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Obstacles in God-Realisation

by Swami Sivananda


Just as volunteers come in front and obstruct the path of those who want to enter a conference pandal without tickets, so also the old Samskaras of enmity, hatred, lust, jealousy, fear, honour, respect etc. , assume definite forms and obstruct the path of aspirants.

An intelligent and comprehensive understanding of the various obstacles that act as stumbling blocks in the path of God-realisation is indispensably requisite for an aspirant. Then alone he will find it easy to conquer them one by one. Just as the sailor sails in and out of a harbour along a dangerous coast, so also a detailed knowledge of these obstacles and the methods to conquer them will act as a guide in steering clear the ocean of spirituality. Hence I have given a very lucid exposition of the various obstacles and the effective methods to conquer them. Aspirants are requested to go through them very carefully often when they encounter difficulties on the path.



According to Patanjali Maharshi the following are the obstacles in God-realisation:


darsana-alabdha bhumikatva-anavasthitatvani chitta-vikshepaste-antarayah.

Diseases, remission of Sadhana, doubt, carelessness, laziness, worldly-mindedness, illusion, false perception, tossing of mind and inability to remain in the state of Samadhi on account of Vikshepa are the obstacles in the path of God-Realisation. (I-30. )


"Diseases are generated in one's body through the following causes, viz. , sleeping in the day time, late vigils overnight, excess of sexual intercourse, moving in crowd, the checking of the urine and faeces, the evil of unwholesome food and laborious mental operations with Prana. If a Yogin is afraid of such diseases (when attacked by them), he says: 'My diseases have arisen from the practice of Yoga'. Then he will discontinue his practice. This is said to be the first obstacle to Yoga. The second (obstacle) is doubt; the third, carelessness; the fourth, laziness; the fifth, sleep; the sixth, not leaving of objects (of sense); the seventh, erroneous perception; the eighth, sensual objects; the ninth, want of faith; and the tenth, the failure to attain the truth of Yoga. A wise man should abandon these ten obstacles after great deliberation. "

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