Who can forget respected Papaji’s (Dr, Narendra Kumar) most famous discourse on ‘sugar and salt’? I am ever so grateful to have heard it in person. Even a novice like myself could understand the stages of Sadhana that a sadhak goes through.
Respected Papaji’s speeches and concepts were so clear that a skeptic mind could also leave its skepticism behind, and engage their mind with his powerful and meaningful words! He explained that in our specific method of meditation the Guru places a blindfold on the disciple’s eyes so that they don’t get distracted with all that they achieve during the process.
As we progress on our path, we often ask our Guru where we stand. We may wonder how close we are to that higher power. I don’t know about you but it used to be on my mind all the time. He explained it by defining the following three stages:
Stage 1 – Our internal state is as a ‘Stone’: When we meet our guru or visit the church or temple we feel great but as soon as we leave we are back to our restless, anxious, depressed, or angry selves, or simply our regular state of being. He explains this is like a dry heated stone. When we place a stone in water it becomes wet and cold, but soon after placing that same stone in the sun, it goes back to its original dry, and heated state.
Stage 2 – Our internal state is as a ‘Cotton’: The second stage is where the internal state of a practitioner becomes like a cotton ball. When placed in water, the cotton ball soaks up enough water to stay hydrated for a little while longer than a stone. In other words, we stay with our Ishta’s presence for quite some time after spending time with him. But shortly after, we still return to our dry and heated state. And then we wonder where the presence of our Ishta is.
Stage 3 – Our internal state is as a ‘Sugar’: The next and last stage is sugar or salt. Sadhak where ever he or she may be is always is one with the Guru!!! The practitioner is finally able to become one with their Ishta. Once you mix sugar or salt with water it’s hard to tell if it’s there! This state of union is the highest state we can achieve. Ahh! the the ultimate samarpan where me or I is dissolved.
After all, isn’t this the stage we all want to be in? I sure do! But it’s easier said than done for a layman like me. Hence I need the guidance from my Guru who has experienced it all and can walk me through it too. All that needs to be done is to keep the blindfold on and have immense faith with full devotion towards him!!!