Worthiness of a Spiritual Seeker
Worthiness of a Spiritual Seeker
A serious seeker has to prepare a fertile ground within his or her inner Self. The prerogative of God-realization and attainment of the vision of the Divine only belongs to the atman (inner Self) or consciousness within the body. However, it is not possible to accomplish this while engrossed in the distractions of the mind and the body. It is only possible by being free of these distractions while living in the body. To be liberated from the sensory distractions is no easy task. However, it can be achieved with the grace of the Satguru (true teacher). For this, a practitioner must be determined, morally upright, and follow the instruction of the guru. Without these, it is impossible to obtain the grace of the guru. The practitioner can only diligently perform sadhana (literally, exertion to attain an objective, meditation, spiritual practice), but only the grace of the guru yields success in the endeavor. To attain the due rewards of sadhana [meditation practice] it is important to follow the gurus’ instruction vigilantly and steadfastly. Resolve means: not wavering from the path in any situation…
To create resolve in seekers, the Sants give specific guidance:
First, keep a diligent meditation schedule as instructed by the guru.
Second, leave all desires except the yearning for seeing the Supreme Being.
Third, keep in mind the reverence of the guru.
Finally, observe instructions of the guru as the highest duty and consider the guru as the dearest of all.
Students who can follow the above instructions are qualified to follow the path.
For success in meditation it is important for a sadhak to be cautious in the following ways:
* Following the example of a crow: be repetitive (always at it, never giving up), always remaining vigilant and attentive in sadhana, and in following the guru’s instructions.
* Have concentration similar to that of a crane: always be attentive at listening to the teaching of the guru;
* Nap or sleep similar to that of dog: be willing to follow the instructions of the teacher without laziness;
* Eat less: cultivate a sense of detachment from all physical pleasures and bodily desires;
* Finally, detachment: indifference to the ‘ups and downs’ of home and family relations.
It is important that a student should cultivate these qualities. Without the grace of the teacher, progress on the spiritual path and attainment of the Divine is not possible.
A seeker should pay attention to five factors:
1. Receive the teachings of the guru with great attentiveness.
2. After listening to the teaching, learn the esoteric techniques (diksha, initiation) from the guru for treading the spiritual path.
3. Make a diligent effort to succeed in the tests presented by the guru.
4. Joyfully endure the trials and obstacles on this arduous path.
5. Cultivate patience and perseverance.
Just as a traveler withstands the pains of the journey and calmly endures the delays of the train and discomforts of the railway station, in the same manner, the spiritual traveler on the Divine path, although not seeing the Divine for many years, does not waiver from the path. Rather, the seeker endures the delay, and keeping faith in the guru’s words, enthusiastically waits for the moment of Divine realization.
Infinite knowledge is like an ocean with unlimited water. The ocean makes its water available to anyone who wishes to draw from it. However, the person who wants to draw water from the ocean is only limited by the capacity of his vessel for carrying the water. It is not the fault of the ocean if humans are limited in their capacity to draw water. Those who have bigger vessels have the capacity to carry the most water. In the same way, humans vary in their capacities to draw from the Divine Ocean of knowledge.
In the words of Sant Maharshi Mehi: “All the Sants are said to be impartial and are equally compassionate toward all beings and their grace showers like the rain, equally on everyone. Nevertheless, just as the flowing rainwater gathers only in the deep hollow places, the grace of Saints gathers in the hearts of those disciples whose hearts are emptied from worldly distractions and whose devotion is deep. They are ready to receive the grace of the guru. Furthermore, a devotee through service becomes eligible for the guru’s grace and, not surprisingly, attracts the teacher’s grace. Those who are careless and do not tend to the vessel of their hearts are able to hold only a little that the guru offers. Others, who are diligent in caring for the vessel, gain benefit by attracting the grace of the guru. In the teachings of Sants, this is the secret of serving the guru and following his teachings. Those who learn knowledge from the guru become humble and grateful and the devotion to the guru arises in their hearts naturally and effortlessly.”
— Swami Vyasanand Ji Maharaj, The Inward Journey of the Soul (Chal Hansa Nij Desh: O, Swan-Soul Return to Your Abode)