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Inspiration from the book The Tradition of the Himalayan Masters by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Ph D

extract from Chapter 5, parashurama

 The only purpose of spiritual practices is to remove these threefold impurities (explained earlier - Skepticism, Karmic impurity and the false sense of duty). How much practice you need depends on how many of these impurities you have. Commitment to practice comes only with the desire for liberation. Without this desire, direct realization is impossible, no matter how much you listen to a teacher or contemplate a philosophical truth.

In this para, Pandit Tigunait explains that a mere curiosity is not going to help us in our quest for realization. Curiosity may bring us to books and understanding but deeper desire is required in order to achieve practical results. Spiritual practices are meant to help us on our path, however the real realization comes directly when we are ready for it. The spiritual practices are important and required in order to make us ready for the realization.

As we continue our practice, we start getting better understanding about the goal, about the path and about the nature of higher self there by clearing our doubts. As our doubts become less and less, we practice more and also we get more ready for the realization.

In the same way our past tendencies may hinder our progress. As we practice, we overcome the past habits and change comes from inside. This is the second purpose of spiritual practices - to purify our Karma.

The third impurity that is removed by spiritual practices is the false sense of duty. Many times, we mistakenly understand our purpose and duty in this world but once we start the practices, we start realizing that our duty is in essence towards our higher nature.

There are many paths and religions - all providing various spiritual practices. However in essence the internal purpose is same. If we don't understand the real purpose and just follow a spiritual practice by rule, it just becomes a ritual. Rituals are just going to bind us more to the false sense of duty. We need to follow the chosen spiritual practices with the real understanding in order purify our selves.

Once our internal purification is done, we are ready for realization and it dawns at the appropriate time and occasion.

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