Ascending & Descending Path to Perfection 

Many have struggled to ascend Mt. Everest, some have succeeded, and some have failed. They all have a strong drive to conquer Mt. Everest and some live and some die in the attempt. Training, climbing techniques, physical conditioning, desire and determination, proper equipment, are all factors of a successful ascent of the mountain peak. What are the unknown factors beyond anyone’s control which ultimately decide the climber’s fate?

Throughout the ages, man has endeavored to reach the summit of spiritual perfection in one of two methods: by the ascending or the descending process for attaining spiritual truth.  

The ascending process relies on a self-centered approach that I can, and I will conquer the mountain of supreme knowledge and truth by my personal prowess. This effort mimics the climber of Mt. Everest. 

The descending process is one of surrender and dependence on receiving all that I need by the mercy of God.  

Ultimately, both are subject to the will of the Supreme Person. The expert climber may be defeated by bad weather, equipment failures, avalanches, sickness, etc., all of which are beyond his control and proof that there is a higher power than himself. 

The highest spiritual perfection one can achieve through the ascending process is to approach the impersonal brahman. Actual entrance into the brahmajyoti requires the permission of the Supreme Lord. The success achieved by the ascending process is the lowest level of spiritual realization and is shunned by the spiritualists who desire to attain complete and perfect realization of the Supreme Person. 

For eons, spiritual seekers have spent lifetimes failing to climb their way into the spiritual dimension by their own efforts. Not understanding that the Supreme Absolute is a person, they try to force themselves into his presence. God is the Supreme Person who alone decides to allow the living being to approach Him or to keep him away. 

Giving up all arrogance, pride, and faith in one’s own abilities, the sincere seeker of truth, can, in full humility, approach the Supreme Lord for His help. Receiving his transcendental mercy in the form of transcendental sound, scripture, saintly persons, and the lord in the heart, one can achieve perfection by receiving God’s help descending from the spiritual dimension.  

The descending process, therefore, depends on me giving up all my efforts to figure things out and to simply receive perfect guidance, knowledge, and assistance from the Supreme Friend who desires my return to the spiritual world. 

Bhakti yoga is the perfect linking process to the Supreme Lord and the perfection of the descending process to achieve the goal of life. There are no material requirements to achieve the pinnacle of perfection. I only need to sincerely approach God and ask for His help, and He will respond.  

Whatever understanding I have of God is sufficient for me to approach Him through sincere communication of any type, silently within my mind, out loud, by writing, etc. He is present everywhere and in my heart. He always knows my thoughts, desires, secrets, and is the witness of all my activities.  

He is my best friend and eternal well-wisher Who arranges my life, and places opportunities before me, to progress on the path of self-realization and God-realization according to my sincerity and determination. 

If my efforts for self-realization and God-realization fall under the category of the ascending process, then I am simply in the illusion that I am powerful enough to approach God and come into His presence. This attitude is simply material arrogance and blocks my entrance into the spiritual dimension. 

The living being who cultivates spiritual humility by the purifying process of Bhakti Yoga, will realize that he is completely powerless to approach the Absolute Truth on his own. In this consciousness one can then receive spiritual knowledge, understanding, and remembrance to develop attraction and then love for God. God alone decides, if and when, to fully reveal Himself to the sincere and humble seeker.  

This is the descending spiritual process which is a process of surrender to the Supreme Person and the reception of His mercy, grace, and love.  

By this descending process only, I return to my original position as the loving eternal associate of the Supreme Person.

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About Author: 

Sahadeva Das is an initiated disciple of Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa who comes in a long line of bona fide yoga spiritual masters. Sahadeva Das considers it his great fortune in life to have heard and learned from a self-realized soul and is humbly attempting to pass on what he has received.