Before a vaccine can be approved for use, it has to go through a test. Only after being tested to show the desired results that it is made available on the market. Likewise, we go through tests in our life. We are put to tests, go through a testing phase, and then after we are tested, we move on. If we look back in our lives, we will surely find so many situations where we have been put to test. For the spiritual practitioner, the path he embarks on is like a spiritual ladder. After being tested on one rung, he moves forward. The constant progress constitutes his accomplishments, and he rejoices in climbing the ladder every time.

“Bhakti nisaini mukti ki, sant charhe sab dhyaaye
Jin jin man aalas kiyaa, janam janam pacchtaaye”

Devotion is the sign of liberation, which Saints practice earnestly. Those who stumble into laziness in their practice will regret it for many lifetimes. The passion and sincerity with which we devote ourselves to God not only ensures our spiritual progress, but also helps us overcome challenges which come our way. The ‘testing’ phase is longer if we are not spiritually equipped to face challenging situations. The more we are determined in our devotion, the more strength we develop to pass the tests. Imagine if researchers take it lightly when testing a vaccine : how reliable would it be for use? The reliability of the results rest on how flawless the testing process was. Similarly, the ardent devotee gives his 100% to climb his spiritual ladder.

But there is also the willingness to submit oneself to tests. Many people would rather run away from the situation or use shortcuts. Satguru Kabir Saheb has stressed on the fact that only the brave can embark on that path. The weak and lazy will never be able to get even close to the ladder.

“Jin dhoondaa tin paaiyaa, gehri paani paith
Mein bapooraa dooban daraa, rahi kinaare baith”

He who is resolved in his search will go any distance to reach his goal, i.e. is not afraid of diving in deep waters to find the treasure. He who is afraid of drowning, remains sitting on the shore, achieving nothing. This path is for brave ones only. Fear, doubts, confusion or hesitation are obstacles which will never allow anyone rise in his spiritual path. The Guru is here to remove those hurdles for us. But here as well, we must be ready to submit ourselves to our Guru. The harder the tests we pass, the further up we move in our ascension to our goal. Look back in your own life and you will find that the harder the problem you have overcome, the happier you felt. Problems which were easy to tackle did not give you as much satisfaction as the harder ones.

Tests are a normal part of our spiritual growth. Let us not handle them with apprehension, but face them with firmness and perseverance.

Mahant Jay Jaggessur, Kabir Association of Toronto.