Either you wake up to yourself or you need a straight liberated being who can wake you up. A Guru wakes you up. A Siddha or an Avadhoota wakes you up. They are simple uncomplicated beings, bare, raw and straight for the crooked paths.
The spiritual path is certainly not of flattery or comfort, but a rugged path of straight truths – a serious path. It is important to consistently ask ourselves. Why have we chosen a path? Is it to pass time like a hobby that is picked up when in dire need and then forgotten about? Why has one taken up a Guru? For security purpose? For fulfilment of needs and desires? For glamour? Or something else? If something else, what is that something else? If it is anything other than salvation or liberation from the bondages of the cycle of birth and death, then that is certainly not what a Guru or path is for. Guru can grant you your desires but it is not because he wants to become your desire-fulfilling machine that keeps you only longing for more, but it is because you keep transcending those desires after its fulfilment, so that you reach the highest desire – the desire to liberate from the bondage of birth and death. To be of service to those aspiring towards the highest.
This post might jerk the soul out of you or even irritate you or pinch you or offend you, but that does not matter. This path is not of flattery and fakeness. Disciples have to keep shaking themselves up if they don’t want to get lost in the glory and illusions of the path. If you contemplate on the higher truths of the path that you follow, you would be surprised to notice that things have been going in an automatic mindless robotic pattern where you are not even aware of why you do what you do. This is what precisely happens with religious worships, where one will do a puja or visit a temple everyday and repeat a prayer or wish or desire and hurry out. That certainly was not what puja was invented for and that certainly was not why temples were built for, but who cares. Like the herd, all do the same thing again and again, often for years and lifetimes too.
The path of Siddhas and Avdhootas are different. They shake you, kick you, wake you and toss you, not because they want to have some fun, but to shake you up and ask, “What are you doing and why are you doing that which you are doing?”
Like the devotee who offered meat to the Shivalinga would be admonished by brahmin priests but embraced by Shiva himself. I have seen Avdhootas even cursing the Gods that devotees were worshiping and praising. They shake up certain strong beliefs in devotees and make them ponder. They will throw the garland or shawl you put on them, right back on to your face. They are beyond your flattery. They will give bad words and thus force people to rethink on their beliefs that spirituality means good behaviour. No, it means being transparent. What is in has to be out. No faking. Hence they bring out what is in. That shakes the devotee to some hardcore truths. You can’t fool them. They remind us how we have been fooling ourselves by acting spiritual and not being or practicing to be spiritual. Unconscious daily repetition of a certain system of spirituality can put you into robotic acts that later makes you so groggy that you wont even know what you are doing and why you are doing it. They remind you. If you cant afford to be in their vicinity (due to lack of time or courage) then contemplate yourself and wake yourself up.
The path teaches wakefulness and mindfulness. Doing everything very mindfully and in total awareness. Hence, it is a must that if not daily, atleast periodically, we stop, ponder and contemplate on what is happening. Contemplation must be done on the deeper truths of what spirituality is here to offer, contemplate on the the highest truths of the path rather than the herd-type duplication of acts. Otherwise it is very easy to get lost into mindless ritualistic tendencies like reading the Guru Charitra in a target of 1 day or reciting a mantra on the maala (rosary beads) with a target of 1000 repetitions. Target oriented stuff will only bring results to the ego of having achieved or done a feat, but that is not what it was intended for. If a mantra was advised by the Guru to be repeated for a 1000 times, it was only for the matter of fact that out of the 1000 repetitions atleast there can be good chances that a few dozens of mantras get recited qualitatively, wherein in those qualitative few mantras you have managed to merge with the mantra or that ishta itself. This is the purpose of recitation. Quantity was given to you as a buffer to allow you to make mistakes while chanting or even the time for you to come back into the recitation if you have distracted off. So, it is not really the 1000 mantra repetition that matters but just those few mantras you were able to achieve oneness with, in the right spirit and that is what brings you the result, not the 1000 number. Now, you can imagine what can happen if one ends up keeping a target of certain number of mantras in certain amount of target time. His focus will be only to complete the number in that sparing time he has. It would be just another lifeless act. An unmindful act. This is why a Siddha or Avdhoota trashes such practices or the practitioner who till now believed he was doing something very high. Guru trashes such and many other such practices that only has bound you in fear or greed.
Hence, contemplation of every single act or spiritual practice must be contemplated on. As much as possible, everything must be attempted to be done in total awareness and mindfulness. Attempts must always be made to know the deeper, subtler hidden truths behind every act. Attempts must be made to know the intention behind every practice and act. Attempts must be made to keep evaluating whether everything is done to it’s highest purpose. Attempts must be made not to by-heart scriptures or read them a dozen times, but to understand and decode the truest meaning of every word. Attempts must be made to know if we are moving towards the highest truths and the highest goal of human life. It is thus important to have a mindful spiritual path than a path we choose out of greed or fear. Keep checking if there is any trace of fear or greed in anything you do. If there is, then the purpose is not for the highest. Keep away or avoid anything that diverts from the ultimate truth. It may be even the modern facets, terms, trends. fashion or popularity. If you check deep, there will be traces or fear or greed surely in these. Being honest with yourself to the core is what sadhna is all about. The great ancient Sages and the Masters who follow them and bring out paths for the benefit of all, are all simple beings and their teachings and truths are also very simple. You only got to shed all the decorations being applied to it by people and customs over a period of time who interpreted the highest truths at a lower conscious level and understanding. Be mindful. Be raw. Be simple. Be aware.