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So many spiritual techniques! So much confusion!

by | Jun 5, 2022 | General Spiritual, Guru

Question:

Before coming on to the spiritual path, life was simple. You study, you pass the exam. You don’t study, you fail. Now with the half-baked Knowledge, for anything you worry a thousand things:

    • Whether I am witness consciousness or working with Raaga-Dvesha?
    • Good karma? Bad karma?
    • State of mind – Sattvik, Rajasik, Tamasik
    • Planets and alignment
    • Application of knowledge
    • Angels and devas and prayer or not?
    • Practice mantras, meditations, pranayama, seva, satsang or not?

The mind is caught up in all this doing. Please advise on how to untangle my mind?

 

Answer:

We are all at different levels of understanding. These levels are not linearly higher or lower than each other. These levels are a part of the radius of a circle.  Either, one is closer to the centre of the circle or somewhere along its radius. Sometimes, one keeps shuttling between the centre and the circumference. The Guru can never really know exactly where you are and what teaching will be perfectly applicable to a disciple to help him get established in the centre. Why?

Because a Guru has thousands of disciples. He cannot attend to each one individually. Even if he were to attend to each one individually, it is very difficult for him to know exactly where you are in the circle because you are not truthful to yourself, how can you be truthful to a Guru about your spiritual progress?

What I mean, is that we have all hypnotized ourselves so intensely that we manipulate ourselves into thinking that we are at a certain stage in our spiritual path whereas that might just be a self-created illusion. We intellectualize spiritual concepts and believe that we have applied them in our lives and progressed.

In this mighty cobweb of illusion, you expect the Guru to go past the thicket of the cobwebs of lies to see exactly where you are and then convince you about what is required for you [the exact teaching] to reach the summit. This is a lot of work and may not be a successful endeavour if the disciple is not really interested in transforming himself spiritually but just looking for a temporary superficial solace from some samsaric botheration. So the Guru has to come up with medicines for all the samsaric diseases.

The Guru is like the Ocean that accepts everyone. He paves the spiritual path in such a way that there is food for every soul; knowledge of Gunas and the Mind for the intellectual; faith and devotion for the sensitive and emotional; mantras, pranayama, seva for the industrious; knowledge of Karma and Angels for the self-disciplined; meditations of different types catering to different mental wavelengths seeking temporary calmness or permanent riddance from cycle of birth-death cycle, etc. That’s why we have the entire gamut of spirituality to select from.

But remember, everything does not work for everyone. It is up to you to find one spot where you hit the damp ground. Then you dig DEEPER THERE ONLY. You will definitely bring up the spring of Swabhava Gnyana [Self-realization]. But if you keep digging small holes everywhere, without going deep in any one place, you will not be able to quench your thirst.

What is the purpose of a Guru?

The entire effort of the Guru is to prod the disciple until he is totally ready to KILL HIS OWN EGO and LET GO OFF the Samsara. Only at this particular point, will a disciple be 100% honest and truthful about where he is in his spiritual quest. But thankfully, when one reaches this stage, one is able to DISCOVER THE TRUTH BY HIMSELF. One does NOT need an external support anymore. One becomes his OWN Guru and teaches his own-self.

So in reality, one needs a Guru only to reach this final peak of strength to kill the Ego. Once this is accomplished, one must walk alone to reach God.

Prem gali atii sankari, ta mein dau na samaye – the path of love is very narrow, it does not have room for two.

In the end, just before you climb up to the peak, you must tread that steepest and last part of the climb alone. Sukhi bhava!

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3 Comments

  1. a spiritualist

    First of all, a fantastic question. Covers a lot of ground and something to ponder for many practitioners.

    Again, wisdom filled an insightful reply by Ektaji.

    In yogic system, there are many yogic paths. Depending on practitioners’ proclivity, one of the paths is taken up.

    Bhakti Yoga: There are people who are fundamentally loving and compassionate. For such a person, it is very easy to follow this path i.e. extrapolating love on deity or God-head or prophet.
    Gnayna Yoga: This is the path of knowledge.People having high intellectual prowess will gravitate to the path. In this system the practitioners pour over spiritual texts and scriptures. They try to understand this creation, god principle and manifestation through this knowledge.
    Karma Yoga: People who are action oriented who like to work in the external world. In this system the practitioners work for the benefit of others. Think of Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi. And they believe that by serving others they are serving god.
    Raja Yoga: This is a path of knowledge and meditation. Raj literally means king. And as per the meaning, it is considered the king of yogic(enlightenment ) systems.
    Hatha Yoga: A person who does not have as much love, intellectual prowess, inclination to work, deep seated focus will try to align his body’s geometry to cosmic geometry through asanas and kriyas.
    And there are many other smaller systems, but above are the primary ones.

    “Each soul is potentially divine.
    The goal is to manifest this Divinity within by controlling nature, external and internal.
    Do this either by work, or worship, or psychic control, or philosophy — by one, or more, or all of these — and be free.
    This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary details. “

    – Swami Vivekanada

    Reply
  2. Arun K Aggarwal

    Thank you Ekta didi for explaining this difficult answer so easily. With your permission I would like to share my experience here.
    I started my spiritual journey with introduction to Art of Living. It was completely rejuvenating in the early period. With time it just grew to a obsession of being close to Guru dev. It sort of seemed like a competition who could get closer to Guru ji without paying attention to what he has been trying to teach us. I have got my own share of family problems and in order to seek some relief at one time I stood in line for 4 hours (Not making it up) at Boone Ashram just to get the glimpse of Guru ji. My suffering never ended. It all turned out to be a illusion that with your spiritual path, your suffering will end.
    After a long time, studying scriptures like Katho Upanishad (Thanks to Ekda didi), Ashtavakra Gita, Gita, my understanding about myself evolved. I clearly understood that I need to do the following to make progress in this path
    1) I have to remove all the impurities in my mind (Karam Yoga and Bhakti Yoga)
    2) I have convert my scattered mind into focused mind (Raj yoga)
    3) I have to convert my ignorance to knowledge of self awareness of Sat Chit Anand (Gyan Yoga)

    I am not suggesting that this has to be everyone’s path. I am only sharing that I did get the clarity about my own path with patience and perseverance. God bless us all clarity
    Thank you Ekta didi for everything you do for us.

    Reply
  3. vikash prasad

    I found confusion was an indication that I was growing spiritually. If not then there was no way of knowing what’s next. The search never stops until the answers are found, and then there are more questions. Till that day, the past karmas will continue sprouting in form of obstacles, doubts, uncertainty, confusion, and ofcourse running around doing bits of this and that. The trick I used was to understand that the time will pass and I will grow. I used to think of my first day in lecture and not knowing about the subject at all, but as time passed, and as I read, studied, listened and kept going at it, the clarity began to dawn and I used to pass with flying colours in the end.
    If you are an academic, the spirituality can be approached in the same way.
    We use the doubts, the confusion to our advantage and just observe them being present in the background, while continuing to do what we are doing. Slowly the doubts will begin to clear. It’s only a test of our sincerity by your own karmas, impressions and conditioning. Sages have given many names for such drawbacks coming from Maya’s illusion and Minds ignorance. Not to mention effect of Time, referred to as Kaal Niranjan in Kabir Sagar. Just keep at it. This has been my personal experience with Ekta Ji so far and it seems it is only the beginning.

    Reply

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