VAaspirant

My Doubting Self

My Yoga path has been a long one and I take heart in the Confucius saying “It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop”. Lately, as the bonds and ties of work and earning a living fade into the far distance, the ‘calling’ seems louder and clearer.

Very mindful of my ignorance (avidya) at this stage as I document my thoughts and feelings, the path ahead seems quite long and arduous! However, there must be a reason for the ‘calling’!

The principal aim of Yoga is to seek the truth (self-realisation) and the path is ultimately to transcend the mind and intellect to reach the highest level called ‘Samadhi”. Samadhi is when the mind, senses and intellect cease to function and an individual is at one with Atman, the Absolute.’

For a budding sadhaka (spiritual aspirant), this concept is mind-blowing……. what?

No mind ,senses and intellect?

A torrent of questions came a-flooding, a mini tsunami was awakened in my head.

Does the loss of mind, senses and intellect mean that I can no longer enjoy

  • good food ?
  • the sea and the ozone-charged breezes?
  • the scent of my jasmine flowers?
  • the bliss experienced after my deep sleep?
  • travelling and savoring new experiences?
  • watching my plants grow?
  • the textures and colours of my quilts?
  • the love of man’s best friend?
  • The love and company of friends and family?

What if the Absolute (which cannot be defined) is not what the aspirant wants when he finally arrives? After all only the very few are privileged to attain this level i.e. the gunpowder students. How can the student know if this path is right for him?’

Life in this “unreal” universe doesn’t seem that bad at the moment from a personal perspective even though we are in the Kali Age. Vedanta philosophy states that Samadhi is the end of knowledge. But knowledge (at least in this universe) is king and gaining knowledge is exactly what I am doing. It is daunting to imagine that there could be a time when knowledge is no more and complete silence prevails. This peace has been described as unutterable joy and words fail to describe this blissful state.

A little voice tells me “Don’t go there! and perish the doubts and spiraling thoughts!! .The aspirant will have to trust his Sattvic teacher and draw upon his experiences and find the way himself. Confucius also said “What a superior man seeks is in himself, what the small man seeks is in others”.

I have been warned that aspirants will experience doubts and encounter obstacles and that these will hinder my path if not checked. For the moment, I shall heed this advice and discard and ignore these wondering doubts and continue on my sadhana marga (spiritual path) . I am hopefully, a ‘dry wood’ Sattvic student just waiting to be kindled!

Val Adams