknown, unknowable, indescribable and beyond the reach of the senses. Yet, He is there All-Pervading.

एको देव: सर्व भूतेषु गूढ़:
eko devaḥ sarva-bhūteṣu gūḍhaḥ


English Translation :

One God is hidden within everybody

Different systems of the human body

God is within you. He is the source of Infinite Happiness, Infinite Power, and Infinite Achievements. He is the source of our very life. That infinite power is residing within the finite body. How is this possible? God is residing within this finite body. According to medical science, our body has got different systems, namely,

  • Cardiovascular system
  • Musculoskeletal system
  • Renal system
  • Reproductive system

All these constitute this body, which is governed by the brain and the spinal cord. Every movement of the finger, leg, tongue, eyes, etc., is possible with the power of the brain. Whenever you are thinking, doing any word, it is the power of the brain. The brain is functioning at all times. The infinite power of God is governing the body through the brain. The brain is otherwise known as the Capital City of the Soul. Hence The Kingdom of Heaven is within you and not outside. Can we exploit it? To exploit it in our day-to-day life is spiritualism. We function, during our every activity, anchored in the Divine. Is it possible? Yes, it is possible. For this, you have to prepare your body and mind through a certain set of exercises.

What is Spiritualism?

Spiritualism means doing everything anchored in The Divine or The Spirit. This can be practiced by a particular technique known as Kriya Yoga. Kri means to do whatever work you are doing. But all these activities one entity is functioning. That is the Soul or the Atman or God or The Spirit. Remembering this always without fail is spiritualism. The result is that all your negative qualities will vanish; peace and bliss will be yours in this very life. There will be no failure or unhappiness. In short, this is spiritual life. You need not put on ochre robes or go to caves, temples, churches, etc. to lead a spiritual life. By only leading your normal life, you can be spiritual. Spiritualism cause is realizing your own divinity under all circumstances.

Is it possible?

By the practice of Kriya Yoga (practical spiritualism), it is very much possible. You can improve your bodily functions and thereby evolve to a higher state of existence. As a result, you can realize the Infinite Power working through this finite body. The infinite happiness from which you derive the small amount of happiness; the infinite achievement is yours, you can have it any time you feel like, provided you know how to draw upon it.

What is materialism ?

Materialism is that particular way of life or lifestyle where you forget that you are the Soul or that the All-Pervading Powerful God is working through you. You imagine yourself as a small individual person with a physical body and its limitations. You tend to forget The Spirit. This materialism gives rise to pleasure, love, weakness, jealousy, hatred, and animal qualities, which have materialistic tendencies. Yet, if you critically analyze this material tendency, then The Spirit is also present in it. Matter can’t stand independent of itself. It is pervaded by The Spirit. So, from whatever angle you see the All-Pervading Divine is always present. Then, why not remember it and make your life more successful and meaningful. Now, I will highlight certain points in these human systems. Our ancestors, particularly the Yogis, realized that,

शरीरमाद्यं खलु धर्मसाधनम्
sariramadyam khalu dharmasadhanam

English Translation:

Whatever you do, whether you take to the material or spiritual pursuits, the body is first (sariramadyam).

Components of the body

According to Yogis, the body has got 3 components,

Gross Body (Sthula Sharira)

The Gross Body is that which you can see. It consists of The Nervous System, Cardiovascular System, Heart, Lungs, Kidneys, Endocrine System, Cardiovascular System, Reproductive System, etc.

Subtle Body (Sukshma Sharira)

The Subtle Body has got 3 components:
a. Mind – We are usually governed by the mind and the mind governs everything by the senses, e.g. Sense of Sight, Sense of Hearing, Sense of Taste, and Sense of Touch. Through these, the mind governs the body and reacts with the external world

b. Intellect – The Power of Discrimination, such as, “this is good, this is bad, I should do this for the benefit, I should avoid this because it might cause harm, I want to achieve higher things, etc.

c. Ego – It is the determining principle. It acts through the Will Power.

Causal Body (Karana Sharira)

Causal Body is that principle of the existence of a person which is not visible, is very fine and s continuing since time immemorial. Let us recall the Evolutionary Theory. At first, there were only non-living things. From the non-living things, unicellular Amoeba originated. Then from Amoeba, a multicellular organism originated. Subsequently came the insects, reptiles, birds, animals, vertebrates, invertebrates, mammals, quadrupeds, bipeds, and finally human beings. From human beings, rational human beings, superhuman beings, Saints, Jeevanmuktas, Avatars, Mahavatars. From unicellular amoeba to Lord Buddha, Ramakrishna Paramahansa to Lord Krisha to Lord Rama to Jesus Christ, to Mohammed; this travel is the process of evolution. The entire memory of this is deposited in every human being, That is the Causal Body, which determines its present form.
As per the Causal Body, whatever be your chronological age might be, you are millions of years old and which lies inside you. That is why it is said,  Sarīramādyaṃ

Living in the natural process, if you don’t strive spiritually and don’t try to do any spiritual exercise or any special exertion of taking some pain to evolve quickly you too will eventually evolve to Buddha State, Krishna State or Rama State. This Natural Law. This going in one direction, from the unicellular Amoeba to Lord Buddha or a Saint or a Jeevanmukta.

