The Real Gold
You may have heard of alchemy, the ancient science of turning base metals into the purest metal of all - gold.
Many metaphysicists in other times have endeavoured to master this science as the true goal of life.
As much as the metal gold has been revered and coveted over the ages, this concept has also been understood to take on another, deeper meaning, by those who held this great aspiration.
This alternate, metaphorical meaning sees the conditioned, earthbound human being or the unrefined ‘animalistic’ human as the base metal, and gold as the brilliantly transformed end product of the spiritually liberated and enlightened soul.
For our purposes here in this blog, the alternate, metaphorical approach is actually the simpler and more beneficial approach because everybody can do it, and it’s much more fun!
Turning base metals into gold can be a bit tricky and cumbersome and woe betide those whose miscalculate and mix their chemicals incorrectly!
But thankfully for us, and yes you read correctly - we can all achieve the lofty goal of the gold of enlightenment and be blissful in the process.
Not only can we all achieve gold in our lives but this kind of gold is the kind that can move more than stock markets. It can move our minds and our hearts.
It can put us in touch with our soul which is our life force and true spiritual identity. That which gives our lives lift off.
Once in connection with our true, spiritual selves it ultimately puts us in connection with the supreme self, the source of all the gold - metal or other - that ever there was or ever will be.
He is known in the Bhakti Yoga tradition as Krishna. He is also known as God but He has infinite other names.
Training In Alchemy
There is a definite process and training involved in any kind of science and alchemy of the heart or the science of self realisation, is no different.
Most spiritual traditions around the world give a structured framework within which this process can be safely undertaken under careful guidance.
Ultimately that is the purpose of religion. To help us transform into the purest versions of ourselves because currently we are lying under countless layers of coverings which is our material bodies and everything that goes along with them.
Guidance is required because although perfect in essence, by definition, according to the Bhakti Yoga teachings, as humans in material bodies, we have several core imperfections that limit our ability to access those aspects of ourselves that are pure in nature.
These imperfections are:
Tendency to cheat
Tendency to make mistakes
Tendency to be under illusion
And we thought we were pretty clever!
Because we all have these imperfections, as Bhakti Yogis we draw on ancient spiritual teachings or the ‘revealed scriptures’ for our inspiration and guidance.
These teachings were recorded thousands of years ago, by perfect sages but which are in fact timeless. They form the philosophical foundation that supports the culture, practice and lifestyle of Bhakti Yoga.
Today we all have access to these sacred teachings.
Sincere enquiry and questioning regarding these teachings is always encouraged, as this is one way we get to understand, integrate and realise such deep spiritual truths ourselves, and are then able to share it with others.
Never are you asked to follow blindly!
You may also have heard of the story of the frog prince who is actually a handsome prince, but has been cursed to become a frog. He is freed from the curse when he is eventually kissed by a beautiful princess whom he has befriended.
In a way, we are all like the frog prince.
We are spiritually noble in our true natures, but we have been destined - due to forgetfulness of who we truly are - to take on different bodies over lifetimes until the day when our ‘curse’ is broken.
For us that day comes when we recognise ourselves as a part and parcel of Krishna who is Himself perfect in every way and is full in all opulences and is the source of all that is.
It’s the day when we endeavour to connect with Him and live our lives according to the reality of our true identities as perfect spirit souls, who belong elsewhere, in the spiritual world as eternal companions of Krishna.
Perhaps like me, you may be well and truly over living this world right now!!
It’s the day when we live our lives knowing that we are simply visitors on planet earth and when we engage in a spiritual lifestyle that takes us closer and closer to the true and ultimate destination.
Finally after countless millennia of suffering and despair, we get to go back to Godhead, Krishna, our very best friend.
That fateful ‘kiss’ that breaks the dark spell of our embodiment once and for all, is the point of connection or Yoga - Bhakti Yoga to be precise.
Yoga means connection, and Bhakti means devotion, so Bhakti Yoga means to connect in loving devotion (with the Supreme Divine, Krishna).
In the Bhakti Yoga tradition, this ongoing unique love affair between each of us individually with Krishna Himself, is further and more deeply cultivated through the chanting of the Maha Mantra.
In many ways the frog prince (us) undergoes a great alchemy through the magical kiss (The practice of Bhakti Yoga) and returns back into his original form as a prince (the gold of our true spiritual identities).
One thing we know for sure in our lives and in this world, is that change is constant.
Our environment is changing, our bodies are changing and our consciousness is also changing.
Our consciousness is subject to the influence of our environment and what we choose to expose it to.
We can use our famous free will as human beings to choose to pollute and degrade our consciousness with the infinite variety of toxins both gross and subtle that are widely available to us in our current reality.
Yes, we can choose this path most definitely, and many of us sadly do.
Or, alternatively we can choose to elevate and nourish our consciousness by adopting practices and a lifestyle that are more conducive to revealing our inner ‘prince’ rather than keeping us in a compromised frog like state, or worse, hereafter.
Often we can’t change our circumstances, but as it’s said ‘you can only change yourself, but that changes everything’.
This has never been so true as when the philosophy, culture, lifestyle and practice of Bhakti Yoga is explored and adopted into our lives in its priceless depth and wisdom.
The Golden Rule
Now, when you have gold in your possession, it pays to remember the golden rule.
In fact you must not forget the golden rule!
The golden rule is: ’He or she who has the gold makes the rule.’
When you have discovered the purest kind of gold from the treasure chest of Bhakti Yoga - your true spiritual identity - you only have one rule and you will abide by no other.
You make the rule of your life because you understand that what is in your best interests does not deprave you or intoxicate you or undermine you or stand against you.
Rather what is in your best interests uncovers your gold and polishes it up to a high shine and uplifts you in the process, because you come from none other than the original and ultimate gold mine…..
…the ultimate wealth of all - Krishna.
That is what becomes your new and only rule. To connect with Krishna as your daily devotion and life purpose.
And you naturally make this rule because you now have the gold.
Discover Bhakti Yoga and learn spiritual alchemy today!
Feel free to check out my other blogs for more information.
You can find out a lot more concise information by checking out my videos containing secrets of the ancient, timeless knowledge of Bhakti Yoga - literally at your fingertips.
The bookshelf is also a good place to start the Bhakti Yoga magic.
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A fabulous way to connect to similar minds and hearts is to find an international Bhakti Yoga Centre near you (Branches of ISKCON - The International Society of Krishna Consciousness), where you can speak to an experienced yoga practitioner and receive personal guidance.
If you would like to explore how you can incorporate Bhakti Yoga into your life in a balanced and harmonious way, and feel you would benefit from one on one support, you are welcome to book a Discovery Session with me, Rasika Manjari and we can see if we can work together to help you reach your spiritual goals.
See you at the New World.