Two seekers and a skull

A young man once heard from a spiritual Master that if anyone meditates with the skull of a dead person on the darkest night of the month, when there is no moon, he will realise God in one single night. (In India people sometimes meditate on skulls or in graveyards to conquer fear.) This man wanted to realise God in one single night, so with great difficulty he managed to get a human skull and went to the forest and was meditating. All of a sudden, a tiger made friends with him. The tiger devoured the man who was worshipping God with the skull. The following morning, another young man happened to pass by. He saw the skull and started worshipping. He was a true sincere seeker. He had not looked for a skull, and he had never prayed in this particular way before. But he prayed, and while praying, he said, “Oh, it will take me quite a few years to get illumination, but I shall try to be honest in my prayer.” On that very night this seeker got illumination and realisation.

There was a third person who was observing the whole situation. He saw the first person who was devoured by the tiger, and the second person who was meditating and then got his realisation. So the third person said to God, “What kind of justice is this? The first fellow, with great difficulty, found a skull and started meditating and wanted to realise God. The result was that he was devoured by a tiger. And this second man, who did not take the trouble of finding a skull, just meditated and he realised God right away. Is this your dispensation?”

God replied, “The first man did what he did out of curiosity. He heard that if one can meditate with a human skull, one can realise God, and he just wanted to see what would happen. This kind of curiosity does not belong in the spiritual life. If one wants to enter the spiritual life in order to realise God in no time and to get his world of desires fulfilled, then he is just jumping into a burning fire. The spiritual life, if it is undertaken in order to fulfill countless earthly desires, will be a life of destruction. If one wants to enter into the spiritual life, then one has to minimise so-called earthly desires. But the second person had been meditating for his last few incarnations. In this life he got the opportunity to meditate with the skull, and meditating in that way, he realised God.”

God said, “You do not see the past, you only see the present. You have to know what has been accomplished by someone in his past lives. Here, it was not a question of who got there first, but of who was more sincere. It is how much aspiration a particular seeker had in his past lives, or how much aspiration he has in this life, that counts. If out of curiosity one comes to a spiritual Master and jumps into the spiritual life feeling that in no time he or she will be able to realise God, and that all the problems of the world will be easily solved, it is absurd. For such a person, the spiritual life will be a life of turmoil and misfortune.”