I am sure that many of us would remember our childhood when we used to play with toys. I definitely remember the excitement when I would get a new toy and how I would spend hours with it. When a new toy came, the old one which I used to play with would remain neglected and ignored in a corner. Until some other child wanted to play with it, when suddenly I would turn into a defender of my realm.It was so easy to get lost in playing that many a times my mother would have to call me repeatedly to eat my food. In a way that little piece of plastic and metal could form the centre of existence for me at that point in time. They mattered so much until the time came when I grew up and wondered why I made all that fuss on something so insignificant.
Substitute ‘toy’ with whatever goal or dream we are chasing and we have the modern human condition. It could be a house, a car, girlfriend, boyfriend, a family, a career, a bank balance or everything at the same time. The human mind is very goal oriented and objective achievements are a way to track progress in the endeavor of being a human being. We are also creatures of the herd. It is an evolutionary trait as members of the human species who did not go with the herd ended up ostracized and dead with their genes not passing on. The inherent uncertainty in almost all life decisions means majority will follow the herd as there is always comfort in numbers. I am not saying that following the majority is wrong. It has its place in terms of survival decisions, but to want to know the self requires the courage to walk alone.
When I had my first glimpses on this path, I wondered why more people do not want to do sadhana. It was obviously the greatest journey that a human could undertake. Then I thought of myself as a child and how engrossed I used to be with my toys. I would not have given them up even if someone reasoned with me. I then recalled myself as an adult and being anxious about my education & career, wanting to be better looking, worrying about girls liking me, wanting to be popular, wanting to earn money. If at that time someone had come and spoken to me on this subject, I would have possibly ridiculed them for being impractical. When we are immersed in the pursuit of something, it is very hard to step back and see the inherent irrationalities in the same. Many a times when a spiritual experience happens to us, we start lecturing the people around us and wanting them to walk on this path.There is no point in doing that. Like a unripe fruit, it is best to let it ripen on the tree before plucking.