Someone to wake me up spiritually
by Swami Prasad Sharma
(Dona Paula, Goa, India)
Before going to sleep we never think at what time we shall get up in the morning. According to routine we may get up at the usual time if our sleep is not disturbed. It is when we have to get up early for some purpose we seek help from someone who usually gets up earlier, or set the alarm. Otherwise we may lose sleep fearing not to be able to get up in time. In our childhood when we had no watch or alarm clock we would use our biological clock, set up in the brain. We were usually told to be determined about getting up at a specified time in the morning before going to sleep, and it worked. All other things may fail in awaking us if our determination is weak, or when we are tempted to have a little more sleep. Then our strict parent may have to awake us forcibly.
Similarly, awakening spiritually needs a perfect setting of an event so that a person once awakened will not fall asleep in worldly pursuits again, or wish for a little more sleep in worldly dreams. This awakening is done through the spiritual teacher, or organized through some event in which one happens to commit oneself and follow spiritual instructions for one’s emancipation. If one has accepted the Lord or a spiritual teacher whole-heartedly with feelings of surrender then he is bound to achieve the ultimate spiritual goal.
In Hinduism it is believed that when the Lord incarnates on earth many of His associates also appear and at the appropriate time they assist the Lord in carrying out His mission. Hanuman (a god in Hinduism known for his strength, intellect and knowledge) followed
Lord Rama on earth in order to serve him fully in carrying out His mission. He was very powerful and naughty in childhood and was cursed by a sage to forget his strength till somebody would remind him of his childhood feats of strength. Then, his elderly associate had to remind him of his childhood strength and feats and use the same to serve the beloved Lord. When that happened he immediately became conscious of his strength and carried out the task, which could only be accomplished by him for the Lord.
At the end of one’s life one may have some worldly aspirations and wish for spirituality too. Then in the next life such a person would like to have his worldly desires being fulfilled first, but in doing so he may remain attached to the same forgetting of his emancipation. At this point something has to happen to turn him to spirituality, or someone has to remind him of his spiritual goal.
It has happened to innumerable saints that at a specified time they were awakened to spirituality by some happening or by another awakened soul. There have been instances when a dacoit (a robber) turned towards spirituality upon coming in contact with some awakened soul, or a king renounced the royal life, feeling disgusted, for the same purpose. Whenever someone comes across his higher self he finds a new kind of awakening has happened to him that leads him to the path of peace and pleasure of mind.
However, it has to be the right time for such an awakening. At other times we may not pay attention to an awakened soul or realize his true value if we have no inclination towards spirituality.