Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
There was once
a man who left his home and all his possessions and went off into the jungle to
live all alone in close proximity to the trees, flowers and the animals. His
purpose was to attain to spirituality in communion with nature. He may have
reached his goal, but his spirituality was only a matter of personal solace
and, as such, was limited in its reach. It was not ‘applied’ spirituality, that
is, spirituality through which others gained from one’s personal spiritual
there is a vast difference between the spiritual person who lives within
society and shares his spiritual experience with his fellow beings, and one who
lives in solitude.
fosters development of all kinds of constructive qualities and, in so doing,
makes one a complete, person. An individual endowed with such qualities is one
who is wanted and needed by society and the nation. He will be wasting his
spiritual treasure if he leaves society and goes off to the jungle to live
alone in peace and tranquillity. In fact, the spiritual person is a most
desirable individual when it comes to establishing a better society, which is
after all a collection of better persons. And, it is true spirituality that
turns one into a better person.
To create a
civilized society and keep it running on course, we need professionally trained
people at the helm of affairs. Without such trained people, it is impossible to
have a properly structured society. As such, the guidance the spiritual person
can give is of a superior nature and he is, therefore, qualified to steer the
engine of social existence along the right lines.
It is such
spirituality that we have called ‘applied’ spirituality. In the basic sense,
spirituality is a personal asset, but in its expanded sense, it has many
applications. And where spirituality is an individualized matter, applied
spirituality is a universalized form of it.
It is not
only others who benefit from applied spirituality. The spiritual person himself
also benefits. When such a person devotes himself to sharing his spiritual
training with others, he adds a whole new dimension to his own spirituality.
Experience can be gained only within society. Moreover, experience adds wisdom
to one’s spirituality. Without wisdom, spirituality is incomplete. Spirituality
plus wisdom gives rise to the emergence of a superior state of being.
moreover, being an inner quality, has to be applied if its external
actualization is to take place. Applied spirituality means living in society as
a spiritual giver. One who has the capacity to apply his spirituality is the
giver of such assistance and this will be good for intellectual health.
discover the value of well-wishing, and decide to live as a well-wisher for all
humankind, then you are one who engages in applied spirituality. Likewise, if
you have a bad experience with your neighbours, but avoid treating this as a
departure from normalcy and face those neighbours with a smile, then that too
is an example of applied spirituality. Spirituality comprises a set of values.
And, applied spirituality means practising these values in conjunction with
your fellow beings in society.
spirituality is ostensibly a matter of giving. But, every instance of giving is
paralleled by an instance of receiving. The giver is not simply a giver. The
giver is also the receiver of many things – appreciation, good-will, better
relations and peace.