Letters on Spirituality
The following are excerpts from letters written in reply to seekers and disciples by Maharaj Charan Singh, taken from the book, Light on Sant Mat. Please note that the numbering follows the letter numbers in the book.
2. Our aim is to achieve God-realization by going in and drawing our consciousness up, through mystic practice and discipline, to the centre behind the two eyes, but without interrupting our daily duties. We are to live in the world, but in a detached manner. The Shabd, the Divine Melody, is the link between man and God, and the Guru or the Master simply gives you the technique and joins you to the Shabd.
8. A Master not only guides the student in this physical world, but also instructs, advises and helps the disciple on the inner planes when the disciple is able to go in. Our aim should be to realize God or Truth within ourselves, but we must know the technique first, as to how and where to go in. These instructions are imparted to the applicant either personally by the Master or through one of his representatives.
The real awakening which you are seeking comes not by sending the attention to the solar plexus but by concentrating it at the centre between the two eyes. It is not the eyes which are to concentrate, but the attention of the mind which is to do the work. It is from this centre that our real spiritual journey begins. At present our soul and mind currents are scattered throughout the body. We have to learn to draw them up and to concentrate them at the eye centre. This does not in any way interfere with the normal routine of one’s life, nor is it necessary or even advisable to give up one’s profession or home. Our worldly duties and obligations are to be fulfilled along with the spiritual practice. But one has to take a vow to live on a vegetarian diet and to eschew alcoholic drinks. The prescribed diet includes all vegetables, fruits, cheese and milk.
You realize your own true form when you rise above mind and matter. The soul is encased in three bodies – the physical, the astral and the causal – and only when we have been able to detach ourselves from these three bodies can we realize our true form. All that is required is to work at the spiritual practice according to directions, for a minimum of two and a half hours daily. If you persist in this with faith and devotion, within a few months or even a few weeks, you can feel that you are making progress. But the actual goal is reached after a very long time, depending upon the previous background and the amount of effort put forth in individual cases. The grace of the Master, which is very necessary, is of course there all the time.
You will be happy to know that in this science you do not need to study philosophy or to do any reading unless it be to satisfy your own mind. What is needed is all the practice you can put in. I may add that the first step for initiation is to go on a strictly vegetarian diet. Try this for a few months and see if you can conveniently follow it. I would also advise you to thoroughly study Sant Mat literature to enable you to make up your mind that this is really what you want, and thrash out any questions that you may have, before applying for initiation through the representative. You may write to me whenever you feel like it.
12. It must have been quite a shock to you to learn of the sudden death of your mother. Souls come and go. This world is like a river and we are like logs floating in it. A current in the river brings us together some for a long time and some for a brief meeting – and another current in the same river parts us. Of course, the closer the association, the sadder the parting. But at its best it is only a worldly relationship. The soul never dies. Please accept my sympathy in your bereavement. I hope that God will give you strength to bear it and to realize that all life in this world is transitory. We come here for experience and with a definite purpose, and when that is finished, we go.
Your travels and experiences give you a good opportunity to study comparative religion first hand. I think that all religions point to the same fact, namely, that everything is within and that we must search within ourselves. Every religion teaches that there is a God and that we have a soul. And that the soul is a part of Him. The very word religion means that relationship of the soul with God. We have been born as human beings to know God, to love Him and to serve Him. We know that God is omnipresent, yet we can find Him only within ourselves. That each individual has to do for himself – of course, under the guidance of one who has himself attained God-realization.
31. It is the nature of the mind to be flitting from place to place, to create doubts and difficulties and then occasionally sit down to solve them, thus keeping you involved in a more or less useless activity. The proper thing is to draw up the mind by concentration and hold it at the eye centre as long as possible. There alone is peace. Below that is only strife and discord.
We are accustomed to pick out faults in other people. But this is not the way of spiritually inclined people. A satsangi or anyone keen on spiritual progress should try to find out his own faults and endeavour to give them up, one after the other, rather than find faults in other people. It is only a sense of superiority and of being above others that induces this habit in us, which is the very opposite of humility.
As for free will, it is an old controversy. The best and most satisfactory solution and the one which brings an element of certainty with it, comes when one goes in and sees the workings of karma. We seem to have a free will but it is hedged in by so many circumstances that there is really very little of it after all, and it is no exaggeration to say that we are puppets in the hands of the Power that rules the world, that is, as long as we have not come to the Satguru and Nam. It is also to be remembered that what we call fate or destiny is not something which has been imposed on us by some outside power against our will, but is the natural result of what we have done in the past. We must reap what we have sown.
As concentration improves and withdrawal is more complete, the ringing of the bells will become clearer. Laziness should be avoided at all costs, for it cuts at the root of meditation.
43. Please do not mind the fact that you live so far from the Dera. The real Satguru is the Shabd, and when the surat goes into Shabd, we not only meet him but become one with him.
107. According to Sant Mat we have to turn our attention inside and gradually weaken our love for external things. The course of simran or the repetition of the five holy names, with attention at the eye centre, is very necessary as it is only with the help of simran that our attention currents are turned inwards.
The mystic vision, the love, the Shabd are all there inside and have always been there, but we have to go in to contact them. This also evokes His blessings and love. The first part – the simran – which enables us to come to the eye centre, has to be done with effort. Then the fountain of love and grace will begin to flow. I am not angry or displeased, but you have to work your way up. Faith is a good thing, but it must be turned into a living faith.
286. Master is within all of us and hears our cries and prayers, but we should pray to be granted strength to face calmly what is in store for us, and to enable us to keep our attention in simran and bhajan. You can refer your problems either in meditation or in a letter to me, just as it suits and pleases you.…
Probably you are putting too much strain on the eyes in trying to see within. This should not be. You do not see inside with these eyes. Please adopt the posture which is convenient and comfortable, and do not put any strain on your eyes. This is the path of slow and steady progress. Regularity is a great thing. Persevere on steadily, without trying to force things or even dwelling upon whether all the karmas can be wiped out in this life. This is the Master’s responsibility. He will do what is proper and correct. The disciple should carry on the meditation according to instructions and leave the rest to Him.
After this I looked,
and, behold, a door was opened in heaven:
And the first voice which I heard
was as it were of a trumpet talking with me,
which said, “Come up hither,
and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.”
And immediately I was in the spirit.
Bible, Book of Revelation 4:1-2