Friday, January 24, 2014

How to grow out of bondage in our quest for eternity

There are many paths to Divinity but the hurdles ahead are much more than we anticipate. It's not always material possessions that stand in the way of our spiritual goals as hurdles. 

Sometimes, it is we ourselves who are responsible. Why? Because of our stubborn refusal to acknowledge the mistakes we make even though we know deep within that we are doing it all wrong. When it comes to managing relationships, we make bigger mistakes despite spiritual awareness. This often causes disharmony, makes us feel lousy, hurt and angry about the contradictions and spiritual conflicts that arise within us. Here's my post on 'Messed up Relationships: Three Easy Ways to Tackle It' and 'How to see God clearly'

For those on the spiritual path, here are some important questions to consider such as:

1. How do we choose those whom we love and those we don't love? Is there a logical pattern to our choices? 

2. Do we go with intuition, what the heart says or with the indications of obvious attraction that the body shows towards another person? 

3. Can a person on the spiritual path justify feeling these contradictions in the first place? Whether yes or no, what's the way forward?

I found an interesting gem of a perspective in a Buddhist story. It's simple, not rocket science but I found it insightful nevertheless. 

The story goes like this: One day, a Buddhist monk visits a Prince. By tradition, Buddhist monks are allowed to carry only their begging bowl and essential clothes. The Prince suggests a walk in the gardens. So, the monk keeps the bowl in the palace and joins the Prince for a walk. 

After a while, a servant from the palace comes running, crying out, “Fire in the palace!” 

The monk instantly leapt to his feet crying out, ”My bowl!” and he ran towards the palace. 

Whereas the Prince who lived in the lap of luxury was detached from the need to run after his belongings. He simply walked away without any worry about the palace or his belongings.

This raises the question: who is the wiser, more enlightened one? The prince who lived in the lap of luxury yet felt no bondage to any of his possessions at the time or the monk in whose mind the attachment towards the bowl is much greater? 

I also recall an experience of Kannamma - one of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's earliest devotees - who had documented her experiences and published the book. She says that she had asked Swami for an example to cite what He would consider as absolute/perfect faith in a devotee. This is Swami's response, "If at any point of time in your life, I appear and ask you to come with me and to abandon everything you have  - family, possessions, everything - you should be able to leave it all that very moment and come with me without even a moment's hesitation. That is absolute faith."

With certainty and sincerity, I can say this with all my heart, " Am ready." But my Bhagawan has not called me yet.

We all have that kind of faith and strength within us but often we place it in those people who probably don't give a damn, or in relationships that may be one-sided and sometimes we place our faith in fancy possessions. 

The best thing about spirituality is that the relationship is always two-sided and you get a thousand fold benefit and blessings to grow and surge ahead on the path that you tread. The experiences that await you cannot be described because they are unique, rare and often painful. But in the spiritual path, none of these hardships are remotely as degrading and as painful as the ridiculous situations we create for ourselves. We lose confidence and risk heartbreak for the silliest reasons and all of it is because of our bondage and the endless waiting game that follows thereafter. In spirituality, everything is properly accounted for because there is a cosmic law in place that is far more just and accurate though it is definitely above our understanding.

You know it within you – all of us, at heart, run back to check on our relationships and belongings because we are attached to all these things that we are accumulating in this life. We see it as 'ours' without realizing that we can't take any of it back with us - that our first and foremost duty is to grow ourselves first in our quest for eternity. 

The day we can let go of self-created bondage in terms of prized possessions or relationships we feel we 'possess,'  only then we will learn to progress and to be open and ready to accept God’s will manifest in our life the way it should and can manifest in abundance – that is when we become true warriors in the realm of spirituality and we will be able to embrace the entire world without being in a state of bondage. 

I don't know much about the spiritual path but I know that with every step that I take forward, there are contradictions following me like a trail of ants solely because of my own bondage. I would love to know if you have experienced anything like this.

What are the hurdles you face on the spiritual path or on your path to growth and happiness? I'd love to hear your thoughts and insights on this.

♥♥  I thank you with all my heart for reading this post. Please Share this article on your favorite social networks. Every share, like or tweet makes me reach out to more people in a positive way. I am grateful and I appreciate you for doing so. ♥♥

6 comments:

Asha said...

I watch Brahmakumari Shivani verma on aastha at 7.10 daily and i get so convinced by her thoughts( i am not follower/promote any cult or organization though).

But, i am Unable to put my spiritual journey in thoughts the way you so beautifully do.

My spiritual journey is full of confusions and i can't release the bondages so easily.
Infact, that is my main hindrance, the other is the ego.

Would love to read from you on this since i can relate to much of what you write.

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

Dear Asha, I think that we both have a lot in common, particularly when it comes to sadhana and our spiritual journey. My intention of writing about my spiritual journey is to share as openly as possible the difficulties that we face on the path and to receive positive energy and feedback from like minded spiritual aspirants like you.

Hope to keep writing and please don't hesitate to correct me when you feel differently about anything that I write. That would be a great way to engage and discuss about the choices we make on our spiritual journey.

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