In the literal sense, the training stands for the act, process or art of imparting knowledge and skill. It is specific and done to improve one’s capability, capacity and performance. It is essential in our every facet of our life. Even, an ordinary man needs some sort of training to meet the demands of his livelihood. Now a days, everyone wants to ensure decent living. For that purpose, everyone is in search of new avenues of learning and training. Present society has evolved its own values and concepts. It is appropriately reflected in the changing pattern of lifestyle. Training becomes necessary to cope with the situation. It is simply to highlight the importance. The training plays its role in every facet of one’s life.
Similarly, our Master has given a new direction and meaning to our life. In other words, it is the awakening of the state of Being. It proceeds
further to result in material existence. Initially, it remains inclined towards Divinity. As the time passes, the life encounters actions and reactions with their effect. It undergoes repeated births. It continues to create its own internal network. As a result, it loses its balanced condition. It transforms itself from subtle to gross. It is the spontaneous development going on since Creation.
The life has drifted from spirituality to materiality. This process needs to be reversed if one wants to attain the original condition. This is what we attempt to do through our practice as prescribed by our Master. Likewise, our system attaches lot of importance to morality and etiquette. The society has its concept about these aspects. Here, we take morality as a state, where in all the faculties function harmoniously for the proper use. Similarly, the etiquette conveys a state of mind, which remains constantly restless to realize the Master.
We have an introduction with our system. All of us have been following the prescribed precepts. In addition, we regularly attend weekly Satsangh and other functions. Now, let us question ourselves. How much knowledge and skill have we imbibed in our practice? Answer to this question happens to be a museum in itself. It ranges from one end of “Don’t know” to another “known to the Master”. Or method has common precepts. Yet its practice remains individualisticand need-based. It is the individual who aspires to achieve the Goal of life. It is the individual who takes up the practice in his personal capacity. It is the individual responsibility / botheration to solve the problem of one’s life. As indicated earlier, we have known the importance of training everywhere. Of course, the practice is essential.
Concepts of Training:
Our Master has established training centers at various places. Preceptors have been appointed to impart spiritual training. The concept of training is unique in our system. It is always one to one. It is different from the conventional class room type. It is not carried out on a group basis. It takes place only through the Transmission. It is insidious and silent. It is centrifugal in nature. i.e. from the innermost core towards the outer periphery. That is the reason why most of the abhyasi do not feel the subtle changes initially. As the time passes, one can perceive the centripetal manifestation. It varies from one individual to other. Even its nature and quality may differ from person to person. Usually one finds it difficult to translate the effect into an expression. It does not mean that there is no effect. In fact, it is always definite and persistent. It may however be vague in perception.
It is worthwhile to know that many abhyasis harbour certain amount of misconception. Once a person takes up practice under our system, one starts thinking of progress and transformation. It is welcome. It is encouraging. It is a reflection on the efficacy of our method. Initial enthusiasm propels him to proceed with the practice. He thinks that he is on his own. It is the beginning of complacency. He continues his individual practice for years together. He tries to wrap it up with weekly satsangh. He attends one function after another. He feels that he is doing a great service to himself. Gradually, the idea of progress evaporates into thin air. He sometimes loses even the sight of the Goal. When faced with the query, he claims to be regular in practice, satsangh and functions. No doubt, the entire exercise plays a contributory role. It does not constitute the training. All the while, he thinks himself to be under the training.
The training criteria:
As the abhyasi continues with the individual practice for sufficient time, he picks up a foothold. He feels a sort of new awakening in himself. The life conveys a meaningful sense. He tries to make out the purpose behind the method, he is practicing. Slowly and steadily, he comes to the conclusion that there is a definite purpose in his life. This is how the Goal of life gets fixed. To start with, it may be hazy or vague.
