Tag Archives: Religion And Spirituality

ਆਸਾ ਰੱਖਣਾ ਹੀ ਸਭ ਤੋਂ ਵੱਡਾ ਦੁੱਖ ਹੈ

(ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਪਾਲ ਸਿੰਘ ‘ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ’)

ਅਵਧੂਤ ਦੱਤਾਤ੍ਰੇਅ ਜੀ ਨੇ ਰਾਜਾ ਯਦੂ ਨੂੰ ਉਪਦੇਸ਼ ਕਰਦਿਆਂ ਆਖਿਆ ਸੀ: –

ਆਸ਼ਾ ਹਿ ਪਰਮਮ ਦੁਖਮ
ਨੈਰਾਸ਼ਯਮ ਪਰਮਮ ਸੁਖਮ॥

ਆਸਾ ਰੱਖਣਾ ਹੀ ਸਭ ਤੋਂ ਵੱਡਾ ਦੁੱਖ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਆਸਾ-ਰਹਿਤ ਹੋਣਾ ਹੀ ਸਭ ਤੋਂ ਵੱਡਾ ਸੁੱਖ ਹੈ ।

ਗੱਲ ਬੜੀ ਡੂੰਘੀ ਹੈ।

ਕਿਸੀ ਵਸਤੂ ਆਦਿ ਦੀ ਆਸਾ ਕਰਦੇ-ਕਰਦੇ, ਜੇ ਉਹ ਮਿਲ ਵੀ ਜਾਏ, ਤਾਂ ਮਨ ਆਖਦਾ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਇਸ ਵਿੱਚ ਖ਼ਾਸ ਕੀ? ਇਹ ਤਾਂ ਮਿਲਣੀ ਹੀ ਸੀ । ਇਸ ਦੀ ਤਾਂ ਪਹਿਲਾਂ ਤੋਂ ਹੀ ਪੂਰੀ ਪੂਰੀ ਆਸ ਸੀ । ਅਖੌਤੀ ਸੁੱਖ ਮਿਲਣ ਨਾਲ ਵੀ ਅੰਦਰੋਂ ਖ਼ੁਸ਼ੀ ਨਾ ਹੋਈ ਵਰਗੀ ਹੀ ਹੋਈ।

ਕਿਸੀ ਵਸਤੂ ਆਦਿ ਦੀ ਆਸਾ ਕਰਦੇ-ਕਰਦੇ, ਜੇ ਉਹ ਨਾ ਮਿਲੀ, ਤਾਂ ਦੁੱਖ ਹੀ ਦੁੱਖ ਮਹਿਸੂਸ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ । ਮਨ ਆਖਦਾ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਮੈਂ ਇੰਨੀ ਆਸ ਲਗਾ ਕੇ ਬੈਠਾ ਸੀ। ਇਹ ਤਾਂ ਮੇਰਾ ਹੱਕ ਸੀ । ਦੁੱਖ ਹੈ, ਬਹੁਤ ਦੁੱਖ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਇਹ ਮੈਨੂੰ ਨਹੀਂ ਮਿਲੀ।

ਜੇ ਕਿਸੇ ਵਸਤੂ ਆਦਿ ਦੀ ਆਸਾ ਕੀਤੀ ਹੀ ਨਾ ਗਈ ਹੋਏ, ਤੇ ਉਹ ਵਸਤੂ ਨਾ ਮਿਲੇ, ਤਾਂ ਦੁੱਖ ਕੇਹਾ? ਅਤੇ, ਜੇ ਕਿਸੀ ਵਸਤੂ ਆਦਿ ਦੀ ਆਸ ਕੀਤੀ ਹੀ ਨਾ ਗਈ ਹੋਏ, ਫਿਰ ਵੀ ਉਹ ਮਿਲ ਜਾਏ, ਤਾਂ ਕੀ ਕਹਿਣਾ ! ਆਸ ਨਾ ਕੀਤੀ, ਨਿਰ-ਆਸ ਰਹੇ, ਤੇ ਦੁੱਖ ਤੋਂ ਬਚੇ ਰਹੇ ।

आशा रखना ही सबसे बड़ा दुख है

(अमृत पाल सिंघ ‘अमृत’)

