Saturday, 5 June 2010

The Scripture Of The Yogis – Part 10

I. Renunciation

The disciple asks:

Renunciation of actions, O Teacher, Thou praisest, and again meditation. Tell me conclusively that which is the better of the two.

The teacher replies:

Both lead to the highest bliss; but, of the two, yoga through action is esteemed more than renunciation of action.

How is that? Spiritual ecstasy is the highest state of emotion. But it is not the highest truth. To come to the highest truth one would then have to be initiated in the ultimate quest. Both the path of activity and that of renunciation from the world lead to this bliss. If you must make a choice between the two, follow the path which leads to activity in the world. It is more difficult, but the results are proportionately greater.

In ancient times, people who wanted to gain a higher spiritual dimension would retreat into Mystery Temples for a while and be taught under the most helpful conditions. Sometimes they would spend the life there;  everything was made easier for their spiritual condition. Today they are no such institutions and life has taken their place, so you must gain your initiations, seek your knowledge and develop your intuition amidst and through the very experience which come to you every day.

There is no use saying that you cannot learn in the midst of your life. You can learn by reflecting on your experiences to see the hidden lesson behind them, and this is in a way as helpful as meditation in a monastery. Understanding is just as important as drowning yourself in meditation, and your experiences in the physical world present the proper opportunities for you. The conditions evoke certain thoughts and feelings and you have to choose their direction. They give you an opportunity to understand, to confront, and to overcome obstacles.

Why does the teacher advise the more difficult path? Because of its very difficulty! It is a path that forces you to act more directly on your own initiative. When you live in the world of activity, there is immediate testing of all theories by results. The man who renounces the world may be fostering all sorts of illusions in his head. Talking about spirituality does not make you spiritual. Bring down to the physical plane of action whatever you know,  and live it. To follow a mirage made of words is not to follow the living God who dwells within your heart. Then also, if you remain  in the world you serve and help humanity, by setting an example. In the final sense, however both paths are the same. The man in the world who is acting from the higher motives is not different from the man who has run away from the world.

The Sage may be a king. He may be possessed of splendour but sometimes he may be a nobody, an obscure figure. Whatever part he has to play he will play it. In any situation he still remains a man of divine realization. No one can dictate what part a man of realization should play. You can’t say that he must come out into the world, or that he should remain in retreat. It is foolish for the ignorant to say that an adept must do this or that. He may stay for years in a cave, and yet he is not wasting time. If he receives the divine message the true sage will surely sacrifice the lonely places which he loves. If the command is give from within he will then descend into the crowded streets and babbling forums of the world.

To Be Continued…