Living the Spiritual Principles

Satsang with Sri Avinash.


There seem to be so many principles to keep track of on the spiritual path. For example, have a positive and accepting attitude, be selfless, have faith, try to express love… and so many more. How can we possibly incorporate all these principles and remember always to live each of them?

You see, the spiritual path can be very complicated, and it can be very simple. It can be so easy, and it can be so difficult. It depends on which eyes you look at it from.

If you look at the spiritual path and the spiritual truths, from your mind, then it’s overwhelmingly complicated. For example, when the Buddha was alive, first he made one rule, called a precept, to make it easy for his disciples on the path—to help them. Then suddenly there was another one, and another one, and over the years there were more and more. But from the eyes of the mind, “My God, I’ve got to follow hundreds of precepts. How do I meet all these precepts?” It’s overwhelmingly complicated.

But what the Buddha taught was very simple, not complicated at all. What he taught was to be in the present moment, and to be mindful. To be mindful of the present moment, and to be mindful when you’re not in the present moment. His teaching was very simple. But hundreds of precepts came out of this, you see.

From the mind’s eyes it can look very complicated. It can look like you have to follow so many rules, so many principles. You’ve got to make sure you don’t miss any principles, and be a good student by not making any mistakes.

So if you look from the mind’s eyes you’re already defeated right there and then. No inspiration is going to come out of you—it’s too difficult. It’s like looking at Mount Everest and trying to see how many metres high it is, and the temperature at each thousand metres up. If you do this calculation then you will forget about trying to climb it. It’s too complicated. Inspiration will be finished.

But when the Guru teaches, they try their best to make something that is very complicated into something very simple so we can understand. Because if the disciple can’t understand, then they can’t apply. If they can’t apply, they can’t experience, and if they can’t experience then they won’t understand the spiritual truth—and so it remains just in the realm of theory.

So the Guru will make something that’s very complicated into something that’s very simple. How does the Guru do this? They do this by teaching the disciple how to look at the spiritual journey, or the spiritual principles, from a different set of eyes. They will show the disciples how to look from the eyes of their heart.

Now using the heart’s eyes or the eyes of love, we will see things as very simple. Those eyes don’t sit down and do all the calculations – “What do I need to do? How do I compare with other people? Where am I at? Where are other people at? Did I miss any spiritual principle? I need to understand all the spiritual principles.” The eyes of the heart don’t even remember any spiritual principles.

For example, these two eyes that you see on my face, I use very minimally. I use these eyes for very practical things, but for everything else—in terms of how I see the world, how to teach someone, how to guide someone, my peacefulness, my joy, my love of God, my celebration of life—I don’t use these eyes.

So, using the eyes of the heart, the heart doesn’t intellectually know all these principles. It doesn’t know how to define what is faith, it doesn’t know how to explain accurately what is love, what is surrender, what is selflessness, what is oneness, what is inner peace. It doesn’t know how to explain. It just expresses that.

For example, we can see in the room here, there’s a fireplace. Now that fire doesn’t know how to explain warmth, it just gives warmth. It doesn’t know how to calculate, “At what temperature do I need to raise myself so that in one hour I give enough warmth for everyone in the room to enjoy?” It doesn’t know how to do all these calculations. It just spontaneously gives warmth.

On my spiritual journey, I have never tried to make sure that I meet all the spiritual principles. I didn’t even know what all the spiritual principles were. But from the eyes of my heart I see things in a very simple way.

For example, in my heart I feel that I have no control in my life over the outcome of everything. My heart just has that feeling—it has no control of anything in my life. And my life experience confirms that.

So, I recognise there’s another force—you can call that force ‘God’—that takes care of the outcome of everything. I know I have no control over the outcomes in my life—success, failure, spiritual growth, peace of mind, how long I will live, who I will meet… I have no control over that. So naturally my heart just feels I won’t worry about those things, the outcomes of my life. I just let that other force take care of it.

And when I don’t worry about my life—because I know I have no control over it so I can relax and surrender to this force that makes my life happen—I have noticed that my life has more harmony. Good seems to come to me. People seem to be very kind to me everywhere I go. So I look at that and I think, “I like that approach.” And I start to feel, “Wow, I like this force that’s taking care of everything. It’s not chaotic, it’s not irresponsible, it loves me.” So I come to trust this force and have faith in this force.

Now, because I have faith in this force, I love this force very much. And because I love this force very much, naturally I feel love for everybody.

So I don’t know intellectually all these spiritual principles that I have to meet, because I’m looking at things from the eyes of my heart. I’m not looking at the spiritual path and life itself from the eyes of my mind. Like an apple—it’s a very simple thing—you either eat it or you don’t!

Now from the eyes of the mind you can see an apple from so many different perspectives and, depending on which angle you look at the apple, you see it differently. Now from the perspective of colour, if it’s green you call that a Granny Smith apple. If it’s red you call that a Red Delicious! There are so many ways to look at an apple. From the mind, it’s very complicated. But from the heart it’s very simple—if you give a young child an apple, they either drop the apple or they take a bite. They don’t know if it’s a Granny Smith apple or a Red Delicious.

Living the Spiritual Principles - From the heart it

A person can look at the spiritual path, look at the spiritual principles, and study it all—volumes and volumes of spiritual books, ancient books and modern books, so many books. But it doesn’t mean they can apply what they’ve studied, because only the heart can apply. You either live the truth or not. You either surrender to this force or you try to work out your own way. You either express your love to someone in the form of kind deeds, or not. One Spiritual Master said beautifully, “Tonnes of theory has less value than 1 gram of practice.” Tonnes of spiritual theories has less value than 1 gram of heartfelt application.

So to be happy and peaceful in the challenge of current times we need to deeply understand the spiritual principles and apply them in our daily life. To achieve this we have to see life through the eyes of our heart and not our mind. We will need the help and guidance of a Satguru—someone who embodies all the spiritual principles, a living example.

Living the Spiritual Principles - Sri Avinash Do giving Satsang at the Self-Realization Ashram, Byron Bay region Australia

© Sri Avinash Do Mission Inc.