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Sunday, August 16, 2015

The superior most path of Self realization

A group of pious villagers often used to gather in the evenings for divine discussions on the subject of life and God. On one of such lovely evenings, when they gathered under the huge Pipal tree, one of the villagers began the discussion by saying, “Friends, we are fortunate to have so many holy men and saints in our village during past few years. But I often wonder, they all tell us about various paths to the realization of Truth. But which path would be the most superior one?”

Another villager tried to answer, “In my opinion, with the help of the path of Yoga and meditation, many Yogis have attained the higher state of existence in the Himalayas and elsewhere. So, the path of Yoga and meditation should be followed by the true seekers.”

Another one commented, “Well, in my opinion the path of selfless service is easy and can be followed by anyone. Mahatma Gandhi and many others attained the higher state of mind and well being through selfless service. So, the path of selfless service can most easily lead the seeker to his goal.”

An old woman said, “Son, in my opinion the path of devotion and love not only lead you to God, but also can be practiced by even a child. Gopis of Vrindavan, Mira Bai, Sant Tulsidasji and numerous others attained the state of union with God with the help of faith and devotion. So in my opinion, the path of devotion should be considered as the supreme one.”

A young man said, “Well I agree with all these various approaches for the seeker. However, I feel that without the path of Gyaan and knowledge, all of the other means of Self realization remain incomplete. You have to have knowledge of God in order to show your love and devotion to him. You have to have knowledge of Yoga and meditation in order to practice it. And without true knowledge of the Self, selfless service can not be performed. Somewhere deep inside, the social workers continue to nourish their false ego. So in my opinion, the path of true knowledge is the supreme path for the true seeker of Truth.”

A wise old man in the gathering was also listening and he commented, “In my opinion, we should go to the Saint who is living on the banks of river Ganga and ask him about his opinion as well.”

Next day early morning the villagers went to the Saint and paid their respect. After that, they apprised him of their dilemma. The Saint began to smile and said, “My dear seekers, if you ask a doctor about which is the best medicine, the doctor might laugh at you. He would tell you that depending on the tendency of the patient, each medicine has its own benefits and is best in its own accord. Similarly, the path of devotion is meant for an emotional seeker, the path of selfless service is meant for the one who believes in action, the path of knowledge is meant for an intellectual one and the path of Yoga is meant for the young seekers who want to see immediate results. Each path is best in its own accord. And the beauty is that if you are practicing it right, they all go in unison. If you gain knowledge of Self and God, you cannot remain without loving Him. If you love God, then you cannot remain away from selfless service.”

After a brief pause, the Saint continued, “In fact, I would like to suggest that don’t limit your self with one school of thought or one path or one philosophy. Be universal in your approach because the supreme Truth is universal. It can be led to by millions of different ways. Moreover, if you ask -which school is the best, the answer should be that the one which helps you to graduate it, not the one which binds you for whole life. That school is the best which helps you to appreciate the importance all other schools for gaining the true wisdom. That philosophy, that path is the best which helps the seeker to become free of all the prejudices and all the doubts. In this manner, with the help of true universal wisdom, the seeker attains true freedom and a state of completeness – complete peace and complete happiness.”

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