I did not do enough justice, in my first installment, to the question , that what in the first place,brings the seekers, to travel on the path of God-reaization (Post 8,Sep. 6. 08.) The answer is simple and brief, that they have hunger in their souls. I plan to discuss the hunger in greater detail, when I discuss the stages of this journey, in some future date. At this time, just remember, that whether, they are preselected, or come on their own, to start on the search of God , they must have a feeling of something missing in their life. As William Law, an 18th century British mystic said:
”The hunger of the soul is the first necessity. All else will follow.”
The Post on Sep, 6 ended with these two questions:
Do all of them travel on the same path or are there different paths?
What keeps them on the path, despite all the hardships that were mentioned previously? (6. the greatest hurdle. Aug, 30).
I will answer the second question first, because it is very brief. Why do they stay on the path, and keep travelling, despite the horrendous hardships that were mentioned on Aug, 30. The answer is that they are incapable of giving up. It is beyond their powers. They cannot abandon the pursuit of God-realization even if they wanted to.
I am only talking of the path of finding God through loving Him. I do not know of other paths. And I am only talking of true lovers of God. There are people who think that their journey on this path is for the love for God only, but it may not be strictly true. They may be in it for base motives, such as, to have name and fame or to have power. They may even have a noble motive, such as to help others. For instance, to attain supernatural powers in order to heal the sick or help the poor. They themselves may not be aware that their love is not pure. The person mentioned in Aug, 14 started on this path to attain supernatural powers, and to help others. Actually, he was doing it to satisfy his ego, but his mind was fooling him into believing that he was doing it for altruistic purposes.
Just as a ripe fruit cannot become unripe again, or a child once grown into an adult, cannot become child again, so is the person who has once developed love for God, he cannot undo or abandon his love. That is the difference between Ishaq-a-majazi ( love with anything except God )and Ishaq-a-haqiqi ( love with God). Love with material things, or creatures may end, but love with God is irreversible and never ends.
Shahab ( see sidebar) said the same thing, and the examples of fruit and child are from his book. This humble mote can attest to the truth of this statement from personal experience. Over the years of this travel, sometimes this writer would lose all hope ( occasionally, still do ). Lack of progress, and lack of response or help from God, threw everything in doubt. In despair, even the thought of ending the life has entered the head. But one thought never entered the mind, never even for one second, and that is to relinquish this journey.
As you know, the journey never ends. Even God-realized saints had their falls, because of ego. But there is a difference between the persons who have realized God, and those who are striving to realize God. God-realized persons have no fall ( or if they fall, they rise ) because God Himself protects them. Sri Ramakrishna ( see sidebar )stated in his own words :
" But one need not fear anything if one has received God’s grace. It is rather easy for a child to stumble if he holds his father’s hand; but there can be no such fear if the father holds the child’s hand.”
Swami Ramdas in his book ( see footnote ) narrates a dialogue with an abbot in Switzerland in which he expresses the same sentiments; "……… He assures you that He will never allow you to fall…."
1. World of God, by Swami Ramdas