Marks of Spiritual Progress
Sri Swami Sivananda
The student of Jnana Yoga destroys all thoughts of objects. He annihilates darkness through his discrimination. Then a radiant light appears before him.
He experiences dizziness.
Then he comes across void–Akasa.
Then Moha (delusion) manifests. The Jnana Yogi dispels this Moha through enquiry or Vichara. Passing thus through the stages of darkness, light, sleep and Moha, the sage at last reaches the stage of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. He now enjoys Absolute Quiescence. He attains real Jnana. He becomes the ocean of eternal Jnana and the all-pervading Absolute Consciousness.
He is drowned in an ocean of nectar. He enjoys the eternal bliss where the seer alone exists without the visible objects.
His mind becomes of the nature of Jnana. It becomes Chit, Consciousness itself. Being divested of all visions of objects, it contains Consciousness proper; like an ocean in an ordinary equilibrated stage without the disturbance of waves.
The sage freed from all attractions towards objects, becomes of the nature of wisdom pervading everywhere. He reaches that Jnana state which is above all and in which nothing but Truth exists and becomes the ocean of eternal Jnana and the all-pervading Absolute Consciousness.
The Hamsa sports itself in the permanent pool of spiritual bliss. The Sage enjoys himself in his own Atman or Self.
Peace, cheerfulness, contentment, dispassion, fearlessness, unperturbed state of mind under all conditions indicate that you are advancing in the spiritual path.
Spiritual progress is not measured by Siddhis or powers, but only by the depth of your bliss in meditation.
These are the sure tests of your spiritual progress:–
Is your interest in inner spiritual activity and outer Sadhana increasing day after day?
Does spiritual life mean to your consciousness a matter of great delight, a delight far transcending the happiness that the world of vital pleasures affords you or offers you?
Has your personal awareness come to a possession of a sense of peace and strength which men who are not aspirants do not find in their everyday lives?
Do you feel certain that your power of discrimination and light of thought have been steadily growing?
Is your life being gradually led to such experiences which reveal to you the operation of a will and intelligence other than your own, the will and intelligence of the Omnipresent Lord?
Has there come into the conscious activities of your everyday life, the active function of a new delightful angle of vision, a new perspective, a strong sense of self-possession, steadily growing conviction of your dependence upon and intimate relation with the all-pervading Divinity?
If, your answers to all these questions or to any one of them are in the affirmative, be absolutely sure that you are progressing, and progressing speedily in the spiritual path.