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Slipping Away From Spiritual Ideal – Thoughts

Going through a day without the ideal in mind is the first indication of a slip in spiritual life.

Swami Vivekananda declares, ‘If a man with an ideal makes a thousand mistakes, I am sure that the man without an ideal makes fifty thousand.’ But, unfortunately many spiritual aspirants lack a clear understanding of the ideal and so fail to ‘apply it practically to the details of daily life.’ Hence, Swamiji advises, ‘And this ideal we must hear about as much as we can, till it enters into our hearts, into our brains, into our very veins, until it tingles in every drop of our blood and permeates every pore in our body. We must meditate upon it.’

Explaining how a sadhaka slips away from the ideal, the Vivekachudamani states, ‘If the mind ever so slightly strays from the ideal and becomes outgoing, then it goes down and down, just as a ball inadvertently dropped on the staircase bounces down from one step to another.’
Even a slight digression from the ideal makes the mind descend toward sense objects. Just as the ball inadvertently slipping from the hands on the top stair, bounces to the second, fifth, ninth and finally falls to the bottom of the stairs, even so the mind slips and gathering momentum, finally crashes into a sensate, bestial life.

Source – Vedanta Kesari September 2017