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Spirituality & Culture, by Sai

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007 @ 9:42 am
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It’s been over a year now that I have been researching the topic of exploring the role of spirituality and culture for therapists-participants and one of the key findings has been that those two constructs tend to be viewed as separate, as if practitioners cannot talk about them together…This is something that didnt sit comfortable with me, as it doesn’t suit my own experience and the way I perceive the phenomenon so far.

Today, I read an interesting extract by Sai Baba (1990) Summer Showers in Brindavan, pgs. 65-67, Cited in Sai Baba, the Scientist (2002b), Chennai: Sai Shriham Printers by Dr. Malayappa Jeevanandam. Sai Baba uses a number of metaphors to present those two constructs as woven together is essence…here it is:

You hear people talking about ‘culture’ and ‘spirituality’ as if they were two different things. In My view, culture is only essence derived from spirituality. Just as sugar is common to all the varieties of sweets, which are seemingly different from one another, spirituality is common to the seemingly different cultures of all lands and nations. In short, you should recognise that culture is a part of all-inclusive unitary vision. The various organs and limbs of the body are not different from the body. Viswam-the universe- is not separate from Vishnu-God. Likewise, you have to recognise that what you call ‘secular’ and ‘sacred’ or ‘wordly’ and ‘spiritual’ are not two discrete and unrelated thngs, but only two facets of one invisible Reality or Truth. This fact can be easily grasped by you, if you consider the example of a bean seed which consists of two cotyledons covered by a common seed-coat. When the ban seed is sown in the field, and when it germinates, you can see the sapling consisting of two cotyledons with the plumule in between them. The seedling grows, deriving its nourishment from both the cotyledons. so, also, the seedling called human being requires for his growth and full developemnt both the secular and sacred aspects of life. These two aspects of life neither exist or can they thrive independently in isolation from each other. They are both intimately and inextricably related. The sum-total of these two aspects is what you call ‘culture’.

The challenge would be how to make dialogue with participants, within an hour of a research interview, in a way that may generate such in-depth meaning making of such a subtle phenomenon…this is a dilemma that has been prominent all the way through this project, let’s see what comes out in supervision

 Sai Ram!

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One Comment for
“Spirituality & Culture, by Sai”


  1. Very interesting! 🙂


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