Sometimes we meet someone who soars high, spiritually, faster & seemingly easier than others. What are their magic gifts?
According to the great yoga sage Patanjali (who lived long ago), there is only 1 big quality that you need, and this is it: the quality of earnestness. A person who is earnest in their spiritual journey has the correct attribute. We don't have to be smarter, richer, better looking, we just have to be earnest about what we are doing.
This, of course, applies to everything in life. Whatever you are earnest about, is easier to accomplish. We awake eager to fulfill whatever we have to do, when we are earnest about something. We find ways to make whatever we are earnest about, to work.
And, when we are earnest, as opposed to just desiring or being determined, we do whatever we can to stay on track. And this brings us to other attributes that we do, in order to keep going in the best way that we can.
One of these is constant practice (abhyasa), or, we keep doing our practices, we keep being earnest, and we come to realise that we need to do other things as well.
We need to be a decent person, who has integrity. We decide never to use the spiritual power that we have built up ourselves and also the power that we have received, in a harmful way. We decide not to hurt others (ahimsa is non-violence).
Although earnestness is a quality, and abhyasa and ahimsa are also definitely a quality, ahimsa is actually the 1st step in yoga. Non-violence is the 1st step according to Patanjali. Most of us have to come to this step, but I have met people who consciously aim to never hurt, hold grudges.
This single step is crucial, for one cannot truly grow spiritually when one does mean things to others, tell lies about others, steal.... these are all other steps we need to move away from and they all stem from himsa, which is violence.
When you come across someone who professes to be spiritual, or Highly Evolved, or a self-proclaimed guru, watch, listen carefully. Do they genuinely practice ahimsa?