He feels shaky about its clarity. He pursues it further with lot of effort. Sincerity of his effort creates circumstances like frequent interaction, repeated clarification, literature, lectures, etc., they become conducive to arrive at the clarity of Goal. It is at this juncture that he gets eligibility of the training. In other words, the training is taken up when the real Goal of human life becomes enshrined in him. Our system prescribes it as the first and fundamental requirement for the training. He is given to understand the training aspect happens to be an exclusive domain of our Master. It is usually carried out through the medium of a preceptor. It is therefore, absolutely essential to seek the help and the guidance of preceptor. Our Master has appointed many a preceptor at various places. Situation appears tricky to him. Sometimes, a thought crosses his mind. As a result he may entertain an idea of visiting each and every preceptor now and then for this purpose. He may or may not have justification for his deed. He may possibly turn out to be a case of rolling stone. In order to avoid this pitfall, it is better to select a preceptor for the training purpose. Selecting a preceptor of his choice happens to be the lookout of the abhyasi. He is at liberty to do so. Even our system guarantees that freedom. Once, he selects a preceptor of his choice, he is required to ascertain few things for himself e.g. whether the preceptor is conveniently located so that he can call on him whenever required, whether preceptor is willing to take up his training etc. in short, the abhyasi must try to assess him from all possible angles beforehand. Only on being fully convinced, he should submit himself for the training and treat the preceptor as guide.
The training phase:
Empirically speaking, the training phase consists of:-
1. Preparatory phase – Which entails the basic ground work
2. Training phase – Wherein a new awakening is introduced
3. Evolutionary phase – It brings about the spiritual reorientation
The abhyasi encounters subtle and radical changes during his spiritual journey. Transformation takes place in gradual and natural way. Our Master has meaningfully indicated the different stages of transformation as below.
1. The end of religion is the beginning of spirituality
2. The end of spirituality is the beginning of reality
3. The end of reality is the real bliss
It is a novel method of highlighting the subtle changes that are felt in the abhyasi. The subtle changes are reflected in his transformation in the form of dynamic attitude and approach. The training facilitates the subtle changes and subsequent transformation. A question may arise whether individual practice alone brings about the required transformation? Well, individual practice is the preliminary necessity. It is always contributory. Its initial usefulness is undeniable. Once an abhyasi comes under the training he is actually required to perceive the practice further with vigor and valor. His job is to fully co-operate with the guide. It is the guide who decides the course and the direction depending on the individual requirement. It is rather bit difficult to explain in detail the exact working of the training course. The job of the Preceptor is ‘Doing’ and the job of the abhyasi is ‘Becoming’. As it is individual specific, it cannot be generalized. For the sake of common understanding a general pattern is indicated as under.
An abhyasi undergoes thorough cleaning for a sufficient length of time. Downward tendencies are set right. Suggestions are given as and when necessary. He is encouraged to develop introspective attitude. Repeated interaction is occasioned for feedback and follow-up. He is kept under constant watch for assessment. Regulation of his mind and senses happens to be the purpose initially. As the training proceeds, he feels a qualitative change in his individual practice. He perceives a change in the meaning of precepts. He develops a sense of sincerity and regularity. His thinking gets activated. Interest in his practice, intensifies. Precepts become meaningful. As he keeps on advancing, channel after channel acquires awakening and insight. Number of routine priorities shrinks. He continues to remain usually concerned with the Goal of life. He goes about the daily routine and moves harmoniously in the society. At the same time, he feels himself in a way ‘cut off’. He starts experiencing an yielding attitude towards the Master. Condition turns dynamic. It proceeds towards the maturity. It results in his resignation to the will of the Master. At this stage, he realizes the final wastefulness of his lifelong efforts. In other words, it is the proper training that carries one to the Destination. It is our Master who governs the training as such. It is the preceptor who directs its course. In short the working of training method in or system involves the subtle principle of ‘cause and effect theory’.
Needless to state that we have the perfect Master, the perfect system and the perfect method. It is even needless to emphasize an important role, the training plays in our practice. Our Master has dedicated an entire chapter on the subject – (page 53 – Reality at Dawn). Rev. Bhai Saheb has dealt with it in a specific essay (page 41 – Call of the Fellow Traveller). Then, what remains to be reminded? The question is practical. It is relevant. It is difficult to answer. Difficulty persists so long you don’t question yourself. i.e., have you ever bothered about application of training to the individual practice? It is vital because it is the training that lifts a person from an animal level to human level and then to Divine level.