Swamiji, if I were to follow the spiritual path would there be a change in me? What are the benefits of following the spiritual path?
By following the spiritual path, our thoughts and aims in life would be diverted in a more beneficial direction. We would get an insight into the wrong deeds that we have committed in our lives. We would also be able to realize what is true and what is false in this world. We would have a very clear perception of life. Therefore, by following the spiritual path, the right way of living would be clearly shown to you. The spiritual path identifies the purpose of human life. Many human beings are born and go through the worldly life without realizing its purpose. They eat, sleep, work and give in to their bodily desires and when they reach the stage that they are unable to fulfil their desires they become frustrated. In this frustrated state of mind they die. This has been the fate of many a human being. Without falling into the wrong path as chosen by the majority of people, if you can walk the spiritual path, you could reach a very high mental stage and noble place in life.
Can a person understand spirituality on his or her own, or is it only possible by the grace of the guru?
From this question we can understand there are two categories of people. The question is: is a person capable of understanding spirituality on his or her own? Does he or she have the needed self-confidence? Swami’s grace is necessary in order to follow the correct spiritual path, to know the ups and downs of this path, and to solve the problems that arise within you. When you receive the blessings and the grace of Swami to tread this path of spirituality, Swami will take full responsibility for it. If you choose to attain God’s grace through the grace of a guru, then that guru will take responsibility for showing you the path to attain God’s grace, for encouraging your dedication towards it, for making you follow the right path when you veer off of it towards the wrong path, and for lifting you up to a higher state. This is why the Vedas and scriptures say that since a guru takes such responsibility, we can achieve God’s grace through guru’s grace, and that it is easier to receive God’s grace with a guru. Therefore having contact with spiritually advanced people is definitely a boon and a benefit for you, as it helps you to progress on this spiritual path and gives you the strength to pursue it. When you live a spiritual life and are on the spiritual path, it is necessary to have this contact with, and the blessings of great spiritual persons and to receive their help. Being in such an environment and having this link will always be of good help to you. That is why it is said that guru’s grace is essential on your spiritual journey.
How can we bring our daily work into our spiritual life?
Your question is: while I’m doing my daily work, how do I bring spirituality into that? It’s very easy. If you are yourself, that is enough, God will be with you. Don’t change yourself, don’t confuse yourself. Do whatever work you have to do, thinking of God. Easy, no? I get up in the morning and go around the Ashram – that is my duty. I think of God and do my duty; that is enough. But you don’t hand yourself over to God; you always think that YOU are doing everything, you are doing everything.