अवधूत दत्तात्रेय जी ने राजा यदु को उपदेश करते हुये कहा था: –

आशा हि परमं दु:खं
नैराश्यम परमं सुखम।।

आशा रखना ही सबसे बड़ा दुख है और आशा-रहित होना ही सबसे बड़ा सुख है।

बात बड़ी गहरी है।

किसी वस्तु आदि की आशा करते करते, यदि वह मिल भी जाये, तो मन कहता है कि इसमें ख़ास क्या? यह तो मिलनी ही थी। इस की तो पहले से ही पूरी-पूरी आशा थी। कथित सुख मिलने पर भी भीतर से ख़ुशी न-हुई-सी ही हुई।

किसी वस्तु आदि की आशा करते करते, यदि वह न मिली, तो दुख ही दुख महसूस होता है। मन कहता है कि मैं इतनी आशा लगा कर बैठा था। यह तो मेरा अधिकार था। दुख है, बहुत दुख है कि यह मुझे नही मिली।

यदि किसी वस्तु आदि की आशा की ही न गई हो, और वस्तु न मिले, तो दुख कैसा? और, यदि किसी वस्तु आदि की आशा की ही न गई हो, फिर भी वह मिल जाये, तो क्या कहना ! आशा न की थी, नैराश्य रहे, और दुख से बचे रहे।

I Am Not a Propagandist

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

Propaganda is the organized spreading of partly false and partly true information to assist or damage the cause of a movement, or an ideology etc. I have used the terms ‘partly false and partly true’. When something is partly false, it is not fully true. When it is ‘not fully true’, it is ‘not true’ at all. Also, ‘partly false and partly true information’ actually is ‘misinformation’. To spread misinformation is basically to mislead. Thus, the main purpose of any propaganda is to mislead people. So, propaganda is a form of dishonesty and a propagandist is a dishonest person.

The propaganda or we should say ‘the misinformation’ is always carefully selected for its desired effect. It is designed to influence the thoughts of the audience to further a political, sectarian or commercial agenda by presenting only one side of an argument. And, this is done by deception. A propagandist is not providing information impartially. In order to create the chosen result, such propaganda is usually repeated over a wide variety of media.
Propaganda presents facts selectively, off course deceitfully, to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the half truths presented. The half truth is basically a false statement.

Propaganda can be used as a form of ideological or commercial warfare. When propaganda is used as a form of commercial warfare, it is called advertisement. All kinds of commercial advertisements in print and electronic media are commercial propaganda.

A person trying to influence the religious views of his audience in order to convert them into his sect by presenting only one side of an argument deceitfully is as a matter of fact a propagandist. This is a form of sectarian propaganda. A preacher of righteousness can never indulge in sectarian propaganda. A true saint can never be a sectarian propagandist. A sectarian propagandist is nothing else but a sectarian salesman selling his sectarian nonsense. I have said earlier that a propagandist is a dishonest person. A dishonest person can never be called a religious person. If truth be told, a sectarian propagandist is an agent of evil force.

To propagandise and to educate are two different concepts. To educate means to provide with knowledge or training in a particular area or for a particular purpose. To educate means to teach, or to inform. When facts are presented without any prejudice, when truth is not hidden, when no misinformation is spread, then it is called providing with knowledge. It is the opposite of ‘to propagandise’.

I am not a propagandist. I am an educator. I am not here to propagandise. I am here to share information. I am not here to spread sectarian propaganda. I am here to spread the message of love and humanity.

I am here to share the idea of freedom. My definition of freedom takes account of every right mentioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations on December 10, 1948. I also include in this definition the freedom from sectarian blind faith. The rights and freedoms mentioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are the physical aspect of freedom and the freedom from sectarian blind faith is its psychological and academic aspect. The goal of physical as well as psychological and academic freedom can be reached right the way through the mysticism, that is to say the mystical experience of Ultimate Reality or the God Almighty.

www.AmritWorld.com is not a propaganda website. It definitely is an educational website.

The Two Categories of Religions

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

The term ‘religion’, as we know refers to belief in, or the worship of, the God or the Ultimate Truth. It is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural structures, and world views. At present, it is believed that there are more or less 4, 000 religions in the world.

