1. Importance of Spirituality – The subject of Spirituality is useful for both – those who have worldly pursuits as well as those with an inclination for sādhanā (Spiritual practice)
In case of patients (those with some ailments), if an attempt is to be made to explain them briefly so as to convince them intellectually, then spiritual remedies are extremely important in the two types of illnesses mentioned ahead:
An individual can do nothing about old age, incurable illnesses and death. In such cases, if a patient is depressed, then to overcome the depression, Spirituality may be used as a therapy to cultivate in him / her a philosophical attitude towards old age.
In cases of obsessive compulsive disorder (a psychiatric illness), it is useful to keep the patient’s mind pre-occupied.
In the life of an average person, 20% problems occur due to physical and / or psychological reasons. Another 30% are due to spiritual as well as physical and / or psychological reasons. The remaining 50% are solely spiritual in origin. This means that by performing sādhanā, 80% problems can be resolved or the ability to endure them can be acquired by accepting one’s destiny.
Those desirous of worldly pleasure : Sakām sādhanā gives happiness and reduces unhappiness as well.
Those in search of Ānand (Bliss) : They experience the blissful state by performing nishkām sādhanā. Besides, their worldly unhappiness also gets alleviated.
2. Importance of spirituality – Subject which bestows eternal and supreme Anand
Every living being, from the smallest insect to the more evolved human being wishes to acquire supreme quality of happiness continuously and constantly. Every moment he makes attempts to acquire it. Happiness which is everlasting and of supreme quality is called Ānand. The science which teaches how to acquire Ānand is termed, ‘the science of Spirituality’. It is only after becoming introverted through sādhanā, that man realises the Divinity of the soul, that is, the spiritual prowess of God residing within him.
अध्यात्मविद्याविद्यानाम् ।- Srīmadbhagwadgītā, Adhyāya 10, Shloka 32
Meaning : Of all the sciences, spiritual science is the most supreme.
3. Importance of Spirituality – Subject bestowing Omniscience
There being innumerable subjects in the universe, studying even for several births will prove insufficient to become proficient in all of them. To merge into the Omniscient God, one has to become Omniscient. However, God has made this easy by providing us with the subject of Spirituality. This is the only subject in which if one becomes Omniscient, one becomes knowledgeable in other subjects too. This is because, finally all subjects have originated from Spirituality.
4. Importance of Spirituality – A chance for an individual to free himself from the cycle of birth and death
Man is born again and again for two reasons. The first, that is 65%, to complete his destiny by enduring it and the second, that is 35%, to make spiritual progress so as to acquire Ānand. Both these causes are related to Spirituality.
The man is interested in Spirituality for the following reasons:
Desire to discover the Creator : Each one feels like discovering the one from whom he has been created and feels like returning to Him. For instance, when a person comes of age, if he comes to know that he has a foster mother and that his real mother is elsewhere, then he will go in search of her. If someone goes on a vacation to a beautiful foreign land, at some point he feels like returning home. Similarly, at least subtly each one feels like going in search of the Creator and desires to return to Him.
Desire to go from the temporary to permanent : One feels like giving this temporary life a support of the permanent (Spirituality). That is, one feels like going from incompleteness to Absoluteness at some time or the other, since there is a certainty of finding everlasting Ānand on this path.
A person considers a thing he needs to be of importance; he does not give importance to other things. The same is true with Spirituality. We realize the importance of spirituality only when we require it. A person who does not require it says, “I am content with my family and worldly life. What will I achieve by chanting God’s Name, meditating and undergoing suffering? Besides, I cannot find the time to spare for it too.” However, once the importance of Spirituality is understood intellectually, a firm resolve to attain Moksha (Final Liberation) in this very birth is made mentally and sādhanā is commenced.
Reference: Sanstha’s Holy Text on ‘Introduction to Spirituality‘ and ‘Spirituality‘