Pains and pleasures on the spiritual path

by Swami Prasad Sharma
(Dona Paula, Goa, India)

Pains and pleasures on the spiritual path

Usually we feel a sort of detachment from worldly affairs when we attend a funeral and visit a cemetery. This detachment leaves soon after we get home. It is like a stone thrown in an algae covered pond. Its impact breaks the algae cover through which clean water shines. But soon the algae re-cover the broken surface. Similar is the case with the mind that is distracted from the world, temporarily.

There are innumerable kinds of mental pains felt during the intense process of achieving spirituality in life. The loss of livelihood, near and dear ones, prestige, etcetera could attract the mind towards spirituality.

Complete detachment of the mind from worldly objectives is a prime requirement for a beginner of spirituality. Here I am not talking about physical detachment but mental detachment. Even when one has understood the vagaries of certain relations and the pursuance of various objectives in one’s personal life at the physical level, one cannot escape one’s duties towards them. The problem may arise if one feels at some point of time that one’s duties towards others are over and they still remain very much attached, because they fear the loss of certain privileges or may still not feel satisfied.

Even after surrendering to God (Please see my article: The blossoming of love after surrendering to God), my mind took some more time to become accustomed to the feelings of surrender. If someone else happens to inflict a dishonour or utter insult the surrendered soul has to acknowledge it as an act of divinity to make itself strong in such events without showing an immediate reaction. Such events may occur, or someone may make remarks which may try to shake the belief in God. Coming out successfully from such problems, a surrendered soul’s belief further gets increased. So, even after self-realization and surrender to God one may lose heart temporarily due to something that happens until one gains complete release from one’s mental reactions. The realized one has to reach this stage compulsorily for real pleasure with one’s soul mate, before leaving the body. Because God takes utmost care of the surrendered soul it’s His duty to bring it to this stage as soon as possible.

The real test of love is during the period of separation. If a beloved one tries to indulge in passing time in some other things then her love towards the lover, her love will diminish. Similarly, God gives a sort of separation feeling for some duration (a few days, weeks, months, years, etcetera) to a devotee and allows him to feel real pangs of love and the associated sadness. In the process, the love always continues to increase even in the absence of the lover (God).

A true definition of love can be derived from the fact that physical love in all relations increases fast and loses most of its intensity continuously while divine love (to mankind) continues to increase eternally and is never complete during a lifetime.

In the due course of time the pains turn into eternal pleasure.

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