For most Indians, having faith in God is easy, we are born with it. I feel it was the same for me too. Everybody would stress on the importance of devotion and I would think, “Well, that is not a problem”. When I came to Ananda, took Kriya initiation and started with my spiritual practice there was lot of excitement and euphoria. Initially I had a few experiences to strengthen my faith and helped me feel “YES, the master is there for me!” My faith was really strong and my devotion grew leaps and bounds.
However, as time passed, the experiences stopped. Things didn’t work out my way with my own expectations from my meditation and practice of Kriya Yoga. And as expected, this created a lot of despair and frustration in me. Even listening to chants was good now, but they no longer held that magic of touching my heart deeply. I was at a loss wondering why my heart didn’t flutter when I looked at the Masters’ pictures or listened to devotional chants. During kirtans my friends would be overcome with the bhav, but not me. They would talk about the Masters’ with so much reverence, but I could not anymore, with same reverence and feeling.
And I thought “I am doing my regular Kriya Yoga practice and meditation! Even if my Kriya practice is not up to mark, my intention and discipline is there! Why then am I unhappy?”
I tried listening to some YouTube videos about devotion but it did not help.
I felt helpless, asked myself “What do I do now?”
Looking back I realise there were a couple of things I did in this phase:
– I started praying deeply before my mediation, pouring out all my pain to the master not knowing whether they were listening or not,
– I started reading spiritual books by the masters regularly. This helped me tremendously.
Some sentence in some book would suddenly connect with me, as if it was written for me. Sometimes some evolved channels/persons would cross my path (who I had never known before) and they would tell me something that would lift me.
I started noticing how just the regular practice of Kriya itself had brought subtle changes in my family and home environment which I had never noticed before. Small things like my spouse or children humming chants or bowing regularly in front of the master’s pictures. Sometimes some fear would be instantly taken care of, or some query would instantly get answered. When something didn’t work out my way, though it gave me lot of pain, events later on would give me insight and reason to the same had happened. This was followed by gratification.
I realised that the Master has always been, is and always will be with me, guiding me. The changes that had happened in my life wouldn’t have happened without his presence. These realisations over a period of time erased the pain in my heart and removed all the confusions.
When one embarks on a journey, there are certainly hurdles along the way. But eventually, if you stick with the process, one has to overcome them and reach the destination. The spiritual path too is like that, we just need to do our bit with right intention, without thinking of results and having faith that the Master is guiding us. Eventually things fall in place. The guru guides each person in a way that is best for the person.
Whatever I do now is with feeling of joy and deep gratitude and for me that is devotion.