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What is dark night of the soul, how long does it last and why it happens? Three great Masters share powerful tips!

Just as writers go through a phase known as 'writer's block', spiritual seekers pass through a much dreaded phase called 'Dark night of the soul.' Know what the 'Perfect Masters' say.  [READ: Feeling depressed and low? Guy at Costa Coffee shares amazing lesson]

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Speaking to Ruzbeh N. Bharucha on this, Dada Vaswani, ''Everyone has to go through it. It is like being stripped naked. There were Spanish mystics such as St. John of the Cross, St Teresa of Avila, Raymond and others who described it as 'dark night of the soul' and even in Christian literature, there is a chapter titled 'The Cloud of Unknowing'.'' This phase is known to visit even the best and most perfect 'Masters' before they achieve a state of ''illumination.''

So, what exactly does a seeker feel and experience during this scary sounding phase called 'Dark night of the Soul'?

[READ: Who is Meher Baba? The Irani Zorastrian Perfect Master]

Here are some signs of the 'dark night of the soul' phase:

1. The feeling of losing faith, unable to continue on the Path because of self-doubt and a sense of dejection that the Master has turned away.

2. Following this, a seeker feels like there is no use living in this world anymore.

3. The world and everything in it begins to feel meaningless and the seeker feels like a misfit in the world. [MUST READ: Why LOVE MATTERS]

4. Note that seekers are spiritually trained not to ever consider it as anything but a sin that can multiply karmic consequences.

Sri M, in his book titled ''The Journey Continues'', explains: "Every sincere aspirant passes through these dark moods; they are the tools that Nature's negative forces use to test the sincerity of the aspirant. Great saints have these moods. In spiritual terms, this is termed as 'dark night of the soul'."

When this happens, what does a seeker do? [READ: True knowledge]

According to Dada Vaswani, ''He has to pass through this period to be 'purified' is then that he steps on to the second stage - the stage of illumination. Then the Light shines within Him, and he knows He is the Light unto Himself. He does not doubt - he moves forward, onward, upward, inward, Godward."

Sri M quotes the great and revered Master Babaji's words, "Meditate calmly, chant the sacred AUM or just relax by listening to melodious music. Don't take any serious decisions. Wait till your mind becomes free of tension. A person who knows the secret of Pranayama can get over this condition easily."

And what happens once a seeker overcomes this phase?
"Your mind attains the capacity to experience spiritual bliss and you begin to depend less on what others have taught you and what you have read, all your doubts will vanish and your progress on the spiritual path will accelerate,'' Sri M writes quoting Babaji in his book.

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda, in his book Journey to Self Realization, says: "God sends you the experiences you need, that you might profit by them. Every experience is a good teacher if you learn from it; but it is a tyrant if you abuse the opportunity with resentment and non understanding. With right attitude, life is very simple and very easy."

Have you ever experienced a phase similar to 'dark night of the soul' in your life and how did you tackle/overcome it?