Sugar and Salt

‘When Gandhi decided something, he always tried to follow through with his decision.’ Guruji told the attentive group in front of him during a Satsang. ‘He was known as Mahatma Gandhi, and Mahatma means GREAT SOUL. A great soul is a liberated, or a self-realised soul; someone who is willing to help anyone, and has compassion for everyone; someone who thinks on a global level.

‘His wife was called Kasturba Gandhi. At one time she had a physical problem and the doctor told her that she must not eat salt. But she had to cook for her husband, so she felt that this was impossible. He would find the food tasteless without salt.

‘When Gandhi found out about this, he was upset that his wife was not following the doctor’s orders, and told his wife that now salt was also bad for him, that he couldn’t eat it anymore. She knew very well that once Gandhi decided something, she could never change his mind. So it became easy for her to give up salt and she was cured.’

Aren’t children wonderful teachers in life? They make you laugh. They remind us to be creative, to have fun, to play. They are all the more reason to gladly accept the commitment of Kriya Yoga. For one thing, the amount of patience that you need as a parent really makes Kriya practice very appealing indeed. Who would not want the gift of filling your tanks of peace and patience to the brim so you can better manage the challenges of your family and working life and enjoy life all the more?!

Our children took a challenge to give up sugar for the first twenty-four days in December last year. Half-way through, my seven-year-old daughter cheated with a candy cane and I heard her tearful confession the night before the end-of-year class party. Apparently, a friend had seen her and told yet another friend, who had shouted at her for eating sugar when she was not supposed to! She was extremely upset at being caught and shamed by her best friends, not to mention the misery of having broken the rules and having already lived with this guilt for one whole week. She was ready to give up the challenge.

It was not easy for my daughter to come to terms with the fact that she had “fallen down”; or to hear from me that this can happen in life: the important thing is to get up again. Persistence is the key. We then discussed the idea that both children should have a “cheat day” for the class party, as this was an annual event after all.

This was another of those lessons in life that made me ponder the Kriya path. How easy it is to miss some practice – maybe a day, maybe even a year or more and how human nature responds by saying it would be easier just to throw in the towel, or keep making excuses.

Children generally find it easier to follow rules and boundaries, for they can feel quite lost when rules get broken or boundaries are taken away. You might agree that for us ‘big children’, to keep our balance when things don’t go as we expect or when temptations get too hard to resist, is also not so easy. But if we can want to be able to tell our children to get up when they fall down, then we really need to ‘walk our talk’. Can anyone think of a better way to practice that one than on the Kriya path?!