Distractions on the path

One of our distinguished teachers explains that there are three major temptations in this world – temptations that can allure anyone at any stage of their spiritual evolution. In Sanskrit they are termed kanaka, kamini & pratistha. In English, these translate to wealth, the opposite sex, and position & prestige. All negative qualities like anger, greed, envy, criticism, pride, harshness and so on, generally have their roots in one of these desires.

A modern day spiritualist, however, will find it incredibly difficult to refrain from interacting with these three things. It is difficult even within a spiritual community, what to speak of the day-to-day world. However, when we are dealing with matters of money, interacting with the opposite sex and exercising power, influence and control over others, there must be great vigilance and caution. The moment we develop a mood of exploitation and enjoyment of these things, at that time our spirituality is lost and we descend again into the material realm. Thus, spiritual life is like a tight rope. One must tread very carefully.

It is not that as one advances on the spiritual path, one can feel more security from these allurements. As one’s tree of spirituality grows, the roots of humility, gratitude and feeling of spiritual dependence must also grow deep, lest the tree may extend so big that it topples over. The real spiritualist is not a shooting star, but a pole star. I force myself to reflect on this again and again as I make some feeble attempt to remain on this wonderful and exciting path of spirituality.

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