My two sons left us following some disputes regarding elder son's marriage. They are employed. Now I and my wife at this age (53 and 47) are thinking to leave this profane life and enter spiritual life. We do not have any bank balance. We were doing some work and earn for living. What can I do? I cannot pay and learn spirituality. Is there any place where we can do some work to earn for food and engage in spiritual activities. Spirituality means for me, it is 'focusing mind towards the source'.
You are at an age, with children grown and settled, when it is natural to place more attention on sharing, service and deepening your inner life. While your health is still good and you have energy, apply yourself to spiritual pursuits. Young people too should not wait to seek God, but each stage of life has its own responsibilities and yours is to put more attention toward the spiritual life. Paramhansa Yogananda said, “it takes very, very, very good karma even to want to seek God.” If you have been graced with such karma, you should take advantage of it.
Sister Gyanamata, the foremost woman disciple of Yogananda said, “If you cannot find God where He has put you, where do you expect to find Him?” I recommend you first start following your spiritual inclinations in the situation you now find yourself without thinking to make large, outward changes to your way of life. Let those come when the time is right. If they are meant to be, God will arrange the details if you first devote your life to Him. Assume the vanaprastha life in your current circumstances. Simplify your life of distractions. With your wife, begin a life of daily meditation, devotion, study and service. You must first put your ideals into practice and “magnetise” them to draw whatever else you need. Harmonize your relationships with your family, neighbors and friends, expecially your children, to be free. You cannot control the feelings of your sons, but you can control yourself and you need not cling to any lingering differences on your side of the relationship.
Put into action today your longing for God. Make what inner changes are necessary to live a more spiritual life and you will draw divine guidance as to what your next step should be. Like riding a bicycle, you must pedal forward in order to keep your balance and not fall. So it is with prayer and guidance. If you live the vanaprastha life now, your circumstances will change, opportunities will arise and you will be intuitively prepared to recognize them. Then you must act on them.
While doing the above, associate with others who share your ideals. Do you live in an area where there is an Ananda Center? If you do, make contact and explore ways to participate. Satsanga is of great importance and association with others will give you opportunities for service in addition to meditation. If you do not have others close by, perhaps there are serviceful groups that appeal to you and who could use your help. Ask yourself how you can usefully share your knowledge and experience. I cannot give you specific people or places to contact as that is beyond my knowledge, but I am confident you will be rightly guided if you you sincerely seek God first and pray for guidance. You probably know the sayings, “When the disciple is ready, the guru comes” and “when one is willing to travel far to seek knowledge, the teacher appears close by.” Our job is to stimulate our longing for God in our present situation and draw Him to us.
Nayaswami Jaya Helin