In Articles, Events and UpdatesMay 16, 20246 Minutes

Boarding the Train to Divinity

Sri Madhusudan Sai on the Spiritual Journey and Divine Opportunities

16th May 2024, Kodaikanal:

In an illuminating discourse, Sri Madhusudan Sai used the metaphor of a train to explain the spiritual journey and the divine opportunities that come our way. He emphasised that our presence in his mission is not by chance, but the result of some deep prayer or yearning from our past lives finally bearing fruit.

“God has created the opportunity and given you that ticket,” he said, drawing the analogy of being at the station with a ticket in hand as the universe responds to our heartfelt prayers to be closer to the divine. However, like a train that won’t wait indefinitely, this opportunity has a limited window. “The train won’t stop for long. It has to carry many more passengers. You are not the only one, you are not so special that the train will wait forever.”

Quoting the poet Kahlil Gibran, Sri Madhusudan Sai urged: “When love beckons, follow him. Even though his ways are hard and steep.” For when the call to the spiritual path comes, one must answer it wholeheartedly. “So what if the spiritual path is tough? So what if its ways are hard and steep, that is the way,” he exhorted.

Sri Madhusudan Sai warned about the insidious “leeches” of attachments, desires and the deluding ego that can latch onto the spiritual seeker imperceptibly, draining them of energy and resolve. Just as real leeches numb the area to mask their blood-sucking grip, the ego numbs one to truth through misplaced notions of self-justification.

To avoid this derailment from the insidious leeches of attachments and ego, Sri Madhusudan Sai prescribed two remedies, – abhyāsa (practice) and vairāgya (detachment). abhyāsa is the spiritual practice of being in good company and constantly reminding oneself of their divine purpose. vairāgya is maintaining detachment from anything misaligned with this goal, recognising it as the “wrong train.” The “salt” that prevents the leeches from taking hold, he said, is immersing in satsang – the good company of truth and realised souls.

He cautioned that there will also be many external distractions—attachments, desires, and the tricky ego convincing the seeker that diversions are justifiable—that can cause one to miss the spiritual train.

For those who struggle despite their best intentions, Sri Madhusudan Sai emphasised that the guru is there to keep them on track, going above and beyond. “My job is to ensure that you don’t lose the opportunity…If I am sitting in the train and I see some kids lost at the station, I will immediately stop the train and put them back on, at the cost of making everybody else wait.”

He sees and watches over each seeker, and when he notices someone deviating or getting distracted in losing sight of their spiritual track, he takes the extra effort to come down to their level and pull them back to the right path. “If you are very lucky to have a guru like me, then I won’t let go of you,” he stated. The guru’s vigilant guidance and unwavering commitment to not allowing any sincere seeker to stray is a profound grace on the journey.

Heeding the guru’s message and walking the spiritual path, even if difficult, ultimately leads to the greatest joy and fulfilment, Sri Madhusudan Sai promised. He cautioned that external trappings of wealth and possessions provide limited satisfaction – “People have comfortable beds, they don’t sleep. People have plenty of food but they do not digest, people have plenty of relations, no love. People have plenty of houses but no home.” True happiness, he said, comes from within by living in alignment with one’s values and spiritual purpose. “You are happy with yourself, then you will be happy with everybody around you. You are unhappy within, you can’t be happy outside also. This happiness comes to you when you do the right things, when you follow the right message, walk the right path, even if it is difficult, it will be a happy path.”

The central message was that this opportunity to board the train to divinity, born of deep spiritual yearning over many lifetimes, is a profoundly precious one. No matter one’s current station in life, the opportunity to board the train to divinity arises through honest prayer and the human soul’s innate longing for the divine. By staying conscious, practising detachment, keeping good company, obeying the guru’s guidance, and not delaying when the cosmic boarding call comes, one can make this precious human journey a spiritual success.