A Call To Come Home
We all know, or have known, a sense of dissatisfaction with everything life could offer us – a hunger for something better. So let’s ask ourselves: What is it that we really want?
The answer may well lie in the sense of longing that sometimes makes us wish that we could be elsewhere, where we really belong. Perhaps by now we’ve learnt to recognize this for what it is: the cry of the soul – that’s the underlying cause of all our seeking.
So, how to satisfy that longing? Great Master tells us in Spiritual Gems that if a disciple remains worldly, he will come back to the world. But if he chooses to follow the Master, he will go where the Master goes. We need to live the way our Master asks us to live, and we need to accept our circumstances and be happy with what we’ve got.
In Living Meditation we read:
As disciples on the spiritual path, we need to bring ourselves to the point where we accept that what the Shabd has given us, and the circumstances in which we have been placed, are the sum total of what we need to achieve as our life’s goal. The secret to a happy and contented life is to learn to accept rather than expect.
There’s a lot to be said for just being satisfied and contented with what we’ve got. How many hours of our meditation time do we spend thinking about something we want instead of focusing on our simran and bhajan? By dwelling on things that we want and worrying about things we don’t like, not only do we wreck our meditation, but we also spoil our own peace of mind and enjoyment of life.
In time we learn that our happiness depends largely on the regularity of our meditation – on our efforts to bring the mind to stillness. In the book One Being One we read:
The further we stray from our still centre, the more distracted and the more miserable we become, however clever we may be. The closer we are to our still centre, the more peace and happiness we will find within ourselves; the more we will find spontaneous happiness, even bliss, flooding our inner being, drawing us closer to the Sacred One. And with it comes wisdom and understanding. Once you’ve tasted that kind of bliss and known that kind of knowledge, you realize that it’s worth more than the sum total of all human knowledge.
This is something that we learn in time. We’re not happy when we’re lax with our meditation. Life just doesn’t feel right for us. In fact we’re not meditating because of what we might gain from it. We’re not meditating for knowledge or for sound or light or inner experience. We’re not meditating as a favour to our Master. We meditate because we need it. It’s our lifeline. Meditation gives us the perspective to accept – and be happy with – what’s been given to us.
Accepting our circumstances gracefully is submission to the Master’s will. We need to learn the lessons of submission and obedience to our Master, because this is our only hope of escaping from this world. Let’s face up to our situation here. We are like lost, bewildered children in a dark jungle. We long to get out into the light, but there’s no chance of this unless we obey his instructions, without question. Let’s face up to the fact that we are helpless to find our way without his support, help and guidance.
What is the reality of our situation? We live here in utter ignorance. What do we know about anything? We talk about God-realization, but what do we understand about God? We read and we talk about the Shabd, but how many of us know what the Shabd is? We talk about the Master being a projection of the Shabd and about his Radiant Form. What does this mean to us? We don’t even comprehend what the Master is when he is sitting right in front of us in his physical form. We don’t even understand ourselves, or what it means when we’re told that we’re spiritual beings having a human experience. We understand nothing and we know nothing.
All that we know is that there’s a mysterious hunger inside us crying out to be satisfied. But how can we do anything without the help of our Master? Therefore, since we’re so utterly dependent on him, let’s do what he tells us to do.
If we were driving in a totally strange city and somebody in the car knew his way, we wouldn’t question him if he tells us to turn right or go straight or switch to another lane. We would simply obey him because he knows the way and we don’t. That’s just plain common sense!
The Masters tell us: This world is not your home. Get out of here and return to your own place. In the words of Soami Ji: “Let us turn homewards, friend – why linger in this alien land?” (Sar Bachan Poetry)
Soami Ji calls this world an ‘alien land’ – a hostile and unpleasant place. But in One Being One the author puts a different slant on it. He calls it the Creator’s masterpiece! He talks about the different planes of creation higher than ours where souls live in awareness of the Creator and everything is beauty, harmony and blissful happiness. And then there’s our physical world, where souls have lost touch with the Creator and they suffer in separation from him. And this is where the search begins that will eventually bring us home.
Far away, on the outskirts of his creation (so to speak), the One Being has created a different scenario. His masterpiece, perhaps. Here the separation from Himself is intensified by the soul’s association with a deeply individualistic mind and the coverings of a material body. So dense are these coverings that the souls are no longer aware of the divine and loving presence that dwells within them, supporting, surrounding and sustaining their existence. They feel that they are on their own, fighting a losing battle for temporary survival of their bodies and identities. And here the One Being has devised his highest purpose.
His highest purpose is that souls, suffering and desperate to get back to the Creator, start to cry out to him for rescue. They seek an avenue of escape.
Very simplistically, this is how it works: When the Creator wants us to return to him, he calls us by planting a longing in our hearts. This longing is his call to us to come home. And then we feel driven to look for our way back. If we are accepted by a Master, we then feel impelled to work, to meditate, to free ourselves from our shackles here. He will make us do it.
In Die to Live, Maharaj Charan Singh tells a questioner:
[The]Master, of course, will give you the advice to do bhajan and simran, but you will not follow that advice unless there is something within you that is forcing you to follow that advice. You will take credit that you have followed Master’s advice and you are sitting in meditation, but there’s something in you which is forcing you to follow the advice and is making you sit in meditation.… You’ll feel miserable if you won’t give your time to meditation. You will not feel that you are true to yourself if you don’t devote time to meditation. There is something within you which you are not conscious of which is forcing you to follow that advice.
Whatever meditation he makes us do, let’s be grateful for it, because it means that he is pulling us towards him. Without that grace we ourselves could do nothing! In another reply in Die to Live, Maharaj Ji says:
So you can say, “I am doing the meditation”, provided that you are doing it. But when you really do it, then you won’t say, “I am doing it.” “I” comes only when we don’t do it. When we truly meditate, then “I” just disappears. Then we just realize his grace, that but for Him, how could we ever think or even attend to it. Then there is no “I,” there is nothing but gratefulness – everything in gratitude. Then we know our insignificance. The more we attend to our meditation, the nearer we are to the goal, the more we realize our insignificance.
Everything is being done by the Lord himself. There is no question of our going back to him by our own effort. Every bit of work we do is no credit to us. It’s thanks to him. Our every effort is a result of his love for us and the fact that he is calling us back to him.