Enlightenment without gloom

The other day, someone asked me why spiritual people are always supposed to be so serious, or we should say, gloomy. Some childhood memories came rushing in. I remember very vividly that whenever there would be any religious occasion at home, the extended family would gather, and we kids would be elated at the prospect of all of us being together. We would be playing around, laughing, talking, exchanging news…but very soon the grown-ups would come and inquire if we thought the whole occasion to be some kind of a joke. And we would be told to keep quiet, and keep our faces straight.


Anyhow, after this short digression, let’s come back to the subject. Why are spiritual people so gloomy? Or rather, as I would like to put it, are spiritual people gloomy at all? For a truly spiritual person resides in Sat-chit-ananda (truth-eternal-bliss). Now, indeed, how can one residing in bliss be gloomy? Is there even room for gloominess when one resides in sheer bliss? Gloominess is caused by frustration, jealousy and suppressed desires. A truly spiritual person would have none of these. So we are compelled to conclude that truly spiritual people are never gloomy; they are forever brimming with bliss, joy. Acharya Shankar has in fact said ‘childlikeness’ to be an important attribute of the true spiritual people.

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