A man bought his friend several goldfish in a glass bowl as a gift. The man accepted and took care of them, but after a while he felt that the bowl was too small for all the fish. He took the bowl and threw it together with the fish into a lake, and was happy that now they had the freedom to swim far and wide.
But the next day when he went for a swim in the lake he found the glass bowl floating on the surface, and his fish had found their way back into it. They had not been able to tolerate the freedom and had returned to their old ‘home’.
“Everyone has a different need in their life,” Guruji said. “ Sometimes the master may give you a good opportunity for meditation practice, but you are not able to tolerate that much freedom and want to go back to where you were: happy and satisfied in your own world.”
I certainly felt like those goldfish after I first met Guruji and my world began to open up in ways which I could never have foreseen. This was because when I first met him in India, I was a devout Christian with a fixed set of beliefs. My experiences and discussions with Guruji at that time and coming from that mindset are written in my book, Footsteps to Freedom Four Spiritual Masters of Kriya Yoga and a Beginner, in case you haven’t read it yet.
I couldn’t find a more pertinent way to end this cycle of blog posts than with these words, taken from the middle of one of Guruji’s satsangs:
“Maybe you will be very shocked. But I want you to remember this: I can say that there is no God! Is there a creator? When we think of God it is the end of everything! I mean to say, what does the word ‘creation’ mean? It implies that there is a beginning and an ending. It implies that God’s work finished once creation was complete; perhaps is He sleeping now? Furthermore, it implies that God wanted wars, famine, drought – that God is the cause of pain and suffering.
“People are taught in their religions that God is perfect, so why is this world so imperfect? How can a perfect being create imperfect things? Perfection can only create perfection.
“Lahiri Mahasaya never talked about God. But he did talk about consciousness. A highly developed soul may talk about God or they may not talk about God – it depends on the time and place and society – how best to reach the hearts and minds of the people.
“In order for people to live safely together, law and order are very important. Religion also became a part of this. But when religion takes us far from Pure Self, when religion becomes a means to control the human brain, it is not good.
“Man has made God, and man has made statues of gods. In art all around the world, you can see how the images of gods are made depending on the different cultures and according to people’s liking. In Japan, there are many different statues of the Buddha. In China, the statues of deities have a Chinese face. In the West, the same thing happens and they have Western faces.
“A devotee concentrates on one object. But God is not an object. God means: that which is in the form of cosmic consciousness. So when we think of God as an object, or when we believe that creation is finished, rather than infinitely evolving, then we are blind to the reality of consciousness.
“Follow your consciousness. Through Kriya Yoga it is possible to develop consciousness to that highest level. You have to bring mind to merge into your Pure Self, and then you will know reality.
“Evolution is going on. Nature has never stopped, and it will never stop. We came from the animal world and our journey is leading us to develop consciousness; to become a liberated soul.
“We see that there are spiritual masters and think that it is impossible for us as ordinary human beings to become liberated too. But it is possible, through breath and Kriya Yoga practice.”