” I have been on the spiritual path full time for many years, but I still crave for a more comfortable life. I also would like to get married and have a family. But a part of me feels guilty for having such worldly desires. I am in conflict. Could you please advise.”
You may feel some comfort in knowing that you are not alone. This is the story of millions.
Anything I write on this blog is never meant to be an advice to anyone but myself. When I say ‘you’, it includes ‘I’. Whatever I write, I don’t see it in terms of right or wrong. It is just my own experience or belief which I am happy to share with you.
“A man wanting both, world and God, remains in conflict,
and finds neither” Saint Kabir
The yogic wisdom says that the life is a dream, and the purpose of the human birth is to wake up from the dream. Living a spiritual life is the way. However, the spiritual life has been greatly misunderstood.
Since life is a dream, it doesn’t really matter whether you are on a spiritual path, or living a fully worldly life, both mean the same. It doesn’t matter whether you meditate for many hours, or do business. Both are the same, you are just dreaming. Whether you achieve a lot or you fail, worldly or spiritually, it doesn’t matter. You are just dreaming.
Though you may have a desire to wake up, but you have become accustomed to dreaming. You prefer dreaming. Waking up scares you. Waking up means losing all that you have accumulated in your dream. Conversely, you have a desire to gain more.
You want to continue dreaming because it is more comforting . In your dream there are faces and places which you recognize. You call them your own. But when you wake up, there is no body there. You are all alone. In your dream, you are somebody. You feel good about yourself. You feel important. It is only in your dream that you can feel important and, so, you keep dreaming.
So much happens in your dream. People appear from nowhere, and then disappear into nowhere. One moment people laugh, the next moment they cry. So much drama happens in your dream. You like drama and, so, you keep dreaming. Even when it is an unpleasant dream, you hope and pray for a better dream.
So stop pretending to be spiritual. Stop being in conflict. If you want to have the world, go for it whole heartedly. Instead of being spiritual, strive to become a better person. Being a better person is being spiritual.
But if you truly wish to be awake, and dream also, there is a way.
“When the world is asleep, yogi is awake” – Bhagvad Gita
Yogi also lives in the world and dreams, but while dreaming he is also awake. Remaining awake while dreaming is a practice. It is a skill, which you can also learn.
This dream is called maha-maya, the greatest illusion. It is very powerful. You cannot overcome maha-maya by negating it. The more you negate it, the more powerful it becomes. Instead, embrace the maha-maya with respect. Celebrate the maha-maya with honour. The most amazing thing about this maha-maya is that even while dreaming, you can watch yourself dreaming, you can be a witness to it, and you can remember that you are dreaming. Even while dreaming, you have the ability to discriminate between good and bad, or right and wrong. This ability is called viveka.
Use your viveka to do the good and right things, but also remember that you are dreaming. Serve others with compassion and self-less intentions, but also remember that it is a dream. Meditate daily, but remember that whatever you experience is only a dream. Even the samadhi is a dream. Strive for success but whether you succeed or fail, remember that it is only a dream.
Your actions performed with viveka and selflessness, together with the continuous remembrance that it is all a dream, would cultivate two great and essential virtues in you, dispassion and non-doership . With time, you will get firmly established in these two virtues, which will give rise to the beauteous innocence in you.
Just as, only the light can remove the darkness, similarly, only the innocent dispassion can remove the illusion of maha-maya.
The Maha-Maya is the Divine energy of the Divine Mother. There are many names given to the Divine Mother. Yogis call her Durga. It is only Durga’s energy that puts you in a dream, because you desire to dream. And while you are dreaming, Durga watches over you. Durga also gives you the strength, courage, and wisdom to shape your own dream.
You must shape your own dream, but also remember that it is only a dream.
At dawn, when the innocent dispassion shines, it is Durga Herself who awakens you, and as you are waking up, She carries you in her arms, and keeps you closest to Her chest. This is the most precious and sweetest moment. Knowing this, a wise preserves this moment and doesn’t wish to wake up.
Glory to Thee Durga
Glory to Thy play
All begins and ends
with Thy one sway.