Do you need permissions to go on your spiritual path?
Yes, you do have to get the express permission to take up sanyasa or follow on the spiritual path from the near and dear ones.
Let us first begin why do we need permissions in the first place. Your body is a creation of the elements and it seems to have come from another body. So the ownership of this elementary body goes to the mother of the body. She has given you the basic ingredients to be alive in that body. So take your mothers permission first. Sometimes when the call of the spiritual is very strong and there can be no resistance, you may have to coerce her to give in. It happened in the case of Shankaracharya whose mother refused to yield in to his requests. So one day he created an illusion of a crocodile pulling him down in the river. He told her to grant him the permission there itself. She had to give in. He was then free to go on his spiritual path. Shankara promises his mother that he will return before she breathes her last and keeps it. So sometimes coercion is needed to extract the permission.
The second permission that needs to be taken if the aspirant is a married person is of the spouse. Sages like Tukaram or Meerabai had to bow down to the wishes of their spouses. Meerabai couldn’t live without her Krsna and Rana had no choice but to offer her the freedom. Though the family tried to curb it in various ways. They built a temple inside the palace grounds, trying to curtail her freedom. But no one could take away her devotion or spiritual fervor.
Tukarams wife had no choice but to allow him to go up the mountain to be with The Lord. She would trudge all the way up to feed her spiritually wayward husband. Though in the end she opts to stay back to take care of the cows and children, when he sends her a word to accompany him in the celestial vimaana( aircraft)!
Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa too had to take permissions. So did Chaitanya and they had to keep the promise they had given also.
There are no choices whereas permissions are needed. You have to get the express permissions. You are allowed even dubious means to get them when the spiritual call or urge is tremendous.
I took up this body in 2001. So in fact the body was a vehicle belonging to someone else. I had to take the permissions. The call was the strongest in 2006. I had to leave within a year. Only after talking over I decided the date as 31 May, 2007 and I was allowed to quit active work on 31 December 2006. I stayed back at home preparing to leave by 1st June. I couldn’t keep the date but I left one month later.
Three times I left and came back. I was instructed or rather ordered to return. I reluctantly returned back.
A person who takes sanyasa is not supposed to come back, but I was ordered to not don the ochre clothes or go away. I was specifically instructed to come back to the family. It was not an easy task for me, whom extreme renunciation had struck. But to follow Guru’s diktats was imperative. I had to come back and start my job of teaching the aspirants who were there and those who were to come.
The body is made up of material elements and the people who seem to own it are attached to it. They possess it so it’s important for them to relinquish the ownership, hence the permissions.
Think about it this way, if you own a piece of jewelry and someone takes it away without your permission, isn’t it a crime? But if you on your own give it away to that person then it’s not a crime. So permission is important.
Once you meet your Guru and He takes you on as His disciple and initiates you as His Guru putra or Guru putri then no one has claims on you, except Him. You have a new name and identity. You are no longer son or daughter, husband or wife of someone in this material world. You are not even remotely related to your past relatives. You have performed your death rites and taken a new form. Hence it’s important to do what your Guru commands. His wish is your command. So follow the instructs of your Guru and none other.
But if you haven’t met your Guru then you must take the necessary permissions first. Don’t do otherwise. Only in extreme circumstances you may be allowed to walk away. But those are rarest cases. Only Nityasidhas are allowed that. So take the necessary permissions from the nearest family if you haven’t yet met your Guru.
Image Courtesy by RK Mission Ashrama