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!
Have questions? Reach out to Ekta by clicking on the “Ask a Question” button on the left sidebar. For attending Ekta’s online knowledge sessions, click the “Gnyana Sangha” button on the left sidebar.
Submit a Comment
Have a Spiritual Question? Ask Ekta
is watching 4-5 hours of TV on netflix and amazon prime deviation from spiritual practise? after a long day at work , doing dishes or quick snack etc i watch TV as i am old, have RA and weak so only thing to do is TV so is that a web of Maya? if not allowed to do that then what do i do for 4-5 hrs of evening or weekend? is it okay to keep meditating so much? due to pain cant do yoga so then what to do please guide and address this question in your post.thanks
Your intuition has already given you the answer dear. You can watch knowledge videos, it takes almost a year of watching knowledge videos to master even a single scripture dear. The Gnyana Sangha website has several scriptures.
Ektaji has very nice response and she has put in bold the following statement
“moving away from the external material body towards the inner Self. The entire journey is uni-directional -> from outwards towards inwards. “
In hinduism, there is concept of vairagya. This is not simple detachment. It is having no interest in material world. And this kind of detachment does not come easy. The material world and maya are way too powerful. A spiritual person, slowly starts realizing that outside world cannot satisfy him.
Love of food will cause indigestion, diabetes and all sorts of ailment. Love for material things, say fancy cars, jewellery, etc. requires lot of resource. And amassing so many resources in a short life is fools errand. After trying out lot things, some fame, some name, some something something, eventually this spiritual person comes to firm conclusion that outside world just cannot satiate him. Once this belief converts to firm conviction, turning inwards remains the only option.
This varigya and inward focus helps create stability of mind. It is no longer hankered by senses and demands of external world. This stable mind can easily hold on to “Isness”(prescribed by Ektaji)
Eventually, this inward focus converts to lower levels of samadhi. And a truly silent mind naturally enters “Savilka samadhi”. That is game over.
JGD Ektaji My ultimate goal is Mukti. i have been doing Seva, Sadhana and Satsang for last 8 years but is that enough to attain it? I am only doing Sadhana in the mornings. Do i have to meditate twice a day? How do i know if i am doing it right or enough to achieve my ultimate goal? Thank you!
Doing meditation without getting any insights from your experiences in meditation is not helpful dear. The Insights lead to Mukti, not the meditation per se. Insight is that which is your own wisdom about the reality of who you truly are. If you leave this aside, you may meditate for a zillion lifetimes, you will not get home. If you focus on insights only, whether you meditate or not, you will instantly know that you have always been at home. 🙂
Thank you Ektaji for your reply and guidance.
What is meant by insights during meditation? i do get visions of some saints, Gurudev and Eswara while meditating.. not always but at times… and tears will roll down my eyes .
Insight means swabhava gnyana – the wisdom that arises within oneself on account of self-exploration in meditation. [Visions are merely a memory. Memory is only images. Images are only the mind. That has nothing to do with Insight] An example of insight is when you recognize that your mind/body becomes COMPLETELY silent as if they do not exist anymore. And then the recognition arises that there is still ‘Amness’ but no experiential body/mind, then you understand, ‘Aho, I am not the body. I am not the mind. I am something beyond’. Insight gives inner wisdom. That inner wisdom gives you the next level to explore. In this insight, one falls in love with the exploration of his own self and is determined to experientially find out who am I? Mere visions are just momentary pleasantness which serves very little purpose in true spirituality. They are more like the psychotherapy techniques we learned in medical school dear 🙂 It’s time to rise above all this mind-created illusion of spirituality and explore true spirituality dear.
Thank you very much ……🙏🙏🙂 Needed this guidance! JGD
A worm which lives in mud is not affected by the mud at all. Women who paint their eyelashes black will not have the black paint touch the eye balls. The eyes are completely free, although the eyelashes have the black paint on them. We eat so many greasy things. This greasiness may get on to the hand, but it never remains on the tongue. The tongue is untouched by the greasiness. The lotus lives in water and depends on water for its existence, but the water does not affect the lotus.
Like the lotus, like the tongue, like the worm in the mud, like the eyeballs of women, the person in Samadhi is not touched by the world around him. – this is Samadhi, Detatched Attachment, Transcendance, Responsible Indifference, Sthithaprajna….words can be different but they all paradoxically convey one goal- Be in the world not of it. Life is a boat that travels in the waters of the sea. The Boat should be on the water. Water should not be in the Boat. This is the goal, the goal Samadhi
How to reach there? Adi Shankara gives 5 Tools
1. Avadhanam- Great (Maha) Care and Great Commitment (Kurvava) towards Concentration
2. Japam-Repeat the Name of the Lord again with one pointed Concentration
3. Nitya Anitya Viveka Vicharam. Contemplate on Real and Fleeting
4. Pratyaharam- Turn the Mind and Senses Inward- their tendency is to go towards the world
Pranaayaamam Pratyaahaaram Nityam Anitya Viveka Vichaaram
Jaapya Sametha Samaadhi Vidhaanam Kurv avadhaanam Mahad avadhaanam
1) Regulate the pranas, 2) remain unaffected by external world and its influences, turn the mind inward and 3) discriminate between the real and the fleeting. 4) Chant the holy name of God to silence the turbulent and wavering mind. 5) Perform these with great care. Remain committed to be alert, focused, concentrated so that you have develop an unwavering mind toward the human life goal of Samadhi!
The Seer then looks at the Screen and Not the Scenary on the Scene!