Obstacles as Rewards on the Path

Pulling at Obstacles
July 22, 2020

Courage is Jaya Kula’s 2020 theme. Shambhavi talks about how to relate as practitioners to hard times and obstacles. She shares her experience of challenges and how they are a reward that help us to develop spiritually, become more courageous, and more relaxed. A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi

Podcast First Words

There are many stories—real stories, not fictional stories—about teachers who send students away to do something. On one hand, it’s an instruction to go spread the teachings. If the student studies, practices, has some capacity, and has that capacity to help spread the teachings, then the teacher might say—well, go away and do that in some other place. They may even name a particular place, very far away.

When you read these stories, usually the person is being sent somewhere where they have no resources or networks. You read these accounts, and the people who are sent away to do this are terrified. They really don’t know how they’re going to do what their teacher asked them to do. Plus, they’ve never taught before, so they’re also scared about that. Most of them think I’m not ready, even though I’ve been told I’m ready. So there’s a lot of fear, uncertainty, and wondering how am I going to accomplish this?

Sometimes people who were monastics were sent away and they literally had no money. The teacher gave them enough money for a train ticket, and that was it. They land somewhere with no money at all.

This journey into the relative unknown has no sense of what the plan should be or the future should hold, a feeling of difficulty of some sort or another, and maybe fear and trepidation. It’s an encounter with the unknown, with a feeling of being charged with carrying out the orders of one’s teacher. So that’s a great responsibility. It’s a great burden and an honor. But it’s a difficulty to be told to do something that seems very, very difficult. And where you’re carrying the burden of the teachings and being asked to give the teachings.


Satsang with Shambhavi is a weekly podcast about spirituality, love, death, devotion and waking up while living in a messy world.