Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Guidelines for Spiritual Practice
Spiritual practices should not be done in public or for show. If you do them before others, that will be harmful to you. People will pass comments and make fun of you and offer you unsolicited advice and conflicting suggestions, as a result of which various doubts will arise in your mind and your spiritual progress will be obstructed. The ideal sadhaka behaves thus – he goes to bed at night with the mosquito curtain drawn down. Everybody thinks that he is sleeping, but as a matter of fact, he spends the whole night in Japa and medication, lying quietly on his bed.
While you are young, you must try hard to get a taste of divine bliss. When once you have got this taste of divine bliss. When once you have got this taste, you can never forsake your Sadhana. Even at the risk of your life, you will continue your spiritual practices. Those who are troubled with too much sleep in the night will do well to sleep during the day, with a view to devote the night to meditation. The best time for meditation is dawn, dusk and midnight. Too often people waste these valuable periods in useless ways.
Sri Ramakrishna never spent the night in sleep, nor would he allow the young devotees who stayed with him to sleep at night. When others had gone to bed, he would wake up his disciples saying,' Why are you sleeping? Have you come here to sleep?' He would give them definite instructions and send them to the Panchavati, or the Mother's temple, or the Siva temples for meditation. They would spend the whole night in Sadhana as directed, and take rest during the day. It was in this way that Sri Ramakrishna used to take them through various spiritual exercises. Often he used to say,' Three classes of people keep awake in the night – Yogis, Bhogis and Rogis. You are all yogis. You should by no means sleep away the night'.
Source: Eternal Companion - Life and Teachings of Swami Brahmananda