Question: “Swamiji, how can we analyse our spiritual growth?”
Answer: “Suppose I am unwell. How do I know that I am getting well? When the symptoms of the disease are going away and the signs of good health return, I know that I am getting better. For example, the headache and nausea are not there. I still feel weak, but I am regaining my appetite and mobility….. and so on.
Similarly, I understand that I am spiritually growing when:
A) Worldliness decreases; when worldly matters don’t matter so much; when I am not swayed by temptations; when I am able to maintain a mental poise even amidst adversity, insults and obstacles; when praise or pleasures do not make me either elated or dejected. In short, when my dispassion towards the world increases.
B) My appetite for spirituality increases, when I long for Satsangh, look forward to my regular spiritual practices, wait for my study class, am full of joy and enthusiasm for spiritual activities – like a lover waits for his date, I wait for my date with the Lord – then I am progressing spiritually.
C) The Rama Raksha Stotra has a lovely verse which translates as ‘I salute that Shri Rama on whose left side is Sitaji, on whose right is Lakshmana, and in front of whom sits Hanumanji.’ Shri Rama symbolises knowledge and discrimination, Sitaji devotion, Lakshman dispassion, and Hanumanji selfless service. When all four qualities reside in the heart, we are progressing.
Spirituality should not remain a ‘sometime – somewhere’ activity. It should become one’s life, effortless and natural like breathing. It should become one’s very nature and vision.”