Skip to main content

How to grow out of bondage in our quest for eternity

There are many paths to Divinity but the hurdles ahead are much more than we anticipate. It's not always material possessions that stand in the way of our spiritual goals as hurdles. 

Sometimes, it is we ourselves who are responsible. Why? Because of our stubborn refusal to acknowledge the mistakes we make even though we know deep within that we are doing it all wrong. When it comes to managing relationships, we make bigger mistakes despite spiritual awareness. This often causes disharmony, makes us feel lousy, hurt and angry about the contradictions and spiritual conflicts that arise within us. Here's my post on 'Messed up Relationships: Three Easy Ways to Tackle It' and 'How to see God clearly'

For those on the spiritual path, here are some important questions to consider such as:

1. How do we choose those whom we love and those we don't love? Is there a logical pattern to our choices? 

2. Do we go with intuition, what the heart says or with the indications of obvious attraction that the body shows towards another person? 

3. Can a person on the spiritual path justify feeling these contradictions in the first place? Whether yes or no, what's the way forward?

I found an interesting gem of a perspective in a Buddhist story. It's simple, not rocket science but I found it insightful nevertheless. 

The story goes like this: One day, a Buddhist monk visits a Prince. By tradition, Buddhist monks are allowed to carry only their begging bowl and essential clothes. The Prince suggests a walk in the gardens. So, the monk keeps the bowl in the palace and joins the Prince for a walk. 

After a while, a servant from the palace comes running, crying out, “Fire in the palace!” 

The monk instantly leapt to his feet crying out, ”My bowl!” and he ran towards the palace. 

Whereas the Prince who lived in the lap of luxury was detached from the need to run after his belongings. He simply walked away without any worry about the palace or his belongings.

This raises the question: who is the wiser, more enlightened one? The prince who lived in the lap of luxury yet felt no bondage to any of his possessions at the time or the monk in whose mind the attachment towards the bowl is much greater? 

I also recall an experience of Kannamma - one of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's earliest devotees - who had documented her experiences and published the book. She says that she had asked Swami for an example to cite what He would consider as absolute/perfect faith in a devotee. This is Swami's response, "If at any point of time in your life, I appear and ask you to come with me and to abandon everything you have  - family, possessions, everything - you should be able to leave it all that very moment and come with me without even a moment's hesitation. That is absolute faith."

With certainty and sincerity, I can say this with all my heart, " Am ready." But my Bhagawan has not called me yet.

We all have that kind of faith and strength within us but often we place it in those people who probably don't give a damn, or in relationships that may be one-sided and sometimes we place our faith in fancy possessions. 

The best thing about spirituality is that the relationship is always two-sided and you get a thousand fold benefit and blessings to grow and surge ahead on the path that you tread. The experiences that await you cannot be described because they are unique, rare and often painful. But in the spiritual path, none of these hardships are remotely as degrading and as painful as the ridiculous situations we create for ourselves. We lose confidence and risk heartbreak for the silliest reasons and all of it is because of our bondage and the endless waiting game that follows thereafter. In spirituality, everything is properly accounted for because there is a cosmic law in place that is far more just and accurate though it is definitely above our understanding.

You know it within you – all of us, at heart, run back to check on our relationships and belongings because we are attached to all these things that we are accumulating in this life. We see it as 'ours' without realizing that we can't take any of it back with us - that our first and foremost duty is to grow ourselves first in our quest for eternity. 

The day we can let go of self-created bondage in terms of prized possessions or relationships we feel we 'possess,'  only then we will learn to progress and to be open and ready to accept God’s will manifest in our life the way it should and can manifest in abundance – that is when we become true warriors in the realm of spirituality and we will be able to embrace the entire world without being in a state of bondage. 

I don't know much about the spiritual path but I know that with every step that I take forward, there are contradictions following me like a trail of ants solely because of my own bondage. I would love to know if you have experienced anything like this.

What are the hurdles you face on the spiritual path or on your path to growth and happiness? I'd love to hear your thoughts and insights on this.

♥♥  I thank you with all my heart for reading this post. Please Share this article on your favorite social networks. Every share, like or tweet makes me reach out to more people in a positive way. I am grateful and I appreciate you for doing so. ♥♥

Comments

Asha said…
I watch Brahmakumari Shivani verma on aastha at 7.10 daily and i get so convinced by her thoughts( i am not follower/promote any cult or organization though).

But, i am Unable to put my spiritual journey in thoughts the way you so beautifully do.

My spiritual journey is full of confusions and i can't release the bondages so easily.
Infact, that is my main hindrance, the other is the ego.

Would love to read from you on this since i can relate to much of what you write.
Dear Asha, I think that we both have a lot in common, particularly when it comes to sadhana and our spiritual journey. My intention of writing about my spiritual journey is to share as openly as possible the difficulties that we face on the path and to receive positive energy and feedback from like minded spiritual aspirants like you.

