Learn to Juggle
Some years back a newspaper columnist compared life to a game in which we are juggling five balls in the air. Let’s apply his analogy to our own lives. Our five balls might be work, family, health, friends and of course Sant Mat. Keeping all of these balls in the air is the way we have to juggle our lives.
We will soon understand that some balls are more resilient than others. Work, for instance, is like a rubber ball. If we drop it, it can bounce back. But some other balls – family, health and friends – are not made of rubber and require far more care. If we drop one of these they could be irreparably scuffed, marked or damaged, and while they may be retrievable, getting them back into the ball game could take a significant amount of effort. It is important to understand this and strive to find the balance in our life that keeps all the balls in the air.
As satsangis we have three more balls competing for time and place in our juggling act. These are: meditation, satsang and seva. These three balls are extremely important. If we drop them, then like our life balls, we can retrieve them, but getting them back into our game can only be achieved through effort and loving obedience to our Master. We may find that as our juggling act speeds up, simran, bhajan and our Master get lost in our ball game, but they are always available to us.
We need a well-considered game plan to juggle. Balance and pace are important, and the first thing we learn is that each ball has a specific time and place in the rhythm of the act. Similarly, we learn that life itself has rhythm. It is not a race but a journey, to be savoured each step of the way. If we rush along focusing on the past and the future, life slips through our fingers. But by living one day at a time, we live all the days of our life. As the saying goes, yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift – that’s why we can call it the present.
Similarly, Sant Mat is not a race. There is no “Trikuti Trophy” or “Dera Challenge Cup” to be won. It is a path on which we walk slowly, a personal journey. Each step within is an unfolding of immense beauty, which, like the opening of a flower, cannot be rushed.
The challenge we face is to maintain our rhythm and balance while keeping our juggling act going. If we are serious about Sant Mat and don’t see it merely as an insurance policy to take care of us when we die, it should be the main focus in our lives. Our confused sense of priorities causes us to live under extreme pressure, though, and lose our focus. While juggling the five life balls, so too must the four principles be integrated into our daily activities. Go about the business of life, and at the same time go about the business of Sant Mat.
We have a purpose in life: our spiritual goal. True spiritual fulfilment comes from exploiting our God-given potential. There is no greater gift than this, and the inspiration to keep juggling this ball comes from satsang, simran and bhajan. Focused meditation is its own inspiration.
Desire is our great motivation, and it is the Master who kindles the desire within us for spirituality. We are told that the greatest riches are waiting within for us to enjoy. Why then do so many of us chase the mediocre mainstream? As we strive for excellence in our life, so too should we strive for our own excellence along the path. We should never be satisfied with spiritual mediocrity, because that is when our juggling act gets confused and we drop the ball labelled Sant Mat. And this disrupts our entire juggling act.
We each know what is best for us and we should set our goals accordingly. We should never be afraid to follow what is in our heart. Our heart directs us, while the head confuses us. Our heart is a harp of many strings, which respond to the many emotions of our lives and also to the touch of the Master. His mystic teachings resonate in our hearts. It is his call to our soul that transforms our lives. The things closest to our heart must never be taken for granted. Rather we should cling to them as we would to life, for without them life is meaningless.
Divine love is the greatest gift of all. To know whether we really love the Master we need to ask ourself whether we can do without our meditation, and whether we can live without him in our life. If the answer is ‘no’, then we already love him.
The promise he makes us is that if we do our meditation all impurities and worldly desires will leave us and there will be an unbroken flow of peace, light and love. But to achieve this we must be attuned to Shabd at all times, so that all our feeling, thinking and willing is focused in Sant Mat. Then our juggling act will be well balanced.
By receiving initiation we have turned around and we now have to learn to swim against the stream. Our lives must be different from the way we lived before. The juggling balls take on different roles of importance as we strive to find our own voice, our own rhythm. We need to listen to our heart and fight for what we believe to be true. Now is the time to take the decision that every day for the rest of our lives we will think and work for Sant Mat; that each day we will try to be a better satsangi than we were the day before.
We can learn to balance our juggling act. We can move with the rhythm of life while pursuing our dream. We can follow that dream.
Baba Ji has told us to be natural, to believe in ourselves and to be ourselves.
The Masters believe in us, otherwise they would not have initiated us. We need to be true to ourselves; to have faith in ourselves and in our ability to live a balanced life and to keep all our juggling balls in the air. For to really succeed, we have to be the very best we can possibly be.
The way is not hard to a simple heart
nor is there any hurdle to upright thoughts,
nor any storm in the depth of an enlightened mind.
When supported on all sides by the harmonious,
then there is no discord within.
The likeness of that which is below,
is that which is above.
For everything is from above,
and whatever is below exists only in the imagination
of those who are without knowledge.
Grace has been revealed for your salvation:
have faith, and live and be saved.
The Odes of Solomon