The ways of materialism and the ways of spiritual growth are very different because materialistic growth is one to many and spiritual growth is many to one. Materialistic growth is extroverted, spiritual growth is introverted. But because we live such a materialistically bent life, they expect you to go through an entire “Ramadan” fasting of one month, prepare you, cleanse you, get yourself ready, seek forgiveness from everybody who you could have hurt and then only you ready to go to Hajj.
You go through the entire padyushan , you go through the fasting, you go through the process of self cleansing. As “Mahatma Gandhi” would always say, if what I want is not happening that means I am not pure enough, let me purify myself through fasting. So, every time when what he sought did not happen, instead of blaming it on anything external, he used to say, that means I am not pure enough, because from a pure consciousness and intent released must become reality. So, let me purify myself and I will go on fast and he will go on fasting to self purify himself.
So, when you go through the entire padyushan or fasting, you purify yourself and then psychologically you purify yourself by seeking with. That’s how you qualify yourself. You go through that entire 45-days of proper disciplined regimen of abstinence, of restrain, of showing yourself that, you know, it’s a beyond the body by taking cold water bath early in the morning, walking barefoot wherever you go, and through that entire process, you transcend your bodily needs through your abstinence, celibacy, everything you tried.
And then, through the process of preparation in self purification, you become ready to experience “Ayyappa”. It’s only a moment physically between you and your “Ayyappa”. There it’s only a moment between you and your “Tirupati Balaji”, it is only that moment right there in these Sanctum of Mecca. But, in the entire experience because you are completely prepared, you just need one spark for it to become a flame the connect happens.