One Day He Will Fulfil Your Heart’s Desire
In Sar Bachan Poetry we find a poem for every mood, for every spiritual dilemma. Soami Ji Maharaj addresses the frustration of the seeker once he learns the extent of his entrapment in the creation.
Every moment the fear of death overshadows my heart,
every minute I am tormented by my dread of Kal.
I try my best, O brother,
to raise my soul and mind to the inner sky,
but they do not stay there even for a moment.…
We can take comfort knowing that these are the words of a saint. In this stanza, Soami Ji gives us a clue into the origin of our problem. He reminds us that it is the ego, the ‘I-ness’, which keeps us entrapped in the body. To raise the soul and mind to the inner sky requires us to subjugate the mind in the service of the soul. It is not enough, along this path to the eye centre, to simply have a strong will and to exhibit discipline, because ours is not only a path of self-improvement – ours is a path of ego-annihilation.
The Master is always advising me
how to overcome this great hardship,
but my mind and soul are not at all stilled.
What can I do – how can I find my way home?
I pleaded with the Master
and told him that I had not succeeded
in merging with the Shabd.
Isn’t this plea to the Master similar to other ones we have made to him – a lament, followed by admission of failure? We say to the Master, “I know you have taught me the methods of simran and bhajan, of repeating and listening, but they’re not working. I’m feeling defeated. Surely there must be another way. Surely you can tell me something that will ease my pain and prevent me from feeling like such a failure.” And in answer to each question the Master gives the same explanation – our sadness is the result of lack of bhajan. It is not the result of our lame approach or because there is a quicker way that we have not yet found. It is simply that changing the direction of the mind requires a lot of effort, a lot of falling on our faces, a lot of practice. So we need more, not less, of it.
Life is so uncertain, brother,
and I still haven’t unraveled its secrets.
What am I to do? No formula has worked for me,
I have now decided to seek refuge in the Master.…
Soami Ji is reminding us that life is truly uncertain. The more we attempt to control our present and future, the clearer it becomes that the direction of the play of our life is not in our hands. We may struggle to do our part, but in the end the arrows of fate land where they will. Our friends and family members are taken from us in surprising ways, usually before we are ready; each war, each economic woe seems untimely for us.
We aren’t even aware that the One we seek has been hidden, in fact, within us. At a loss for finding the formula to uncover the hidden One, our tidy view of the world and of ourselves is turned on its head. And so we seek instruction from the Master.
But my love is so feeble
that I cannot submit myself to him.
Since I can muster neither love nor submission,
what can I hope for now, except death?
Meeting with the Master, it turns out, is not the end of the struggle. Rather it is only a beginning. As humans, we learn to love by attaching ourselves to the world and the things of the world. When we attempt to transfer that love from the person or object outside of ourselves to the divine within, it doesn’t occur automatically. What occurs instead is that we encounter a period of dryness – a time when the world has no hold on us and yet our attention is not firmly attached within. We live for a time feeling like desert nomads – adrift, lost, and empty – and death appears to be the portal through which we will be released.
The Master then uttered his words of wisdom:
Have patience, O thoughtless one, why seek death?
Repeat the name incessantly with your mind
and hold the form of the Master in your heart.…
To the body, death is the ultimate, the end of the interminable imprisonment of the world. So we think that death must magically bring about reunion with the Father. Yet for us who seek release from the cycle of birth and rebirth, our spiritual work and achievement must occur while we are within the human body. Death will not magically confer upon us the relationship with the Beloved that we could not attain during our lifetime. So Soami Ji turns the disciple back within himself and assures him that the method of uninterrupted repetition at the eye centre and dhyan of the Master will be effective. He implies when he says, “O thoughtless one, why seek death?” that death may not be the solution to the disciple’s problem. Rather, the real problem is one of consciousness – where the attention is focused.
If you do this punctually every day,
the evil tendencies of your mind will be quelled.
If you control the monster of the mind
using the proper technique,
you will get attuned to the melody of Shabd.…
Here Soami Ji reminds us that the meditation practice requires discipline, regularity and punctuality. We can’t wait for inspiration, for our lives to be in order or for achievement of material success. We have to begin as soon as our mind has been satisfied that this is the path for us, and we have to stick with it even on those days when the mind resists. Soami Ji calls the mind a monster – it really is the only monster that prevents us from becoming attuned to the melody of Shabd.
Carry on this practice daily, without a break;
attend the Master’s satsang and keep his company.
The company and satsang of saints keeps us away from the dross of the world, in the same way that a stone lying in water is protected against the heat of the sun. But if we carry out the discipline of meditation regularly and punctually and attach our consciousness to the life force descending from the home of the Lord, then we obtain real, demonstrable benefit. To be able to accomplish this, requires constantly supervising the mind and watching its movements. We can no longer afford the luxury of allowing the mind freedom to run out after fleeting and short-lived pleasures.
Your attachment to the world will disappear
and you will begin to enjoy inner communion.
Be detached and give up indulgence in passion –
your soul will then rest in the inner sky.
Every moment you will enjoy the nectar of Shabd
and live forever in the Lord’s palace.…
One of the illusions that we harbour is that contentment lies just beyond the satisfaction of the next one or two desires. But Soami Ji and the saints before and after him say that our desires are endless. The mind is literally an incubator for growth of desire. The way of peace and freedom of the saints lies in giving up indulgence in passion and allowing the soul to ascend and find rest in the inner sky. Since our desires are rooted in attachment to the world, the saints play upon our expectations for something more, something greater than what we see. They propose to us a choice that can make a difference in both this world and the world beyond. If we can cut this thread, we can begin, as Soami Ji says, to enjoy inner communion. And how do the saints teach us to cut that thread? Master says that the thread of desire is cut by attachment to Nam, the Shabd, the Sound. The transition from the manufacture of desire to attachment to Nam is by way of simran, the repetition of names at the eye centre.
The pay-off for this relatively brief period of holding the mind at bay is that the mind begins to detach from the outer world. We will at last enjoy this inner rest, this “inner communion”. If we can remain patient for a time, walking along the razor’s edge between the inner and the outer, we are promised that the soul will find rest and peace.
In the final lines of this poem, Soami Ji reveals the secret to success on the path. The desire that brought us to this point, he reminds us, will require faith and trust in a power beyond the self to be sustained over time. He says:
Put your faith in the Lord’s will –
not in your labour, not in your effort.
Submit yourself to Radha Soami now,
one day he will fulfil your heart’s desire.
So this road home is traversed via faith in the will of the Lord. Soami Ji reminds us here that we must place our faith in the Lord’s will, not in our own labour or our own effort. He calls upon us to relinquish our illusion of control over our destiny and to submit to our fate – to become the silent observers of our destiny. In this phase of our spiritual growth we suspend all doubt and rely on faith. If the path is true, then our suspension of doubt is temporary because our ultimate goal is direct perception of the truth.
Our lives from now until that day when he “fulfils our heart’s desire” consist simply of peeling back each layer of maya or illusion so there no longer exists a barrier between the soul and its source.