Signs of Spiritual Growth
by Swami Sivananda
Sadhana or spiritual practice should make you ever cheerful, more concentrated, joyful, balanced, peaceful, contented, blissful, dispassionate, fearless, courageous, compassionate, angerless, 'I'-less, desireless, mineless. Sadhana should give you rich inner life, introspective inner vision and unruffled state of mind under all conditions of life.
These are the signs of your spiritual growth. Seeing of visions, lights, hearing of Anahata sounds, Divya Gandha, etc., have not much spiritual value, although they indicate you have attained first degree of concentration.
Man can never separate himself from God, for God is the Cosmos and man its component. There is only one God, the Self of all beings. There is only one law, the law of cause and effect. There is only one religion, the religion of Self-realisation. Religion is the most rational science of life, the science of man as he essentially is, the science which shows him how he is a part of Cosmos, how he ought to abide by the law of the Cosmos, and aim at the fulfilment of the evolutional process of the Cosmos.
Religion is practical philosophy. Philosophy is the understanding of the ultimate Principle that governs life. Religion is the art of practicing it, i.e. living the spirit of philosophy.