The evolution of the soul is the evolution of consciousness from a dull, covered material consciousness ‘I am the body, this world is my home, I am the enjoyer, I can be happy here,’ and on and on, to an awareness of ‘I’m not the body, I’m spirit soul.’ I begin to direct my mind, and I direct my body to facilitate my evolution spiritually.
In material life I am the servant of my mind and my senses, they tell me what I’m going to do in my life. The senses tell me very clearly, “You’re going to eat this.” Why? Because the tongue wants it, “Oh, I want a pizza.” So, what? I go get a pizza. Okay, the tongue brought me to the pizza house. “Oh, you’re going to watch this movie,” The mind says, “I want to watch this movie. Okay, we’re going to go watch this movie.” I want this. The mind and the senses take us wherever they do.
And it always leads to disappointment, frustration, “Yes, it was really good, but it wasn’t quite perfect.” We’re always looking. I surfed for so many years. It was my total life and we were always looking for the perfect wave, but I never found it, no perfection. There is no perfection; there is no perfect wave. That one was so perfect, but the next one might be more perfect, because this one didn’t fulfill.
Interesting story. A friend of mine, that I met years later after this happened, was a surfer in Australia. One time he and his friend took a surfing trip. This was long ago when all these good spots hadn’t been discovered yet, now they go in by boat; this was back in the beginning days.
They went on a surfing safari, so to speak, looking for the perfect wave. They left Australia and they went up to Indonesia, to Bali in Indonesia. Amazing surf in Indonesia, everybody who surfs knows that, but then nobody knew. However everywhere they went, something was wrong. The waves weren’t there, the currents were wrong, the wind was wrong, something was wrong. Because in surfing it takes a lot of conditions to come together at one time: the swell, and the wind, and the currents, all kinds of things before it becomes the best.
Just before he left Australia, someone gave him a Bhagavad-gita which is our main Vedic text of yoga that we read. The Bhagavad-gita is like the Bible of Yoga. Somewhere along the way, as he left Australia, someone said, “Here, take this with you,” so he was reading a little bit here and there as he was going along, travelling. You’ve got a lot of time when you travel, so he was hearing this message of yoga, that the material world is not really going to do it for you, you are spirit soul.
They finally got to Sri Lanka and nobody that they knew of had ever been surfing in Sri Lanka. Like I say, this was a long time ago, they started asking around to some of the locals along the different beaches where they could find some perfect surf. Some guys told them, “You go to this place,” it was really a remote place, and they had to travel to get there and they finally got to this place. Sure enough the waves were absolutely wonderful, perfect, like the best. And they said, “Yessss, we did it! We finally found it!”
And all along, remember, he’s been reading the Bhagavad-gita. So as a surfer, you always watch the surf for a while to see where the best breaks are, where it breaks exactly and how the reef is, and all these different things; you ‘read’ the surf. So they were watching and watching to see how everything was, and, as they were watching, they saw a fin! It went, “Shhhhhhh…” They thought, “Hmm, not good.” Then they looked and saw one more, “Shhhhhhh”, they looked and then one more, “Shhhhhhh”, they saw that the place was full of sharks. They were everywhere, they said there were so many sharks that they couldn’t believe it.
And there it was: the perfect surf, nobody… maybe they were the first people that had ever been there, and it’s full of sharks. My friend said, “That’s it, I’m finished!” boom! He went back and got very involved in yoga. He said, “I know… Bhagavad-gita told me. Now I understand.” Not that he quit surfing but it wasn’t his life anymore. Now he had another direction in life, so the yoga path is an amazing path.