For most of us, the physical world that we perceive with the five senses is all there is. If you think about it, you would realise there is little to do here — food, sex, money, power, relationships & creativity. But even on achieving these, one is left asking for more. Take the example of sweets, the same combination of flour, sugar and oil (and chemicals!) one eats in hundreds of forms, and still there are newer varieties for one to taste. Innovation is unending, life passes but the taste buds want more, something different. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
Hence, all pleasures have an inherent mechanism towards an automatic process called destruction. Senses dull away with age, tastes don’t. Body fades away, tastes don’t. Any aspect of physical, be it relationship, business, wealth or power, is temporary in nature.
The more you indulge in it, the more insecure you become of losing it, and more tightly to hold on to it. Interestingly, the stronger you try to hold on to something, the faster it will want to leave, and leave it will.
This is the journey into the physical creation, the entry route, or devolution. Because if you look around at the state of people, animals and environment, and if you compare it with what it was 100 years back you will find that we have devolved.
And then, if you project what creation would have been 1,000 years back and what would become of it 50 years from now, you would know that we are stifling creation, the karmic repercussions are bound to come back.
So you may choose the entry route chasing that which is bound to leave you one day, or look for the exit route, the journey beyond…
The beginning of the spiritual journey starts with “bali” or sacrifice. Sacrifice, here is not sacrificing other innocent lives, but sacrificing that which dear to you. Unless you are prepared to leave what you have, you cannot reach anywhere. And, the closer is the object of sacrifice to you, the deeper you go into the reality of life. Ironically, if you are prepared to leave something, that thing will never leave you. Puranas are replete with examples of tapasvis, whatever they sacrificed, came back to them. Even Quran narrates that when Ibrahim sacrificed his son, the son was returned to him.
The concept of bali is simple, it is the release from shackles of maya. As soon as you make a bali, the desire for something more permanent awakens.
That is when you meet a guru, for the exit route. Exit route is not leaving anything, no pleasure or relation has to be left. That’s not meant for normal people, it’s meant only for a sanyasi.
Normal people, who desire to become supernormal and gain siddhis, need to gently and slowly begin the process of purification, make a guru who will individually assess you. Slowly avidya will leave you and reality will dawn. But the guru who will show the path has to be chosen — s/he has to be away from the clutches of maya.