There is a story, which is known by all people who have lived in Dehradun twenty years back…I heard it from one of them. It is like lore for them.
It was the time of Diwali and a lady reported Goddess Lakshmi visiting her in a dream and offering her all the riches of the world, but on the condition that the lady must give her son in exchange. The lady first excited at the idea, was horrified at the prospects of losing her son and so refused the offer. In the next couple of days, her husband got a huge business deal and there was a sudden windfall in the family. Overjoyed, they bought a new house, a new car…they even bought all the property of neighbors. A few days later, their young son passed away, just like that. Today she is a forlorn mother, no riches in the world can heal her sorrow.
This is the power and swaroop of maya.
The lady had refused to maya in the dream but when she actually came to her, she welcomed it with open arms. She forgot about God and Guru and so, got stuck with maya. Guru is like an anchor that does not let you sink in the ocean of attachment (maya). Whenever you take from creation, you have to give back to it as well, that is how the balance in maintained. Since the lady did not do any service or charity, hence what maya had given could not be balanced out and so the drastic consequence. Physical pleasures and wealth are a direct consequence of your karma…so is pain and poverty. To achieve wealth one must improve his/her karmas by doing service and charity and chanting specific mantras given by one’s Guru.
Diwali is just round the corner, the time of year when everyone is busy lighting lamps in front of the idol of Goddess Lakshmi, asking for wealth and other physical pleasures. This Diwali try something different. Ask, but also give. Have fun, but also be prepared by asking for detachment from the physical. The lights and diyas relate to ‘tamso ma jyotirgamaya’ (take me from darkness to light). Just like light is misunderstood as lighting lamps and not internal gyan, Diwali is misunderstood for ‘getting wealth and more wealth’ rather than ‘get wealth and detach me from it’ as it is physical and nashwar, ie, temporary. All physical things have a limited life and give intense pain when they are going…and go they will. The more you have, the more the pain.
Detachment is the key to success. It is a fact of life that the more you run after something, the more it makes you run for it and the moment you turn your back to it, it starts chasing you instead. With advanced practices of Ashtang yoga and Sanatan Kriya under the sanidhya of Guru, a practitioner moves towards detachment. Then it does not matter what you do because you have detached yourself from the effect of that action. Yoga does not prescribe any restrictions in lifestyle, diet or rituals…it sets you free. The reason why yogis and tapasvis can access anything under the sun with just a thought alone while ordinary men may not be able to achieve it despite struggling for years together is because a yogi is in a state of detachment. He has access to all the pleasures in creation but he does not desire them. The higher the level of detachment, the faster is the manifestation of one’s thoughts and desires.