Overcoming the Moment-to-Moment Struggles on the Path
Sadhguru: If you want to seek that which is eternal, that which is all-pervading and all-inclusive, the “normal” energy that you have – to walk around, to earn some money or whatever – is not sufficient. You need a lot more. Even if you are giving yourself one hundred percent, that kind of energy is simply not sufficient. All the sadhana is done to raise one’s energy because when you seek the unlimited, however much energy you have seems to be insufficient. But by channeling all this energy towards the one and only goal in life, there is some possibility that you may progress towards that goal. Whether you attain the goal immediately or not is not the point; you begin to progress. The goal becomes approachable. One fundamental requirement for anyone who wishes to grow on the spiritual path is to have an un-deviated flow of energy towards one and only one goal in life: to attain to the highest and not settle for anything less than that.
If there is a person who is capable of channeling himself without any break, he is blessed, but rarely do people come like that. Most people lead their lives only in jerks; a few moments of running, then they stop, or maybe even take a few steps backwards, then start running again, or maybe even run backwards. Life is wasted like this for most people. There are a rare few, once they get started, there is no stopping for them; they just go on. For those others who are “start-and-stop” people, they need someone to keep them moving all the time. That “someone’s” job is to use the carrot and stick with some equanimity as the need arises. Sometimes carrots don’t work, then we use the stick. Sometimes sticks don’t work, then the carrot. It’s like that.
Three Types of Gurus
I think Ramakrishna described a Guru in his own way. He described three types of Gurus or spiritual teachers who were like three different classes of doctors. There is one type of medical man who, when called upon, looks at the patient, feels his pulse, then prescribes the necessary medicine and asks him to take it. If he declines to do so, the doctor goes away without troubling himself further with the matter. In the same way, there are some teachers who don’t care much whether their teachings are valued and acted upon or not. Doctors of the second type not only ask the patients to take their medicine, but they go a little further. They expostulate with them if they show any reluctance in taking the medicine.
The third kind of doctors would proceed to use force with the patients in case their explanations fail. Such an advisor would go to the extent of putting his knee on the chest of the patient and forcing the medicine down his throat. Similarly, there are some masters who would use force on their disciples, if necessary, with a view of making them walk on the path. Ramakrishna considers these the highest class.
In every aspect of life – not only in terms of doctors and spiritual teachers – these three types of people are there. When Ramakrishna considers the last one to be the highest, he takes the risk of becoming unpopular. He takes the risk of being labeled cruel or being considered not spiritual at all.
These kinds of teachers exist because by your own nature, you might not reach the ultimate. Look at the frog: wherever he sees a mosquito, he goes there. Maybe he starts off in one direction, going after something, but if he sees a mosquito in the other direction, he goes that way. If another appears somewhere else, he starts going in that direction. If you go like this, you will not get anywhere. At the most you will fill your belly. If filling the belly is the only purpose of life, then wherever there is food, you will go sniffing there.
The First and Last Thing
Once you are on the spiritual path, once you have seen the goal of your life, this sniffing around should stop because there are many things that smell good along the way. Wherever something smells good, if you turn in that direction, you are not going to get anywhere. Even a man who wants to simply fulfill his material requirements works with undivided interest in what he is doing. Even a man who wants to make money or pursue pleasure goes with hundred percent involvement towards what he wants. If that is so, when you are seeking the highest, you know how you should be. Whatever I say will fall short of how you should be. So many things may come up on the way, but you should be strong enough, brave enough, and adamant enough to go after what you want, otherwise things will not happen.
A person who wants to walk the spiritual path has to make that the highest in his mind: “This is the first and the last thing that I want in my life.” Then, naturally all his energies will orient towards it. Only then the moment-to-moment struggle is gone and you don’t have to struggle to correct yourself.
Editor’s Note: Excerpted from Mystic’s Musings. Not for the faint-hearted, this book deftly guides us with answers about reality that transcend our fears, angers, hopes, and struggles. Sadhguru keeps us teetering on the edge of logic and captivates us with his answers to questions relating to life, death, rebirth, suffering, karma, and the journey of the Self. Download the sample pdf or purchase the ebook.