By Swami Anand Sidhartha November 2003 Our path of spiritual quest is filled with inhibitions and doubts. Spiritual master Anand Sidhartha clarifies most of them in his self-published book Light on the Path. Dr Sidhartha is the founder of the Oceanic School of Meditation and Inner Peace Foundation with the headquarter in Delhi and branch offices in the US and UK. His Alpha Transcendental Meditation (ATM) has benefited hundreds all over the world. In this extract, he answers some frequently asked questions on God, meditation, karma, love, prayer and astrology. Is there God? If I say yes or no, it is of no use. Experience God yourself then you won’t have to ask. What is God? Everything is God and everything belongs to God. We are like an iceberg in the ocean. When we melt under the warmth of God’s touch, we will become the ocean. Then only can we experience God and his creation. Is man’s entire life predetermined? 85% of life is predetermined. Only 15% is in the hands of man. He can just ensure that the future is shaped by his own thoughts. Spiritual destiny is not fixed at all. It depends on the effort put in by the individual. The more the effort, the faster the progress. I am full of negativity and darkness. What should I do? You can neither fight nor remove the darkness. You have to bring in the divine light. How does the Divine descend? Divine descends on a meditator first as dewdrops, then as breeze and finally as rain. It is a gigantic phenomenon because the entire ocean comes to a drop. Only a well-prepared body can handle the pouring of divinity. Tell me the technique of meditation. It is not a technique. It is the grace of God and Master, which helps you experience. How would you define sin and virtue? Any action which brings you close to God is a virtue and that which takes you away from God is sin. Whatever you do, do it in a detached manner so that it becomes a play. What type of discipline should a spiritual aspirant follow? Physical: One should have right food, right company and right environment. Moral: One should always try to be in the positive and divine thoughts. Spiritual: One should pray and meditate under strict discipline. I have many thoughts during meditation. Meditation needs patience, longing and training. Like training to fly an aeroplane, for meditation you have to be trained under a master. With patience and time you will be able to go deep and the thoughts will reduce. How to change the subconscious? Whenever you make a mistake, immediately get conscious of it and start praying to God for wisdom so that you don’t repeat the mistake. What is a spiritual person like? A spiritual person is like a mirror that enjoys his own emptiness. In emptiness he is one with divinity. What is astrology? Astrology is the science of mystery. It is mainly for worldly, ambitious and insecure people. Spiritual people don’t need astrology. Are rituals needed on the spiritual path? People spend their entire lives living rituals like watering tulsi. The tulsi will grow but not the inner man. Spirituality is a complete science. Through discipline you have to bring yourself to a certain frequency so that grace showers on you. How can we drop desires? As one progresses on the spiritual path desires will gradually disappear. Desires are fuel for life. There is a lot beyond desires. There is a lot more being experienced, which is beyond desires. Why is it important to meditate at night? At night everybody sleeps, so there are less thoughts of people in the atmosphere. Secondly, meditation becomes the last act before sleep. So then the whole sleep becomes a meditation. Do you believe in karma? Definitely, yes. All the actions performed by us through the mind and body are karmas. What happens in the universe when one becomes enlightened? When one is able to break free of illusions, nature becomes mystified and rejoices. The whole universe celebrates for days and showers flowers. Are Indian rituals like havans required? No, only the inside havan is required. Inside purification is required. Be true to yourself; accept your problems and work upon them. With havans and rituals, we suppress our negativity but don’t make an effort to change ourselves. Is God doing everything? Yes. He is doing everything. It is very important to think that God is doing everything. We need to remember every moment that he is taking care of us. But we should also know that God has given us freedom and responsibility to make this earth beautiful. What is meditation? It is fine-tuning. It is like changing from MW to FM. It is a bridge between Divine and worldly life, when the connection with the Divine becomes strong the worldly attachments fall off. What is the purpose of creation? Krishna says: ‘‘This sansar is leela.’’ It is the play of God, but through devotion and surrender to God we can get out of the leela and enter the divine world, our real home. What is love? It cannot be defined. It can be felt. It is a reality. It starts with emotion but it is not an emotion. Emotions are the play of the mind. When mind is gone emotions are gone. After the emotions are gone or balanced, then only can one experience true love. Does going to temple and places of worship help us in our spiritual journey? Body is the temple of God. It is within ourselves that God must be realised. Whatever places of pilgrimage you visit outwardly, the ultimate pilgrimage must be within. How can the ridge between God and us go? Ego is the only barrier between us and God. Once we are ready to drop that, the barrier between us and God shall immediately fall. What is the simplest road to happiness? Only a man who has attained wisdom can create happiness around him and others. Wisdom can only be attained through devotion and meditation on God. Why are most people unable to reach enlightenment? Many people are restless and join spirituality in search of God. Once they become relaxed, they forget their real goal. They become content with the peace that they attain. Little do they know that the real journey starts only when there is total relaxation inside and outside a person. There are so many paths to God. Which is the best in your opinion? I have passed through various paths and I have come to an understanding that the short-cut to reach God is devotion and love. It is an individual and direct phenomenon.
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