Leaving the spiritual path

If you believe in reincarnation, you will feel that this is not our first life and it can never be our last life. If this is the case, you have to know that we started our journey long, long ago. Some of the people who came to us had no difficulty in accepting our path. In the sincerity of their inner being, they felt that they had found their teacher in me. Again, there were some who went to many spiritual teachers but were not satisfied. They practiced spirituality, meditation and inner discipline with those teachers, but found that those teachers were not meant for them. Again, there are many who have come here for a short time and felt that I am not their teacher, so they have gone back to search for another teacher. Naturally, they will sooner or later find their own Master.

In this life, nothing is lost when it is a matter of spirituality. Your inner achievement will always remain inside you. But it can be veiled by ignorance. Suppose you have meditated for many years. Then, due to some inner problems or some apparently unavoidable circumstances, you give up your meditation and spiritual practice. The things that you have achieved from your meditation will not be lost. But it is like an eclipse of the sun; it is dark for some time. Then a time comes when you have an inner urge to feel the Truth and grow into the Truth. Once more you feel the necessity of going to a spiritual Master to expedite your spiritual progress.

In the Bhagavad-Gita, which we call India's Bible, Sri Krishna is asked by his dearest disciple, Arjuna, a significant question: "What happens to those who have accepted spiritual life but have fallen from the path and have given up the spiritual life altogether? What will happen to them in their next incarnation?"

The answer is that they will start again from where they left off. So those who have practised meditation for quite a few years and have left the spiritual life for some reason will also start again one day. But their aspiration has been clouded by ignorance obscurity and other things. If they had stayed on the path, even if they were progressing slowly, no harm. Slow and steady eventually wins the race. But when they left, immediately they were captured by the forces of ignorance. They will eventually resume their journey and reach the Goal, but it will take a very, very long time.

Here we are all seekers. We shall all reach the Goal. But it depends entirely on our aspiration. Those who have inner wisdom never waste a single second. They feel that time is most precious, time is golden. This same time will not come again. A seeker's life is meaningful and fruitful only if he can use each moment for a divine purpose, for a spiritual purpose. If a seeker does not use his time for a divine purpose, in one way his life is no better than that of an atheist. An atheist does not believe in God, true. But the seeker who believes in God but has no time for God, is practically in the same boat. When it is time to meditate, if he does not meditate, a that time he is not much better than the atheist.