Take the story of Mulla Nasruddin, who complained every day that he was tired of having the same salad sandwiches for lunch. His colleagues listened to these complaints over and over for a few weeks and then suggested a solution. ‘Dear Mulla, how about telling your wife to make something different? Encourage her to be more creative.’ ‘Oh, I am not married,’ replied the Mulla. ‘Then who makes your lunch for you?’ ‘I do,’ replied the Mulla.
What are our ‘salad sandwich’ patterns? And what are we doing to change them?
We can liken impressions and behavioural tendencies to water flowing in a river. Imagine that samskaras are like the water in the river; the water can be removed, just as we remove the samskaras, but what happens when it rains again? If the riverbed is there, the water will start flowing again in the same old pattern.
The riverbed is the field of our habits, so we recreate the same samskaras because we do not let go of the behavioural patterns. The only solution is to remove the riverbed.
How to do that? Personally I have learnt to cultivate a carefree attitude, which leads to a state of acceptance. Not only is it possible, but it is easier than you might imagine. The simple formula is: meditate, retain and grow. One step takes you to the next. Take one step at a time.
Practise first, and everything else will follow. Sometimes it is difficult, because we do not know what will follow. It is like driving on a foggy road at night in the mountains when you can’t see anything. You drive slowly and the way becomes clearer as you continue. If you stop driving, you won’t reach anywhere. The spiritual journey is also like that.
We need to walk with faith in our own abilities, our own belief, and our own trust and confidence. Invoke that. When we do our part well, the guide is able to do his so much better.
Think of the most beautiful music. Now imagine if the instruments playing it were not kept clean. Would that beautiful sound emerge? Imagine a flute so clogged up with dust and saliva that the sound emerging from it is distorted. Imagine a guitar with rusty strings. The heart, like the flute and the guitar, produces beautiful music when it is not so caught up with the complexities of life.
As we become simpler and purer with ‘cleaning’ (a part of the ‘heartfulness’ way), the heart becomes ready to receive the ultimate bounties. In such a heart, heaven descends.
Reprinted with permission by Kamlesh D Patel from Designing Destiny, 2019. https://www.daaji.org/designing-destiny/
(Kamlesh D Patel is the fourth spiritual guide in the Sahaj Marg system of Raja Yoga meditation. He travels extensively and is at home with people from all backgrounds and walks of life, giving special attention to the youth of today.)