The Difficulties of the Spiritual Seeker : 14.

The Teachings of the Bhagavadgita :

The complacency of a happy person in this world is really a danger to the individual. This was the complacency of Arjuna and the foolhardy heroism that he manifested before he entered the battlefield. A person who may be appearing to be healthy and very pleasant in his life may be attacked by an epidemic tomorrow, and this possibility cannot be prevented merely by a precedent happiness a day earlier. The tentative illness that you seem to be in, psychologically, when you tread the path of yoga is the one in which many of us find ourselves – a sense of having lost oneself and a feeling that one does not know where one is standing, which feeling you would not have had before you took to the spiritual way of living or the path of yoga. 

People are happy in this world. They are travelling all directions and eat well, sleep well, they go to clubs – there is no trouble with anybody in the world. But the trouble arises the moment you turn to the spirit and take to a religious life or what you call yoga. You are confounded in a new manner altogether, a confusion which might not have presented itself before you when you were a happy bird in the free world outside. Why is this? How are you going to explain this new difficulty that you are facing when you are moving in the direction of God, even if you are to be honest in this pursuit? Every spiritual seeker may be said to be uniformly in this condition of difficulty – a kind of reaction that is set up by the very idea of taking to yoga.

The first chapter, which is a yoga no doubt, is yoga in a very, very specific sense. Difficulties and doubts of the type expressed in the first chapter are not likely to arise in the minds of people who are normally happy in the work-a-day world. When you investigate deeply, philosophically, into the structure of things, you'll have doubts which would not have occurred to your mind normally. Nobody bothers about how the world came in, why the sun is rising always in the east, and where does it go in the night. These questions do not arise in the minds of anybody; everything is taken for granted. 

But when you start probing into these difficulties, mysteries – why the planets are going round the sun, and what is it that is happening when we have seasons and when we are feeling heat in summer and cold in winter – though these questions are never put by anybody and they are all taken for granted, yet when you put these questions you have to scratch your head three times before you answer them. "What is happening? Why is it cold in one place and hot in another place even in the same season?" etc., etc. These are to give you only some gross instances of problems that you may have to face when you question anything; otherwise, everything is fine.

Swami Krishnamanda

To be continued ...

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