It was a wet, wintry day in Kolkata. I was there away from my college, in my room, which I loved more than words may tell. For there I sat near the house of my Guru. The shades of evening were falling fast: and with love, how pure, how rich, in my heart, I met my Guru, touching his feet with tears in my eyes. That blessed evening, I had a little talk with him.
“Dada!” I said to him, “what is the greatest hindrance to a holy life, the greatest obstacle to the life of the spirit?” He smiled and said: “My child, two kinds of life there be, the life of the spirit and the life of the flesh. The life of the flesh is full of pleasure, of bodily sensations, of excitement and enjoyment: it is a life dear to the lower self. Eat, drink and be merry is the motto of this life. Think not of the morrow: the morrow will take care of itself.”
“The life of the spirit is the life of aspiration, of battle with appetite and desire. And, often, he who battles thus sheds tears. Sometimes, perhaps often, he falls, but he rises again. It is a life of tremendous difficulty. But at every step, hope springs in the heart within. It is a life of search and struggle; it is a life of sanga, of fellowship with the pure, the holy, the divine! It is a life which the cry of the heart ever rises upward: Though Thou slay me yet will I follow Thee! Though Thou cut me into twain yet will I trust in Thee!”
The path is often thorny, and as you will tread it, your feet will bleed, but in your heart within will bloom flowers of beauty, and your face will shine as the lily or the lotus in the lake