As a foreword, I have honestly to say that it does sound quite amusing that I got into writing this. This question and the answers that may come up here actually mean my own seeking for an answer on how to improve my own standard. It seems to be something born out of my own aspiration. I usually feel that writing on spiritual topics is part of my conscious aspiration to improve on myself.
Sri Chinmoy depicts the ladder that runs from aspiration (per se) to dedication and manifestation (to be of oneness-service as a result of your aspiration) to realisation (the fulfilment of the Highest Vision of aspiration):
The secret of realisation
Is aspiration in secret.
The secret of manifestation
Is dedication in secret.
The secret of perfection
Is satisfaction in secret.
Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, Part 7, Agni Press, 1980.
Am I a seeker?
If you are reading this or if you go out running or if you are looking for something or (whatever...), then you are a seeker!
"Dear friends, dear brothers and sisters, dear distinguished professors and deans, here we are all seekers. We are sailing in the same boat, the boat that is carrying us to the Golden Shore of the Beyond. Nothing gives me a greater sense of satisfaction than to be of dedicated service to seekers, for I am also a seeker, an eternal seeker, a seeker of the infinite Truth and Light. ..." -
Sometimes we even do "wrong" things. But the past is dust. If you learn from something, that is your experience. Only please learn from it! Repeating the same things will delay your progress!
How to improve?
Through the inner cry of the heart, which is fulfilled by discipline, patience, simplicity and humility!
"The role of the disciple is quite simple, of course, if he follows the path of the heart and not the path of the mind. The role of the disciple is to give what he has and what he is. What he has is an inner cry, which is birthless and deathless. The disciple offers this birthless and deathless inner cry to his Pilot Supreme and receives His infinite Light, eternal Peace, and immortal Bliss. What he is, is a devoted and soulful instrument. He wants to help mankind see the beauty of the Infinite in the very heart of the finite. He wants to unite earth’s helpless cry and Heaven’s endless Smile. He takes it as his bounden duty to serve both Mother Earth and Father Heaven. To manifest the eternal Truth is his constant cry and constant hunger. Undoubtedly, he is a chosen instrument of the Absolute Pilot Supreme.
"Yesterday’s disciple, today’s disciple, and tomorrow’s disciple. Yesterday’s disciple was simple and humble. Simplicity was his outer life, humility was his inner life. Simplicity and humility inundated his entire being. Today’s disciple is complicated and argumentative. Complication and argumentation reign supreme in his life, day in and day out. Tomorrow’s disciple will be the fastest spiritual runner. His code of life will be to run and become, to become and run. He will run in order to succeed; he will become in order to proceed. At times he will run to reach the Goal; at times the Goal will come to him. When he reaches the Goal, he will be blessed with the transcendental Pride of the Absolute Supreme. When the Goal reaches him, he will immediately sit at the Feet of the Absolute Supreme with his heart’s soulful gratitude-sea.
"Until the Goal is reached, do not stop! And this Goal is for whom? Not for the weakling! “The soul cannot be won by the weakling,” Nayam atma bala-hinena labhyo . The inner Goal can be achieved only by powerful souls, not by weak ones. The Goal that satisfies our inner world and our outer world, the Goal that quenches our Eternity’s thirst, will not be achieved by weaklings."- Sri Chinmoy, The Meaning of Discipleship
The Spiritual Master and The Meaning of Surrender
"The Upanishadic seers have taught us how to inspire the body with inner dynamism just by repeating these soulful and powerful words of incantation:
Arise, awake! Realise and achieve the Highest with the help of the illumining, guiding and fulfilling Masters. The path is as sharp as the edge of a razor, difficult to cross, hard to tread—so declare the wise sages."
"Unfortunately, the present-day world is scared to death when it hears the word “surrender.” But the surrender that we speak of in the spiritual life is not the surrender of the slave to the master. It is the recognition of the Infinite by the finite. A tiny drop recognises its inner identity with the vast ocean. It then enters into the ocean and becomes the vast ocean itself.
"In the spiritual life, nobody is compelled to surrender. But everybody has an inner urge to grow into the Infinite. As the tiny drop grows into the Infinite, even so, our finite consciousness can eventually grow into Infinity. Surrender and freedom are always at daggers drawn, but if we dive deep within we see that there is no difference between these two so-called realities. They are just the obverse and the reverse of the same coin. Before we accepted the spiritual life, we enjoyed freedom in one way. We fulfilled, or wanted to fulfil, our earth-bound desires. We felt, perhaps, that we had the capacity and potentiality to be another Napoleon or Alexander the Great. Like Julius Caesar, we wanted to voice forth: “I came, I saw, I conquered.” This is the positive way that we could have embraced: this reality. Otherwise, if we embraced it in the negative way, then we would have cherished and admired deep in the inmost recesses of our heart the destructive message of Hitler and Stalin. In any event, before we entered into the spiritual life we did enjoy freedom; whether it was real freedom or not is another matter. But we can say that we enjoyed something in a limited way, and the after-effect was total frustration. Therefore, we needed a kind of escape. Or we can say that illumination dawned on us. So we gave up the desire-bound life and entered into the spiritual life.
"Previously we wanted to please and fulfil ourselves by fulfilling our desire-life, but now we want to please and fulfil ourselves by fulfilling our aspiration-life. It is not that we have given up our freedom. No! Freedom is always there. Only we have changed the course of the game, and now we are enjoying a different kind of freedom.
"Unfortunately, when we enter into the spiritual life and follow a Master, we feel that we are surrendering to somebody else and giving up our freedom. But this is not at all true. Nobody is compelling us to follow a spiritual path; nobody is compelling us to listen to the Master. The seeker has come to the Master on the strength of his own inner urge. The seeker is staying with the Master in order to fulfil a divine longing that he feels. He feels that the Master knows a little more than he does, so he himself has decided to follow the Master. It is his own freedom that he is exercising. So the question of surrender does not arise at all. When we lead, we enjoy freedom. Again, when we consciously, deliberately, soulfully and unconditionally follow, at that time we enjoy another kind of freedom. In the case of the seeker, his inner awareness, inner development and inner sense of truth are compelling him to follow a higher life, a more illumining life, a more fulfilling life. It is his own free choice.
"In the spiritual life, it is always God for God’s sake right from the beginning. If this message the seeker can embody, reveal and manifest in his life at every moment, then he will be a supreme and perfect instrument of his Beloved Supreme. There shall come a time when Mother Earth will be inundated with seeker-disciples who will be carrying the banner of unconditional surrender to God which is nothing other than conscious, constant, inseparable and unconditional divine oneness with their own higher reality and their Master who represents this higher reality."
June 1, 1979
Pacific School of Religion