The Spiritual Path is Purification


Recently, I was very moved by my beloved teachers words, “There is a myth circulating that to experience the truth you must first be completely, 100% purified, and that is simply not true. First seek the direct experience of the top of the spiritual mountain, and then learn to purify the subtler aspects“.

This seems like a paradox–even in contrast to the Yoga Sutras on which Swami Jnaneshvara was commenting.  The penultimate treatise on Yoga begins with the expulsion: prior work must be done before the endeavor of Yoga is to begin. Furthermore, as the Sutras unfold, Patanjali recommends adherents develop a moral base before the endeavor of meditation. The 10 “Suggestions” (not Commandments) of the Sutras are yamas and niyamas.  Among those we find tenets, such as: ahimsa (non-harming), aparigraha (developing greedlessness), and tapas (which means fire and austerities)–it all sounds a lot like purification to me!

To those of us (notice I say us), who grew up in the West, with a guilt-inclined (misinterpreted) Christian background, ate junk food, cursed, and were occasionally inebriated–this sounds daunting.  However, again as one who speaks from experience, it should not make us feel less than worthy.

The simple, not easy, effort to adopt a spiritual lifestyle (and perhaps to embark on a path to Our Highest High) is inherently purifying.  <Sigh> Again, the spiritual path is purification.

Now, I am going to share a very personal experience… But, it is important for readers to understand that everyone’s path is different.  As you proceed, understand that in Sanatana Dharma (the group of traditions from which the Himalayan Tradition emerges) a Guru is not a mere person.  The Guru represents the Highest Consciousness–Superconsciousness.

Many years ago, I was chanting an ancient text of Kashmir Shaivism, the Guru Gita, with my meditation group.  I came across this verse, “Blessed are all the relatives, Blessed are the ancestors, Of one who serves the Sadguru; Such a soul is rare indeed“.  That stanza changed me forever; such a soul is rare indeed.  

What the Guru Gita is revealing is the rarity (not the perceived flawlessness) of an earnest seeker.

Knowing that rarity can spark a fire of passion, which is was one needs to obtain the Highest Realization.

As an earnest seeker pursues the path, they will begin to live more ethically–because they will come to know (not intellectually; but experientially) that they are connected to everyone and everything.  This desire to be non-harming, greedless, and have temperance will come naturally–as opposed to being taught such behaviors dogmatically.

Then, of course, there is grace bestowed on the earnest seeker–but, that will be another post.

It helps to remember, you are who you are seeking.

As We regularly go inside, we steep in Our true nature.  The longer the steep, the stronger the brew.

One thought on “The Spiritual Path is Purification

  1. Pingback: All Yogic Approaches Involve the Replacement of Old Habit Patterns with New Benign Patterns | From the Gross to the Subtle

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