Katha Upanishad begins: ‘ On a certain occasion Vajasrabasa, hoping for divine favour, performed a rite which required that he should give away all his possessions. He was careful, however, to sacrifice only his cattle, and of these only such as were useless – the old, the barren, the blind and the lame. Observing this niggardliness, Nachiketa, his young son, whose heart had received the truth taught in the scriptures, thought to himself: ‘Surely a worshipper who dares bring such worthless gifts is doomed to utter darkness!’ Thus reflecting, he came to his father and cried: “Father, I too belong to thee: to whom givest thou ME?” His father did not answer; but when Nachiketa asked again and yet again, he replied impatiently: “Thee I give to Death”.
We will only progress along our spiritual path if we embrace our yoga, our meditation and the teachings wholeheartedly. That does not mean to say that we follow blindly. No, there is always a need to check everything out with your inner guru. But ‘going through the motions’ will not lead to progress. I’m sure we have all met ‘yogis’ who are more concerned about how pretty they look in an asana, or how lovely their meditation shawl is, rather than actually doing the work!