‘More is better’ – this is one of the most common principles for a modern person. But what are the consequences of such an approach to life? Nowadays a vast amount of information is available, but despite this people live in a ‘knowledge desert’ being thirsty for knowledge about life, about themselves, about the meaning of life, about nature etc. People are searching for this spiritual knowledge just as a thirsty person is looking for water. To get to the water one must persistently and purposefully dig a well in one place. However, today people are ‘jumping from one place to another’ digging shallow holes here and there and continue to wonder why there is no water!? People study something with one teacher and then with another, sometimes even both representing completely different values, belonging to different schools and traditions. They attend seminars and camps throughout the world.
The disparate and fragmentary knowledge about the development of consciousness put a person in an awkward and confused situation. A person’s mind becomes tired of so much ‘noise’ of information and makes no progress on its way to development. Most likely after some time he will give up everything and declare that the system is not working, because he unnecessarily wasted his energy and has not reached the goal.
He could have invested his valuable time and effort in mastering one true and authentic transformation approach. But no. Eagerness makes a person search for diversity. The greater the diversity, the better. This is how a person thinks. In this case, I have one telling example from an expert in landscape gardening. She described some garden owners, who have gathered in their plot all possible plants they liked from the shops, exhibitions and neighbour’s garden. As a result, they get chaos without any sense of style, composition or taste. Such chaos can also be found in people’s heads.
Ayurveda says that the simpler the food, the easier it is digested.
A human does not, actually, need complex food stuffed with many components and microelements. Such food creates an overload of all the body’s systems and the result is disease. But nowadays marketing by the pharmaceutical and food industries has taught people the principle that ‘the more and varied, the better’, which is absolutely in contradiction to the Vedas. Similarly with the vast amount of information and the inability to ‘digest’ it, because most of the available information is like a meal, which nowadays is full of synthetic, hard to digest ingredients and additives.
And the speed. Nowadays people want to get information as soon as possible and in the shortest time possible. This tendency has also affected yoga and the Vedic sciences. This means that it is fashionable for people to attend different courses, which promise to prepare them as certified yoga specialists in a matter of days or weeks. The traditional approach is rarely encountered nowadays: where the master has his apprentices – or the teacher has his disciples – who spend much time with the expert in order to thoroughly learn the skills and knowledge, so that these can be fully passed on to the next generations.
Nowadays all kind of information is available in a much greater volume than one can possibly grasp and there are various ways of acquiring this information: courses, lectures, the internet, books, other people’s comments, likes etc. I have observed this tendency that people have picked up bits and pieces of information of varying quality from everywhere. They are not able to, or they lack the necessary knowledge, to critically evaluate this information distinguishing what is valuable and what’s not. All this creates a great confusion and if there is no authority or teacher, whom to ask for help, then such a person easily sinks into a ‘swamp’ of contradictions. It directly paralyzes human development of consciousness. All energy is devoted to the digestion of information and efforts to deal with large amounts of ‘chaff’ in the information field.
Today many products and services hide under the titles of Yoga and Ayurveda, but are far from the authentic knowledge written in the Vedas.
For instance, trainers in aerobics attend a few weeks long ‘teacher training course’ and here they are, new yoga specialists at fitness centres. This wide range of offerings and so-called teachers can totally confuse not only a beginner, but also a competent person in this field.
There is nothing condemnable that a person goes and seeks the truth, reads and analyses, compares information from various sources. There would not be any problems, if the person had his own knowledge ‘framework’, which could only be gained though thoroughly and diligently learning from one or several teachers, who represent one or similar Vedic knowledge school or linage and succession cycle.
In the Vedas one teacher-student succession cycle is called paramparā (immediate transfer of knowledge from the teacher to his disciples, who in turn continue to pass this knowledge on to their disciples). The need for the authority or teacher is human nature. Even if the person denies it, believing that he is independent in his decision making, then in this case his choices are determined by stereotypes, mass media, advertisements, marketing etc. If a person does not have a teacher, then he often falls into the subjectivity trap and is enslaved by the previous mentioned influences.
People frequently want immediate results – quickly, a lot and all at once. They want to swallow a consciousness development ‘pill’ and be done with it. My explanation of such inconsistency and disbelief in one teacher or tradition is that a human is seeking the easiest way. It is clear that a human wants to develop and transform his consciousness, but as soon as he finds out how much time and effort should be invested in this, he starts to search out some easier way, system or method. And to please these desires we see quick courses, spiritual bestsellers, and evening conversations with people about both everything and nothing, usually using some “speed-up-enlightenment” substances. (If you know what I mean.) These potentially do more harm than good.
Such superficiality and shallowness is characteristic also in other fields of life, such as relationships. It is easier to change a partner than to change oneself. As a result, a person in middle age has had several shallow relationships and a bunch of kids from various partners. There is no depth – neither in the relationships, nor in oneself. There is a lack of constancy and trust in people – these are characteristic features of Vāta, which is an integral trait of the Kali Yuga period we live in.
As regards the most effective way to acquire yoga and the Vedic sciences, I must admit that in this case it turns out that ‘less is more’.
For a person to follow one teacher is the only way to acquire deep-rooted knowledge.
Over time a person, who follows his teacher becomes rooted in the teacher’s knowledge and only then he is able to see his teacher’s branched knowledge tree with dense leafage.
One is all. The craftsman does not reveal his tricks and secrets in books or magazine articles. Such information is not for those with only a casual interest. For instance, Kalari teachers hide their status and if you speak to them the chances are that you will be rebuffed – they might make their excuses and say that you have mixed them up with somebody else. The knowledge is protected from casual passers by and shallow hole diggers.
If you truly want to learn yoga and develop your life with the help of the Vedic life knowledge, then choose one and follow him/her. After a while the teacher will reveal knowledge, which cannot be found in any book or magazine. In fact, the teacher reveals his wisdom every day, but the question is, whether the disciple is ‘grown up’ enough to perceive it?
For those, who are seeking a good result, I can recommend only one thing – keep at it!
Remain alert and do not scatter your energy!