--> Skip to main content

Burning The Samskaras Born Of Ignorance For Purification

The emotional field generated by the longing for God first grips and attenuates the worldly samskaras; its positive effect is that it then activates the spiritual samskaras. In fact, as mentioned in the Patanjali Yoga Sutra, as the sadhaka progresses on the spiritual path, the fire of spiritual experiences, prasankhyanagni, tends to burn the worldly samskaras and transform them into burnt seeds, dagdhabija, which are unable to sprout. Spiritual Aspiration, here, is the fuel that facilitates this process of burning the samskaras born of ignorance, which then leads to purification and sublimation.

As such, spiritual experience cannot be created by human will, emotion, or intelligence; it cannot be gained even by the efforts of the ego. It can be had only by creating conducive internal conditions, by intense aspiration for the descent of divine grace. In his book A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle, says: ‘The initiation of the awakening process is an act of grace. You cannot make it happen nor can you prepare yourself for it or accumulate credits towards it. There isn’t a tidy sequence of logical steps that leads towards it, although the mind would love that.’

Therefore, those moments we seek only God are fruitful and blessed. The Avadhuta Gita, in its very opening stanza, says: human beings have aspiration to know the ultimate non-dual Reality only by the grace of Almighty God. So we human beings can only seek God and knock at the door of the Divine and wait, but cannot create spiritual experiences. It is only the divine grace which descends in response to our longing that can really transform and awaken our minds and give us the necessary spiritual experiences. These experiences may be of different types at different levels.

The nature of spiritual experiences is governed by the divine will. In this context we can recall the observations of one of Sri Ramakrishna’s direct disciples, Swami Brahmananda, about the hidden spiritual mind which exists in us in bud form. It opens up and blossoms as our longing for God increases and spiritual practice deepens, and thus we become eligible for spiritual experiences. It is through this higher spiritual mind that one gets varieties of spiritual experiences.

Source – excerpts from article titled 'Aspiration' by Swami Muktidananda published in Prabuddha Bharata January 2010 issue.