The foremost goal of any religious ideology is to guide its followers on the path of the Truth and help them achieve their ultimate goal of salvation. To realise this goal, a founder of every religious ideology sets many guidelines for its followers. The followers of such ideologies believe that if a follower follows these guidelines, he will achieve his ultimate target of salvation.

On a later stage, every such religious ideology can develop into a personality cult or religion.

Most of the religions can be divided into two basic categories.

The religions under the first category are based on a few principles. These are ‘religions of principles’.

According to such a religion, to achieve the ultimate goal of salvation, one needs to follow the principles or rules of the religion. In the search of the ultimate reality, one does not require to accept this specific religion itself or accept the founder of that religion his saviour. It means such religions set a few guidelines for a follower. Such religions say that if a follower follows the guidelines, he can achieve the ultimate goal.

The founders of such religious thoughts never claim that they are the ‘last prophet sent by the God’. In fact, they believe that so many spiritual guides had come into this world in the past and so many will come in the future as well.

For example, the religion of Sikhs insists that a seeker of the truth must follow a true Guru, a spiritual guide. However, the holy texts of Sikh religion do not claim that Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh religion is the only true Guru.

Instead, the Sikh holy texts make reference to many persons who followed other true Gurus and got salvation. For example, Saint Dhruv was born thousands of years ago. He was spiritually guided by sage Narada. Saint Dhruv got salvation. Similarly, Saint Prahlad, ascetic Shukdev, and King Janak got salvation by following the path of their respective true Gurus.

Saint Kabir’s Guru was Saint Ramanand Ji. By following the guidelines of his Guru, Kabir got the ultimate goal of salvation. The holy hymns of Ramanand and Kabir are included in Guru Granth Sahib, the living Guru of Sikh people.

Saint Sain was another disciple of Saint Ramanand. He followed his true Guru Ramanand and got the salvation. His holy hymns are included in Guru Granth Sahib.

Saint Ravidas, Saint Pipa, Saint Surdas, Saint Tirlochan, Saint Namdev, Saint Parmanand, Saint Beni, Saint Sadhna, and Saint Dhanna were not followers of Sikh religion, but they followed their true Gurus and got the ultimate goal of their life. The holy hymns of all these saints are included in Guru Granth Sahib.

Such religions are truly ‘religious ideologies’ based on principles.

The religions under the second category are built around a specific person. Thus, such ideologies are basically personality cults. One needs to accept the specific person as his spiritual leader; otherwise he would be considered an infidel. Such person will go to hell, according to such ideologies. In such personality cults, the founder of the cult is the center of universe and the only messenger of the Truth.

Such ideologies maintain that the founding person of their religion is the last divine guide sent by the God. There will come no spiritual guides after him. The persons who follow him will go to heaven, others will go to hell. The persons who follow him are the true believers of the God, others are infidels. The whole such religion spins around the belief that ‘the founder of our religion is the only true spiritual leader’.

To put it briefly, the first category of religions can be called the ‘religions of principles’. The religions under the second category are basically personality cults.

Religions Are Just Like Institutions

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

How can we know if an institution provides good education to its students? How do we know if an institution is helping its students to be nice human beings and great citizens?

It is so easy to know. Just see the level of intelligence of its students. Just see how its students behave in their daily life. If students are getting good education, in that case their institution is good, otherwise it is not. If students behave in good manners, then their institution is good, or else it is not. It is so simple rule to know the accurate value of an institution.

If an institution is unable to provide good education to its students, no matter how many beautiful buildings this institution owns, it is a bad institution. No matter how many students an institution has, if it is failed to turn them into a well behaved good citizens, it is a disastrous institution. Beautiful buildings and a big number of students do not make an institution a great one.

To establish a great institution, we first need to adopt a proper syllabus for its students of different classes. We have to prescribe what we want to teach our students. We can teach only if we have learned those things ourselves. We can establish a great institution only if we have strong desire to do something in the service of our society.

After setting a proper syllabus for our students of different levels, we need to select good teachers who can teach our students according to this pre-set syllabus. Teachers are the backbone of any educational institution. If a person does not have a good command over a particular subject, he cannot teach it others at all. Only a well qualified teacher can teach as it should be.

