BY SWAMI CHETANANANDA
You may hear that there is a bhakti path and a jnana path and various other paths, but all paths boil down to the same thing. Every path is about you connecting to your heart and opening yourself deeply to drink in your life, be nourished by it and grow up and give back to life whatever it is you are called upon to give.
Each of us has unique gifts to give back to the world once we have grown and flowered and matured, and each of those gifts that we are blessed with requires a different soil or climate or something unique. There are peach trees and mango trees and blackberry bushes and apple trees and apricot trees and grape vines, as well as tomatoes and habaneros. It’s still fruit, and it all arises from the same process. The leaves of the trees and the vines reach out to the sun and take in the light and draw it to their core as they draw up from the earth the minerals that are present in the place where they’re planted. They bring it all together in this extraordinarily complex chemical reaction. That reaction is the same for all of us, and through it, our fruits are expressed.
Opening our own hearts to our core, appreciating and accepting our life and ourselves just as we are, we take in from the soil all the nutrients that are there. Reaching to heaven, we take from each other the light and love that radiates from all of our hearts, and we grow. In growing, plants reach to the light; humans reach to the love. Loving God, loving our lives, loving ourselves, we discover the unity of it all and all the rest of it is just the chemical reaction that happens around us. All the relationships, all the careers, all the money issues, all the sex, all the this thing and the that thing and all the arguments we have with each other, it’s all just part of the soup that is our life.
If your path doesn’t support you in lifting your spirit every day to the light and love in your life and taking that deeply within yourself, then it’s useless and you need to change the recipe. Refine it a little bit. Doing that, you will become a complete human being, find total peace and happiness, and discover the unimaginable abundance that is available to you in your core. That’s what we’re all doing here, and we need to get on with it.