In the Beginning This chapter takes a look at the situation of the mind of the aspirant in the beginning of his sadhana (spiritual practice). This is very important, as solid ground is necessary to build a solid building, a solid mental state is necessary to build a strong spiritual practice.
The aspirant has preconceived ideas about how a teacher should look, talk, behave and act. Anything about the teacher which doesn't match his idea makes his faith sink down and loyalty wane. This is the most awful and consequential mistake a student can do. If a student wants to learn he must focus on the intention and knowledge of the teacher not on his outlook, behavior or means of transmitting the teachings.
Often the aspirant starts his spiritual practice with a particular estimation of his progress. But when he doesn't achieve the expected results within the timeframe he defined for himself, disappointment is experienced and enthusiasm vanishes. This is completely self-destructive. It barriers the spiritual growth and ultimately the aspirant losses heart and his urge for spiritual growth. To grow spiritually one should practice without expectations and without celebrating any achievements. Once the aspirant is detached with the results then only the real growth takes place.
Due to past experiences, upbringing and social surroundings many concepts, beliefs and theories may be found to be in conflict with previous ones. This makes it difficult to accept new information and knowledge and delays the spiritual growth. In order to overcome this challenge the aspirant should start his practice with an open mind and non judgmental attitude.
You have different duties at different times while playing different roles in life. But the most important and urgent duty is to achieve evolvement and self realization. This is the only duty you are born to fulfill. Fix this idea in your mind and don't waste even a single moment. Start with regular practice and austerity until you fulfill your goal. In beginning it will seem difficult but with persistence and regularity the clarity will come and make your journey smooth. 3. EGO Often the aspirant believes he already knows a lot and closes himself to new knowledge. He forgets that if he knew enough he would be evolved. He also tries to prove himself whenever a new idea conflicts with his previous one. He even goes as far as insulting the teacher and forgetting his aim to gain knowledge. This puts the aspirant on completely wrong path. As his goal should be to focus on what is right but not who is right. An ideal aspirant should learn experience and then evaluate the new information for his own benefit.
Other barriers in spiritual practice are the idea of duty; the mind will say "you have duties towards your family" and delusion of time; the mind will say" there is enough time, I am still young. Meditation, Japa, austerity can be done later, right know I must enjoy my life". 5. LACK OF DISCIPLINE As it is hard to paddle uphill so is the practice of spiritual life. The mind will interfere regularly and provide reasons to leave the practice at least temporarily. But remember on the spiritual path, a little pain will bestow limitless gain. If you want to achieve different results, you have to do different things.
Q 1. What are the preconceived ideas an aspirant may have?
Q 2. What is our highest duty?
Q 3. What are the common barriers on the way of spiritual practice