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Spiritual Life Is The Most Natural Life

The spiritual life is the most natural life, the easiest life. That is the life taught by Sri Krishna in this eleventh verse of the chapter 12 of the Bhagavad Gita, a life of blessedness for those who can live it. And if only we will try with a sincere heart, we too will be able to live such a life. But we have gradually strayed away. We have allowed ourselves to come under Maya’s hypnotic power, and so the natural has become unnatural and the unnatural has become natural.

The easy path has become difficult and the difficult path appears easy. We are hypnotized into the belief that the universe is real and God unreal. This is our great misfortune and this has to change, if we shall ever be truly happy. Vedanta shows us how to bring about that change, offering the different paths as enumerated here by Sri Krishna. All paths lead us to Him and we may select whatever path best suits us. But we must travel onward, always going ahead; slowly it may be, but always moving. For unless we move on there will be stagnation and further growth will cease. We may change our method; we may change our practice when we get tired; but it is well to remember that to be at it, some way or other, is very necessary for speedy progress.

Just as in any other labour, a change of occupation often means rest, so we are sometimes rested and benefited by a change of practice in our religious life. If meditation becomes difficult we may fill that hour with other devotional exercises – reading, singing hymns, or repeating mantras. It matters little what we do, as long as the fire of devotion is kept burning.

Totapuri, Guru of Sri Ramakrishna, used to say, ‘If the brass pot is not scrubbed daily, it will get rusty. So if a man does not practice devotions daily, his heart will become impure.’  The perfect man alone need not practice any more. Sri Ramakrishna told Totapuri that if the vessel be of gold, then it does not require daily cleaning. So the man who has reached God no more requires prayers and penances. But for ordinary men, who have not yet reached the goal, devotional practices are very necessary. Love must be cultivated. It is a sincere longing after God. Pride and anger and sensual desires must be given up. And then we may find that Love which means eternal Peace and everlasting Bliss.