How our mind fools and keeps us under an illusion !
A co-seeker and I went to Sanatan’s Ramnathi Ashram to learn about the steps in spiritual practice and their implementation. Sadguru (Mrs.) Binda Singbal guided us; following is a brief on Her guidance.
1. Feeling remorse for falling short greatly in performing Guruseva, and developing self-satisfaction that my spiritual practice is going on smoothly
Self-satisfaction limits us to think only about what we have done, we have done so many things, etc. We do not think – what have I not done, where have I fallen short, etc. As a result, we feel self-satisfied and are not conscious about increasing our efforts. Thus, we remain under an illusion that everything is going well with us. However, it is expected that we feel remorse for falling short in performing Guruseva, and make efforts with intense yearning.
2. Awareness of God’s grace upon us and remorse for falling short is essential
We were advised by our doctor to be on a diet and exercise regularly to lose weight. When reporting about this, we said that now we are exercising regularly and we have lost weight. Sadguru (Mrs.) Binda Singbal told us that this is an example of how our mind fools us. In reality, we never felt that God has given us this body so we should look after it properly. Although, it was the Guru’s grace that we got the doctor’s advice to lose weight and the Guru only gave us the required time, we never felt grateful. We kept feeding our ego with the thought that we are exercising regularly and we have lost weight.
3. What is introversion ?
She said that seekers should also introspect on where they lack when observing every act. One should feel guilty for falling short, seek forgiveness at the Guru’s Holy Feet, and increase our efforts in spiritual practice. Such consistent efforts are true introversion.
When my co-seeker told Her that he was unaware of ego related thoughts earlier and now his awareness has increased, She asked him – How much is the awareness ? Is it 100% ? He said it was about 20-25%, to which She replied that our thought should be – ‘I am still falling short in becoming aware of ego related thoughts by 75% and for this I have to make intense efforts’. If we impress this on our mind, efforts for spiritual practice will take place rapidly.
4. Steps in spiritual practice
A. Action level
1. When reporting your individual spiritual practice, narrate where you could not achieve the your target. For example, if the target is to complete 15 autosuggestion sessions every day, and you could do only 10, then you should say – I could not do 5 sessions. Or, if you have set a target of chanting for 2 hours, but you have chanted for a half-hour, you should say that you did not chant for 1-1/2 hours. You should introspect which personality defects led to not completing the set target and what will you do in future to overcome the defects. An appropriate atonement should also be undertaken.
2. When reporting about satseva (Spiritual service) for the spread of Spirituality, first speak about all the mistakes and where you fell short. Also, speak about your introspection – which personality defects led to the mistakes and what will you do in future to overcome the defects. Then, talk of the good response you received while spreading Spirituality.
3. When speaking with seekers, instead of talking about what you did, speak about the aspect in which you fell short.
B. Psychological level : In your hourly review, observe how many times you get thoughts such as – I have made good efforts, now I can do it, etc. Accordingly, make the mind aware of where you are falling short. Devise solutions and make sincere efforts for over them.
C. Spiritual level : The awareness of gratitude unto the Guru should be constantly kindled and every effort should be made by surrendering unto God. These efforts should not be limited to only the verbal level, but inner changes are necessary. We aim to merge with God. Therefore, if the direction of our introspection is always – ‘Where am I falling short’ – then we can take God’s help.
5. Difference between psychological and spiritual positivity
A. Spiritual (and not psychological) positivity is expected ! : When we told Sadguru (Mrs.) Binda Singbal that we feel self-satisfied with our spiritual practice because we feel that our efforts are better than before (meaning, earlier, we were not performing much of spiritual practice, but now we are making some efforts). So, instead of thinking negatively that our efforts are not taking place, we think making some efforts is a positive sign. She said that even though you feel that it is a positive sign, it is at the psychological level. We expect spiritual positivity.
B. Spiritual positivity is nothing but making efforts as per God’s expectations to get rid of our shortcomings and deficiencies !
We should get rid of the impurities of incorrect reactions, incorrect thoughts, personality defects and ego stored in our mind. Why should we store it in our mind ? If we ignore all these for some time or suppress it in our mind, one day it will burst out and we will feel distressed. Hence, it is essential to continually cleanse our mind. Spiritual positivity is nothing but making efforts as per God’s expectations to get rid of our shortcomings and deficiencies. In this state, the seeker accepts the situation as it comes. He constantly asks for advise and makes efforts. God helps such seeker.
– Mr. Prashant Hemant Juvekar, Jalgaon, Maharashtra.
Psychological positivity and spiritual positivity
|Psychological positivity||Spiritual positivity|
|2. What is our focus ?||Only the things we can do or those we are doing at that moment||In addition to the things we can do, we also focus on those the Guru has told us to do, but we cannot do it|
|3. Yearning||Self-satisfaction and being under the illusion increases, leading to a reduction in yearning for spiritual practice||The yearning increases due to the thought – ‘I am falling short in Guruseva, I must increase my efforts’.|
|4. Purity of the mind||By ignoring incorrect thoughts, incorrect actions, personality defects and ego, they get stored inside, and make the mind impure||The mind becomes pure since the focus is on the incorrect thoughts, incorrect actions, personality defects and ego, and making efforts to eliminate these|
|5. The state of mind when narrating own mistakes in front of everyone||The struggle of the mind leads to negativity and lack of enthusiasm||The seeker is enthusiastic as he introvertedly introspects and seeks solutions as well as asks the responsible seeker|
|6. Frankness||One remains closed and does not have frankness||They frankly seek help from other seekers|
– Sadguru (Mrs.) Binda Singbal, Sanatan Ashram, Ramnathi, Goa.