Q: In daily life, beset by common problems, people feel the need to escape and reach temple and Gurus easily. Is spirituality an escape from the reality?
Sri M: According to me, in the present situation, we do require to be alone and in solitude, occasionally. But, at the same time, we need to come back to the world and understand its realities. Only then, we will develop.
Say, I am sitting in a cave; it is good to do certain Sadhanas (spiritual practices) sitting alone there. Consider that I am in such a cave, doing Sadhana for last 10 yrs.
As a result, I will feel now that I have changed in some way. I will feel that I don’t get angry any longer, having overcome it. I may also feel that I don’t have any envy. Now, the question is, of whom do I feel envy in a cave? No one is there to feel envious about. Why will I get angry in such a situation? Who is there for me to be angry at? No one is there. The real test is after 10 years: when I enter a bus and someone else steps on my feet. Then I will know the true status of my control over anger. Similarly, where has my envy reached? When someone comes wearing a gold watch into our presence, only then will we know. The actual testing ground is here in our common world. Only if we can live here, we can say we have matured after our Sadhana.
So, both (aspects) are important. Consider the case of busy executives. They all may go and stay a week in a certain resort. Why so? Since rest is required. But, can they stay there permanently? Don’t they need to come back to their work? Returning to the everyday world is required and it’s then that these lessons can be implemented. That’s the difference.