One of the remarkable utterances of Sadguru Kedarji, an authentic Shaktipat Master, from the weeklong retreat is that there is a difference between teachings and the instruction and leadership of the Sadguru. Guru's Grace is everything. He also spoke about the necessity to wean the restless mind on to the Self with the “carrot and the stick” approach to imbibing the discipline necessary to break the habit of the mind wandering in worldly distractions.READ NOW
How I Got Robbed!
Part 1 of 2.
Offered by Jamie Walker
Sat Chit Ananda Guru Ki Jay.
The sages of steady wisdom of our lineage tell us that the useless and binding leanings and tendencies that keep us from realizing our true nature, remain hidden from us until the mirror of the Sadguru’s Shakti causes them to be revealed. Without that mirror inherent in the Will of the Sadguru, known as the Kriya process, we cannot even see or understand the karmic obstacles to our permanent spiritual growth and Liberation.
I’d like to start this offering with a quote of Lord Krishna that Kedarji shared in the 2016 New Year’s message. Referring to the path for retracing our steps back to God, Shri Krishna says, “This process of controlling the mind can be likened to the taming of a wild horse. Little by little, learning when to slacken the reins, and learning when to draw them in. This practice is the first step toward the highest yoga.”
Now, this is a statement that my ego doesn’t particularly like. The “wild horse” that Krishna describes IS my ego. For years, if not decades, before finding this path, my ego thrived on the gunas and the malas. Through Mayiya Mala, it told me I was eccentric, unique, an odd, stand-alone character. Through Karma Mala and Raja Guna, my ego taught me how to manipulate people to get what I wanted. I sought out the repeated satisfaction of proving myself right, of proving myself strong.
And when I wasn’t looking to attract people to my world in some way, I was looking to get ahead in life to be happy, by making more money, “moving up in the world,” and having complete control of my surroundings. When I engaged in anything, I gave 300%, whether I was engaging in something that was beneficial or leading me down the wrong path, harming myself, or harming someone else.
I was both skeptical and tentative when I was first introduced to this path. In the laboratory of my own existence, I tested Kedarji for about 3 years before finally taking him as my Guru. For 3 years, the more I listened to Kedarji—even if it was incorporating just one of his teachings at a time into daily mundane life—the more my mundane life improved.
It got to the point where I couldn’t disprove anything he was saying, and decided this was where I needed to be. Once I made that leap, there was no turning back. With every retreat, every breakthrough, and every wonderful and blissful experience that I have, I move one baby step further away from my ego.
The problem becomes when I don’t accept those baby steps as being meaningful. I have a tendency to set the bar very high for myself. On the good days, I convince myself that I am going to stop everything and give every moment of my life to these practices.
And be perfect at them.
What this does is it sets up expectations for particular outcomes. And when I don’t see or experience these outcomes the way I had anticipated because I set the bar TOO high, my tendency is to sink right back in to those gunas and the malas I swam in my whole life, right back into my ego. I’d like to share a couple recent examples.
In January, Kedarji asked me to transcribe parts 1 and 2 of the New Years message—a total of about 5 hours worth of talks. I told him yes, and declared that I would have it completed in 5-6 weeks. Maybe 7. At the same time, I was engaged in other Seva practices that really weren’t very time consuming, so it was manageable.
But I didn’t stop there. I wasn’t content in simply following my Guru’s instructions. I was going to do more to really kick my practice into overdrive. So I ordered a bunch of books and swore I would read and study them all—the Shiva Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita, the Spanda Karikas, and 4 or 5 others. I was going to take greater strides to reach that goal of God-realization.
It didn’t stop there, either. There was a new, massive program being launched at work across the state of Texas. I volunteered to run this program in my area of the state. At the time I volunteered, my daily practice was relatively strong. When I was actually selected to head this program, I attributed it at that time to the practices and to my Guru’s Grace.
This new program led to me working about 20 hours of overtime each week, and my daily practice started to suffer as a result. But my ego still didn’t feel that bar had been set high enough. So I also took on additional duties to conduct work trainings for nearly a month, while getting my actual job done afterhours.
Meanwhile, I had a child at home and I was going to be the perfect parent. And clean my house and lose 20 pounds. These were the expectations I set for myself.
I was convinced that I would get it all done, that I was completely in control, and would have great success. This was Raja Guna and Karma Mala talking.
Transcribe the New Years message. That was all Kedarji had asked me to do. In fact, during these months, he had even relinquished me of other Seva duties I had. Regardless, 5-6 weeks later, 7 weeks, 2 months later, my transcription Seva was a document saved to my computer with a title page, and otherwise completely blank.
With everything I had put on my plate, I had become overwhelmed, tired, and through it all, I was placing the blame on others around me for expecting too much from me. I was arguing with people left and right. Although I had initially attributed advances at work to the Grace I received from my spiritual practices, once I slipped from my practices, slipped from my Seva, and made my practice secondary, it seemed like everywhere I turned, things were crumbling down.
Although I had already proven to myself for years that listening to my Guru’s instruction and focusing on spiritual practice was my key to getting and staying on track in all areas of my life, I wasn’t focusing on practice. Instead, I felt like I was falling apart with everything I had to do, and all the different directions I was being pulled.
But where were these expectations really coming from? They weren’t from Kedarji. He had only asked me to do one thing—transcribe. He didn’t even give me a deadline—I gave a strict deadline and convinced myself I would race through it with ease, along with everything else.
By March or April, I had “kind of” started it. Due to my own Karma Mala and Raja Guna, my ego told me that I would be a failure if I couldn’t get everything done that I wanted to. Due to Mayiya Mala, I was convinced that no one would really understand what I was dealing with. So I kept it to myself.
Anava Mala took over and told me I was not as good as I thought I was, and I started to tell myself, “I can’t do this.” I didn’t see myself as God, and couldn’t convince myself that God and I were the same. But I didn’t go to Kedarji. I swore that “tomorrow,” I’d be back in control of everything. Every day, I was going to be back in control “tomorrow.” Raja Guna and Karma Mala.
An important piece that I missed in all this is the highest understanding of what was really going on. I was having kriyas through the flow of my own Shakti. Guruji was showering me with Grace every day, showing me through the Kriya process how much of my true nature I was really concealing, but I put that umbrella up on most days and refused to look inside.
People around me were helping by reflecting back to me my own useless tendencies, but I considered it a fight. I “battled” my kriyas, rather than accepting them, loving them as the way to move forward. Instead of stepping back and observing this play of the gunas and the malas passively, I became entangled in it.
For months, I did not reach for the highest understandings coming from my practice and my Guru. Instead, I reached for the understandings that were rooted in my own useless tendencies that I didn’t want to see. My ego felt a need to be in control at all times. Compulsions and attachments that had NEVER come up before were surfacing quickly and turning into near-addictions, and becoming major distractions. One thing I WAS aware of was that I had no control of what was being rooted out, but my ego would not let go.
As the months went by, I became more and more flooded with tamasic qualities. I just sort of gave up after a while, turned lazy, and constantly felt dull, as I lay around and surfed the Internet and immersed myself in other meaningless activities, turning away from everything else. What the purpose of any of that!? Five months later, I had not met a SINGLE expectation I had laid out for myself.
…to be continued in Part 2.
Jamie Walker has been a disciple of Sadguru Kedarji and a student of Nityananda Shaktipat Yoga since 2010. She lives in Georgetown, TX and works as a supervisor in a local agency that addresses abused and neglected children.