A Jeevanmukta is that person who remains alive without depending on anything of this world. Even he can live without inhaling, or depending on air. It might millions of years, but eventually you will evolve to this state.

We will live around 60 to 80 years, out of which half the time is gone sleeping, doing different activities, socializing, entertainment, professionalism, say about 8 to 10 hours. Where is the time to strive for self -evolution? That means time is gone, finished, 24 hours of the day accounted for. Then should we wait for millions of years?

  • Dharma – Virtue
  • Artha – Wealth
  • Kama – Enjoyment
  • Mokshya – Liberation

Do your legitimate duties, earn money, enjoy life legitimately as far as possible and you should seek liberation. Now, where is the time? That is why practical spiritualism comes here. Let us now consider modern times. There many more obstacles in modern times. We are subjected to stress and strain in this industrial age. You might be reading in newspapers that scientists are committing suicide, industrial engineers suffering from ulcers, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, brain tumors, heart attacks, paralysis, and so on. This is the result of the stressful life of modern times. Then there is anxiety, neurosis, schizophrenia, various other mental diseases, which are present in most of us. How will you strive for further evolution? Taking into consideration all these things, we have to depend on practical spiritualism. The modern management people and the behavioral scientists call it the change of lifestyle. The change of lifestyle is nothing but giving up unhealthy old habits, wherein the care of body and mind comes first.

The yogic way of life particularly,  the Kriya Yoga way of life is the easiest simplest, and quickest way of changing the lifestyle without causing any pain or discomfort so that you can live your life happily and at the same time your body, mind are evolving, your tolerance has increased and you have prevented psychosomatic disorders. Psychosomatic means disease of mind caused by stress and strain giving rise to the disease of the body. High blood pressure, Peptic ulcers, Colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Diabetes Mellitus come under psychosomatic disorder. All these are prevented by 100%. All these diseases result from the highly competitive and stress-prone modern lifestyle. What then is the solution? Change the lifestyle, practice practical spiritualism. Then stress and strain can’t touch you.

What is the aim of your life?

The real aim of everybody is to be happy. Everybody wants to be happy and do things to get happiness. This happiness comes from the same Source. The source of all happiness is The Spirit or the All-Pervading Almighty Divine, The Soul, which is lodged deep inside every one of us. We have to tap this source. The scripture says,

bhumaiba sukham


There is no happiness in little things and pleasures. Happiness is where when we get to the infinite source of happiness. Whatever amount of happiness you want you can have. Whatever amount of happiness you want you can have. This happiness you can get only when you can tap your internal resources.

The Chakras

Our Yogis have explained this. In our spinal cord, there are 6 chakras (nerve centers). The sum total of the effects of stars and planets (cosmic aspects) are there in these 6 Chakras. Due to the effects of these, one is poor, the other is rich, one is tall the other short, one succeeds while the other fail. Somebody is cool-headed while the other is hot-headed, and so on. If you can channelize your vital force through the spine by the yogic technique you can overcome all the evil effects of stars and planets, In one such channelization, we get a year’s spiritualization.


We live in this world. To every human being, this world means a different thing. This world, in which we live, is nothing but a sum total of reactions of our mind to the external stimuli brought to the brain through the special senses like hearing, eyes, nose, taste, touch, and most important of all, though. Infinite thought processes are deposited within our subtle body. They are coming one after the other. Please remember we make our own world. We create our own happiness and misery. We make our own success and failure. We make our own enemies and friends. Everybody evolves through the evolution of the brain only. It is the brain that evolves first and gradually the whole body evolves. In Yogic Science, it is also the evolution of the Chakras. Practical spiritualism means constant accelerated evolution and overcoming obstacles, diseases, short-life, decay, and death. It is also written in the Holy Books like The Bible, The Koran, The Bhagavad Gita, and The Upanishads,

Be good, Do good, remember God, give up anger, pride, hatred and undue attachment

But how to overcome anger, fear, greed etc,? Fearlessness shouldn’t be confused with arrogance. Arrogance is also a disease. How to overcome arrogance? What is the technique? Here comes the Kriya Yoga method of the evolution of the body and mind. It also involves training of the body, mind, intellect, and ego.

