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My Letharginess

Date: Sat, 08 Nov 2008 23:13:27 -0000 To: AM-GLOBAL From: J.Young Subject: My Letharginess Baba

Namaskar, Following is a personal account based on my own journey in sadhana. Of course, Baba's grace is behind our each and every breath, so I cannot really say that this is "my own journey in sadhana". The sense, however, that I wish to convey is that this letter tells the story of my personal ups and downs as a sadhaka. At times, by Baba's grace there were days when sadhana was quite a strong and vital force that shaped my life in countless ways. Those days were really special and I cherish those moments dearly-- as the most wonderful part of my life. In contrast, due to my own ineptitude & laziness, on other occasions my life has also become a barren wasteland of lost spiritual opportunities. I understand now that this happens due to what Baba terms as 'spiritual lethargy'. Baba says, "Of all the different types of lethargy, spiritual lethargy is the worst. Spiritual lethargy means not to sit for meditation regularly. Those with spiritual lethargy have time for all other actions, but for spiritual practice there seems to be no time. They say, 'It's already late today - I'll do a short meditation right now, and devote more time to sa'dhana' tomorrow.' They sit attentively inside the cinema hall, but in dharma sa'dhana' they feel sleepy." (1 January 1971 DMC, Patna) Perhaps others have also experienced sort of thing, I cannot say. But I do know that this has happened to me. And if my writing about this helps others to avoid this problem, then that will be the greatest outcome of this otherwise most unfortunate period of my life.
In our Ananda Marga, Baba places maximum emphasis on sadhana and encourages us to progress on this blessed path. This we all know well. Baba says, "The only aim of life is spiritual practice-- the realization of the Supreme. Thus people will have to continue their spiritual practice as the primary mission in life." (NSS, Disc: 13) So our entire human existence must be aimed towards spiritual growth and development. We are to dedicate ourselves to divine realisation-- and not towards any other secondary thing. Here again is Baba's reminder about the importance of our spiritual practices. Baba says, "Life is a spiritual sa'dhana' and the result of this sa'dhana' is to be offered at the altar of the Supreme." (A'nanda Va'nii #12)
Thus it is clear that sadhana is the main endevour of our lives. And in my younger days, by Baba's grace sadhana was a regular and active part of my life. My sadhana times were set and even more important than that was that throughout the day the yearning was present to do more sadhana. So when it was time to start sadhana, my mind was ready and there was psychic momentum. By Baba's grace, my mind longed to chant His name and come in contact with His blissful presence. For some time, my life passed in this sweet way. Sadhana was everything for me those days. And I thought that it would last like this up till eternity-- little did I know, however, what lied ahead. Where & when the switchover took place I cannot say. But little by little sadhana began to take less of a precedence in my life. It is entirely my fault. Because step by step I began to give greater emphasis to other pursuits. How and what those things were I cannot say. Just I can tell that as my interest in sadhana waned-- then all of a sudden anything and everything became more important than sadhana. Indeed this grew to such a degree, that now today I can hardly even start sadhana. It just gets delayed and delayed: Either I will go get a drink of water, or write one last email, or move things around in my room, or browse one more web site, or make one final phone call, or write something down on my 'to do' list. Really the array of things I place ahead of sadhana are endless. Such that when I finally sit down for meditation then all my energy is gone, totally depleted. In that state, sadhana is little more than a passive way of remaining in a slouched position. There is no devotional yearning, there is no mantraghat, and there hardly is even the smallest amount of concentration. Plus in the end I think, 'Ok, that is fine and well for today, but next time will be different.' Sadly enough, the next day the same exact thing happens-- the same problems occurs. I cannot seem to break the cycle. When my acarya came to my house recently and saw my condition then he showed me this following quote. It did not take much for me to realize that this is exactly what has happened to me. Baba says, "Spiritual lethargy means not to sit for meditation regularly. Those with spiritual lethargy have time for all other actions, but for spiritual practice there seems to be no time. They say, 'It's already late today - I'll do a short meditation right now, and devote more time to sa'dhana' tomorrow.' They sit attentively inside the cinema hall, but in dharma sa'dhana' they feel sleepy." (1 January 1971 DMC, Patna) This is exactly my condition. In the intellectual sphere, in the social sphere, in the physical sphere, I have a huge amount of energy. My life is busier than ever before. My days pass in a vast array of activities. So it is not that I am physically ill or mentally handicapped. I cannot lay the blame in that direction. The only problem is that I have become very, very lazy in sadhana. And that Baba specifically names as spiritual lethargy. And He furthermore says that this is the worst type of problem that can befall any human being. Baba says, "Of all the different types of lethargy, spiritual lethargy is the worst." (1 January 1971 DMC, Patna)
