Today most indigenous cultures have lost their connection to the spirit of Nature to a large extent. They have abandoned the beliefs and traditions of their forefathers in favor of the ways of modern materialism. The people's respect and need for shamans has disappeared and so the shamans whose role it was to connect the people with the Divine forces of nature have vanished. These mystical shamans have been replaced in many cases by money hungry con-artists and drug pushers selling sex and narcotic herbs and other forms of worldly indulgence as an experience of other realms. Their true spiritual traditions having been denigrated and desecrated by the propaganda of imperialists, colonists, and evangelists, many have turned to black magic and find themselves connected to dark forces instead of to spiritual light. Yet the traditions of previous generations of ancestors remains in the form of stories of miracles, supernatural powers, astral travel, unseen forces, possession, hauntings, curses, angels, forest spirits, fairies, elves, dwarfs, gnomes, trolls, ghosts, vampires, demons, aliens, yetis, shape-shifters, mermaids, unicorns, dragons, and banshees. But the people who see these spiritual beings are no more and the shamans who helped the people to navigate the worlds of such spiritual forces have become extinct in much of the world today. Many major faiths have written off such spiritual experiences as heretical or superstitious, and many rational people have come to find the notion of receiving messages from the Universe or hearing God speak to them as delusional. Prayer has been transformed from an experience of communing with spiritual forces around oneself in Nature to a distant cry to an inactive and unresponsive divine Ruler. It is no wonder that many people around the world feel spiritually unplugged and are longing deeply to reconnect with the spiritual ways of their ancestors.
Many New Age practices aim at reconnecting with the spiritual forces our ancestors experienced. These modern practices are not however rooted in the beliefs and spiritual customs of our ancestors, and because they are being taught by the uninitiated, they are ineffective in most cases. Without some awakened shaman or guru to connect people to the higher vibrational forces around them in nature, many people are connecting inadvertently to dark forces instead. Hinduism is one living tradition which has maintained its spiritual connection to nature through the ages, despite the efforts of centuries of colonial rulers to errode and erase its traditions. By studying and practicing the living Hindu tradition, modern people can gain insight into other allied traditions otherwise lost to time in their native places.
This suffering has caused many people to hunger for true spiritual connection which they are seeking in various ways. Many well-intentioned, but misguided efforts to revive or revamp the ways of our ancestors have been attempted. Our ancestors received the teachings and traditions from their awakened ancestors. The father and mother initiated the son and daughter's spiritual practice and were able to do so on account of their own connection to the spirit of Nature. Modern people have lost an understanding of the crucial role of the shaman and have developed the delusion that they can initiate themselves or be initiated by the uninitiated. Without the blessing of their ancestors and some spiritually awakened guide in the physical realm that they experience, their effort to expand their spiritual awareness are dubious at best
There are certain simple mantras chanted at home by everyone and also specialized hymns and elaborate rituals which are performed by well trained priests. We make regular offerings for the ancestors for their blessings and to ensure their spiritual elevation. We respect the ancient Sages and elders in general, and look up to certain particularly wise elders for spiritual healing and guidance. Many such teachers and healers refer to omens, astrology, and other forms of divination to receive guidance from the Devas in order to know how to best serve the people. Such awakened souls act as guides and intercede for the people to speak to God through nature.
Traditional women wear kumkum and turmeric on the feet for spiritual protection, and married women wear an alchemical preparation of mercuric vermillion at the parting of the hair for protection and fortune. Rings are worn on the toes to help increase fertility. Black collyrium made from lamp soot is used to mark the face of babies to protect them from demonic entities lurking nearby to hurt or kill them in their susceptible developmental years. Amulets are blessed with sacred hymns and kept where babies sleep to protect them from dark forces. Sacred threads are tied around the wrists of brothers by sisters to protect and bless them, and priests and gurus bless devotees in this way also. A sacred thread is worn over the shoulder for initiated men after a grand spiritual initiation sacrament involving days of chanting. This thread is worn as a reminder of the man's vow to God and it is used in his daily prayer and meditations. We believe that nature has a way of returning energy to us and we try to help and please others in order to generate fortune and merit leading us to success and happiness.
Many Hindu's lives are centered around their spiritual experiences which have come through years of disciplined practice of certain mystical techniques inherited from our ancestors. The living Hindu tradition has always maintained the teachings and practices which lead to these spiritual experiences. It has maintained a respect for elders and guides and gurus and ancestors which helps to empower the spiritual practices of the people. The people of different nations longing now for spiritual connection must turn to the ancient and living spiritual traditions like this in order to revitalize the spiritual connection which has been lost from their own traditions. It was not a mistake that Jesus' first act of teaching was to seek to be baptised by John. He was giving a teaching of the timeless principle that our spiritual awakening must be initiated by some spiritual awakened teacher already connected to the light we seek. Grace always comes from beyond for a soul caught in ignorance and egoism. It is not within the ability of the ego to transcend its own nature. For our awareness to expand, we must humble ourselves to faithfully follow the spiritual disciplines laid out by our ancestors and we must bow at the feet of a living master whose power to free us comes from beyond what binds us. Then only is it possible for us to come to know our own nature and to see that we transcend the body and its mind and senses.
The human soul is a force of nature. It springs from the Divine prana which guides all movements in the universe. When we connect with its spirit, we see that we pervade all the universe and that nothing is apart from our inner nature which is one with the Divine throughout creation. The practices and customs which enabled people in the past to experience these spiritual truths have been abandoned by most of the world in modern times in favor of seeking more tangible seeming things in the physical realm. The spiritual traditions have been extinguished though many people profess that religion is a quite important aspect of their lives. They do not experience the spiritual things which are described in their scriptures. For them religion is an intellectual concept which has little bearing on their life or experience. Having become extinguished, their spiritual traditions cannot be rekindled without an active spark shared from one of the living traditions which has maintained its connection to the highest light of God.
The practices to awaken this awareness are many and varied within the Hindu tradition. Thousands of years of wisdom have been built upon the realizations and traditions of previous generations and have been passed down through the millennia. There is no other tradition on Earth so ancient, vast and complex. The spiritual path is perhaps nowhere else understood and described in such elaborate detail by any other tradition on Earth. Hinduism is often referred to as the Mother of Religions. It is the most ancient continually practiced tradition in the world, yet it has also maintained an authentic connection to nature. It brings us wisdom of nature and how we fit into it. More importantly, it has maintained an unbroken lineage of awakened souls who from their own connection to Divine forces, can guide and empower the practice and spiritual attainments of sincere seekers. Through the living presence of such masters, the spiritual teachings come to life for seekers, so that they too can experience the sacred in nature around them.