Spiritual seekers or those on the path of Yoga could often have moments of doubt and questions like am I a really a Yogi? Is the path for me? What if I do not reach anywhere or fall off the path? Here, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Spiritual Master, a Global Voice for Sustainable Peace and Non-violence, Founder of the International Association For Human Values, in this exemplary commentary strikes at the heart of these doubts that a yogi encounters, dispelling them with simplicity and enormous depth of wisdom.
“What does this spiritual path do to an individual? It makes your body vibrant and resistant to disease. It brings radiance in your aura and makes your voice very sweet and melodious. It improves your circulation, makes you skillful, intuitive, efficient, capable, and compassionate and brings the Siddhis (perfections) in you. Then before you want something, it already starts coming to you. But there is a doubt that raises its head in a few people. It is discussed in the Bhagwad Gita, when Arjuna, (disciple, friend and brother of Lord Krishna from the mythological epic Mahabharata) says, “Will a person who walks on a path or does not perfect it, fall from it and will he reach nowhere? Will he be neither here nor there? So what is to be done? This is my doubt and only you can solve this, Oh Krishna, Because you know you are a yogi and you are also in the world. Suppose I start the path of yoga and I lose my kingdom, my work, my job, everything here, that I have been doing and I am doing neither this nor that, will I not be in the middle of nowhere?”
Lord Krishna answers, “My dear don’t worry, because anyone who does something good, something beneficial, will never suffer. You cannot perish in this path. It is impossible. If you are not successful now, never mind, you can be assured you will come and do it again because there are many lifetimes. ” Spiritual practices are called Sadhana. This means the real currency, which you can take to the other side also. The bliss that you carry will go with your spirit into the next life. Someone who has not completed the journey of yoga, has not attained the self, has fallen from there, due to whatever reason, will be born in a good family or a yogi’s family because of good karma earned. People can be born in many rich families, but they many not be intelligent. They are not the yoga brastas (fallen yogis). These are those who are intelligent and are born in yogis family or in well to do families. But this doesn’t mean that yogis are not born in poor families. Due to the past life’s experience, those sanskaras (impressions) will again make them go in the path of yoga to complete their journey.
So, spirituality brings strength and you will progress in the world. If you find any doubt, just know that it is temporary. Even a mere inquirer after yoga transcends the intellectual knowledge. Verily, a yogi who practices, being purified by all sins, is perfected through many births and then attains the supreme goal. The yogi is regarded as greater than ascetics, greater than even men of knowledge, greater also than those devoted to work. Such a person does not crave for anything because he/she is in the state of fulfillment. Abundance is a sign of yogi and a sign of true spiritual growth. Not a sense of lack or despondency or desperation Wherever you put your attention to something, that thing will grow. If you put your attention on the lack of something, the lack will increase.
Tonight, just before going to sleep, sit on your bed, with a big smile on your face, relax, and think , “I am a yogi, I am lucky.” Don’t doubt that you are a yogi. You are a yogi. That is why you are reading this, hearing this. You should know that you are lucky. After saying this, think of all the things you can be grateful for in this life. Don’t sit and worry about your mistakes. Mistakes have taught you some lessons and the good deeds have expanded your vision and shown your possibilities. We will honor everything in life. That is where we get into choiceless awareness. So be in the present moment where we are hollow, empty and light. However nice something is, however ugly something is both will disappear into thin air. Knowing this you get back to the self, the source of all wealth, happiness, and joy which is deep within you. Then you realize that you have gained an ability to smile through everything and nothing bothers you or touches you. You are united with nature, nature loves you, and brings Sukhamatyantikam (unbelievable pleasure beyond the senses) and abundance and to your life.”
About The Author
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is an international humanitarian leader and a spiritual master who is the global rallying voice of this generation’s collective call for peace. Named one of the “Seven Most Powerful People in India,” by Forbes, his world-renowned meditation techniques helped end the
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is an international humanitarian leader and a spiritual master who is the global rallying voice of this generation’s collective call for peace. Named one of the “Seven Most Powerful People in India,” by Forbes, his world-renowned meditation techniques helped end the 60-year conflict in Colombia. He has been credited in bringing opposing parties together to facilitate meditation and peace talks in Iraq, Cote d’Ivoire and India. Founder of the Art of Living Foundation and International Association for Human Values, Sri Sri is leading the way toward peace and tolerance through meditation and humanitarian efforts. Over 35 years, his programs and initiatives have touched the lives of over 370 million people in over 150 countries.