Coming into the Marga, I had so many hopeful and grand aspirations of becoming as asset to Baba's mission. In the most tender moments of my devotional life, I came to feel how He lovingly cares for me in every way imaginable. He guides and protects me in all circumstances, with His infinite grace. So the feeling aroused to dedicate my all for Baba. I sincerely wanted to make my life exemplary-- a reflection of AM teachings. This was my internal desire. But the way things are going now in my life, all I can say is, 'What has become of me-- I am so far from that initial dream'. Just I am floundering along and sadhana is completely missing. Here in His below teaching Baba pointedly describes what happens to people such as myself. Instead of realising one's potential, due to spiritual lethargy, life just passes in a most mundane and common manner. Baba says, "Every human being, from the age of fourteen or fifteen, has an innate desire to ideate on Parama Purus'a. With cosmic ideation one will attain vast expansion of mind, one will become great in all respects. No one can check the all-round growth of such a person. People realize this and yet ignore it and thus waste their time getting old for nothing. That is, they waste their time in non-spiritual pursuits. This is called 'spiritual lethargy'. It causes the greatest harm to human life because it results in only a very small percentage of the human potentiality - maybe one or two percent - being utilized by humans...Due to spiritual lethargy people are unable to grow, and thus remain very ordinary. They come to the world, live, decay and die as ordinary human beings." (AV-8)
Baba has come onto this earth and blessed us with all tools and practices to overcome obstacles and difficulties. And even more specifically, the tantra of Taraka Brahma crushes and elimintes all kinds of spiritual letharginess. Baba says, "'Tan' means 'dullness', 'lethargy' and 'tra' means liberator. That which liberates you from spiritual dullness, spiritual lethargy is Tantra." (AV-2, A'gama and Nigama) So as we sincerely follow His guidelines and involve in AM intuitional practices (sadhana), then it is sure that all spiritual letharginess will vanish from the life. In which case we will become proper mediums to serve Him and establish His mission, by His grace.
Here Baba severely warns us about what will happen if one gives greater priority worldly pursuits and forgets their sadhana. Baba says, "Some people think early in life, even at the age of twelve or fourteen, about how they can utilize cent percent of their psychic power and perfect themselves through spiritual practices. Unfortunately, due to lethargy, they fail to utilize their capacity and thus their potentiality gradually diminishes." (AV-7) Unfortunately, due to forgetting my priorities in life, I have fallen from the spiritual flow-- my mind has gone down. By placing too much emphasis on mundane things, my sadhana has become a mere afterthought. I do meditation so I can eat my meal-- that is all. Only at this point I can ask him for His grace and try step by step to give greater emphasis on sadhana and spend less time surfing the web, thinking about by business, and letting the time go by uselessly. Because all this has happened to me and I became so unresponsive to the task of doing sadhana, I decided to call this letter, 'My Letharginess'. It is my deep hope that things will turn around for me and I hope no one undergoes what has happened to me. May my downfall-- my spiritual letharginess-- serve as a warning to all.
By Baba's grace, He has given all in AM the unique opportunity to make sadhana a deeply devotional experience where we fall more and more in love with Him. May we make our human live bereft of any spiritual letharginess and become deeply ensconced in His blissful flow-- loving and serving Him. Baba says, "When spiritual aspirants advance towards Parama Purus'a by dint of the practice of yoga or Tantra, they develop an exclusive devotion towards Parama Purus'a."
Ananyamamata' Vis'n'ormamata' premasaungata'
"'Spiritual aspirants withdraw their minds from all mundane objectivities, and with the same intention direct all their physical, psychic and spiritual propensities towards Parama Purus'a.' They remove their individualities, and accept Parama Purus'a as their nearest and dearest one. This is what is called exclusive love for God. This is called kevala' bhakti. And only in this stage does devotion reach its fruition or culmination." (SS-14, 'Yoga, Tantra, and Kevala' Bhakti') Namaskar, Jagatmitra

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