Why do people like spiritual gatherings?

As a little girl, I liked attending bajans and singing classes, not for the spirituality in it but to meet other little friends and sing along and to have sweets/candies distributing which the classes always ended… But now, all grown up and with a wider world view, I'm able to see a new dimension in why people like going to bajans or spiritual gatherings in general. I have recently been to ISKCON temple in Coimbatore, my home town in Tamil Nadu, and I had a moment of revelation about why people like spiritual gatherings. In ISKCON temple people clap, sing and dance to the songs sung for Lord Krishna. I'm not here to debate whether what they do is right or wrong, I'm just here to tell what made them so happy that they dance and sing with all their hearts. I'm here to tell what keeps them so adhered to such gatherings that they go again and again and again. I saw people were at peace, their faces reflected clear minds relieved of all worries. I felt the entire place was emotionally filled. The reason behind such a strong emotional adherence to spiritual gatherings can be well understood by closely examining some of the human feelings. Let me list the feelings one by one.

  1. We feel relieved and happy when we break out of hesitation.
  2. We feel emotionally touched when a lot of people are nice to us and talk to us like family.
  3. We are almost all the time worried about something, there is always something in our heads that worries us.

These feelings can be thought of as three big hurdles that one always fears to face or even get closer. Now, let us see how people believe that gatherings help them get over those hurdles.

  1. In almost all the spiritual gatherings clapping and singing are the integral part. The atmosphere there is always charged up, the place is always neat and clean, and is filled with a pleasant fragrance. Now, when someone enters the spot, they might not start clapping and singing immediately. They might feel a little awkward and would hesitate to start because most of us don't generally sing, especially in such a large group. But, as they settle down and understand that they are not the only one singing and that no one is noticing them, they will slowly start clapping and singing. This moment of breaking out of hesitation and singing in unison with the group is so relieving and charging up that they feel so great inside. This is when the first hurdle is crossed succefully and they feel accomplished. At this point one slowly inclines towards liking the spiritual gathering.
  2. People in the group call each other with a common name, for instance, people call each other Krishna in ISKCON temple and Swamy in Ayyappa temple. This common naming makes everyone feel equal and develops a deep emotional bond between the fellow attendees. Also, one could see that everyone talks so polietly to everyone else in the group, and senior members will soon identify young and new comers and will tell them the common practices of the group. Anyone treated with so much respect and cordiality will feel so touched and will want to stay in the group.
  3. Generally, when we establish an emotional connection with a person or a group, we will slowly start to open up about ourselves. That is when we share all our personal problems. The usual solutions given in a spiritual group is to believe in God and to come to the meetings regularly to find peace. At this point, the person who has already crossed the first two hurdles now strongly believes that the gathering has the power to heal all worries.

If we see closely, it is so clear that by playing with the emotions of the people the spiritual groups establish their presence and widen their network. There are only three strong feelings that a man wants to satisty - feeling treated as an equal, feeling free and unnoticed, feeling free of problems. At the end, it all breaks down to satisfying one's feelings!

Created: 2017-01-29 Sun 22:54

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