Gaurav Ojha

With the abundance of spiritual leaders, groups and their publications, the concept of spirituality has become an integral part of our collective psyche. However, most often, I find this term overused, misused, confused and even utterly commercialized.

After all, these days, spirituality is not something available without generous contributions; all the spiritual relief available in the market has a price tag stitched around it. Hence, spirituality has become an industry operating with a consumer culture, packaging spiritual exercises in such a way that they are attractive enough for those with a certain purchasing power.
Likewise, our familiar assumption associates spirituality with becoming a member of a spiritual sect, listening to spiritual teachers, blindly following their instructions and assertions or with reading spiritual matters regularly. However, I usually try to find the meaning of spirituality away from these appearances as I have come to realize that human spirituality is not something isolated from our everyday life. Spirituality is a part and parcel of our being in the world, and it is not just about giving up on life and growing some facial hair.

After all, being spiritual is all about experiencing life with utmost intensity and passion, while at the same time embracing all the recklessness of human life amidst all the paradoxes of our existence. Even etymologically, the word spiritual comes from a Latin word meaning ‘to breathe’, hence it is associated with air, or, in a more subtle sense, with being a free spirit – those who dare to move beyond their traditional beliefs and celebrate their freedom.

Hence, spirituality has nothing to do with our faith in the supernatural being, some mystical figure or believing in baseless myths and taboos collected from religious texts. Rather, spirituality is an art of maintaining harmony between our subjective life and with the everyday realities that we encounter as our lived experiences.

Moreover, the calmness, joy, harmony, creativity and peace I experience while reading Chekhov, walking around in the woods with friends, gazing at the stars or playing the guitar add spiritual meaning to my life more than anything else. Besides, I have learned to celebrate my spirituality within my ordinary everyday practices of writing poetry, gardening, explaining stories, humor, reading, debating with my father and helping my mother in the kitchen. And these little things nurture, nourish and refresh my inner life as I touch my connectedness with other beings and nature.

Hence, for me, spirituality means to embrace and engage fully with our everyday life and to celebrate our transient human existence in every ounce and with all its energy. After all, nothing can be more spiritual than to breathe in a world already overflowing with life, rhythm, sense of wonder, beauty and mystery.

(Gaurav Ojha is a faculty of communication; critical thinking and marketing research at different educational institutions. He can be reached at