Ruzbeh N. Bharucha
Very often, everything on the Path of our spiritual pursuits seems to flow effortlessly. Prayers, meditation, certain disciplines, rituals that one indulges in daily, all that which is related with spirituality and religious activities go about like clockwork. For some reason what was difficult, if not virtually impossible all of a sudden falls into place.
So often I am told by those who come for channeling that after enormous exertion now for the first time in years the individual is able to go about spiritual pursuits with ease, whether it be waking up long before dawn or chanting a particular Mantra for a predetermined number of times or may be the practice of pranayam and yoga. Or that the body no longer protests during long hours of meditation. Or the entire day’s plan regarding spiritual activities has eventually fallen in place.
Many times I have experienced or been told that anger is in control. The weaknesses like anger, lust, reaction, sloth, jealousy, slander, manipulation, are under control. Life is good and God is in Heaven doing whatever God does in Heaven.
This ideal state of being in the moment and giving one’s best to each moment could go on for a week, months, years. This state of existence of accepting whatever is in store for us in calm surrender could eventually feel as though it is one’s inherent state of being.
And then the shit hits the fan.
After that as though somebody has put a curse on us, nothing seems to go right. Forget waking up at dawn one doesn’t sleep till dawn, whiling one’s time doing the rubbish most of us indulge in when we are awake late at night. Or we just don’t feel like praying. Chanting each moment is out of question as the mind has countless thoughts badgering one’s very sanity. All the good which we thought had become second nature seems to have departed in haste leaving us in a state of frustration and defeat.
Whatever came naturally seems now to be a herculean task and the worst part of it all is that we are not even interested to climb that mountain and walk the familiar pathway.
All the weaknesses which we thought we had conquered or at least had in check now have returned with such formidable force that we become slaves to that weakness or state of darkness or are in a perpetual state of conflict between our lower and higher self. Very often the higher self has disappeared, as though packed bags and relocated to another galaxy.
Many of us fight to come out of this abyss and even claw our way back on the Path that leads to the mountain top. This climb back to our original state of spirituality might take from weeks to months and I have had the privilege of meeting those who have taken years of strife to reach their earlier state of centeredness and continue their journey to the mountain top. If you were to ask them the secret, it is always the same answer. Just don’t throw in the towel. Keep at it. Just keep at it.
The answer or the solution lies in the simple truth of never giving up no matter what the trouncing and failure one is subjected to. No matter what the trouncing or self inflicted destructive tendencies one just keeps at trying to get one’s centeredness back into our state of being. Whether you fail each day or every other day you truly give each moment your very best.
I have known those people who have flogged themselves every moment. But they never gave up. Each morning was a new battle but they wore their armour of dedication and perseverance and went to war against their lower selves or the very chart of their Karmic blueprint. They never threw in the towel. They were knocked down countless times, often by their own flaws and weaknesses but they resolved to succeed the next day or attempt and after innumerable ups and downs, they clawed their way to a place where the foundation was slightly stronger and their hold to climb the mountain firmer and slowly but surely they began their ascent. Very often only to plunge back into the abyss of darkness and weakness, only to climb back up, claw back up, and they eventually regained their former state of tranquility and routine.
Of course for every individual who climbed right back up from where s(h)e had plummeted into the bowels of darkness, there are countless who never really found their grip, mustered their determination or even bothered to get up, cleanse themselves of the mire and begin the climb back home. They just threw in the towel. They became one with their new environment of sloth and excuses and playing the victim. Some found solace that they had given their best and may be the very Heavens did not want them to continue the climb back home while some claimed that if God could not help them on the Path then that Path wasn’t worth the climb itself.
Of course, there are many who experience these ups and downs regularly, though may be with not the same ferocious intensity. Thus the oscillation between climbing up for a while and then falling into the abyss and just becoming one with the sludge and mire to once again climb up, again to fall down, has itself become a pattern, a way of life, which itself is something one needs to be vary of. The intent of life is to become the Light. For that one needs to become worthy of being filled with the Divine Radiance and then become the Divine Radiance itself and it’s not the ideal state to be brimming with radiance for a while and then be plunged into absolute darkness for a while and back on and back off, especially if one becomes used to such oscillation and takes it as an inherent way of life.
No it cannot be a way of life. Imagine if the Masters went about Their journey with the same attitude. Thus if the oscillation keeps happening for years and years and decades and decades then either we have become used to the ups and downs, and in fact even accepted it, or we are now functioning on auto and thus not paying attention to those signals, those street signs, those landmarks where we tend to plummet back to base camp of sludge, mire and excuses.
