Can one become enlightened or get Mukti or Siddhi by following Gurus? Do we need to follow and worship different Gods, go to temples and listen to religious discourses or Prabachan to attain a state called in Sanskrit Siddhi and in English called enlightenment? It is a difficult question no doubt. And today most Gurus have millions of followers all over the world and many people become attached to a particular sect believing that by doing that one gets a kind of enlightenment or come closer to spiritual entities. That is why there are a thousand Gurus and there are a thousand these sects associated with these faiths. India is immensely popular in the world for or often considered a country of Sadhus, saints and Gurus and even westerners, and in the past Hippies also have used to visit India to meet Gurus and Sadhus. Today Nepal is also following that path and has a thousand Gurus and Sadhus.
Is this a right track people are taking in their lives? In fact, people get some kind of peace once they become attached to a faith and also faith in Gurus and the belief that they get Siddhi by following Gurus help them to relieve themselves from a particular pain. Especially those who are widowed or have lost their family close ones or estranged or alienated from their family members or at times from their societies often go and take refuge in such places.
Yes, people need somewhere to go and someplace wherein they find a kind of solace and tranquility. The fact whether one can be enlightened or can meet God or can prepare himself for heaven or not is a question and nobody can answer it. The fact, however, is that once one goes to a gathering of people and saints one can find a kind of relief. Therefore we see so many devotees and followers visit their Gurus or Sadhus. Moreover, man does not know about himself, his origin and the purpose of life. Science gives some explanation, yet he is not satisfied with their explanations. He wants to know the meaning of life and science never gives it and Sadhus do give. We do not know for sure whether Sadhus themselves know the meaning or purpose of life Sadhus themselves do not know whether there is God or not but believe in God or in some power helps humans. One of the advantages of going to a Guru, or a sage is one finds a purpose of life there and of course if one believes strongly that bad deeds invite bad results then he refrains from doing evil things. Therefore going to Sadhus or Gurus and adopting a particular line of Dharma is a matter self-discipline and one can do self-control.
That is why in this world different people have their contribution towards world peace. Of course, there were wars in the name of religion no doubt and that is why people often seem to abhor a belief or religion for that matter but there are other aspects of it also it has helped people to live ethically and has taught people the value of austerity, charity, kindness, and humility. Therefore in this world, we need both science and religions and of course these Sadhus, though some of them have gone astray have helped our society and have taught us as to how to live in total harmony with the rest of other fellow beings on this planet.
Of course sometimes when we become directionless and remain confused about our lives and become depressed going to a Guru and Sadhu may help us or their discourses may appear as something called elixir and may heal our wounds. We need not care what the personal life of the Guru is. Whether he is austere and ascetic or live a double standard life or he does not follow or stick to what he preaches. Tens of thousands of questions crop and we are likely to be very skeptical about all these things. But that is another aspect but the fact is some speeches are really healing and people who are unsure or live purposelessly can find a direction and a meaning in life.
Dharma has thus helped us in living our lives peacefully indeed. Dharma always teaches us the lesion of austerity and asceticism and urge humans to be charitable or to donate a certain of one’s income for some cause. At the same time, Dharma often teaches us not to indulge in evil deeds, not to hoard a mass of money and reveals us to the truth of leaving this world. It teaches us everyone born here has to depart and nothing will remain with us forever. Therefore Dharma teaches us to live morally and ethically.
Today people are much busier and work harder and yet takes less. Therefore he has to work like a machine for subsistence. There is a cutthroat competition in human society and since the resources of the world are limited and want are unlimited one has to make himself competitive so that he can come forward and realizes his dream. Yet he may have to stress out himself to attain a certain kind of success and therefore he is likely to be depressed As such spirituality or Dharma may help him and that may finally lift him out of his miserable state.
Therefore the value of spirituality has been all the greater today though people look more and more materialistically bent his inner engineering is needed so that he can live a naturally a happy life in a world wherein only material gains are valued. Material values can give peace but it cannot give lasting peace and as such one has to follow a path of spirituality and Dharma.
Every Dharma is basically teaching the same: be spiritually inclined in this age of materialism and you can value materialism but you must be mindful of the fact that materialism alone cannot pacify your perturbed mind. Of course, material progress must go forward in tandem with spiritual inclination. Then only one can get himself out of a whirlpool of sufferings in a world that does not look to Dharma and spirituality for one’s salvation or Siddhi in his life. Therefore to live in peace and in harmony with the rest of our fellow beings living on this planet, all we need at the end of the day is Dharma and only Dharma.