Spiritual progress is gradual and imperceptible

When the time is ripe, the advancement of a person toward Self-knowledge comes about as naturally as the physical body of a child grows into full-fledged form. The growth of the physical body is worked out by the operation of natural – laws, and the progress of the aspirant toward Self-knowledge is worked out by the operation of spiritual laws pertaining to the transformation and emancipation of consciousness. The physical body of a child grows very gradually and almost imperceptibly, and the same is true of the spiritual progress of a person once he has entered the path. The child does not know how its physical body grows; in the same way, the aspirant also is often oblivious of the law by which he makes headway toward the destination of his spiritual progress.

The aspirant is generally conscious of the manner in which he has been responding to the diverse situations in life but rarely conscious of the manner in which he makes progress toward Self-knowledge. Without consciously knowing it, the aspirant is gradually arriving at Self-knowledge by traversing the inner path-through his joys and sorrows, his happiness and suffering, his successes and failures, his efforts and rest, and through his moments of clear perception and harmonized will as well as the moments of confusion and conflict. These are the manifestations of the diverse sanskaras that he has brought from the past; and the aspirant forges his way toward Self-knowledge through the tangles of these sanskaras like the traveler threading his way through a wild and thick forest.

-Discourses 7th Ed., p135

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