The Student Gets a Thorn in his Foot

There was once a young man, could it have been me, Ramesh Guptananda? Maybe. This young man decided to follow the path of Raja Yoga*. In truth he had little idea of the implications of this decision. He found himself a Guru who lived in a village some ten miles away. To see this man he had to arise well before daybreak and walk the ten miles so that the two of them could talk and he could learn and meditate before the day became too hot. thorn

The first day he set off fired with great enthusiasm and reached the old man as the sun rose. He felt very pleased with himself, very inflated. The old man looked and smiled at him and spoke encouraging words.

The second day he arrived a little later. The meditation had to be shorter on this occasion, as the sun began to burn up the quiet mind of the student.

On the third day the student got a thorn in his foot so that, already late, he was later than ever.

The Guru smiled and nodded, then he said, “The Lord will throw down many thorns along your path, my son. Only through discipline, hardening your body and sharpening your mind will you achieve your goal. Thorns are never excuses for failure. The Lord loves you and only does this to prepare you for the difficulties of the world and not to make you suffer for the sake of it. Welcome your hardships and wear your successes quietly on the inside like jewels adorning a secret cave. He who waves his medals around for all to see soon has them stolen from him. Tomorrow, arrive before sunrise, and we will pray together and give thanks.”

Some questions to ask yourself :

  • What sort of discipline do you have in your life?
  • How do you feel when there are chaotic, undisciplined people around you?
  • How do you feel when you stop behaving in a disciplined manner?
  • Can there be too much discipline in people’s lives?
  • What could be the result of too much discipline?



Guidance on Discipline