Hope to keep writing and please don't hesitate to correct me when you feel differently about anything that I write. That would be a great way to engage and discuss about the choices we make on our spiritual journey.

Most Popular Posts

The Ugly Truth about Caste in Kerala

Many years ago, when I wrote this post on Kerala's caste system, I had not considered that I would receive such online abuse for writing this or that I would be seen as some one who was trying to insult other castes. The intention of writing is always to share an experience or a perspective, not to insult others.  My experience of motherhood and marriage would be different from yours. When I write about my experience, it is illogical to abuse me because our journeys are entirely different narratives. My life and yours are not the same at any given point of time.

My question is - why do you ABUSE any caste or person here? You are free to disagree but why do you ABUSE? How does that reflect on YOU?

In my article, I shared what trials I went through, without any intention to insult any community.A new book 'Ants among Elephants' written by Sujatha Gidla, who writes about herself as being born 'an untouchable in India' teaches you everything you probably want to know abo…

Amazing Signs You are an Earth Angel

Doreen Virtue’s book, “Assertiveness for Earth Angels” brings to life the reality of Earth Angels in very easy way. It’s an exciting must-read! 

[DO READ: The POWER OF LOVE]

Earth Angels have amazing superpowers in: MusicArtsWriting HealingManifesting miracles for others such as controlling weather conditions and  becoming invisible at will.
[MUST READ: A Dad's Advice to the Daughter He loves]
DO READ: ASK MORE, FEAR LESS.

How to Identify Earth Angels by their Traits
To know whether you are an Earth Angel, take a look at their known traits that are explained in this book:


You have a graceful and compassionate aura that inspires people.Your presence “lifts” everyone to happier spirits – it is proof of who you really are.You don’t judge others but you overdo the “acceptance” bit. So, you tolerate even those who show no respect for boundaries.You cannot stand anyone suffering or being in pain. You are constantly “rescuing people” because it is in your nature to want to see everyone happy in …

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Meaning, Benefit of Chanting and Who can Chant the Mantra

Mahadmrityunjaya Mantra: Benefit of chanting this mantra nee

There are very few mantras that are as powerful as the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. Do read my post: Does Mahamrityunajaya mantra really work?Of course, it does but you need to undertstand the meaning and significance of the mantra first.
This mantra is believed to have the power to remove all sufferings, diseases and bestow the one who chants it with good health and long life. It is also believed that constant contemplation of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra can help spiritual aspirants to overcome the cycle of birth and death.
What got me fascinated about this mantra is something personal.  I learned this mantra from my father but it is my maternal grandmother who chanted it all the time and repeatedly told me of its tremendous power to protect. However, I did not chant this mantra regularly. [ Do READ: THE POWER OF LOVE]
But at the age of two, my son was taught some mantras by my mother who explained what it means to him and he becam…

Vidyarambham: How and why Malayalis celebrate writing the words ''Harisree Ganapathaye Namaha"

For Malayalis, Vidyarambham is an auspicious day on which the elders and children mark the day by writing the sacred words, "Harisree Ganapathayeh Namaha." The observance of this ritual may differ from region to region, community to community and family to family. Whatever I share here is based on how vidyarambham is celebrated in my home. 

Vidyarambham: How Malayalis observe this sacred day

In families where the children are gearing up to enter pre-school or play school and are not yet ready to join the formal schooling system, Vidyarambham marks an important occasion for an elder to introduce them to the world of "vidya" or "knowledge." The words ''Harisree Ganapathayeh Namaha" are written on the child's tongue by the grandparent, an elder or parent.  

 [Image credit: Travel Manorama Online ]

Vidyarambham: Why it matters 

An interesting aspect of Vidyarambham ceremony lies in the relationship with the person who is marking the words for the …

Book Review: Mini Sukumaran Nair's B3/703, Gulmohar Park portrays a haunting descent into the vulnerability of childhood

There are books that blaze into your thoughts and here's a book that definitely stayed within me even after weeks of reading it, With its blazing red flower cover, Mini Sukumaran Nair's novel B3/703, Gulmohar Park, caught my attention in a bookshop. As a child, I grew up reading the books of Enid Blyton, RK Narayan and Anita Desai. Mini Sukumaran Nair's refreshing narrative brought back bittersweet memories of those growing up years. Right from the first page, I felt like I could curl up with this heartwarming novel. And just in case you are wondering, this isn't a novel that was sent to me for review nor do I know the author or its publisher. I just loved the book, that's it!


