When we read or hear about spiritual experiences of fellow seekers/devotees, it is natural for us to desire to experience them ourselves. After all, who doesn’t want to have new and interesting mystical experiences. Everyday life is so mundane and boring that only these mystical experiences seem to keep the flame of excitement alive in life :).
On one such occasion after having read the magical Om Swami: As We Know Him, I too felt a strong desire to experience what Sadhvi ji had experienced. I started praying to Swamiji to come in my dreams. Well, did it happen, no! I would have met Swamiji several times in my dreams over the past years I have known him but that could best be described as mind’s own creation.
Anyhow, if I recall correctly my prayer lasted only for a few days and then I lost interest. Or, rather I lacked the intensity so I gave up. It was an induced desire and not something that rose from the depth of my soul. When it comes to spiritual path only your true desires – rising from the deepest recess of your consciousness – could propel you to put intense, sincere and persistent effort leading to their fulfillment and progress on the path.
If you can make such induced desire your own all power to you. But I imagine it would be very hard if not downright impossible. It’d be akin to organ transplantation which your immune system identifies as foreign and attempts to destroy it. The longer the struggle goes, the more you may experience one or more of these negative emotions – envy, jealousy or self-doubt (that you aren’t worth it).
But you know the feeling of these emotions may not be the biggest damage. The more damaging impact is that in your struggle to realize someone else’s experience, you can lose sight of your own experience.
During my second mantra sadhana I experienced certain deep sensations in head and shared the same with Swamiji. But to my dismay I didn’t have any particular divine vision or dream which I was hoping for as I read about it in Swamiji’s memoir and book on mantra science. I asked Swamiji about it. His reply was(paraphrased):
When you are getting it in real, why to bother about dreams.
Indeed, experience of those sensations validated the fact that sadhana went well. That was a milestone of my path to the discovery of my unique truth; failing to recognize this simple fact, I would only delay the final discovery.
Experiences of others can inspire me; those should motivate me to intensify my practices and solidify my resolve. But I don’t need to expect replication of the same or seek validation of my sadhana based on experiences of others including that of Swamiji’s.
That way, I can reach to my truth faster – with minimum distraction and manageable obstacles. What else could be more important?
Thanks Abhilash for helping with the post image.