ProgressThe progress of our spiritual life can be measured only through our heart's ceaseless tears. Sometimes we say that we are not making any progress. Then what do we do? Some people give up. They feel that spirituality is a barren desert. I wish to say that, in order to make progress, we have to dig deep, deeper, deepest. We have no idea at what point the tears of our heart will spring up like a fountain.
Let us say that we have been making very good progress and all of a sudden our progress has come to a standstill. Whether it takes two hours or four hours or four days in a row, whatever amount of time is needed, we must cry and cry and cry. Many people give up the spiritual life when they see that they are not making any more progress. But they do not realise that progress can sometimes be made in a different way. Progress can be made either by pulling or pushing. You can try to pull the ocean of Light towards you, or you can push yourself towards the ocean of Light.
In this connection, I wish to narrate a humorous story. A man found that his sleep was disturbed. Days ran into weeks, weeks into months and months into years. Still he could not get proper rest at night. Every night he suffered from nightmares and then he could not go back to sleep. His nightmare was always the same. He would see a huge house. The house was always in darkness, but he felt that there was something inside the house; he was convinced that he would find a room that was flooded with light. Every night, in his nightmare, he approached the house carrying a little flashlight. Then he would struggle to open the door. Alas, each night he failed. His mind was fixed on the idea of pulling open the door. He felt that if he could only pull open the door, then he would be able to go inside the house. But he always tried and tried in vain. Then he would wake up from his nightmare.
Eventually, the man decided to visit a famous psychiatrist to receive treatment for his condition. He narrated his pathetic story to the psychiatrist. He felt that if he had to go on suffering in this way, he did not want to live on earth any more. The psychiatrist listened to the whole story and said, "All right, before you die, let me ask you a few questions. When you are standing at the door, do you see anything there that you have not told me, apart from the fact that the house is in darkness?"
"Yes," said the man, "on the door there is a small sign with one silly word —- 'PUSH'. However, I do not pay any attention to it. I know that only by pulling will the door open up."
The man's mind was focussed on the idea that if he pulled the door, it would open up, but, according to him, pushing was of no value at all.
Similarly, in the spiritual life, sometimes it happens that we cannot make any more progress. Why? We are trying to pull the ocean of Light towards us. But how can we pull the ocean? It is simply impossible. So we have to grab ourselves and push ourselves into the water. Then we will become the ocean of Light itself.
Many times I have said that one cannot make progress in the spiritual life by hook or by crook. I have said that spirituality is not a matter of pushing and pulling. Here I wish to qualify my statement. Spirituality is not a matter of pushing or pulling others aside in order to reach the goal.
Again in some ways, life is always a kind of push or pull. When it is safe to push, we should push. Unfortunately, we always try to pull something. That is the mistake we always make. We should not try to pull the infinite expanse towards us. No, we should push ourselves towards the infinite expanse.
When you want to make progress, just think of yourself as a mischievous monkey. Feel, "I am nothing but a monkey!" Then grab that naughty monkey and throw it into the water. Only in this case, the ocean does not contain water, so you do not have to be afraid. In the ocean of Light, you will see that so many Gods and Goddesses are waiting for you to receive you with utmost affection, love, sweetness and fondness.
When the time comes for us to enter into Infinity by pushing or throwing ourselves, we do not do it. We feel, "No, no, if I can pull Infinity towards me, then only will I make progress." Every human being suffers from this problem. Our progress stops when we try to pull the largest and heaviest object towards us. But our progress continues if we push ourselves or throw ourselves into the ocean. You have to feel, "I am a tiny drop. How can I bring the ocean into me? It is I who should enter into the ocean." That is the wisdom that you have to apply to yourself in order to make the fastest progress. Consciously push yourself into the water.
Progress is always made by taking ourselves to the superior, God, and not by bringing the superior into us. Just say to yourself, "Why should God come to me? Who am I? I should go to God."
If we know that God is in the adjacent room, it is we who should go to Him and not the reverse. Are we fools? If God is there, we have to run towards Him! By going to Him, we can please Him. True, He can come to us, but if He comes to us, we will not get the same joy. When we run to Him, we feel that we have done something. When we cut a mango into pieces and eat it, we get more joy than if somebody hands us a piece of mango. Always our action gives us more joy. Something more, if God comes to us, pride can enter into us. But if we go to God with our humility, with our love, with our fondness for Him, then we are safe.
If I am sitting somewhere and you come running towards me, I get much more joy as your spiritual Master than when I go to you. When I go to you, you may say, "Oh, now I have really become something! The Master has come to me." So instead of drawing something towards you, always go to the destination. The destination can come to you, but you will not get the same satisfaction. If you go to the destination, you will get infinitely more joy.