IN QUEST OF BEING
Curiosity about life, is the starting point,
Each sadhak must ask himself, "Who am I?"
And ask it forever, with no answer satisfied,
Till discontent itself leads him on to the way.
The path beingfound, rules and restraint useful prove,
Like the ground being levelled before the seed is sown!
Q.For integrated development, it is necessary for an individual to be
introvertive. For introversion, emphasis is laid on the practice of meditation.
The experiences of various sadhaks are different. Some achieve a good state of
mind very soon; others get lost in confusion. How should a sadhak start his
Ans. Even when impelled by an inner urge to under take sadhana, many people
cannot determine how to go about it. When? And where? Until the starting point
is clear there cannot be any systematic progress in this field. From the
viewpoint of organisation, it is necessary to acquire deep knowledge of the
subject. In order to move in the direction of dhyana, one must be thoroughly
acquainted with its nature. Dhyana means concentration. But concentration alone
is not the object of meditation. "What kind of concentration?", is an important
question. There is the marksman's concentration. When a hunter aims at his prey,
how intent he is! In the the absence of concentration, no arrow can pierce its
object. The heron is notorious for its hypocrisy. With a view to deceiving its
prey, it pretends to be absorbed in meditation; it lifts one foot and stands
like an ascetic. Impressed by them heron's concentration, the great idealist,
Sri Rama, addressed Laxman thus
Laxman! Look at that heron living in this lake.
How religious it is! How carefully it steps,
For fear of killing a living creature!
Laxman kept silent. But a fish living in the same lake smarted to hear what Sri
Rama said. Gathering courage,it spoke :
Rama! How dare you talk about the religiousness of that heron!
Can a creature that has destroyed the whole of my family, be religious?
0 Rama,you are not acquainted with its duplicity.
Because only a person living in close contact can come to
know his companion's real character.
In this context, it may be said that we are concerned here not with
concentration alone, but with the object of concentration. That concentration
alone which creates curiosity about oneís existence, is valuable from the point
of view of sadhana, and this, in itself, constitutes the starting point of
sadhana. Until a manís curiosity is aroused about the nature of his being he
does not display any eagerness to know himself. As long as he feels no urge to
confront the question, "Who am I?" the fundamental groundwork of meditation is
not laid. When a deep curiosity to know himself is aroused in a man, the path of
sadhana becomes clear of itself. Because there is not much distance between
irresistible curiosity and the path. Curiosity creates restlessness in the mind.
When that restlessness reaches its summit, the path of sadhana stands clearly
A young seeker approached a monk and said, "Gurudev! I aspire after
spirituality. Kindly show me the path of sadhana." The monk said. "Pupil! This
is good. You have completed your studies. Now you wish to enter the field of
sadhana. It is a pointer to your prosperous future. I'll certainly tell you the
secret of sadhana, but not today. Come to me after a week." The youngman
returned after a week, and said, "Sir! one week is past, now kindly show me the
path." However, the monk asked him to wait for another two weeks. The pupil was
very modest. He accepted the guru's direction and waited for another two weeks.
After two weeks, he returned to the monk, but the monk again turned him back and
asked him to come after three weeks. Thus, many, months passed. One day, the
disciple got very impatient and said, "What's the matter, Gurudev? Why are you
putting me off for ever? Do you think I'm not fit for sadhana?" The monk said
"All right, let's go! I'll show you the path of sadhana today."
The monk took the youngman across the city to the bank of the river. They rested
there for a little while and then the monk said, "Son! The flowing water is cool
and clear. Wash your face and hands." As the disciple descended into the streams
the monk caught him by the head and pushed him further down into the river. The
pupil rose up immediately, but the monk's grip was strong and he did not let the
disciple emerge out of the water. The latter tossed and tumbled about in pain.
If he took a breath, his mouth and nose were filled with water, if he held his
breath, he felt suffocated. He could not keep in water for a second more. When
the monk saw him utterly restless and writhing in pain, he pulled him out of the
water and said, "Why are you so impatient; pupil? Couldn't you keep in water for
a.little while more?" "The youngman, manifesting his inner turmoil, said, "Gurudev!
what do you mean? I would have died. I couldn't endure a moment's delay. Did you
really want to stifle me to death?"
The monk smiled and said, "No, son! I didnít want to take your life; I only
wanted to show you the path of sadhana."
"How's that?" cried the pupil.
Quenching his curiosity, the monk said, "When you were about to drown, you were
so terribly restless for air, as not to endure being in water even for a second
more. When you display the same keenness for sadhana, you'll find the path all
For sadhana, one must have a deep urge. The irresistible urge leads one to the
path naturally and easily. After one sees clearly what path to follow, one must
lead a life of self-restraint in accordance with the prescribed rules. Rather,
if one may put it differently, after one has attained the starting point of
sadhana, life itself becomes disciplined and regular. From the viewpoint of
sadhana, the undertaking of certain pledges has a special significance. Without
these, the obstacles to further progress cannot be removed. Just as the rough
and rugged ground is first levelled before sowing the seed, similarly in order
to sow. the seed of dhyana, the uneven ground of conduct is smoothened through
the observation of mahavrats and anuvrats. After this ground is made even, the
sowing of the seed of dhyana becomes very easy. On the basis of' the above
facts, three things become abundantly clear Firstly, there must be curiosity
about one's being; secondly, there must be the irresistible urge for sadhana,
and thirdly one must take certain pledges and vows. In the progress of sadhana,
this trinity plays an important role.