Uniting EAST & WEST spiritually..!!

Why do monks fail? are they all fake?

There are many monks/ yogis/ sanyasis making news in the Medias these days for all wrong reasons. Are the medias conspiring against them? Probably not. Are there always conspiracies against them? Probably not.

Everyone who has a monk or nun's garment cannot be a renunciate. Who can know it more than Sri Krishna, the Lord of Yoga

Among thousands of men, perhaps one strives for spiritual attainment; and, among the blessed true seekers that diligently try to reach me, perhaps one perceives me as I am. Bhagavad Gita- 7:3

It is also my experience that only one in many is really serious to know the truth. Only when the craving for truth rises and it becomes even stronger than nature imposed cravings does one really go on true seeking. Rest is just wandering in imagination. (but could be fruitful sometimes, if the person has little bit of self-honesty) 

All those linked with religion or spirituality may not be in it for the right reasons:

  1. Some monks have joined monastery when they were little, and they had little idea what their natural inclination was. Prayer, meditation and other practices definitely help, but may not be enough to discipline all monks on whom monkhood was forced.
  2. Some join monastery, or become sadhus for the sake of food and other necessities. It is good for them, people should stop expecting them to behave like those who know true spirituality. (Heard of Joseph of Cupertino? there's a great movie 'Reluctant Saint' on his life. He was in monastery for wrong reasons too. But he was a true saint)
  3. Some become sanyasis to make money (wealth, power, respect and so on), obviously there is lot of money in the market for those who teach yoga, pranayama, or mantras, ayurveda and other practices. People should learn from them it will do good, but should not expect them to behave in a spiritually mature way.
  4. Some enter monasteries when they are emotionally disturbed, religious life seems peaceful and happy.

There are definitely many more reasons than those listed. Those who are monks for wrong reasons often fail, because they do not have the abilities that a monk must have, neither do they have natural inclination towards spirituality.

Having said that, I'm not implying everything about spirituality or god or religion is fake. It is easy to accept or to reject, but that doesn't solve anything. One has to find it for himself, it might take a whole life (or more as scriptures suggest). (I for one think it is worth it)

Why do true Spiritual seekers fail? 

Even true seekers can fail, they do fail, at every inch of their journey they fail. Because the illusion is too strong, Krishna said it, Vasishta said, every Guru says it and it takes a little bit of journey on the path to realize ourselves. It is only after the seeker gains some wisdom that he can stop making mistakes. People should know these things before accepting someone completely just because that person is a monk/ nun.

There is an extraordinary story of King Bhartruhari becoming a renunciate. People really don't read how difficult it was for him after he became a renunciate. Here are some of his experiences that show the difficulties that even a true seeker has to face. He writes in his poems

  • For eating I have tasteless food once a day, after begging of alms; the earth for a bed, and my own body as a servant; for dress, a blanket made from hundreds of rags; and yet alas! Sensual desires do not leave me

Once Bhartruhari was walking and he saw sweets in a shop, desire for some sweets arose in him, he thought "I have left my Kingly life to became free from all attachments and now I have found myself in such pitiable conditions? What a shame"

Another time he saw a shining thing on the roadside, he thought "If it is diamond, I can buy many things with it, Oh! but I'm a yogi, diamond or stone both are same to me, I have left the kingdom for truth, If it is diamond, then it can fulfil many things, I can enjoy it as a gift from gods" overpowered by desire he went and picked it up, only to realize it to be something else.

When we read Bhuddha's story we think of a king who left his palace, beautiful wife, kingdom for truth, who meditated intensely and never looked back. Reality isn't that grand or simple, he too had difficulties, numerous failures, agonies, it was painful and slow even for someone (who had higher spiritual state from past lives) as great as him.

Only a completely realized soul can be free from making mistakes, everyone else without fail errs. It is the way it is. We should stop expecting every monk we see to behave like Rama or Krishna or Ramakrishna.

IMO: Every spiritual person is not fake, may be almost all of them, but definitely not all. In reality it is difficult even for the highly advanced yogi to disassociate from desires (heard of Christ's temptations?).


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