The Easier Path or the Simpler Path

Life is such that when we choose the easier path, it ends up being more disastrous for us entirely. Now, the easier path doesn’t necessarily mean the simpler path either. They are major differences between the two, let’s explore this together.

The easier path tends to be one that we do out of fear. For example, what would by friends think? What will my colleagues think? What will the people in the church think? We think more for the approval of society than the betterment of our own self. We make sacrifices for people that are living their lives but somehow we are impacted by their thoughts that have not even been conceived. Yes, we make their thoughts and reactions up in our mind. There are times, we do things because we think the struggle will bring us down. Yet, I can tell you from my social media feed that most people will claim hustle is in the struggle but when it comes to day to day life – they avoid struggling or suffering. Many times, with my own problems, I learned the hard way that whenever I thought the easier path was better, it would go horribly wrong for me, I suffered more as a consequence because we all think the easier path is better, and others advised me the easier path too because that is what they would have done. So our suffering, yours and mine becomes cyclical, we become busier and more invested in our problems, so how do we end this?

In fact, it is the recognition of suffering that leads us to think in more simple ways. We can analyze a situation, a thought, a problem, emotions with a mind that understands what is bringing suffering and will come up with the solution itself. We look at the simple solution to everything. If I am upset with something, I must understand why am I upset? I must look at it as a whole problem. Not just my angle, or the angle of the other but as a whole without inference from anyone. Now, there have been times when I have guided my friends, the more simple path but it wasn’t what they wanted to hear. Heck, I didn’t want to say it but it helped them in the end. See simplicity is embedded with the Truth. We live a more truthful life when everything is simple. When we complicate things, it is best to look at a problem through simplicity, rather than the easy path.

Let me highlight this with a very clear example. When we are in a disagreement, it is very easy to shout one’s thoughts or to react. But the simpler way would be to be silent, to listen, to be and then decide if a response is needed or not. The easier path will just change the situation and travel in all directions but the simpler path will transform the situation and bring the issue to stillness, to a standstill.

This was with worldly things but as you know, there is a spiritual context here. In fact, until we understand that Truthful Living is with simplicity, only then are we ready for a spiritual life.

In spirituality, we find ourselves always going towards the easier way. We look for the quickest way to enlightenment. We entangle ourselves with ideas that are definitely simple to understand, but if our mindset is a fast-food type of spiritual enlightenment then we will complicate it. Instead of doing arduous practice, we like it when we hear someone say, if we give you this or that, chant this mantra, you will realize the Truth or realize God. We love it when someone says we can attain something easily but what is the bigger picture. I covered this in my previous blog post Instant Enlightenment – Is it a Myth? that someone has probably practiced spirituality, lived an austere life, meditated a lot and then they met a Guru, who gave them the wisdom and they attained all that needs to be attained. They got it not because understanding spirituality became easier, they became simpler. There are less desires, less thoughts, less attachment, less emotion. All these things add up. Therefore, spirituality is always simple, we complicate it because we would rather pray to a deity or to the Guru and ask them to get rid of our karma, to grant us liberation. Unless you are a poet or a singer who performs or writes this to invoke the spirit of seeking, we should commit to being disciplined in our spiritual practice – that would be being simple. But we cannot, we want shortcuts, we want it all easily, but unfortunately God or Truth, whatever you want to call it, isn’t so easily attained.

With life both material and spiritual, be real. Don’t think about what others think. The first thought should be if you are ready. If you are ready, then think of the simplest way to get what you need or to do what is needed. Otherwise, the easier path is there and sometimes, it does work out but only for a while. We think our situation has changed, we think people have changed and we are deceived. The illusion of change is such that transformation becomes a lost cause. Therefore, to transform is to be simple.

The Struggle continues

grief

3 months ago, a world that was full of colour turned dull, a life full of light turned into darkness in just one moment. All that remained was the observer in me – the watcher was untouched by the sadness and grief that struck my mind and my whole world was shattered. I didn’t know where to look, what to feel, what to say, what to do. I was lost in a world that didn’t make sense anymore. That is what happens when you have surrendered everything to someone – to a Spiritual Master.

After surrendering to Baba ji (my Spiritual Master) I didn’t have to think about anything in my life. I knew that it was in safe hands and still is despise His demise. I know that He has made sure my life will be comfortable and He must have given me all the strength to continue until my body decides that it has run its course on this Earth. However, there was certainly a sense of stability and comfort knowing that Baba ji was alive in His form, you felt safe knowing that if you had an issue then you could see Him. It was His approachability that made Him our everything and today, it is that very approachability that myself and others miss and seek.

