Several years later, the pundit donned the ochre robes of an aesthetic. He left his home town and wandered in search of Truth. One night when he was still walking past midnight, he was greeted by a man in the street who asked him who he was and what he was doing.
‘Some people say I am a holy man,’ he replied, ‘and right now I am looking for a place to stay.’
‘It is past midnight, and you are looking for accommodation?!’ the man said with an amused expression on his face. ‘Let me introduce myself: I am a thief. This is the reason you have found me in the early hours of the morning. Well, you can stay at my house if you want. I only go out for a few hours each night because this is my job. But I am a perfect thief and you say you are a holy man, so this would be your problem. You might turn into a thief too!’ ‘No problem, I will be happy to stay with you if you show me where you live,’ said the pundit. ‘But where are you going tonight?’ Smiling broadly, the thief’s eyes lit up as he replied, ‘There is a palace near my house, and you cannot imagine all the treasures inside.’
Later that night, the thief returned to his home empty-handed. ‘Why didn’t you get anything?’ asked his new guest. ‘There was extra security tonight,’ said the thief, ‘the guards never left their posts. Never mind, I will try again tomorrow.’
But the second night, and the third, it was the same. In fact, even though the pundit stayed for a month, still the thief had nothing to show for his efforts. No jewels, no ornaments, no treasures. And yet he was unconcerned and cheerful.
Just before he went on his way, the pundit couldn’t help himself but to ask the question that had been sitting on the tip of his tongue for the past few weeks. ‘What makes you want to keep trying? Every night you come back with nothing to show for your time and efforts. Does your lack of success not bother you even a little bit?’
‘Of course not,’ replied the thief. ‘I am a perfect thief, and do not take any risks. So I have to keep trying until I succeed. One day I will get my chance. There is always tomorrow.’
Last week it was my “Kriya Birthday” and I was remembering the day in March sixteen years ago when I was initiated into Kriya Yoga. It’s incredible how much has changed since then on all levels: physical, mental and spiritual. The doors of perception have widened. There is more peace and balance; and there is immense gratitude for the gift that it was and continues to be.
Kriya Yoga is a truly priceless gift. And like a ‘pass-the-parcel’, you have to keep on unwrapping it. There’s lots of old paper at the start and the sweets may be bitter. But in time you get to some sweets that keep you going as you gradually peel away each layer of old newspaper. Appreciation of the sweets is OK, but attachment prevents you from moving on. Time and years are irrelevant for this pass-the-parcel. There’s no point even thinking about how long you’ve been going, or when you’re going to get to the big gift inside! The trick is just to keep on going, keep unwrapping. I think Guruji’s words summed it up beautifully when he said, “(Kriya Yoga) meditation is a method. You have to apply it. Do your practice and everything is possible.”