How to succeed in the spiritual quest
The easiest, quickest, surest way to achieve the spiritual goal is utter surrender to Him from Whom maya came into being. What is it that obstructs such surrender? Evidently, it is the impregnable screen in the form of 'I', 'me', and 'mine'. We go ostensibly to see a saint, and plead that my sick wife may get well; can we honestly call this a true meeting with the saint? The saints advise us to do nama-smarana for attaining God, and we try to obey. But when we see that a near and dear one cannot be saved from death, the faith in nama-smarana and in God is shaken, is lost. Does this not plainly mean that our faith is not genuine, not pure, and that it is looked upon only as a means for some worldly gain? We pray ostensibly for being absolved of sensate desires, and do not succeed, obviously because we do not sincerely wish it at all. A man stops at nothing in having his passion or vice catered to; and yet, when asked to do sadhana to attain to God, he pleads all kinds of excuses for not doing it! A man spends two decades for education which may qualify him for a mere pittance; and yet, he loses patience and faith in the prescribed sadhana because it failed to achieve the end in two years' time. Is this not truly unjustifiable?
Composure of the mind is a sine qua non for pursuing the path of God. It calls for a clear view of the object and the means, not mere strenuous or rigorous physical discipline and chastisement, nor merely a course of repeated reading of certain books, hymns, and such other things. Even the strenuous pilgrimage to Badri Narayan and similar spots in the Himalayas may be of no avail. Far more important and effective will be constant awareness of God.
The quest for God is a study to be pursured by each one singly, personally. This neither needs nor can be aided by any external instrument or situation. It is a study involving a purification, an ennoblement of thoughts, tendencies, instincts, and desires. The less it is exposed to others' view the more advantageous it is. Publicity in this regard is positively harmful. To live to please the world is worldliness; to live for God's approval and acceptance is godliness.
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