This heartwarming tale of childhood, family drama and tragic upheavals is narrated from the perspective of a little girl called Madhura, whose mother Vani is a maid in the home of an affluent Punjabi family and later on, through the perspective of her mother's employers, Avantika and Siris…

What Bhakti means: Amazing story! This Italian Catholic Girl from Argentina left home to live in Prashanti Nilayam

I have just finished reading Elissa Bressnan's book, 'Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, My Best Friend: SNEHA - The Eight Step in the Path of Devotion.' Written with a real command over the events that began her spiritual journey and weaving it with her personal family details, Elissa's writing is lively, full of innocence and she is at her best when she is talking about her Italian roots and what faith means to many Italians. Elissa is an Italian girl, growing up in Argentina and her family worships Madonna (not the pop star!) and Saint Catherine and Saint Nicola among others. Throughout her early years, her interest in spirituality is evident and she explains it with small examples.



Some events happen in her life and Elissa finds herself in Prashanti Nilayam, where she begins to have faith in Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in every little thing that she does, be it a thought, word or action. 

From then, Elissa's life becomes a joyful celebration of embracing 'Sneha&#…

Gayatri Mantra as Panchamukhi: Get it right or let it go

Most people do not understand the importance of chanting the Gayatri mantra because they are not aware of its power. It is only when I began to read Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's teachings that I learned how sacred and powerful the chanting of the Gayatri mantra is.
The Vedas represent the breath of God. The Gayatri mantra is the very basis of the Vedas. Try not to undertake chanting the Gayatri mantra as a light endeavor or as a hobby. It has to be chanted with faith, discipline and purity of mind and body. Be steady with your sadhana if you want to reap the spiritual dividend associated with the Gayatri mantra  and never once hesitate once you decide to do it.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba said that the Gayatri Mantra is referred to as Pancha Mukhi, the Goddess with five faces that represent the five pranas or life forces. Here's more on it.


Chant the Gayatri Mantra correctly: Pause Five Times Here are some important things to keep in mind while chanting the Gayatri mantra:

1. Wh…

Why chant Ramayana during the month of Karkidakam

For Keralites across the world who follow the Malayalam calendar, today marks the beginning of the month of Karkidakam. This month, which, decades ago, was known and slightly feared for its torrential rains and negative impact on the health, wealth and well being of Kerala's rural community. 
Why chant Ramayana during Karkidakam To ward off the negative energy unleashed by Nature and its possible repercussions on one's family's overall well being, the wise elders introduced the timeless tradition of every family reading the Ramayana as an oral, spiritual tradition. Thus, it goes without saying that for Keralites who embrace these traditions, the act of reading the Ramayana is as much a spiritual cleansing as it is a kind of tradition they can pass on to bond with their loved family members, particularly children.
In the Ramayana, there is no 'preaching of principles' but you are taken through the Avatar's journey as a human being. Lord Rama depicts how a man shoul…

Anju Sundarikal Malayalam Movie Review: Dulquar Salman in full throttle, Fahadh Faasil disappoints

Anju Sundarikal, as the title suggests 'Five Beautiful Women,' is a poignant anthology of five short films that celebrate five female protagonists and their tumultous lives. These five films play on different themes and emotions, and on the whole, it is an interesting anthology.

Anju Sundarikal - Sethulakshmi The first film, Sethulakshmi, is a heart-wrenching portrayal of sexual abuse of a small girl whose hobby is to collect newspaper clippings of newly wed couples from newspapers and she embarks on getting a similar photograph taken of herself with her best buddy from school. What appears as an innocent wish is the honeytrap that leads the little girl to understand the meaning of fear. 
Each scene in Sethulakshmi seemed to tear into my heart, particularly in a scene where the photographer's hands and glance linger a tad too obscenely on the innocent, unsuspecting girl whose eyes are filled with fear. There is another scene where she is so frightened that she curls up at the…

Malayalam Movie Review: Rani Padmini asks serious questions but fails to deliver a meaningful impact

I like movies that show strong women. 
I had great expectations from Aashiq Abu's latest Malayalam movie - Rani Padmini. 
The two heroines Manju Warrier and Rima Kallingal demonstrate commendable chemistry despite a poorly paced script and badly written screenplay. 
While Jinu Joseph is impressive as the racer, there is no chemistry with Manju Warrier. The vibes are sangfroid between the two actors. 
The first half of the movie puts you on edge. You keep waiting for a spectacular story but the second half is where the story "begins."  The pace of the film is inconsistent. The 'Ant" story and also the 'paragliding' scenes were stretched to too slow. Then suddenly, the narrative becomes too pacy.
Malayalam Movie Review: Rani Padmini Story The story goes like this: Padmini (starring Manju Warrier)is a Malayali girl married to a Delhi based racing car driver, whose name is Giri (starring Jinu Joseph). The couple love each other but Padmini is like a caged bird und…