Kri + Ya = Kriya

Kriya has 2 syllables, Kri and Ya. Kri means you do your work but at the same time watch the Real Doer. To make this easier to comprehend, let us see what is that one particular thing that keeps us going. That is Energy. Without energy, we can’t stand, talk, think, breathe, or do anything. If we don’t take food for about 7 days, we shall not be able to get up. If we don’t take food for 15 days we will not be able to talk, still longer we will not be able to think. The brain will completely be dull and we will be in the coma stage. The energy comes from food. Where does food get its energy? It is from the Sun. So, the Real Doer of everything is Energy. Once there is Creation, there has to be a source of Energy. And once there is Creation, there has to be Creator. Bhaktas (devotees) worship the energy aspect of the Divine as Mother, Durga, Kali, Saraswati, and so on. Through this energy we do things and this energy is derived from The Lord who is lodged deep within you. If you can, watch this and do all your things. This is Kriya, Kri, and Ya.

The Patanjali Ashtanga Yoga (8 Limb Yoga)

There is one famous Yoga System, which most of you have heard, The Patanjali Astanga Yoga (8 Limb Yoga)

  • Yama – Controlling the Mind
  • Niyama– Controlling the Mind and Body
  • Asana – Postural exercises for controlling the restlessness of the body, particularly the nervous system
  • Pranayam – Controlling the Prana or Vital Force, controlling the breathing power
  • Pratyahar – Withdrawing the mind from various distractions and making it one pointed 
  • Dhyana-  After the mind is withdrawn from distractions it is one pointed and continued in an Absolute Form.
  • Dharana – 
  • Samadhi – You and your Soul become one. All your modifications have died down.

If you do one after another, you will evolve quickly and will have a nice Yogic lifestyle. But that is too cumbersome and too time consuming. The real thing in every person is above the eyebrows, that is the Cranium. It is the brain which really counts. So, you will see, all distinctions are there in the Cranium. Within this space, they say, 

सहस्रशीर्षापुरुषःसहस्राक्षःसहस्रपात् ।
sahasra-śīrṣā puruṣaḥ
sahasrākṣaḥ sahasrapād
sa bhūmiṁ viśvato vṛtvā-
tyātiṣṭhad daśāṅgulam


English Translation:

Ten fingers breadth from the midpoint of the eyebrows is the area of the Soul or Atman. There are 5 levels of Superconsciousness which you should penetrate to reach the Soul. They are called The Panchakas.

  • Daharaksha
  • Chidakasha
  • Parakasha
  • Mahakasha
  • Atmakasha

6 Steps in Kriya Yoga


It is meant to change your Ego system. You change your Will Power to the Power of God

Sound & Vibration

You perceive the Divine Energy working through you. You can perceive the Divine Vibration of Prana Shakti, the Spiritual Energy. You can perceive its vibration first in the brain and the top of the head, the midpoint of the eyebrows and the centers (Chakras)


You visualize the Divine Light.


Mahamudra gives the simultaneous development of body, mind, intellect and The Soul. It is a Divine Exercise in which different vital organs like the Kidney, Liver, Pancreas, lower portion Heart & Lungs are pressed. The upper part of the Lungs will open up.. Tuberculosis germs harbor in the upper part of the Lungs dies to the lack of circulation. Due to the pressure on the above mentioned internal organs, all impure stagnated blood will be pushed back into the system for purification. The organs are activated and the body becomes disease free.

In case of females, the ovaries, Uterus and the Fallopian Tubes will be pressed. Thereby vital hormones will be secreted. This will give a lustrous body and youthful looks.

Ida and Pingala

In the Yogic jargons, there are 3 Nadis in the spinal chord. On the right is the Pingala on the left is the Idda and on the middle is the Susumna. Normally in our ordinary life, the vital force (Prana) circulates either through the Idda or through the Pingala. That is why we are angry, we are egoistic, we are arrogant and we are lethargic. By the practice of Mahamudra, the life force (Prana) is driven from the Idda and Pingala and made to circulate in the Susumna, the middle channel. Thus our spiritual field will be ready for Self Realization, our evolution will be accelerated.

Kriya Breathing

Kriya Breathing is a special, deep rhythmic, scientific breathing technique. The oxygen intake of the body increases and we know oxygen is indispensable for life. It is said that breath mastery is self-mastery and breathlessness state is deathlessness state.


This is the meditation proper where on transcends the body, mind, intellect, and ego. In this state, we get a glimpse of our all-pervading nature. Next comes the Jyoti Mudra, where, by a special technique we perceive the Divine light. The practice of all the steps will take not more than 15 minutes.

Benefits of Kriya Yoga

Our life is short, obstacles are many, wastage of time and angry as much. So, if we practice Kriya Yoga, the practical spiritualism, within a short time we can evolve quickly and get the simultaneous development of body, mind, intellect, and Soul. We can overcome disease, decay, failure, and all negative propensities. We can transcend our limited ego and we can come face to face with the unlimited Divine.

I pray to god and our merciful Gurus to Bless you, Guide you, Protect you and Inspire you.

With Love and Blessings to you. Humbly,
Paramahansa Atmananda Ji