When you are a seeker, on the path, you search through books, listen to talks, even pick up the best of practices, to experience Truth-The fire within one’s soul. And as a seeker one gets motivated and even excited as we stumble upon books or talks that help us on our journey.
But as one practices, there are also dull moments, or times, large chunks of times when we feel we are getting nowhere. Then there are those moments when you feel you are so close and yet, the Truth is so far. And one wonders what have we missed. There is a rather well known story about a disciple who after years of practice felt disillusioned, and went to his master and asked him why the truth was still so elusive even after so long, in spite of his practices. The master took him to a river nearby, dunked his head inside the water and held it there. The student cried, that he was not able to breathe. The master pulled him out and rather calmly said, when you gasp for God like that you find Truth.
The most important ingredient you see is Intent, or desire. I have read about it in books but somehow that part gets a little lost in the flurry and magnificence of practices. The mind believes it can go through a few steps and achieve freedom. Intent seems to simple a thing to cultivate. The mind after all likes more complicated things.
The past few weeks as I have been speaking to various guests for my podcast episodes, guests who are awakened, strangely they all have been pointing towards this ‘intent’ or ‘desire’. Somehow like most times I hear them but it gets lost in the bigger ideas, of the process of awakening. And I believe even the listener skips that bit often getting enticed by the methods to awakening these people refer to. They miss out on the one little bit these guests always, always refer to.
The reason I am writing this post today, is because two nights back I was speaking to a guest, she is a direct disciple of Shri Hari Lal Poonji or Papaji as he is popularly known as. And throughout the one hour where she speaks about awareness, she asked me a very pointed question. And it was a simple question which pointed at intent. And how intent when it is not strong enough or still shrouded by mundane desires end up holding you from experiencing truth. It hit me significantly that reminder.
Yet I have read about it in books. In the Gospel of Shri Ramakrishna he talks about how how one must ‘desire’ god. It is true we can cook our food with the best ingredients, the best spices, but if you don’t add your salt or in some cases the sugar, the most expensive saffron will land you no where. The next question then arises how does one cultivate intent? Well again, I will fall back on the Gospel of Ramakrishna, where he says pray to the Mother to grant you that desire.
Intent cannot be cultivated, I do believe it is the grace of god. It is the salt you cannot overlook, neither can you buy. But you definitely cannot serve a dish without it.
In the meanwhile if you would like to hear the podcast it is called Spiritual Lunacy and is available on Spotify. The interview I speak of in this blog with Neelam ji, who is Papaji’s student will be available over the weekend. Do listen if you have the time.
Image courtesy Jane Gonzelez, Unsplash