The biggest obstacle in the path of acquiring knowledge is our tendency of delaying things and falling for life’s temptations.
But, even if we overcome those, and start reading/learning, there are other major obstacles on the path of knowledge that can slow our progress.
One of the most common obstacles is अहंकार. As we know a little bit, our mind plays a trick and gives us a feeling of
being superior, better than others. Once that feeling creeps in, we stop making further progress as our goal changes to keep that feeling alive, rather than understanding real essence.
Many people fall for this very easily. But we need to avoid it, and one way to do is to keep a strict vigil on our minds and staying humble.
Another obstacle is our need for public recognition, attention, also called as लोक वासना. Social media companies take advantage of this need and make us use them more. In spiritual progress too, it’s very tempting to showcase whatever new we read or understood to get likes/upvotes/ attention/recognition.
While sharing experiences with like-minded people is a must, but there is a very ‘thin line’ between sharing experiences and doing it for getting recognition/attention. Many times we don’t know when we crossed that unknowingly. Again self-control and strict vigil are the best solutions.
While there are many such obstacles, maybe the last one to add here is ‘our urge to correct others’ or ‘debate with others for proving them wrong’.
Once we know something, we notice very easily that others are not following it. This results in we trying to ‘fix’ them, by engaging in unnecessary debates, discussions.
We need to understand that everyone is on their own path/ pace, and we have no right to disturb that until someone asks for help. We need to focus on our spiritual progress and leave others to follow theirs.
If you look closely, all these obstacles are testing if we are ripe enough for the next level. Only those who can avoid these obstacles will continue to make progress.
So, what happens to others who got stuck in one of these obstacles? Arjun too asked the same question to Krishna, in Bhagavad Gita. Krishna’s answer was, “depending upon their karma, and level of knowledge, these people will get another chance in either in this life or one of the next”.
But, why wait for another life or another opportunity, instead let’s give the best shot from our side, and then ask Shri Krishna for help!
पुनरपि जननं पुनरपि मरणं पुनरपि जननी जठरे शयनम् । इह संसारे बहुदुस्तारे कृपयाऽपारे पाहि मुरारे (Bhaj Govindam)
Why have birth/death, and getting into the mother’s womb again and again? It is indeed hard to cross this boundless ocean of samsara. Oh, Murari, redeem us through your mercy.
All the Best!