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Spiritual Aspiration Definition In Hinduism

The definition of spiritual aspiration in Hinduism and a look at the various meaning of it in Hindu scriptures.

Spiritual Aspiration signifies a desire to seek God or the truth about oneself. It is the yearning of the soul for the supreme Spirit. It is a genuine ardor for liberation from the bondage of death-bound transitory existence. Spiritual aspiration is the central propelling force in religious and spiritual life and alone leads the human mind towards the experience of the Divine. It can also be described as a struggle to raise one’s consciousness, to connect and be in communion with the Spirit, to reach greater heights of personal spiritual progress and evolution. It is essentially a pure and positive emotional fervor, born out of the faculty of discernment, viveka, and detachment, vairāgya - and it is yearning for God that makes religion meaningful.

In Vedantic parlance spiritual aspiration is termed mumuksutva. The mumuksutva mentioned in the Vedanta literature, the viraha that we find in bhakti literature, the divine discontentment in spiritul literature, and the vyakulata that we come across in the life of Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, and other saints – all indicate different shades of expression of spiritual aspiration.

Aspiration, indeed, is the cry of the inner soul, the jivatman, for the experience of the supreme Spirit, Paramatman. The prayerful expression in one of the famous mantras of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad indicates the intensity of aspiration of the seeker appealing to the Almighty:

‘Asato ma sad-gamaya tamaso ma jyotir-gamaya mrtyor-ma-amrtam gamaya; lead me [O Bhagavan] from untruth to truth, from darkness to light, from mortality to immortality.’

We find another fervent prayer in the Isha Upanishad: ‘Tat-tvam pusannapavrnu satya-dharmaya drshtaye; O Sun [supreme Spirit], please remove that [veil of ignorance] so that I, who am righteous, can experience the Truth.’

Vedantic literature and other scriptures, throughout, are replete with such impassioned petitions expressing the aspirations of seekers.

Sourcearticle titled ‘Aspiration’ by Swami Muktidananda in the January 2010 edition of Prabuddha Bharata.