The Meaning of Spiritual Transformation
Spiritual transformation in the Hebrew Scriptures
According to Hebrew Scriptures, spiritual transformation was termed as shubh which means to return or to repent. They practice spiritual transformation every year through their rituals. Each year at Yom Kippur, every Jew is expected to become a ba’al teshuvah, a person who “returns” to God.
Spiritual transformation in the New Testament
While the New Testament reiterate this spiritual transformation as a return, it focuses more being “born again” as a spiritual rebirth into Christ (John 3:3: ‘No one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again’).
Spiritual transformation in the Koran
The Koran terms that Allah has forgiveness for those who “repent” (taba, meaning to turn) towards him (5:39/45). Spiritual transformation in the Koran says that God does not “change” (ghayyara) people, unless they change what is in themselves (13:11/12). Thus a spiritual transformation is something that comes from within. This is the opposite of the Calvinistic doctrine , where God through the Holy Spirit takes the intention to change our hearts.
Characteristics of Spiritual Transformation
1:Spiritual Transformation is a deep change in the Self. This transformation is marked by a profound change within the individual intending to go on the path of Spiritual transformation. No external force can really influence it. It has to be imbibed from within.
2:The transformation is not something that is identified by a sense of maturity but by a process (which is either sudden or gradual) by which the very transformation is achieved. The process is usually defined by a time period and it is within this that the transformation will take place.
3:This transformation within the self is characterized by changes in inherent beliefs, concern and interests. A spiritually transformed person is one whose thought process is defined by a sense of openness, forgiveness and love.
4:This new transformed person is considered as an evolved sense of higher self which is above the previous self. This is an emancipated person who has self actualized his/her needs.
5:This process occurs within a specific social framework. Spiritual transformation is usually undertaken and guided within a religious framework. This could be attained by being a part of various religious groups, indulging in satsang or prayer meets. Usually there is a Guru or a guidance who is leading this.
6:New behavior follows from this new sense of spiritual transformation- New habits ideals and thoughts. If that does not happen then spiritual transformation has not taken place. The spiritually transformed person is a new being- absolutely different or rather more evolved from the previous self.