My life has taken a turn where I am struggling to cope with this loss. It is no normal bereavement. It is one of excruciating pain where even the Observer, the Witness, the God within us understands the soul’s pain in losing the One who gave it so much joy, happiness and celebration. I always have this image of my soul crying, all alone in the universe, searching frantically for Baba ji. It is lost and doesn’t know what to do. I don’t think losing Baba ji is something I wanted so early on in my life.

How can I explain that God had showed me God? How can I explain that it was God that showed me how to be human? How can I explain to others that God had shown me how to become God Himself? And now this very God, the one we all worship regardless of our different paths had now left His mortal form. Can you imagine the pain of a devotee losing Krishna, Buddha, Kabir, Rumi and other Great Spiritual Masters whilst they were alive? You just don’t want to imagine it but today that imagination that I avoided is now my reality.

The only reason I am living is to write His praises, to write about how loving He was and to give the world now and in the future – the story of Rahul and Hardev. It is not that I want to die tomorrow or even right now. I don’t want to die until it is the right time but I can’t stop expressing the pain that I feel and it is not wrong to feel this pain. I have lost my breath and I am suffocating and drowning and I am only beginning to swim again. It feels like I have just been born again and have to start life all over again. This is not easy when you are left without the Beloved. I wonder if I trip or fall, will I be saved? Will someone pick me up?

As this struggling heart continues on the path towards liberation, I know that we have Satguru (Spiritual Master) in a new form and we have to surrender to Mata ji with the same zeal and enthusiasm that we did for Baba ji. It will have its own challenges but we can see through it. It does not mean we will not grieve for Baba ji, the tears will always flow and we will only be telling others about the legend of Hardev – the sweetest, caring and compassionate Guru. In a world spread with turmoil, suffering, hatred, intolerance and jealousy, we will know of a man that defied those values and became an embodiment of peace, love, humility, tolerance, forgiveness and compassion. We lived and walked alongside this legendary being.

His one smile was always something that we all longed for whenever He was going to visit us, wherever that may be in the world, but I know for sure that Mata ji will give us the same loving smile. She did this for me the day after Baba ji’s funeral. It was something that I needed and I also need that right now. I seek the glimpse of the Satguru to give comfort to the pain that my heart feels for my Beloved. As a devotee, I have full trust in Mata ji and all devotees of Baba ji have to support Her vision.

On the note of forgiveness, we all know that Baba ji had left His mortal form in a car accident. That is exactly what it was – an accident. The quicker that we can accept this, the better it will be for our own advancement. I have only seen this as an accident and have placed no blame on anyone. The point is that I knew Baba ji told us to think with a broad mind. We all say that a leaf cannot move without Satguru’s grace but have some of us just said it to meet our own egoic needs? Satguru does all and we cannot become judges of what happened and who should be guilty or not. I find it incredibly inconsiderate to do so. Baba ji only told us to love and forgive and if we cannot do that for our brothers, our family then what tribute can we ever possibly pay to the Satguru who sacrificed His whole life to put a smile on our faces. Those in the car are also grieving like we are. The quicker we forgive and welcome them in our hearts then we can concentrate on our own grieving process with the right mindset and focus.

Our Beloved Baba ji was overflowing with love for us all and we need to be the same. He wasn’t the best human being for His own praise, far from it. He wanted us all to be like Him – hold the same values and become those very spiritual values. We can never let go of the target He set for us, we have to remain focussed. I miss Him loads and I am struggling but the more I am the observer, the more I allow light to enter my dark world. The more I am in the present, the more I feel His love and presence. It is in the connection, focus and merging with the Formless that we see Baba ji again. Every day, I do meet Baba ji and I receive His love, I touch His feet and receive that warm embrace of His. This can be our way, and I need to surrender my struggle to Satguru Mata ji. I will trip and fall but She will pick me up. I will always miss Baba ji and I will still write about it because we are all sharing this grief collectively, but we have to at the same time, side by side, bring the message of Truth everywhere. And the message will always be in our thoughts and actions. Be aware, observe and be.

Thank you for reading. Please like, share and comment.

With Satguru’s love and blessings,
Rahul