Why do I feel stagnant in my spiritual growth?
JGD Ektaji – As you are aware, I have been in knowledge for about 3 years now. I have also been involved with some seva and regular sadhana but I feel like I am not growing. I watch my self all the time (sakshi Bhaav) and as an outsider I see that I am still interested in material things. For example; yesterday my sister sent me a picture of a saree that someone had given her and I saw my self smiling and typing to her asking her to send it to me. I knew that I was being greedy but could not stop myself. I see myself going out into the world of maaya and yet unable to stop myself. I see the raagas and dweshaas coming out of me but still let it happen. I am aware of the different emotions before they actually come out but let it happen anyway. I feel like I am not growing spiritually. I don’t even have any questions anymore. Why am I stagnant? I feel like I have been in the same cycle for eons and stuck like a dirt in the pipe line…pushing and pushing but not getting any further. My mind tells me to give up and I can sense it telling me that it is ok to get dissolved in maaya but something else tells me that I cant give up now. What do I do?
That is a very courageous question. You are a true Dhiraha [the courageous one]!
Nature of the spiritual path
Many people come onto the spiritual path. It is a long path with too many distractions. The path is also full of Maaya, because Maaya is the design of this creation. The web of Maaya can trap one on every nook and corner. Only a strong Yogi trudges this path with conviction and commitment. The Yogi can get lost, but one who understands his goal clearly and focuses only on the goal while ignoring all other temptations, distractions, he definitely gets there.
And what decides the progress of such a Yogi?
Intensity of the Yogi’s commitment to dodge the obstacles of Maaya and reach the ultimate Truth defines his spiritual growth.
What is commitment?
Commitment has two components:
- Intensity: How intense is your thirst to know the truth. How badly do you want to know the truth? Do you want to know it more than anything else in the world? What are you willing to let go in order to get to your goal? Do you have the strength to ‘let go of anything and everything’ to reach there?
- Authenticity: How authentic is your search to know the highest……. to know the Truth! Can you really let go of all the temptations? or is your mind fooling you? Can you risk everything to dodge the obstacles of Maaya or are you looking for loop holes? Authenticity is extremely essential here. Otherwise you could get caught in the mightiest Maaya called YogaMaaya!
To maintain his commitment, a yogi must use all the tools to be able to walk through the fire of Maaya.
What are the tools devised for one to remain committed?
The tools are seva, sadhana, scriptures, satsang. These are not the end, these are just the means to an end. We misunderstand these for the end. These means are to be used to reach the end. They are just the road, not the destination. Many people hold on to the road and lose sight of the destination, they lose sight of the ‘end’. And that is the biggest obstacle.
What is the end?
The true objective, the goal, the aim, the end target is only ONE -> Understanding your own SELF and uniting with your own SELF………….this is the sole purpose of all these spiritual practices. One can get lost in the tools and miss the boat. One can miss recognizing what is the end.
Why does one miss the boat?
One misses it because one misunderstands the meaning of commitment and misunderstands the meaning of the spiritual path.
Commitment does not mean how much seva you do or how much sadhana you do or how many scriptures you read/listen to only. One must understand that seva, sadhana, scriptural knowledge, satsang are all ways of moving away from the external material body towards the inner Self. The entire journey is uni-directional -> from outwards towards inwards. That is the only point in all the practices on the spiritual path. If that is lacking, one has missed the boat.
Now if you realize that you have missed the boat, do not brood. Do not beat yourself up. The plot of Maaya is so convoluted, it is like being trapped in a closed labyrinth. A courageous one pulls himself up and out of all the temptations and starts walking again. So do not stop. Do not let the mind fool you again. Be intense and authentic in your commitment!
Keep walking! Charetveti! Charetveti!
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