Spiritual Tree by Vardhan V Dharkar

Many of us have a hobby of growing plants. No matter how small the area may be, we find a place to grow the plants. We have a good understanding that to grow a plant we need

  • Good soil
  • Good seed
  • Ample Sunlight
  • Adequate Water and
  • Good Fertiliser

If any of the above ingredients is missing or is not available in sufficient quantity at the right time, then the plant’s growth will suffer. To make sure that the plant grows well, we go to great lengths to ensure that we prepare good quality soil, we procure good quality seeds. We find a good spot where there is ample sunlight. Every day we water the plant adequately. We nurture the plant with good fertiliser. In addition to above, we also make sure that weeds do not grow along with the plant. At frequent intervals we remove the weeds. We also know that for a plant to grow, lot of patience is required. It cannot grow overnight. We watch the progress of the plant every day to make sure all the above ingredients are available in right quantity at the right time. When all of the above is done then the plant grows and rewards us with good quality fruits.

Similar to the physical plant, there is a spiritual plant. Just as physical plant needs many ingredients to grow, the spiritual plant also needs many ingredients to blossom into a beautiful tree. The ingredients the spiritual tree needs are

  • Swadharma
  • Pure thought
  • Guru
  • Reading scriptures
  • Bhakti and faith

To grow spiritual plant, we need to identify our swadharma. Bhagwad Gita, Chapter three, verse thirty five says “Performing ones natural duties, even if tinged with faults, is far better than performing someone else’s duty perfectly”. Swadharma is the first step in starting our spiritual journey. The second step is to ensure that we have pure mind. Just as we take great care in selecting good quality seed, we have to ensure purity of thoughts and mind. The mind should have only positive thoughts, love and affection at all times. Having identified our swadharma and made sure our mind is pure; the next important step is to have a guru. The word “Guru” means “Someone who dispels the darkness from your life”.  He will guide us and will provide the guidance so that our journey of growing spiritually remains on right track. Guru’s role is vital and very critical. Once you have a right Guru, your journey to grow spiritually will progress unhindered. To water the plant of spirituality, we need to read the scriptures, listen to discourses of the gurus, understand and assimilate the philosophy of life. Bhakti and faith are the two fertilisers that will provide a right stimulant to the growth of the spiritual plant. They need to be given at frequent intervals to ensure the consistent growth. Just as we remove weeds from the plant, we have to do the same thing with our spiritual plant. Here the weeds are the negative thoughts, hatred, lack of self-belief and attachment to senses. We have to be on constant guard to ensure that these negative thoughts do not enter and pollute our mind. These negative thoughts stunt spiritual growth

We give enough time for physical plant to grow and blossom, similarly we need to give sufficient time for the spiritual tree also to grow and blossom. We have to remember that growing a spiritual plant is not a 20/20 cricket match; it is a test match of five days. It is not one hundred meter sprint; rather it is a marathon race. We can win this marathon only with patience and time.

 Our growth in spirituality is assured when we sincerely and consistently follow the above path.

Happy growing spiritually!!

वर्धन वसंत धारकर
०६ मार्च २०२३


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