So why do these oscillations of various intensities take place on the walk back Home? I am a veteran about these ups and downs, having these oscillations walk by my side like a faithful shadow all my life and I have met others who have experienced these vacillations of profundity and void too all their lives. So my reader, my sweet farm fresh egg, the question to ask is, does Heaven have a distasteful as well as a melancholic sense of humour or does the chap manning the ship of hell, want more manpower to fuel his burning pit of anguish and thus keep making sure that only the truly brave and dedicated and the mad reach the zenith of that elusive mountain resided by the Oneness Family and the rest, the weak ones, out of sheer exhaustion and frustration lose their way on the Path?
I think Those in charge of Heaven or hell are the decisive factor for our climb up the mountain or our descent and fall from grace and then our climb back up. As you are reading my ramblings, I am certain that you are not pressed for time, thus bear with me and just try to follow my strain of deliberation.
As I write this article sitting where I usually sit, looking outside my window and seeing the sky and at this moment its twilight and the sky is blushing and an air plane soars through the clouds and the Sun’s last blush once again trying to convince me that it has set and the birds just gliding about finishing whatever birds finish before going to bed and the chants in the background and kids playing down, I have come to the conclusion that we make a song and dance about everything. At least most of us do.
The fact is this. There is a war going on between the warriors of Light and the followers of darkness. This is a reality. But the fact is this, eventually it shall all come down to the use of our Free Will. Yes, for sure the dark forces will try to mess around, will try to prevent each one of us from walking the Path. There is no two doubts about this. Very often we shall be led into the womb of complacence and then they strike us at the very core of our being and unbalance our centeredness and our routine and our sadhana and our discipline and tapasya and we come crashing down and the dark forces are aware that mankind is a weak specie. Deluded and confused. So yes, satan or one of his cronies tried to tempt and scare even Lord Jesus to let go of the Path. Higher the rise, the greater is the force to destabilize the individual. Thus, truly this is one reason for our oscillation.
But I believe that if we are on the Path and we refuse to give up and we refuse to get lost and refuse to throw in the towel and confound ourselves through self blame and playing the victim and keep getting up and walking the Path, I am certain that we shall be back on the saddle and we shall triumph. Just as there is the dark side, there is a formidable army of Light Warriors. These warriors of Light, call them Guides, Guardian Angels and as Indians we have the added advantage of our 33 crore Gods and Goddesses are very much present and if we call out to Them, They are with us. Thus Gods and Goddesses, Demi Gods and Goddesses, Primordial Rishis, Sages, Masters, Angels, Arch Angels, Fairies, ancestors of this and past lives, soul group, The very Oneness Family, is present and waiting to help us on the Path. I am certain of this.
Also my good bunch of unripe onions, I believe that just as there are various stages of growth and like in school we have our tests and examinations which eventually determine whether we shall move on to a higher grade or warm the same bench for another year, I believe that on the Path, there are various hurdles which if crossed or overcome or used as a stepping stone, we move to the next level on the Path. Thus, higher the mountain the air gets thinner and the ascend gets more difficult and the track becomes more difficult and narrow and the climb becomes a general pain in the orifices, only those who are truly hungry can move onwards. Those who are not hungry or ready need to prepare more and then they shall once again come to the same place which shall decide whether we move upwards or justify the laws of gravity. As we move higher, one mistake and our descend is far greater and faster and the impact leaves one breathless. The only thing one can do is after a little rest, lots of cussing, and figuring out one’s mistakes, we need to trudge our way back up. But if we are not careful. If we are not prepared. If we are not aware how and why and what happened which led to the fall then chances of another impact with mother earth is sort of guaranteed.
We need to understand that till we do not reach the state of Enlightenment we are always going to be affected by our Karmic blue print, fate, destiny, planets, and worst of all, our Free Will.
May be some of us are not destined to climb the mountain in this lifetime. May be some of us have to learn something important for the soul by having to keep slipping down and crashing to the base camp. May be some of us have to learn how to accept hardship and failure gracefully. But most importantly the Free Will factor comes in which decides whether we shall throw in the towel after a few attempts or refuse and keep at it even if it kills us.
The mistake we make so often is that every time we fall down, instead of understanding the battle going on between Light and the absence of Light, we become bitter and negative, play the victim poor me card or get fearful or adopt a defeatist attitude and thus very often do not attempt the climb ever again in this life time. That is not just a mistake, it is a catastrophe.
I know this journey is fraught with uncertainties. I know that this climb is not for everyone to succeed. I know that many of us will never make it to the top in this life time. I know that the fall and oscillation hurts. But I am also certain that if every time we fall, after a little breather, we get on the saddle again with awareness of the fact that there are various things that are going to make the climb treacherous, we shall be on guard and shall treat the climb with respect and with the help of our Guides and the legion of the Oneness Family, I truly believe we shall succeed.
It eventually will boil down to the fact that did we give up, did we throw in the towel or did we keep at it, irrespective of the internal and external strife and madness.
I know it is difficult but we need to keep at it and continue the walk back to that elusive cottage on the mountain top. I am told They serve decent chai up there.
Be blessed always.
Ruzbeh N. Bharucha