Question: What is the definition of spirituality?
Acharya Prashant: First of all the definitions that pre-exist in the mind must be cleared. Spirituality has nothing to do with religious customs, religious observations, or anything that pertains to a sect, a cult, a particular path, a particular group of people, a particular book, or a particular person.
Spirituality is simply the search for Truth. And it is very rigorous in the sense that in the language of spirituality, Truth is that which is not only unchanging within time but is actually beyond time.
The word spirit means essence — that which is real, that which actually is. Man has to go to spirituality because everything that he perceives to be, keeps changing, and in that way keeps deceiving him. Whatever you come across, whatever you get attached to, whatever you think to be real, it is no more there the next moment. Yes, the next moment can come a year later or thousands of years later; but there surely comes a moment when what you thought to be real is shown to be false. False in the sense that it is no more there. And that is the definition of falseness. Falseness is that which presented itself as being, but in due course of time, it moved into non-being. That is false.
Spirituality is the search for that which is beyond being and non-being and hence, that which will not deceive you by turning into the false when you believed it to be true.
If you exist, you exist as something. It is nonsensical to say, “I am, but I am nothing.” When a man says that “ he is,” in parallel, he says that “ he is something”. What is this something? Whatever man postulates this something to be, turns out to be ephemeral. Now, this ever-changing world no more remains an impersonal problem. Because whatever I think myself to be comes from the world, and if what the world is, keeps changing, then it immediately means that I too keep changing. So, the transitory nature of the world now becomes a personal problem — provided you are thoughtful enough and attentive enough to see that all that you think yourself to be comes from the world. Hence, if the world is constantly a flux, constantly changing, then you too are constantly a flux, constantly changing.