Hello and welcome to episode 67 of The Ask Sri Vishwanath Show. Today I want to talk about the number one obstacle faced by human beings in spirituality and what is Krishna says about this.

Today’s question comes from Keith and he says “I am facing a lot of challenges in my spiritual life. I get angry very easily even after spending 7-8 hours in spirituality. I can’t understand where I’m going wrong.”

Thanks for the question Keith. I too had the same problem. The first thing I want to do is congratulate you. You are headed on the right path. Spending seven hours in spirituality is great. You’re doing great. This is just a transitionary phase and with some minor tweaks you will make it. Don’ worry too much this is just a bump in the road.

Rise high

Vivekananda says “the higher the waves rise the lower it falls.” You have reached a high peak of concentration so when you fall you fall from a great height. This is why you feel so much pain. Other people only rise a little so when they fall it doesn’t hurt as much. Know that you are falling hard because you have done so well and you will get to those heights again.

I want to tell you a story that was told by a direct descendent of Sri Ram Krishna. The story is about a sage who was on the banks of a river while it was raining heavily. The sage noticed a scorpion trying to get out of the river. The banks was very steep and muddy so it was having a hard time. It kept slipping back into the water.


The sage went to the water and took the scorpion in his hand. The minute he picked it up the scorpion grabbed him with its pincers because that was its nature. The sage ignored the pain and put the scorpion on the edge of the river. The heavy rain came again and washed the scorpion back into the river. The sage took it out of the river but it was washed back in again. Every time he picked the scorpion up it grabbed him and made him bleed. Again the sage ignored the pain and he took the scorpion further away from the river where it could not be washed back in.


There was a passer by watching all of this and he asked the sage why he was worried about such an insignificant creature. He was not getting any benefit from it. In fact he was worse off because his hand was bleeding.

The sage explained that the nature of a sage was too spread positive and energy and to want to help others regardless of whether the person is good or bad. It is the scorpion’s nature to grab and sting but it also the sage’s nature to want to help it. He does not discriminate between good and bad.

There are two natures. The nature of worldly people and the nature of spiritual people. With worldly people their minds tend to go out and try to hold on to something external in order to achieve happiness. Every time we put our mind out in an effort to be happy we fall into the bracket of worldly people and whenever we try to draw our minds in to seek happiness inside is when we start the journey of spirituality.

So Keith you are making that transition from putting your mind out to drawing it in. That is why you are facing pain. Worldly people hold on to outwardly things to try and gain happiness. It could be a friend, family, goal, a hobby or a passion. It could be entertainment-like seeing a movie, power- like being promoted in a job and earning more money.

Happy with the self

Spiritual people are happy with just the self. Yes they will have friends and family and a job but they do not rely on those things in order to be happy. Those things are karma but when you are in touch with the self that is all you really need.


Krishna says “the self indeed is a friend of the self when the self can be subdued. The self indeed is the foe of one unsubdued.” Your consciousness is your friend when you draw your mind in but it can be your enemy when you put your mind out. When you draw your mind in you consciousness will become an angel full of appendance. When you cannot control your mind it becomes the devil that will go out and sit everywhere and cause you pain.

The pain you are facing in this transition is because you are trying to form a definition of happiness. I tried to do the same thing. We all have an idea of the perfect world and we become unhappy when the people around us don’t fit into that idea.

When I studied music all I ever wanted to talk about was music. When people came to see me I would only want to talk about music and now when people come to visit me all I talk about is Krishna and the Bhagavad Gita. People cannot help talking about something they are very passionate about.

When Vivekananda went to the US and became very popular there because the people there almost couldn’t believe that someone existed who had no interest in making money, women or power. He was only interested in the self and they just couldn’t believe that such a person existed. We are all passionate about what we know and we think the rest of the world should be the same.

Scientists think the world should be all scientific. Medical people think that the world should be seen through the lens of a doctor or consultant. Family people think that everyone should have a family. We just can’t help talking about whatever it is we are passionate about. Krishna said that whatever you eat, you belch!

The pain of a perfect world

So this pain is caused by the idea of a perfect world. There are so many religions and each one thinks theirs is the greatest. We need to focus on drawing the mind in instead of forming an idea of what we believe is a perfect world. We should never try to force our opinions on others. We should only gift it to those who come to us and ask for it. Don’t worry about what other think just focus on drawing your mind inwards.

Krishna says we need to stop trying to fix the world. Just focus on spreading good energy. Increase the speed of drawing yourself inwards. The moment people get into spirituality they develop the habit of wanting to dump all of their information on others. I made the same mistake. I had used the little knowledge I had collected and I tried to throw it out into the world thinking that this is how the world should be.

Be wise

Only ignorant people will try and change the world. The wise person will only be concerned with the self and drawing it inwards. Krishna says “he who controls the organs of actions focuses his mind on objects is deluded.” Of the wise he says “with the senses controlled, mind controlled he who with the yoga of action commences the yoga of action with the organs of action will have serenity.”

The ignorant person disregards the consciousness and directly puts his mind out. The wise person controls the mind and the senses to draw the consciousness inwards.

So forget about fixing the world Keith and just train yourself to draw your mind in.

I hope I answered your question. Remember you keep asking questions and I’ll keep answering them.

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