“There is a large congregation of folks (Spiritual Practitioners) who don’t understand the spiritual path, and who would not even try to understand it. It has been observed that most persons start their spiritual journey with thousands of good and bad desires, and this is the very reason that instead of reaching the pleasant snow-clad valleys of north, they reach the dry deserts of the south. They start ascending the spiritual mountain with heavy baggage of worldly ambitions on their heads, and no wonder with the wobbling legs and breathlessness, the result is a steep downfall. It would be advisable that even at this stage the practitioner should throw away his baggage (of ambitions and desires) and resume the ascent carefully.
Every practitioner ought to discover the real spiritual path. The questions that need to be asked (by the practitioner) –
> What is the duty of every practitioner (and of every human being)?
> What is the method of fulfilling the duty or the mission?
> What is the distinction between the Method and the Objective?
Are we progressing with the notion that our method is our ultimate goal or we are actually aware of our real goal, the final destination? The method (or spiritual practice) here denotes ‘Sadhana’ and the goal is to reach self-realization or salvation (the final destination).
The real spiritual path is to keep the heart clear of any desires or lust. If the spiritual practitioner develops the urge to become aware of future events or to attain and show off psychic powers (Sidhi), in order to wield influence and gain respect, then it is not good.
It is not promised (in our process) that the practitioner would be excused of the sins or will be spared on the day of Final Judgment. It is not promised that practitioner will be successful in worldly matters or such blessings will be provided that will result in successes in legal matters or prosperity in business or cure for diseases or making forecasts about other’s future. There is also no fixed period within which the practitioner would be able to become immersed in deep meditation, attain internal happiness and feeling of detachment. It is also not promised that the practitioner will start with real spiritual experiences or dreams that come true. However, if due to divine mercy and grace, a practitioner acquires it soon, there is nothing to be astonished about. It would be mere ignorance to participate in Satsang with such hopes and start spiritual practices in such anticipation.
Practitioner’s only aim should be to keep God pleased and act according to His wish. There should be only one idea in mind, “How would He be pleased” and “How would He bestow His kindness and grace”. It is essential that one should be pure and noble both internally and externally, for gaining His mercy.
Our behavior towards others should be noble and pure. Our character should be shaped according to the Holy scriptures. Our dealings with others should be truthful, honest, and filled with kindness and helping aptitude. We should also consider the rights of our spouses, children, relatives, neighbors, and the entire human society. We should be mindful of our duties towards them. We must be careful in discharging our duties conscientiously in business and in service, in providing comforts to our guests and in extending help to aggrieved persons, orphans and poor widows. We must avoid such acts like speaking lies, deceiving others, acting dishonestly, stealing or falsely blaming someone or things like that. These external aspects need to be considered and followed rigorously by the practitioner who wants to please God and wants to progress in spiritual practice (Sadhana).
There are also some internal aspects that need be understood, so that the practitioner may advance in his spiritual practice (Sadhana). Practitioner needs complete faith in God, and needs to be afraid of Him at all the time, so that no evil act is committed. There is a need to remember God at all times and try not to forget Him at anytime. There should be little attachment to worldly objects, and the practitioner should remain satisfied and content in whatever God has provided. Practitioner ought to remain happy in all conditions. The practitioner should remain content in whatever he earns, based on his own labor, avoid greed and hoarding, control anger, and avoid developing a superiority complex (considering others to be much inferior). Practitioner should not be envious (of anybody), should have a focused attention during prayer and worships, and should develop aptitude for religious activities.
All these matters are essential for spiritual advancement. As there are directives for correctly discharging one’s external duties, similarly, there are rules for maintaining purity in one’s inner thoughts, because if the thoughts are polluted, then the physical actions will be adversely affected, too. If there is lack of the feelings of devotion and love, then prayer or worship cannot be performed appropriately. For the most part, such person will not perform it, or if it has to be done unwillingly then it is bound to be performed incorrectly in haste, not produce any benefits.
According to the Holy scriptures, it is the duty of a family person that a small portion of the earnings should be kept for the sake of God or for a noble or philanthropic work, but it is noticed that greedy folks are unable to spare anything. They accumulate all their earnings or spend it over material pleasures. This attitude not only causes religious or moral degradation but in later life causes many troubles and the money accumulated this way would drain out, along with other wealth. The acts of performing yagya (religious rituals), austerity (Tapa) or philanthropy (Daan) are considered sacred and noble acts, according to religious doctrines. A person cannot advance spiritually without performing both these acts. Spending money in some altruistic and noble work is termed philanthropy.
For the practitioner, control over his mind is essential as spiritual practices cannot be perfected and cannot be continued for long without that. The mind, if left to its own devices, it will cause the situations that lead to committing mistakes. That is why it is most essential to keep the mind under control.
These inner shortcomings are not well understood, and even if understood, the practitioner is not aware of the proper methods to correct them. If the methods are known, due to the resistance of mind, it becomes difficult to act on it. That is why, in order to overcome these hurdles, one should search a spiritual preceptor or Guru.
The Guru assesses the situation, cautions the practitioner when required and provides much needed guidance. Guru prescribes proper treatment and solutions for the cure of this malady. He provides specific spiritual practices and wisdom from His own experiences, in order to achieve control over the mind and help develop a healthy mind that helps in spiritual practices.
The practitioner, who gains control over both inner and outer aspects of the spiritual practices, by acting under Guru’s guidance, pleases God. He attains salvation and self-realization easily (achieving the goal), and that is why all the spiritual practices are performed.”
Translated from Sadhan ke Anubhav, written by Guru Maharaj, Dr. Chaturbhuj Sahay Ji by Sanjiv Kumar.