|Picture "Dream Yoga" kindly provided by h.koppdelaney|
One day he decided to leave everything, in search for a spiritual pursuit living the life of a hermit, shunning all worldly desires and involvement...He left home one morning leaving a note for his wife and mother of two, saying that he was going to be spending his life as a holy man, venturing south, and asked them to forget about him, as he went to fulfill his "real purpose" in life.
He spent a decade in the forest, learning the advanced secrets of yoga from the naked "nagai" yogis. He lived off the land, and whatever little he could get, going weeks at a time living on morsels of food...Through his practice of yoga, and discipline, he was able to sustain himself...As he grew more proficient in his practice, people began to leaving him gifts of food and other minor offerings...Many started seeking him for help with ailments...As a devoted yogi, he was able to help many of them by teaching them yoga asanas that was specfic for each individual. He began to have a small following of people, often being invited for talks across the land. However he still avoided the responsibilities of society, and lived mostly alone in the caves, but he did start craving the attention his gifts attracted.
10 years down the track he became a master yogi, his discipline of yoga gave him certain extra ordinary abilities, he was able to slow down his breathing living for days without food in a camatose state. He was able to tolerate pain beyond normal human thresholds, having a special bed of nails built for him for him to show off his "party tricks"
From his pride however, he became impatient and arrogant...He showed little compassion for those who did not abide by his instructions and rigor in yoga classes. He often hurled verbal abuse at this students, going as far as making them doing unbearable postures for longer periods of time without relief. He did not take female students as a rule, in the fear of being corrupted. Although he had mastered his body, he still had not mastered his mind, and he looked down on others, and sometimes would not even look at those that gave him offerings, as he thought of them as impure.
One day he wanted to cross the river, and there was a boatsman who was having his lunch. The boatsman told him to wait about 10 minutes, as he was in the middle of his meal. The yogi answered in rage, "You are going to make me wait 10 minutes, do you not know who I am, I have a whole 'sangat' of people waiting to hear my talk?"
His daughter was there, she intervened, "Father, why don't you finish your meal, I shall take him across the river". The yogi accepted this offer grudgingly...midway through crossing the river, having not seen a woman at such proximity for many years, he was overcome by lust for her, and he expressed his desires. The young girl said, "Dear Guruji, I am a girl of lower caste, I smell very foul, how can someone like you touch someone like me?". Given his powers that he developed over the decade, he chanted a mantra and moved his hands around her in a circular motion and the smell amazingly disappeared!
He approached the girl again, the girl said, "Dear GuruJi, it is day, and everyone can see what is happening", in his lustful rage, he chanted another mantra, looked towards the heavens and hopped around the boat like a madman and again amazingly, dark clouds appeared from nowwhere to form a blanket of darkness, turning day to night!
The girl still resisted, and his patience grew thin, and he then started to force himself on the girl, the girl put up a great fight and in the struggle between the boat overturned...fortunately the girl was able to swim very well as she grew up in the rivers and knew the rough torrents very well. The old yogi's fate was not as good, the rocks in the river ripped his bodies to shreds and he drown in the currents, whatever was left of his body was devoured by fishes and crocodiles.
This tale is told over and over again in many forms...Gaining power in positions of authority or over your own physical body, does not mean mastery of the mind, in fact with advancement in the physical world often comes with advancement in pride or Ego, where even the most fundamental principles of integrity are compromised.
In the words of Mahatma Gandhi "I am my worst enemy". What is earnt over a decade can be lost in minutes in just one weak moment. Better to live a balanced life, honestly off the fruits of hard work, treating all others like you would like yourself be treated. Having these positive habits engrained so deeply that the automatic response always protects you. All happiness is based on this solid foundation.