Almost all the methods of worship that are prevalent today involve the process of tormenting the body. There are methods that involve tormenting the body in severe summer and winter. Apart from this, there are other methods of worship which inflict a lot of pain upon the soul. All these are not spiritual practices but mere pretenses to get the attention of people in order to earn money. Bhagawan Shri Krishna in the Bhagavad Geeta has said -
nātyaśhnatastu yogo ’sti na chaikāntam anaśhnataḥ na chāti-svapna-śhīlasya jāgrato naiva chārjuna (6:16)
Bhagwan Shri Krishna
O Arjun, those who eat too much or too little, sleep too much or too little, cannot attain success in Yog.
But those who are temperate in eating and recreation, balanced in work, and regulated in sleep, can mitigate all sorrows by practicing Yog.
Bhagawan has clearly stated that Yoga pacifies all kinds of afflictions then how is it possible to experience God by inflicting pain upon the body? The extent of darkness that is prevalent today in the spiritual world was never seen before. In one way or the other, all the religious teachers of all religions have made it a means of earning their livelihood and are cheating poor and innocent people in the name of religion. This is happening everywhere.
Every preacher talks about chanting the divine name. Bhagwan Shri Krishna also has said in the Bhagavad Geeta, that among all kinds of ‘Yagya’, He is ‘Jap-Yagya’ then why is the consciousness not manifesting in people of this age by chanting the divine name? I have noticed that during the spiritual discourses people appear motivated but the moment it gets over, they forget everything. There is no effect of discourse on them.
God, nature, and soul is a truth. Nature has spread its effect in such a manner that it doesn’t allow the soul to have even a glimpse of God but if by the grace of God, the seeker comes in contact with a Sat-Guru, then the darkness spread within him by ‘Maya’ (the illusory power of God) quickly disappears and its place is taken by the ‘Sattvik’ light. Such a seeker surely gets freed from the cycle of birth and death by constantly progressing in the spiritual world. Guru is like that magic stone by whose touch every seeker gets illumined by the divine light.
Today, despite the presence of countless Gurus in the world, darkness is widespread. Only one Sat-Guru is enough to dispel the darkness from the world. Only one lighted lamp, by lighting up countless other lamps, is capable of dispelling the darkness from the world. It is only difficult to light the first lamp. Just as one lighted lamp is capable of lighting up other lamps, similarly, the souls brought to consciousness by the Sat-Guru are capable of awakening many other souls. Just as the wire connected to a generator can light up countless electric bulbs at once, similarly, only one Sat-Guru is capable of removing the darkness from the world.
I am myself observing that this principle is getting proved as true in the material world. The following statement by Shri Aurobindo is completely true-
The effort that I am putting for this Siddhi is only because it is essential for this to happen in the terrestrial consciousness and if doesn’t first occur within me then it cannot occur in others.
Guru is the physical form of the Overmind Godhead.