Interviewer: For many people, I think, it is not as exotic as
Enlightenment, if it is only emptiness?
Gurji Sri Vast: People expect Enlightenment to be
something extraordinary: suddenly you become a kind of
angel, suddenly you become special. For me, my
experience and realization is not to become something
special. The need to become special is not there. The
person becomes totally normal. Since we are all abnormal,
we are trying to become some kind of supernormal, we
wish to reach some kind of super state.
The super state is nothing but becoming normal. The
person is grounded. When you are grounded you can
experience everything: you can feel, see, touch, hear and
sense everything, without any references. It is very
important not to connect liberation with any exoticness.
If I say I was living with a Yogi or with Sadhus in a cave
for ten years, it becomes something exotic. Because I did
something which you could not do. It is all about becoming
something special. Doing something different from what
others are doing. As long as this comparison is there - that I
am different from this person, I am more special than this
person - you become the prisoner of your own
comparisons. Because the whole world is there in front of
you to compare.
Wherever you go, there will be people to whom you
have to prove that you are higher or lower than them. You
are in this trap of comparing. Freedom is to liberate from all
the comparisons. How is it possible, practically?
Free yourself from the person within you, who is
comparing yourself with others. The exotic approach
towards liberation makes you become more exotic. You
wish to become a greater idea than other people’s ideas.
That is why people like to tell their stories: I was here… I
was there… I did this… I did that…
In that case, does that mean that people who have never
done anything exotic or been to India can not experience
what the Divine is? That would mean God is putting some
kind of condition on you, “Only if you do all these exotic
things, you can experience Me.” Does that mean the
remote villagers in Africa, who never have been to India,
cannot be liberated? That seems kind of strange.
If God makes a condition, “Only if you do this and this,
you can experience Me,” then we must free ourselves from
that God, from that concept of God which puts that kind of
conditions on us. It is all about understanding what true
liberation is. Exactly what kind of liberation are you looking
for? It is important to understand: What is this Spirituality?
And what exactly are we working towards when we say
For example, you come to
India. You are sitting on the
floor, eating the food with
your hand, eating on banana
leaves, telling mantras, doing
asanas and doing all those
things. You see that as your
spiritual practice. Then you go
back home with an exotic
experience. When you go back, you have to adapt these
practices to your normal life there. When you stop these
practices, you will claim that you are not living spiritually
anymore. This is because you adapted to something exotic,
you didn’t connect Spirituality with your Self.
Any practice which is helping you towards total
liberation is a spiritual practice. But one must know what
this total liberation means. Unless you are very clear what
liberation you are looking for, you might not be able to find
your spiritual practice.
This is because liberation means different things to different
people. One person might find liberation from his partner,
for example. You cannot do that by doing Asanas. You have
to develop a dialogue with your partner. That is the spiritual
practice for that particular liberation. Another person may
find it difficult to free themselves from back pain. Simply
sitting and chanting may not help. Isn’t it? One must know
exactly what they want, in what way they are relating with
liberation and what that means. To attain that particular
liberation you need a particular method. It can be anything.