Question: I have been doing Gayatri Sadhana regularly. Nevertheless, at times, I feel depressed and dissatisfied with my progress. What is the remedy?
The feelings of occasional depression, dissatisfaction with progress and momentary loss of interest are not uncommon in course of Sadhana . In order to understand this paradoxical phenomenon, it is necessary to understand three successively higher phases of spiritual evolution. These are known as :- (1) The Mantra Diksha or Initiation This is the initial Kindergarten stage - the 'Bhuha' stage of Dikcha, in which the 'Acharya' - a representative of Guru , introduces the novice to the concept of Gayatri disciplines through 'Baikhari Vani' (by speaking). Any contemplative, spiritually- wise, high-character, talented, person may assume the charge of an 'Acharya'. Nevertheless, this is a great responsibility, since after establishing the spiritual relationship, sins and virtues of the disciple are shared by the Guru . Since the Guru , by definition, is sinless, his displeasure on any dereliction by the devotee is quite natural. Besides, it must also be very clearly understood, that merely ad mission to the school of Sadhana through Mantra Dikcha is not sufficient. The devotee must persistently endeavour to qualify for the higher stages of Diksha. (2) Agni Diksha or Pran Diksha This is the 'Bhuwaha' stage of Dikcha carried out extra-sensorially, through 'Madhyama' and pashyanti Vani (Telepathic and soul -to- soul communication). In this case the Guru undertakes refinement and development of the Sukchma Sharir - the conscious and supra-conscious levels of mind ('Man': 'Budhi', 'Chitta' and 'Ahankar') of the devotee. When the devotee graduates to this next higher class of 'Agni Dikcha', the Guru extra-sensorally transmits a part of the spiritual charge (Pran) to the devotee, from his own spiritual battery accumulated after prolonged Tapascharya. The 'concepts' planted and developed during the Mantra Dikcha are now translated into 'action' by this new acquisition of powerful energy (Pran). At this stage, there is a great turmoil in the inner-self of the devotee, which he/ she apparently feels as a fast growing dissatisfaction with his / her progress, uneasiness and momentary depression. These external symptoms are, in fact, an indication of the churning, taking place within deeper levels of the soul . Hence, unless the devotee feels this turmoil, it is to be assumed that the activation by the Guru has become feeble, because of some shortcomings in the devotee's Sadhana . After Agni Dikcha, the devotee becomes more enlightened and is able to discern his / her personal faults, however trivial they are. The term Agni Dikcha owes its nomenclature to the process of 'Incineration in the inner-self by the fire of discernment'. The phenomenon is parallel to the exercise of Tapascharya for the purification of physical body. There are three clear signs of a person undergoing Agni Dikcha. (1) A strong inclination to perform 'Tap' for self-purification, (2) A feeling of discontentment with one's progress and a desire for speedy innergrowth and (3) realisation of many shortcomings in one's thoughts, behaviour and nature. Here, it must be emphasised that 'Only that Guru can give Dikcha, who has himself earned and conserved sufficient spiritual charge by performing Tapascharya'. (3) Pran Dikcha ('Swaha' stage) This is the highest level of Dikcha in course of which the transfer of spiritual energy takes place from the soul of the Guru to the soul of the devotee. This is the process through which the Guru hands over spiritual succession to the most deserving disciple. In other words, it means appointing the spiritual successor.