A number of us believe that Yogis/Monks who has withdrawn himself or herself from worldly life, are far from reality and thus have no experiences of what living in the world means in terms of relationships, interactions, conflicts, friction, egos, desires, emotions, attachments, etc.. Their advice or guidance is often seen as bookish, impractical and not contemporary.
I think it is important for us to understand first who a true Yogi is. Our scriptures say that one has to go through many births and rebirths before getting to the final state of self realization. During the course of these multiple births and rebirths, one accumulates good karma and bad karma depending on the types of action performed, and it is resultant karma that determines the direction of the individual. It is desire that breeds action. A good desire generates good thought and good action, and an evil desire produces evil thoughts and evil actions. The karma counter keeps accumulating depending upon the type of desire.
Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 6, verse 6.41, says ‘A fallen (but sincere) yogi gains entry (after death) into the world of the virtuous. He/She may remain there for many years. Afterwards, he/she is reborn on earth into a good and prosperous home.’ Continuing verse 6.45 says ‘Diligently following his / her chosen path, and cleansing one of all sin (karmic debts), the yogi, after many births, attains perfection, and enters at last into the Supreme Beatitude.’
My point here is true Yogis having gone through life, and having gone through all the vicissitudes of life, have spiritually evolved. Therefore, they have the ability to see many lifes back, and see many lifes into the future. It is with this accumulated wisdom that they take birth again, only for the betterment and upliftment of the masses, and help make the world a better place.
While it is important to take time and understand a yogi, it is then also important to put faith into their advise. Arjuna takes the advise of Krishna, he puts all his faith in Krishna. We have had people like Gowtham Buddh, Ramana Maharishi, Swami Vivekananda, Ramakrishna Paramhamsa, Sarada Matta, and many others who attained sainthood.
We also see accomplished Yogis fall. I am sure a number of us have questions about yogis who fall from grace. Why? Are they really yogis? If they are, then how can they be involved in such issues? I will write next about it.