Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Realization: Role of Effort

If Brahman cannot be experienced through discourses from a teacher and good deeds, what is their use for spiritual individuals? To answer this question, the Yogavasistha has a story to share.

Once, a tribesman lost a coin near a big heap of grass in a forest. Though he was well-off, he was a miser. Because he really needed his lost coin back, he searched for it in the forest for three days. He kept thinking that if he found the coin, he would invest it to make thousands. While he was searching, countless spectators laughed at him, but the tribesman kept searching fervently. After looking for three days, he found a chintamani, a priceless jewel that could fulfill all the desires of its owner. The tribesman happily took it and lived peacefully thereafter.

In this story, the tribesman worked hard towards a trivial goal, but his effort was rewarded with much more than what he looked for. Without searching for his coin, he could not have found the celestial jewel. Similarly, in order to succeed in our spiritual goals, we need to follow the path shown by our guru with diligence. Though instruction from a guru does not cause realization,* as this text further explains, it is essential to attaining it. Without searching for the all-pervading Brahman, we cannot find him.

*Alternate theories may give more credit to a guru’s words.


Samuel said...

This reminds me of the passage in the Christian scriptures, "seek and ye shall find."

Searching for truth can be difficult, it is much easier to be like the spectators and play armchair quarterback.... but if the religious traditions of the world have any consolation to offer, it is that those who do seek will eventually find.

I look forward to reading more posts on your blog.

M. Shri said...

Welcome to the blog.

It is interesting to see how, in spite of the differences in world religions, spiritual seekers successfully find many similarities in Christianity, Sufism, Hinduism, and others. Probably, the basics of love and surrender never change.

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