A good educational institution should engage its students in different kinds of social work as well. These are called extra-curricular activities. Students should be engaged in other physical activities, like games etc as well with the intention that they stay healthy.

If a school is providing quality education to its students, they will score good marks in their examinations. The results of examinations tell us if a school is successful or not in its main mission. If results are good, the reputation of the institution will rise. If results are bad, it will give bad name to the institution.

If students perform great in their examinations, people praise their institution. If they indulge in unsocial activities and violence and do nothing good to the society, people understand that they got education from a bad institution.

The ranking of best educational institutions is decided on international and various national levels. This ranking depends on many factors, such as faculty quality, raising people up from poverty, an ethic of service to country, and scientific and humanistic research etc. It means if an institution’s performance is great, it will help it getting great rank. If students of an institution are getting quality education, it raises the rank of the institution. If an institution is giving good results, it elevates the rank of the institution. If students of an institution get jobs easily after completing their courses; it helps a lot to raise the ranking of the institution.

If an institution is failed to provide its students with quality education, if students of an institution are unable to use the education they got from their institution to fit in modern day society, if teachers of an institution incite their students to anti-social activities, if students of an institution are indulged in violence, rapes and murders, it certainly will bring bad name to the institution. No matter how teachers of such an institution talk about it, it is still a worst institution.

If an institution is really great, it does not need any advertisement or publicity to attract new students. Such an institution needs not to employ agents to bring students from other institutions. If an institute is really great, deserving students will come to it automatically.

If a student is not satisfied with his training, he will leave the institution. If he desires so, he will get admission in another institution. Even if a student is satisfied, yet he could seek admission to another institution for further education. In any case, the institute has no right to threat its former students because they left the institution.

Religions are just like institutions. A religion is supposed to provide its students with education on the Sacred. Here, religion is an institution and its followers are its students. Preachers of religion are teachers of this institution.

Good performance by an institution makes it a prestigious organisation. It is same with any religion. If an organised religion performs well in term of humanity, it becomes a respectable ideology. An institution’s performance is delivered by its students and performance of an organised religion is delivered by its followers. If students or followers doing social service and making efforts for the betterment of the society, it will bring praises for their institution or religion. If they are harming the society and humanity, they are damaging reputation of their institution or religion also.

The main goal of any religion is to guide its followers on the path of the Sacred and help them achieve their ultimate goal or salvation. If a religion is able to reach this goal, it can be called a true religion; otherwise it is a false one. In fact, if it cannot lead its followers to the God, it is not a religion whatsoever.

Reputation of an institution depends on its teaching staff. Reputation of an organised religion depends on its priestly class. If teachers of an institution or priests and preachers of an organised religion are doing their job perfectly with pure devotion, the performance of the institution or religion will surely be good. Good performance is judged on the basis of many factors, like educational/religious quality, raising people up from ignorance and poverty, and an ethic of service to the entire humanity etc.

If teachers of an institution or preachers of an organised religion are indulged in immoral activities, it certainly brings bad name for the institution or religion. If teachers or preachers are fulfilling their duty righteously, it helps establishing the reputation of the institution or the religion.

If students of an institution or followers of a religion are indulged in violence, rapes, murders and other anti-social activities, it certainly will bring bad name to the institution or the religion. No matter how teachers of such an institution or preachers of such a religion talk about it, it still will be considered a worst institution or religion. The number of students or followers has nothing to do with good reputation of an institution or a religion. It is often seen that criminal-minded people join bad institutions where not as much of strict restrictions are imposed on students, so that they could indulge in immoral activities freely. Ordinary people judge an institution from the behaviour of its students. General public judges a religion from the actions of its followers.

An institution or a religion needs not trying various methods to attract students of other institutions or followers of other religions. If an institution or a religion is successful in their objectives, other students or followers will automatically come to them. A successful institution does not need to employ agents to catch students of other institutions. A true religion does not need to employ professional missionaries seeking converts.

Often unsatisfied students leave their institution and join other institution of their choice. Often unsatisfied followers leave their religion and embrace other religion of their choice. It is so common that students or followers leave one institution or religion and join other one. A good institution that follows ethics and a true religion will never threat its leaving students or followers. Also, an institution can never force someone to be its student. It is same with a religion. No true religion will ever force someone to be its follower.

