It is worth noting that path of spirituality may have various obstacles, that may sway us from our spiritual goals.
In the path of Bhakti, superstitious ideas around Bhoot(ghost), Bhuvas, Dori and Dhagas; are stumbling blocks to attaining the pure goal. This may arise from blind faith (Andha Shraddha), illusionary knowledge, and undesirable emotions pertaining to God, Goddess, gurus, avatars, and temples. For example, one’s religious expression may be covered with vague and cloudy state of mind such as “Entering of evil spirit (Bhoot- Daakan), or ancestors in one’s body ! ..and so on.
Yoga and Tantra
The desire to acquire supernatural power and miracles while practicing Yoga or Tantra could deviate us from our pure destination which is “SELF” or “ABSOLUTE”.
One must always be careful of false pride and hypocrisy (Dambh) that may arise from doing mere rituals (Karma Kanda) and sacrifices Yagna or Puja –anusthan. Example :-“I did so much Pujas, hence I am superior than others’.
(1) Beware of ego (Ahankar) and an attitude of mere logic and argumentation (Kutark) in the path of knowledge (Gyan). Besides, one who merely gathers information of knowledge from great scriptures and sages to impress others as an armchair philosopher and does not put into practice is comparable to an animal carrying heavy loads of books of knowledge on his back.
(2) Besides the above familiar ways there are some modern thinkers and philosophers such as J. Krishnamurty and others who promulgate to have no path, no concept, no religious, dogmas and no authority of scriptures/shastras as well as gurus for awareness of one’s own “True State of Being”. According to them all these concepts are external to oneself, so they are binding factors. If these teaching are not understood thoroughly, there is the likelihood of having immense difficulties in managing practical affairs of life. Together, personal ego may increase.
(3) Here, it is appropriate to mention the last preaching (Upadesh) of the great Buddha before he left his body. These are the golden words addressed to his beloved disciple Ananda, who was clouded by sorrow for his own spiritual future. “O, Ananda, in the path of spirituality there are well recognized, famous and authorized scriptures. If you think “I” (Ananda) should follow as so because number of great persons also followed them, then you are making a mistake. Saying that there is a great Mahatma who is highly learned, influential preacher and renowned religious person, he has thousands of followers so “I should accept his ideology”. With that, you are far away from pure knowledge. I (Buddha) am your Guru and you are my disciple. Due to this relationship, if you wish to follow me as it is what I preach, then you are deceiving your self. O, Ananda, for unbounded Truth solve out at your own”.
Even these ‘Golden Words’ of Buddha should be applied after analyzing and thoroughly examining it. Of course there is great truth in it, but the possibility still exists that a person having a clouded and unclear mind may accept it literally and consequently fall on the negative side of it. Those short sighted thinkers always keep themselves away from some noble thoughts of scriptures and also from great thinkers of the world of past and present.
Nonetheless, one should not be discouraged, but begin their spiritual journey with enthusiasm. One may choose any path, or many paths, or even the so called “no path”; one should be aware of the above cautions.
Venilal A Khatri.