“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). The yogi must truly hunger and thirst for purification and liberation. He must realize that all else is death, so attaining perfection in yoga is literally a matter of life and death.
When I was a beginning yogi who had moved halfway across the country to seriously study yoga, I found myself with others who had come hundreds and thousand of miles to do the same. But I also met a string of spiritual slackers who just talked metaphysics and said: “When the disciple is ready the master appears,” the implication being that they need do nothing until a master came along and offered his services to them. But moksha does not come in search of us, we must actively and continually seek moksha on our own initiative.
The Raja of Chandod told me that his family, though of royal lineage, had been living in poverty in Rajasthan. Learning of this, their relative the Maharaja of Baroda wrote and asked them to send him some of their male children of suitable age, one of whom would be chosen to live with him and be educated to become a raja of the principality he intended to form for him out of his own kingdom. Three boys were chosen and sent to him, one of them being the Raja of Chandod’s grandfather.
The Maharaja had them brought one by one to a room where he was sitting behind a screen. His chief minister, at his instruction, asked each one a single question: “Why did you come here?” The first boy replied: “To get something good to eat.” The second said: “Because my mother told me to come.” The third, the grandfather of the raja who was telling me the story, told the minister: “To be the Raja.” He was chosen by the Maharaja to become a raja.
It is the same with us. Those who seek God for any other reason than the attainment of moksha do not find God–and so do not attain moksha.
Two friends of mine, Anne and Elwood Decker, had some truly precocious grandchildren, and at the beginning of December one year Anne said to Elwood: “I told them you would write a Christmas play, and we would record it and send it to them.” Elwood was amazed and chagrined, but he put his mind to it and wrote a two-character play about the birth of Jesus. Elwood was one of the shepherds the angel told about Jesus’ birth, and Anne was an angel who helped him go into Bethlehem and find where the Child was. At the end, the angel tells the shepherd she must return to heaven, and he says: “How I wish I could go to heaven!” She asks: “Do you really want to go to heaven?” He says, “Yes,” and there comes a great whooshing sound and that is the end of the play. He really wanted it, so he went there. Only intensity of desire had been lacking, and once he had it… whoosh!!!
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