Long lasting reputation of an institution or an organised religion depends on many factors, such as what they have to offer, quality of their offering, academic level of their teachers or spiritual level of their preachers, ethics of service, and finally, outcome of their educational or spiritual training. Without a great outcome, an institution or an organised religion can never find a respectable position in this world, no matter how teachers of such an institution or preachers of such a religion talk about it.

Harnaksh Syndrome

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

According to Bhagwat Puran and Vishnu Puran, Prahlad was son of Harnikshipu, and Harnikshipu was a real brother of Harnaksh. Alternatively, Guru Amardas Ji, Guru Ramdas Ji, Bhagat Kabir Ji, and Bhagat Namdev Ji in Sri Guru Granth Sahib and Bhai Gurdas Ji in his‘Vaars’ mentioned that Prahlad was son of Harnaksh.

Nevertheless, it does not matter in any way whether his name was Hrinikshipu or Harnaksh; the story is same in these two versions.

Well, I would prefer the name ‘Harnaksh’ for Prahlad’s father.

Harnaksh was a king in ancient times. Ancient history tells us that he was a mighty ruler. He defeated many kings and spread his kingdom by force. It is said that he defeated even Indra, the king of gods.

Political power or royal power is a big deceiver. Guru Nanak Dev Ji said:

ਮਃ ੧ ॥ ਰਾਜੁ ਮਾਲੁ ਰੂਪੁ ਜਾਤਿ ਜੋਬਨੁ ਪੰਜੇ ਠਗ ॥ ਏਨੀ ਠਗੀਂ ਜਗੁ ਠਗਿਆ ਕਿਨੈ ਨ ਰਖੀ ਲਜ ॥

Royal power, wealth, beauty, social status and youth are the five deceivers. These deceivers have deceived the world; no one’s honor has been spared. (Guru Nanak Dev Ji ,Sri Guru Granth Sahib).

Harnaksh was not an exception. Royal power deceived him also.

He was a king, a political leader. Now, he wanted to be a religious figure as well. He wanted to be worshipped by everybody. He got the idea into his head that he himself was the God. He ordered all people to worship him.

On The Name Of Religion

I support freedom of faith. I believe that everyone has the right to preach his religious views. But, there is difference between ‘preaching’ and ‘imposing’. Harnaksh first preached and then started to impose his ideas by force, by use of violence. He followed simple rule, “follow me or face death”. …This is what I call ‘Harnaksh syndrome’.

Who on earth is not afraid of death? Everyone wants to live; and stay alive for long time. No one wants to pass away.

People started worshipping King Harnaksh. Harnaksh did not deserve to be worshipped. People were worshipping him, only because they were afraid. No one raised his voice against Harnaksh. His ministers, teachers in his kingdom and ordinary people started to say what he liked to hear. He became even more arrogant.

However, the opposition came from his own son. Prahlad was his youngest son. He was about 5 years old. Maharishi Narad, a well-known sage taught him the true worship. Prahlad started worshipping the God Almighty.

Prahlad was sent to school to learn worldly education. His teachers, Shand and Amark tried their best to convince Prahlad that Harnaksh was the God Almighty. Despite their efforts, Prahlad continued singing the Glory of real God.

As it was not enough, Prahlad led other students to worship the Real God. His peaceful manners and thoughts of divine happiness appealed other students. All of them started worshipping God.

Prahlad was summoned to the court of his father, King Harnaksh.

Prahlad tried to convince his father that God reveals Himself to all who devoted to Him. He told that the Supreme Lord is present everywhere.

Harnaksh ordered his assistants to kill Prahlad. They tried different means but they could not kill Prahlad by throwing him beneath the feet of big elephants, throwing him among huge snakes, employing destructive spells, hurling him from the top of a hill, starving him, exposing him to severe cold, winds, fire and water, or throwing heavy stones to crush him.

Raged in anger, Harnaksh took up his sword, got up from his throne, and struck his fist against a pillar with great irritation.

Then from within the pillar came a deafening sound, which had never before been heard. To prove that the Supreme Lord is present everywhere, even within the pillar of an assembly hall, wonderful form of the Lord, Narsingh, which could not be established to be either a man or a lion, emerged from the pillar. The Lord came into sight in His wonderful form in the assembly hall.

