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At the Feet of The Mother

Balancing Spiritual and Material Life

Ashram life and life outside are different in many ways but the basic elements of the yoga remain the same. Besides each offers its own advantages as well as challenges. If one values the Divine and hence has a thirst and a seeking these other things begin to take a backseat. With the growth of surrender and faith one also begins to leave the care and responsibility of one’s material existence on the Divine  Mother while oneself remaining more and more preoccupied with Her service and dwelling upon Her in thoughts and feelings.  It is the experience of most who walk the path that when they take this attitude the Divine Himself takes care of all that is needed in one’s life. This does not mean that one does not do anything for livelihood etc. Of course that is needed even as part of our growth in the yoga, yet one is not preoccupied with it nor affected by the gains and losses. As one grows in equanimity the journey becomes easier still. One gives lesser and lesser importance to things such as success and failures, promotion, prestige, name and fame, ambition etc until these things reach a vanishing point since they do not get the attention and also there is the support of the Grace. Despite the difficult life outside, in those marked out for yoga there develops a certain intensity of aspiration and a thirst because one is deprived of the outer environment that would be full of Her. Some devotees try to create a home environment that is so much like the ashram that one feels as if one has entered one of the Ashram homes. I have seen this everywhere, in India and outside. It all depends ultimately upon the sincerity with which we pursue the yoga.

On the other hand we are surrounded here by Her Presence just as the ocean surrounds the landmass on earth. Everything here speaks of Her, reminds us of Her. Though the human nature may and does pose its own difficulties, often worse because the normal checks and balances of outer life are not there, yet there is the biggest single factor that the Samadhi is here. Whatever be the outer and inner challenges one can just go there and tell Her everything at the Samadhi and the effect is often so instantaneous that one wonders at the ignorance of those who say that She is no more. On the other hand sometimes when we are surrounded with wealth we fail to value it. We take it all for granted and mistake Her unconditional Love and Grace for something that we have earned or deserve. The dangers of spiritual ego are therefore quite high as one may be led into believing that just by the fact of living here one is special. The lesson of humility that one easily learns in life outside is learnt with some difficulty here.

Ultimately it is a question of destiny. But whatever it be in the last analysis, spiritual growth does not as much depend upon outer circumstances as much as on the inner attitudes we have towards them. One may live very close to the Divine and yet not recognize Him while someone may be separated through long spaces of time and yet recognize the Divine and by this faith alone find the royal road to freedom. Therefore the stress must be on cultivating these inner qualities such as faith, aspiration, sincerity and surrender and leave the rest to the Divine Will and Wisdom for the eventual fulfilment of the Yoga. If He Wills it can happen any moment and anywhere. If He does not yet will then one will remain in a deluded state even when He is living in the same space as the embodied Divine.

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