Remove Those Impediments
- July 20, 2023
- Posted by: Hingori
Spirituality and spiritual practices have always been considered a virtue of saints. The current day sees a larger majority of the world learning or practicing spirituality in some form or the other. The science of spirituality is being decoded. As many embark upon this new journey, if left unguided, they may face numerous impediments on their
way. Like any new skill one learns, there are always some bumps along the road, some impediments, something to lead you astray. The choice you have is to either find yourself unable to progress, or make an extra effort in the
right direction and cross the roadblock. Some of the more common impediments faced by most are:
The most important and strongest impediment lies within ourselves, our minds. We have been nurtured and molded to conform to a particular norm. Religion is one of the biggest contributors when it comes to conditioning as a deep-seated unflinching belief that cannot be questioned. Religion is commonly mistaken to be synonymous with spirituality. This may keep our focus outside of ‘us’ where we bow to idols of deities instead of embarking on the journey of self -enquiry and seeking the divinity within. As opposed to reliance on any external factor, spirituality requires a deep
practice of contemplation on ‘who am I’ and ‘how do I elevate my spirit, aatma’. Each religion began with the aim of leading an individual out of the cycle of birth and rebirth, but over millennia, it has metamorphosed with the times and changed its focus, creating limitations and rituals that are seemingly easier to follow and more appealing to people. Spirituality is all about the self, the aatma, its upliftment, how best to live in the world of maya, how to look beyond the veil of maya.
Another big impediment to spiritual growth is guilt. Guilt is a creation of ‘ownership’ and is created in our minds. It is not about not being a nice person, or being fair. Rather, guilt stems from ignorance of the true nature of reality and a lack of understanding of the concepts of maya, destiny, samskara and karma yoga. The intellect that is intent on adding logic and rationale to the experience where there may be none, creates yet another barrier. If anything does not fit the framework of the known, it is rejected by those who hold their intellect in high esteem.
This can be an impediment in two ways — both the lack of it and the presence of it. Lack of experience could be a result of other impediments such as lack of self-effort or an inability to recognise growth. Spiritual experiences can easily be mistaken for coincidences, premonitions, or not be noticed at all and rather dismissed as pure happenstance, if one doesn’t receive proper guidance. Often, people try to find logic in practices and bend the instruction to a more appealing or comfortable form, leading to their spiritual practices never maturing into spiritual experiences. People often get bored by the repetitive chanting of a mantra and self-enquiry and over time the excitement wanes. Little do
they realise that for a mantra to be ‘siddh’ or realised, it could take up to decades — and this is if it has been
given to you by a ‘siddh guru’, else it could even take a few lifetimes.
However in this world of instant gratification, the results are sought in a manner similar to cooking noodles. On the other hand there are some who get ‘hooked on’, for lack of a better word, to these experiences once they realise them. It is a fact, that consistent practice of yoga leads to the developing of abilities of some form or other. A person not under proper instruction, or one who simply finds himself steered in the wrong direction, may get deeply attached to these experiences. The result of this deep attachment is the inability to progress any further.
There are some factors that impede our progress which we cannot directly control and among these are the planetary trends. The astrological charts that are a function of our past journey play an important role in the journey of the
future too. After making significant progress, for 10 years of my life, there came a period where I was unable to experience any spiritual growth. I was despondent and tried everything I could — did more seva, more mantra vidya, more meditation, more focus on my guna mix, but nothing worked. And as easily as the progress stalled, with the next phase of the planetary positions, it came right back. It was a frustrating period of endless wait, however I made sure that I did not abandon the journey midway. As we evolve spiritually, there is another element that can impede progress — chakras. This is typically true in the early days where we are unable to detach from the physical world and are in an exploratory mode, having had some powerful experiences.
At this stage, the belief is strong however the practice is at an initial stage. It is here that the ‘chakras’ play a role. It is my belief that the chakras comprise magnetic energy and upon spiritual awareness they create a pull of consciousness towards them. What impedes the progress for many, is the pull created by the initial chakras that
do not allow the consciousness to move towards the higher levels.
THE SPIRITUAL GUIDE
How can a spiritual guide possibly become an impediment? The real question to answer is, how does one identify a ‘siddh guru’ or an accomplished teacher who can help you on the path? There will be many who don the robes and have the right kind of ‘brand appeal and packaging’. But, how many of them have experienced ‘gati’ or speed of the spirit, have experienced singularity — even if for a few seconds, have had out-of-body experiences, had encounters with spirits, how many have the ability to heal or change what is apparently destined. Unfortunately, very few. And most of the truly enlightened gurus are out there, dressed normally, speaking to teach and not impress, not bothered about the set notions of a ‘saint’s appearance’. Then again, it is the guru who will find you when you are destined to be found. So
all you can do is have faith that when the time is right, your journey to enlightenment will begin.