AHYMSIN newsletter, issue - July 2011  

Challenges on the Spiritual Path

by Pandit Hari Shankar Dabral

To a person who is increasing his or her commitment or intensity of their practice, the worldly situations will start testing your faith, commitment and your determination. You will all of the sudden start to see things becoming difficult in every aspect of your life. Starting from family, spouse, kids, vehicle, work, boss, your own meditation – everything will have a challenge all of the sudden.

From a spiritual point of view – it is positive. Those are good signs.

But from worldly point of view, it's a hassle – it's difficult.

You will think, “Why am I feeling this? I am meditating and I am doing my mantra and everything is becoming difficult.. Why is this happening?”

That is where we misinterpret. We think that things will get better by our meditation, but things may get worse before they get better. And so challenges upon challenges upon challenges appear.

A spiritual seeker sees it as an opportunity to GROW and to Purify, to expedite the wheel of Karma and to pay off your Karma quicker. The karmas that would take ordinary people one year to pay off are happening in one day.

Everything gets challenged and everything is challenging.

From physical health, relationships or work challenges - deal with that challenge within your capacity and knowledge of what needs to be done. 

When a challenge comes into your life, there will first be a reaction that comes; maybe it's anger, maybe frustration? Become aware of that reaction. That is the human reaction and is normal. You shouldn’t actually ignore and suppresses this reaction and you can immediately come to watch the reaction.  Then the third level comes in - the law of Karma – and you can ask yourself ‘What is in my duty to do?”

As challenges come, tell yourself that it is an opportunity to go through the fire. A goldsmith puts the gold into the fire- it’s a difficult process for the gold, but at the end that gold shines. When you go though the fire, then only the light comes. See those challenges or difficulties as a part of your spiritual progress.

Swami Veda says that whenever he gets sick first he thanks the Lord himself that he has the opportunity to close himself and he goes into silence. So each time he has pain he just closes his eyes and he thanks that now I have an opportunity to look within more.

Any time that a difficulty arises, think:

  1. Acceptance as an opportunity that you are paying your debts faster and quicker
  2. Purification
  3. Remember this will pass because you are moving forward so that state of yourself will never stay the same.

Editor’s note:

Pandit Hari Shankar Dabral, Ph.D, is the Spiritual Director of The Himalayan Yoga Meditation Centre in Calgary. The website is  He shares this article from his blog,

Panditji is an experienced teacher in the Himalayan Tradition. A disciple of H. H. Swami Rama of the Himalayas, he has been trained by Swami Veda Bharati. Trained and authorized by Swami Rama to give initiations; Panditji has initiated many hundreds of people. His knowledge of Sanskrit and the Yoga Scriptures is vast and comprehensive yet he is able to explain complex ideas in ways that are easy to understand and apply to daily life.

Upcoming Events

Pandit Dabral will be leading a Pilgrimage to the sacred sights of the Himalayan Mountains of Northern India 9th – 26th September 2011.  For more information:

Swami Veda will be visiting Calgary in 16th – 19th August.  For more information, please see