The Good Old Days
One evening in a meeting at the Dera a satsangi was talking of the “good old days” when the number of foreign visitors was small. It was easy to have personal contact with the Master. Interviews were given without asking, and one could meet the Master quite frequently in the street and walk and talk with him. Baba Ji replied that one of these days we would be calling these the good old days.
Certainly the Dera has expanded phenomenally, and the numbers who flock to the Hostel 6 sessions and attend the designated weekends and regular satsangs grow and grow. Yet surely, the more the Dera changes the more it remains the same. Why are we drawn there? It is the attraction of “the moths to the flame”, and the flame doesn’t change. No matter whether there are ten people or a million, if we have our priorities right, we will get what we need. And if we cannot visit the Dera, are we being neglected? Only if our mind tells us so.
It is a common human failing to harp on the good things of the past, bewail the present and hope for a better future. Reminiscing with nostalgia on past good times is not a bad thing, as long as that is all that the thought is, but how easily our minds can slip into wishing the impossible back again!
The buzzword or phrase these days in our stressful society is living or being in the moment, and for that we are given the most precious gift in the world – simran. What better way is there to keep one’s mind focused in the present? Hard work, yes! And for most of us, years, even a lifetime of hard work. But when the end result is the guaranteed return of the drop into the ocean from which it has been separated for so long, every second of effort we put in is worth more than any worldly action, especially as Master’s grace far outweighs our side of the bargain.
In the floodwaters of transgression
every hair of my body is drenched in sin.
I am all evil, You are all goodness.
Oh, how long will I trespass and go astray,
and how long will You show me clemency?
I am ashamed of my deeds,
and more so because of your mercy.
Sarmad, Martyr to Love Divine
That which is big now will one day be small,
while that which is small today will grow tomorrow.
So relish not in what passes but rather in what remains.
Daniel Levin, The Zen Book
By the grace of the Master we know how to get rid of karmas and how to rise above them. We can know this only through the grace of the Master. … If we live in the teachings, if we follow the teachings, if we withdraw our soul current to the eye centre and hear the spirit within, that is the grace of the Master. Without grace we can achieve nothing.
Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. I