In The World But Not of the World
There is another illusion that some people have about spirituality. They think that by the practice of religion, you become soft-brained and walk around with your head in the clouds, incapable of even buying good vegetables from the market at a suitable price. On the contrary, nothing can be farther from the truth. The experienced sadhak knows not only how to get into a trance but also knows how to get out of it and attend to his daily life efficiently. He does not live as if in a daze. Also, if you see someone with a long face and pained expression, do not mistake it for an effect of religion. It is dyspepsia, not religion. Ask him to do something about his digestion. Perhaps, he suffers from constipation. A truly religious man always has a joyous countenance.
There is a telling anecdote about Swami Vivekananda. A young man once went to him and said that he wanted to renounce the world and become a great being like Buddha. The Swami agreed that it was indeed a laudable idea and asked him how well educated he was, how much wealth or landed property he had, and what high status he enjoyed in society. He found the young man was zero in all these things. The Swami was furious. What on earth did the chap possess that he was going to renounce? He advised him to go and do a bit of honest labour first, earn a substantial sum of money, and then come back to him and tell him if he was prepared to renounce it.
Begin your sadhana now, this instant; everything else will be taken care of. If the thought “I am such a simple man, how could I attain God?” occurs to you, remember that it is merely an excuse that a tricky mind puts forth to prevent you from following the right path. If you wait to become morally perfect before you begin your spiritual practices, that day will never come. Start today and, as the divine bliss enters your heart, you will get purified inside and outside. You will get the strength and inspiration to mould your life as you wish.