We are born alone and leave this world alone. None go with us. Even this body has to be left behind. It is the Master and the sound current that keep us company at death and after.
Maharaj Sawan Singh, Spiritual Gems
How do we deal with the loneliness that Great Master is referring to in this quote?
Everyone, whether single or married, satsangi or non satsangi, experiences loneliness. Whether we live alone or with others, it is natural to feel lonely at times.
Master tells us that loneliness is natural because it is an expression of our soul’s longing to meet the Lord. As satsangis, we feel a deep void as the world loses its charm, especially if, at the same time, we cannot be with our Master on the inside or the outside. This feeling of emptiness and disenchantment has great value if properly understood and acted upon.
In Divine Light, Maharaj Charan Singh explains, “It is natural for a satsangi to seek loneliness, as his plane of action is within.” Our plane is within because we are seeking eventual liberation from this world. Therefore, we meditate and try to go within and get out of this worldly level of consciousness.
The feeling of loneliness provides us with an excellent opportunity to reflect upon the realities of life and to think more clearly. We realize that no one belongs to us and Master is our only eternal friend. We see that everyone is involved with their own struggles. We realize that we do not belong to this world and that our true home is not here. Loneliness provides us with the opportunity to get our priorities straight and to discriminate between the real and the unreal.
Loneliness can be a curse or a blessing depending on how we deal with it. Because of loneliness, people become workaholics, alcoholics and playaholics, to name just a few addictions. Some people attempt to escape the pain of loneliness by accumulating and spending large sums of money, by travelling all over the world, or by indulging in various sense pleasures. But all of these outer activities fail to fill the void and the feeling of emptiness deep inside. Even if we attain fame, fortune, and all that money can buy, we will still feel as if something is missing. Only when we become one with our Master and Lord will we feel fulfilled.
So loneliness is the Lord’s way of pulling us towards him. If we didn’t feel that feeling of loneliness within ourselves, then perhaps nobody would think about the Father. If these outside faces and objects could hold our attention and make us happy permanently, forever, nobody would think about the Father. We react back, we rebound back from all this, and then we turn to the Father to seek that bliss and peace and happiness within.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II
Loneliness can be a blessing if we allow it to drive us within and bring us closer to our beloved Master. Loneliness drives some people to destruction and others to sainthood. We must choose how we will handle it.
Although the time for reflection and self-analysis is beneficial, it can be overdone. For example, it is valuable to become aware of our weaknesses, but it is detrimental to dwell on them to a great extent. It is much better to dwell on Master’s merciful and forgiving nature.
In response to a question about surviving in the swirl of daily living, Maharaj Charan Singh replies:
We have to do both things. We have to live in the world, but we have to meditate also. We have to keep the balance, because a certain load of karma can be cleared only by facing life, not just by attending to meditation. When we become too absorbed in meditation, sometimes the master withdraws the grace so that we work in the world also. You are not to leave your worldly work. Rather you may even be pushed to the world, to face the world.
Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III
We need to strike a balance between meaningful relationships with others and time alone for our spiritual development. We need friends, and we also need time for meditation and reflection. This balance will help us in dealing with loneliness.
A satsangi once said that all of our pain is the result of our not being filled with the Master. This is a profound and beautiful statement. When Master permeates our consciousness, we realize we are not alone. A satsangi is never alone! It is for us, however, through our meditation and Master’s grace to become receptive to his overflowing and ever present love.
Please give up all depression and turn to the Lord for help and solace. All peace, bliss and happiness flow from bhajan and simran. This is the only cure for the feeling of loneliness.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Divine Light