Lord Narsingh

Lord Narsingh placed Harnaksh on His lap, supporting him with His thighs, and in the doorway of the assembly hall the Lord very easily tore Harnaksh to pieces with the nails of His hand.

Prahlad was appointed the king. He ruled wisely and well ever after.

I sometime think that there must have been so many Harnakshs in this world in previous times. Many more will come in future as well. After gaining political as well as other powers, they will put in force their artificial ‘religion’. People with ‘Harnaksh Syndrome’ will use violent behavior to spread their religion in future as well.

Harnaksh syndrome is a mental disease, in which the patient uses religion and violence as means to get political power. Terrorism becomes his religion. By force he robs people, and declares that it was the order of the God. He destroys businesses and trades, and says I did so because the God asked me to do so. He commits every kind of sins, even rapes and killings, and then uses his invented ‘religion’ to hide his misdeeds. For him, religion is not a way to realise the God, but an outfit to hide his evil actions. He believes that by using the name of religion, he can easily fool ordinary people.

Calling their followers ‘believers’, declaring non-followers ‘infidels’, using violence to silence dissidents, killing non-followers, and claiming that it is ordered by the God; all these symptoms point toward only one disease, that is to say ‘Harnaksh syndrome’.

History repeats itself. Harnaksh was born and then destroyed. Those who come into power by violence are removed by violence. If any Harnaksh imposes his artificial religion by force, it will be destroyed by force, sooner or later.

Religion And Spirituality

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

Religion is a particular system of faith and worship. It is a collection of beliefs and cultural systems. Religion is the opposite of atheism.

There are many personality cults in this world. Cult’s system of belief is treated as infallible truth by cult members. When the number of followers increases to a big level, the cult starts treating itself as a religion.

Spirituality on the other hand is the search for the sacred. It is the internal experience of an individual.

Religion can be viewed mainly as a social phenomenon, though we cannot ignore its political aspect as well. The spirituality can be understood on an individual level.

On The Name Of Religion

In the past, it was believed that the words ‘religious’ and ‘spiritual’ are synonymous. These words were often used to describe various aspects of religion. However, the word spiritual has in our time come to be associated with the private sphere of thought and Godly experience while the word religious came to be connected with the public sphere of membership in a religious institution with official set of guidelines or code of conduct.

Religion is to follow a spiritual leader, a prophet or Guru, whose teachings are written in a book. A prophet says there is God; and the follower believes that there is God. The follower believes so because the prophet he follows says so. The follower has no personal experience of the God; still he believes that there is God. This is a religious person.

It is possible to experience the God Almighty. This is the mystic experience. When such an experience takes place, the person starts believing in God. He believes in the God, because he has experienced the God. He believes so because he has now personal experience. This is merely a spiritual person.

There are more or less 4,000 religions in the world. The greater part of people in this world follows one of these religions. Majority of people who are followers of any religion are not spiritual persons. It simply means that they have no personal experience of the God. They believe that God exists, just because their religion says so.

A person can be religious as well as spiritual at the same time. It means that spirituality can be sought through traditional organized religions. It means that religion can show the way to attain spirituality.

On the other hand, it is potential that a person is spiritual, but not religious. It simply means that such a person does not follow a specific religion, but he has the mystical experience of the Beloved God. Many people identify themselves as ‘spiritual but not religious’ (SBNR). They have chosen a life stance of spirituality that rejects traditional religion as the one and only means of furthering spiritual development.

Here are three examples to explain my points:

(1) A teacher says that there is an XYZ city. His student believes his teacher. Because his teacher says there is an XYZ city, the student starts believing the existence of XYZ city. He has not visited the city. He believes that such city exists because of his faith on his teacher. His teacher’s statement can be true. His teacher’s statement can be false. The student believes him without any doubt. This is merely a religious person.

(2) A teacher tells about the existence of XYZ city. The student goes there and finds himself the city. This is a spiritual person who is religious also.

(3) A person by chance reached the XYZ city and came to know about it. This is a spiritual person.

Thus, there is difference between merely a religious person and a spiritual person.