By Megha Bajaj August 2010 Being spiritual means surrendering completely to the object of your faith Swami Shivananda, founder of Divine Life Society, with his disciples(used for representational purposes only) The master smiled. He watched the indignant look on young Gaurava’s face, and replied, “I have not chosen Ananda to accompany me on the pilgrimage because I love him more. Neither have I chosen him because he loves me more. Rather, it is because he is ready.” Gaurava could not bear it! What did the guru mean by this? He had lived in the ashram for five more years than Ananda! He was older than Ananda too. Upset, he asked the radiant one before him, “Where did I go wrong?” Gently, the guru explained, “Oh dearest one, you made only one mistake. You never could decipher the difference between spiritual and spiritual arrogance.” With tears shining through his eyes, head bowed in humility, Gaurava asked, “Please explain, master.” The guru took one look at his face and knew that finally the time was right.He began, “Being spiritual means surrendering completely to the object of your faith. Once you have faith in your guru, whether you agree with what he is saying, or you don’t, there must be complete surrender. Spiritual arrogance is to comply with the guru’s instructions when it appeals to you, and disregard them when they don’t.”And the guru continued, “Being spiritual means seeing God in everything and everyone. Spiritual arrogance says I can see God in this and that, but not in that and this.”“I know this is not easy to achieve. However, I never even saw you trying,” said the guru, “I know how much you love and respect me, and I know you can see divinity within me. But you never could see it in Maya, because she came from a family of thieves. You never could see it in Dhruva, because you felt he was always jealous of you. You never could see it in Dharmam, because you felt he was not as intelligent as you. God chose Maya to belong to the family she does – so in judging her, you are judging Him. Whether Dhruva sees the God in himself or not, you could always have seen it in him, and made him realise that he had nothing to be jealous of. God has made Dharmam as he is, so by disrespecting Dharmam, you are disrespecting Him. When you see something wrong in someone, and you guide them, that is being spiritual. When you see something wrong in someone, and you judge them, that is spiritual arrogance. Being spiritual means to have the understanding that it is not my will, but thy will that shall prevail. Spiritual arrogance is to believe you know better than him, what is good for you. ”“It takes lifetimes to reach this stage of unquestionable faith. However, to begin the journey of a thousand miles, the first step needs to be taken, does it not? Gaurava, my restless one, you must understand that sometimes God helps you to evolve by giving you what you want, and sometimes God does this by withholding what you want. Whether you succeed, or you fail, you can always evolve higher along the spiritual rung. When you do get the results you want, I see you getting down in prayers – however, when you don’t get the results you want, I have seen you questioning God Himself. That, my young one, is not true spirituality.”“Oh master,” wept the boy, “Thank you for being a mirror for me. I am able to see my follies so clearly. I am able to understand so much more today. From this moment, I shall drop the old Gaurava and become a seeker who can decipher between spiritual and spiritual arrogance.”“I can see the determination in your eyes, Gaurava. Let me tell you something – you have already taken the first step towards being spiritual. After all, spiritual arrogance would be to get the ego involved as soon as the guru points an area of improvement – only one who is truly spiritual and wants to evolve, would take criticism in the spirit that you have. Come, my dear one, you are ready. Let us go, a journey awaits us.” Megha Bajaj is, above everything else, a seeker. At times, she tries to find herself through words… At other times, she attempts to understand herself by being with children. Contact: email@example.com
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