View Full Version : HUNGER OF THE SOUL

07-08-2012, 03:57 AM
Hunger of the Soul

People fast for many reasons. Some see it as a penance, some fast to feel the hardship of those who are less privileged, some as their duty to God while others simply do it to lose weight! Fasting is a discipline that many religions advocate as a means of purifying the soul. Abstinence from physical nourishment allows the deeper needs of the soul to be revealed. The ‘hunger’ goes deeper than the stomach. To go hungry by choice is certainly a triumph. There are many who go hungry every day, not by choice, and certainly see no victory in that!

When fasting, it is not only the hunger of the body that has to be looked at, but also the hunger of the soul; everyone is hungry on some deeper level. Each one is longing, craving and thirsting for something more than the palate can offer. There is a vacuum in the soul that no amount of wealth, food or possessions can satisfy. How do we begin to recognize that need in the soul and have the time to fill it?

Hunger is an emptiness. When someone does not feel the fullness of their spirit, they go looking for it outside. Much like the story of the seamstress who was looking for the lost needle outside her home, because there was more light outside. This emptiness cannot be filled with material pleasures; that is only a quick fix solution. And like any sugar hit, it satisfies momentarily and also diminishes just as rapidly.

Emptiness can be felt in many ways. One can feel lonely and alone, a restlessness, a lack of love and support from others, discontentment with life and the choices one has made, self pity, lack of self esteem, past regrets and more. The stomach is a sack that can be filled quite easily, but to fill the soul, one has to first understand what is the hole — how big and wide is it; and that takes some soul searching and self-awareness. Sometimes, like the seamstress, we too go looking in the wrong places to fill that hole.

Getting a new hairdo, going on a shopping spree or eating at a fancy restaurant will certainly ‘hit the spot’ and be pleasurable for a while; and why not. But how long will that happiness last? Before we know it we are on to the next thing and the next. We have to ask the question, do we want only material happiness, or real happiness that will hit the spot in the soul!? There is no harm in enjoying the simple pleasures of life, but we should not become dependent on them or make them the basis of our happiness… they should simply be the by-products of the happiness we emerge from within.

It’s a paradox, but it’s almost as if one has to become ‘ravenous’ enough to want to satiate the real hunger of the soul. In other words, it’s not until we hit rock bottom, after the variety hairdos, multiple shopping sprees and high dining have lost their allure, that we realize there must be more to life and a deeper happiness to attain.

Feeding the soul on a daily basis is important. And the only One that can feed the soul is the Father of all souls, the Supreme Being. He is the source of all qualities. That is the reason why He is given so many names in so many religions and languages. He must fulfill these relationships with the soul. Only God’s love, Divine love can fill the hole in the soul!

Meditation helps us to constantly look inwards towards the bounty within the soul. We starve ourselves unnecessarily when we forget that we have. When we remember, we are abundant and full. It’s as simple as that.

So examine yourself when the Magrib prayers roar from the holy minarets, is it the hunger of the soul that is about to be satiated or just the hunger of the body?

It’s Time… for inner reflection and to deeply realize what full-fills the soul. Take a diet from the sugar-hits of life and indulge in some real soul-nourishment! Get into the habit of questioning what you really want and then make moves towards those choices. Take time to connect with the Divine, the One who is always full and you will never go ‘hungry’ again.


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