Monday, July 6, 2015

Should we follow spiritual path that Swami told somebody else to follow?

I put up the following comment (slightly edited) in a Facebook post about somebody claiming that his/her spiritual path is the best path and asking others to follow that path:

We should follow the spiritual path that we are comfortable with in our heart, and not get swayed by what Swami (Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba) told somebody else as those words of Swami may be specific to that person, even if that person claims that path to be the "best path". However, I would like to mention a couple of points:

a) Over time our mind-body complex evolves spiritually. What was suitable as a path earlier may later seem less suitable for further spiritual evolution.

b) The general teachings of Swami and Hindu scripture as interpreted by Swami hold good in most circumstances, even if our mind-body complex is not able to handle some parts of it or be comfortable with it. These Swami teachings have been repeated so many times in public discourses, so it is hard not to have a clear interpretation of it. E.g. Daiva Preeti, Paap Bheeti, Sangha Neeti (Loving God, Being scared of sin (hurtful acts), Following moral code of community one is in); role of husband and wife in family life - Swami's view may be criticized by the upwardly mobile yuppies but it is Swami who has got it spot on - the yuppies will, in all probability, realize their mistake later on. So, in some cases, Swami's teachings may not be so easy to follow - e.g. serving parents even when it means some sacrifice in worldly life - as the mind, and sometimes even the heart that is clouded by a mind with lots of desires, may not be comfortable with it. At that time, what I have done is that I accept Swami's teaching as the right teaching but also accept that I have human limitations and am not very hard on myself if I cannot follow Swami's teaching fully. Over time, years & sometimes decades, these things get ironed out. Taming the monkey-mind is not an easy affair :-).

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