26th Dec. Monthly Gathering, Malke Ashram: This was a special Sunday today as it fell right between the Children’s Camp. The question-answer session this time became a special call to understand the equivalence between true desire (yearning) for God, Samadhi etc. (in general the spiritual goal) and straight-plain-un-crooked thinking and being (सरलता) and detachment (वैराग्य). Maharaj Ji said that if one is desirous of God then one will also be un-crooked in his ways and manners and vice-versa. In nutshell, it is the desires for worldly objects (wealth, fame, name etc.) that makes one to be different within and without (one of the biggest impediments for a spiritual practitioner).

‘A river is straight and un-crooked (सरल), so is a seed for they both go straight to meet their goals; the sea and the sky respectively. Though they may have to deviate a bit from their straight path yet their motion is ever towards their goal. Similarly to walk unceasingly straight towards God, Samadhi etc. also implies being straight, plain, un-crooked in your mind and detached from worldly objects’ – in fact, the issue of  cultivating सरलता is the issue of  cultivating the  longing for God, Samadhi itself; that, Maharaj Ji said had only one way in his eyes and that was to live wholeheartedly in the company of the great saints and shastras. If one sits with such beings who are themselves tuned to God, tuned in samadhi; loves them, serves them, he will, with time, acquire the seeds (samskaras) which will ultimately grow into the tree of yearning for God.  These samskaras are in fact central to success in any endeavour worldly or spiritual. If a student has no liking for studies (samskaras for studies) then mere exercise of managing to learn the lessons, passing the exams would never make him a true scholar.

In the course of the discourse Maharaj Ji kept touching on various subtle but very important points of spiritual life. He said that in the worldly ways it is still more difficult to fool other people but in the spiritual world, where nothing meets the eye of the other person, it is very easy to take oneself to be a Realized Master and thus fool oneself and others in contact with such a person. The simple antidote to this tendency is to not to see ourselves from the eyes of others (otherwise we will end up making a wrong impression about ourselves). If one does need the affirmation of others it is much better to seek the affirmation of realized saints and similarly the best judge for one’s spiritual standing too are the truths mentioned in the shastras. Another point that Maharaj Ji addressed was that though we meet with many failures in our ordinary worldly life but we still go on trying, go on chasing after our desired object; but one failure in the spiritual pursuit becomes a sufficient excuse to demoralize us . Still another point discussed was that often it happens that the pursuit of the spiritual path becomes a means of seeking glory in the world rather than truthfully seeking God, samadhi etc. Then such people pose themselves as realized masters though they are not.

To sum up, the first thing for a spiritual aspirant is to seek within oneself with truth whether it is God, Samadhi that he really desires? Then if he finds shortcomings in the intensity or the purity of his desire then the remedy to that is to come into intimate contact with the Masters, live with them, imbibe their teachings, evolve a loving relationship with them. In this way one will acquire true seeds of spirituality within oneself. Then he will naturally be forced to become straight and un-crooked. As he walks, the aspirant should forever be aware if perchance he is using spirituality as a pretext for fulfillment of his worldly desires!  Giving up comparisons with fellow practitioners and using the scriptures and the Masters as the testing ground for our standing on the spiritual road is a wonderful ideal to cultivate as well.