Seeking the Comforter
Seeking comfort is the search for protection and shelter, as well as relief from pain and anxiety. All creatures in this world will, at some point, find themselves in one form of pain or another. This may be of a physical, mental, emotional or of a spiritual nature. We all have a combination of so-called ‘good and bad days’, or a mixture of varying karmas that make up the tapestry of our life. And it is in those painful moments that we find ourselves searching this world, and looking towards our fellow humans around us for that deep sense of solace, comfort and refuge. The entire world is aching to be comforted, accepted, hugged and, above all, loved unconditionally.
Our mind knows only the language of the senses and will seek to comfort itself via the body. Any sense of touch, taste, smell, sight or sound that is in some way soothing to us, is most sought after. Some of us seek refuge in food and will crave different varieties of foods and tastes in an effort to satisfy that unending hunger or the void within. Some seek comfort in touch and will be seen frequenting nightclubs and seeking out other fellow humans for short-term relationships, as a temporary easing of this inner loneliness. Some seek out beautiful scents and flowers to comfort and soothe our sense of smell.
Others perhaps seek to view some beautiful scenery or maybe a movie. We often seek comfort in family, friends and spouses, but even they are unable to provide us with the ultimate comfort we crave. Albeit this may just be a temporary bondage that is covering up a much deeper longing.
For it is the spirit or soul within us rather than our body that requires consoling and it is our very own mind that requires re-directing from outwards to inwards. Behind the play of life, this search for comfort is our soul yearning to be reunited with the Lord. Kahlil Gibran explains this as follows:
Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
This implies that a sense of pain is a prerequisite for the inward journey to begin.
In a strange way, this pain is a blessing as it gives us the momentum to go forward and deeper in our quest for this comfort. This journey will lead us to the Ultimate Comforter, referred to in the Bible as the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is the Shabd or celestial music that our soul has been thirsting after. Now, after many lifetimes, we have been given an opportunity to visit an inner sanctuary where we can find comfort. Meditation may be viewed as a prayer of comfort that we can do at anytime and anywhere. It soothes and nourishes our soul. It does not require much, other than to sit quietly with eyes closed and silently repeat the five words given to us by our Master, and then give time to listening to, or for the Shabd.
The author of The Cloud of Unknowing advises us to: “Leave aside this everywhere and this everything, in exchange for this nowhere and this nothing.” Out of this nowhere and this nothing, we shall experience the inner light and sound that will comfort our souls.
A photograph in the book Legacy of Love shows Maharaj Charan Singh holding a parcel next to his chest. The word Fragile is written on the parcel. Does that not sum up symbolically how we all feel at times? Fragile! However, even more important is the message that he is always there to comfort us and keeps us close to his heart.
What follows is a beautiful shabd which describes the Comforter:
O Lord-Master, I have come seeking your sanctuary.
The anxiety of my mind has departed,
since I obtained your vision.
Without your speaking, you know my condition.
You cause me to recite your name.
My sorrows have fled away, and I merge in peaceful poise.
In utter bliss I sing your glorious praises.
Holding my hand you have pulled me out of the deep, blind well
of worldly attachments and mammon.
O Nanak! The guru has broken my bonds, I was separated and
now I am united with God.
Guru Arjun Dev, Adi Granth
But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.
But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?
But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him to you.
Bible, Gospel of John
You may be good or bad. There is nothing to worry about. You should gain the company of a saint and listen to his satsang. The fresh air of his invigorating spirituality will bestow upon you the same spiritual health and freshness, and in a short time you will become good yourself. Then the qualities of virtue will manifest themselves within you. Listening to the satsang with your mind and heart, and relishing it, you will easily gain control over your senses, and your soul will become steady…
Maharaj Sawan Singh, Philosophy of the Masters Vol I