August 2016 was the first time I stepped in the ashram. I had come for four days along with my father. Since then we have time and again encountered questions, sometimes direct, sometimes indirect and most of the times sceptical looks.😑
The first time it was my mum who had to answer all the questions by my relatives. Why would you send Aarzoo to the ashram beacuse ashrams are not safe? Who is this new Guru in the market? You do know that spirituality is just an excuse for business and earning shady money, right?
Well my mum is a very rational person so she handled all the questions like a pro and also came to the ashram a few months later in October. Initially, we all were a bit sceptical because we had never met or followed any Guru, though my family was already somewhat spiritual and religious.
However, as Swamiji says that candle melts in front of the flame (Guru), so did we.😍 We have been regularly visiting the ashram since then. That also means that we have been facing more questions and scepticism from our near and dear ones. Although a few of our relatives and friends have visited ashram along with us but they don’t seem to understand what is the craze and excitement all about? In subtle ways they have let us know that following a Guru is not the right thing, this is all a business, their practices of worship are better than ours, life can be great without meditating, there is no need to go to ashram, we should go to places other than ashram when we are free…….
Also, we have faced scepticism for some activities we enjoy. For instance, a few years ago I wanted to have satsang by Sadhvi Vrinda Om ji for my birthday rather than a party, which according to some is not age appropriate for a girl in early 20s. (The satsang happened anyways and it was beyond beautiful.🥰) My family loves finding new temples around Chandigarh, especially in Solan-Shimla area (I am sure we are pro temple hunters in alternate universe😜), which nobody undertands why we do but it is one of the most cherished and exciting activites for us and we always look forward to it. Also, nobody understands the joy we get from our weekly visit to an old Shivji temple just a few meters away from our house.
So essentially, for many of our friends and relatives we are weird😅!!!!!
I remember, Swamiji in one of His dicourses had mentioned that when you follow a guru or spiritual path, people usually think there is something wrong with you. This is exactly what we face.
I am sure you too know atleast one person who questions the need for spiritual journey or your Guru or ashram. Also, I am sure you must have explained to them to the best of your abilites. However, there are some people who never understand no matter how much you explain. Sometimes, there are people who you think will benefit immensely if they could meet Swamiji even once or follow his teachings but they outrighlty refuse to do so.
So what are your options then? Argue with them? Stop listening to them beacuse they don’t listen to you? Avoid them at all costs? Cut these close friend and relatives from your life?
Well, there is always a better option which is ACCEPTANCE. ❤
Acceptance of the fact that we all are on our own journeys to the Source, each one at our own pace. We the os.me family, ashram family, Om Swami family and anyone who has come across Swamiji’s teachings is truly blessed and fortunate💫😇. No matter how much we try, we cannot forcefully bring people whose time has yet not come under His fold. At the same time, cutting them from our lives just because they don’t share our beliefs is antithetical to the tolerance that Sanatan Dharma teaches.
However, tolerence must not be to the level that you are ridiculed for your beliefs. You must also know how to stand up for yourself and your beliefs gracefully.
Along with that we must be careful to not feel superior to others and patronize them because we think we understand spirituality more than they do and so we are better. If you think like that pause and ask yourself, are you sure you are progessing on path of spirituality? Isn’t spirituality about seeing the same divine in everyone? Isn’t it about seeing everyone as equal?
The best we can do is to walk the talk. Imbibe Swamiji’s teachings in our lives. Be kind and compassionate. Accept and respect where we are in our jouney and where others are in their journeys. Of course at times we will falter and fall, but we must get back up, straighten ourselves, accept our mistakes, keep moving and improving. We must be the light that others will want to follow not because of our words but because of our actions. We must remember the words of Brian Tracy who said, “The greatest gift you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance.” Also, in my family’s experience, acceptance of these facts leads to liberation and peace which then naturally propels one towards progress in spiritual journey.🤗
At the end, to make you understand the value of accepting people as they are and where they are in their jouney, I want to leave you with some food for thought. All of us who have come to Swamiji had our unique flaws, insecurities, doubts, conditionings, traumas, not even a drop of wisdom or spiritual experiences compared to the borderless and bottomless ocean that is Swamiji. What if he had refused to accept us??? Ever thought about it??
Well, thank heavens he didn’t😅! We all are here beacuse we feel the unconditional love and acceptance beaming from Him.💖. So as His followers and disciples we must do the same, BE ACCEPTING OF OTHERS AND THEIR JOURNEYS. 😊🙏