How Long Have You Been Involved With Spiritual Practices?
Ever since I met the Enlightened One, who I saw was so keen to see everyone progress spiritually.
I happened to land up in one of His satsangs. And as I listened, I liked it very much, ‘It was very nice teaching indeed!’ The Enlightened One and His enlightened words delighted me and inspired me to be more and more involved with the spiritual practice that he was explaining.
Even today, as one sees Him put in his best sincere efforts for us, so that we don’t get stuck and stagnant in protecting any of our views or our opinions, our mistakes or our bondages, our ego or our emotions; and when without seeing whether it’s day or night, he’s eagerly guiding people and praying for them all the time, so that each one of us develops and rises higher on the path of liberation, lot of our progress gets happened effortlessly!
Which processes do you implement?
As we would all know, spirituality begins only after one attains Self-Realization.
Until we do not understand ‘Who am I’, we do not recognize our own Self; and therefore the way people see us, we too see and identify ourselves in that form. It is only after countless of lifetimes, when we happen to meet the Enlightened One, that we get to receive the real knowledge of the Self (Self-Realization) from Him. When the conviction of “I am a Pure Soul” is established, the awareness of “I am a Pure Soul” arises.
Now that I have already been through the process of attaining Self-Realization from the Enlightened One, the next steps are: to remain in the awareness of ‘I am a Pure Soul’ and keep enhancing the experience of ‘I am a Pure Soul’.
Are you satisfied with the pace of your progress?
Not really! One stops growing the moment one is satisfied. Yes, I do enthuse over my progress as it keeps me motivated to do better and better, but I very well know that I have a long way to go yet!
By coming to the satsang of the Enlightened One, repeatedly listening to him and making an effort to rightly understand what he’s trying to teach, I am slowly developing some awareness and strength to identify my mistakes and faults. But the uphill task of actually getting free from each mistake remains. And until that happens, the awareness of ‘I am a Pure Soul’ is not enhanced.
What obstructs you?
Ignorance of the Self is the main obstruction on the spiritual path. Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan calls this as the biggest blunder, “The ignorance of the Self is the gravest of all faults, and this is a blunder. This blunder exists as long as you believe, ‘I am John (you may insert your own name here)’. Once you become aware of your true Self, this blunder is destroyed.” On attaining Self-Realization from the Enlightened One, this obstruction, in my case, has been done away with. And now what remains is the obstruction of my mistakes.
Earlier, I firmly believed that I have very few mistakes in me because that is what I was given to believe by everyone around me. However, as I attended the discourses of the Enlightened One, and became more and more involved with spiritual practice, my vision became clearer. In the awareness of the Pure Soul, I could see lot of mistakes of John (worldly self) that were not known earlier.
Further, I got to see how my intellect played tricks to hide these mistakes beneath the carpet, in order to protect my worldly impression. It took me time to tame and overcome this intellect, and that process is still on. However, currently it is not that difficult to be honest and forthright now in admitting my mistakes, as I have realized that my true reputation is in being actually free from all mistakes which obstruct my path of liberation.
With which aspects of Sadhana do you require to go deeper?
Param Pujya Dadashri says, “If you dirty your plate, should you at least not know how to clean it?”
All along, whenever I would realize that I had made some mistake, I would experience strange annoyance and inconvenience within. I didn’t like this feeling it brought to me, but I didn’t know how to get rid of it either. So, I would either suppress the mistake so that it doesn’t come outside, and if it somehow managed to come out, as mentioned above, I would try to hide it.
The Enlightened One cautioned, not to proceed further in this direction. Rather, he said, clear your mistakes. If there is no mistake, there is no question of getting annoyed with it, or suppressing it or even worse, hiding it. I like the idea!
And to clear the mistake, he taught a 3-fold process called ‘pratikraman’. Pratikraman means:
• Apology for the mistake,
• coupled with repentance for the wrong doing, and
• a vow not to repeat the mistake, the next time.
The Enlightened One is the perfect light!!! And in his manifest illumination, it is inevitable that to break free from all mistakes, one must review and confess his mistakes. Whenever one has suffered from pain, has experienced difficulties, uneasiness or lack of spiritual experience, or has troubling attachments, and he does detailed confession to the Enlightened One, he will show him the light. And in that light, one can see all his mistakes, and find a way to get rid of them.
Shrimad Rajchandra has therefore said, “Look for nothing else. Just find the Enlightened One, surrender all your feelings and intentions in His lotus feet and move forward. Then if you don’t attain moksha, you may come to me!”
With His grace, we not only attain spirituality but also grow! So here, I seek permission to conclude with a heartfelt prayer that, “May every living being grow in the shelter of the Enlightened One!!!”
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