The First Thing We Heard Him Say
It was the first thing we heard the Master say. It was the first time Baba Gurinder Singh came to the West. It was 1991 in San Francisco, and the meeting hall was packed. This gathering of love had magnetized every single soul that filled the hall. To arrive at this venue they had travelled great distances across the country, and the collective electricity hung in the air like an impending thunderstorm.
This was a big deal because everyone in the room had recently been blindsided by the devastating and sudden loss of their Master. Even the living Master sitting on the dais shared in the grief. He had been given the service of shepherding this group and now was on the “hot seat”. Our questions were vital, wonderful, and stupid, and we all wanted answers.
It was the first thing we heard him say. It could have been the last. Just before the questions started flying, just before he was about to spend the rest of his life answering all our questions, he tried to give us the only piece of advice that we would ever really need. It was simple: The answer to all of your questions is meditation.
There was a frozen pause, and then the hanging electricity in the room crackled and discharged with a great nervous laugh because everyone in the room knew he was serious. But in spite of having given us the one true answer, with his very next breath and a wave of his hand he said, “Please proceed with your questions.” It was a dynamic exchange that followed. If we were reserved, he was gracious. If we were anxious, he was patient. And if we were filled with confusion, he was strong and filled us with love.
Many years have passed and he is still answering our questions with his patience, graciousness and love, which seem to be increasing all the time. We stand there and we know what the answer is – he told us – yet we clamour to get near him. Every day, every minute, with every single breath, he only exhibits more patience, more grace. Although we can’t fathom the boundless nature of his love, our awareness of his love for us continues to grow and expand, like a magical fairy-tale beanstalk that breaks through the cracks in the earth, brushes aside the trees, and soars above the clouds.
We seekers are made of earth, with feet of clay, and we are crushed under the weight of all the immovable objects crowded into our minds. We are clouded with doubts and delusions that occupy and divert our precious attention. He pierces our mundane world. He rearranges our priorities. And he makes great effort to give us the essence of this path of the Masters.
And every time we straighten our spines to stand up, walk to the microphone and ask a question, we are awe-struck by his presence. When we stand in front of him we are humbled in many different ways. Even if our mask, our ego, is torn away for just one fraction of a second and we catch a glimpse of who he really is. We do not feel humiliated, for he never tries to make us feel inferior.
He doesn’t simply erase pieces of our ego while we sleep – that would be too easy. We are called upon to actively participate in the dismantling of our ego, piece by piece, through our own intense personal effort. Our assignment is simply to wade through both the agonies and ecstasies of our life, while at the same time submitting more and more of ourselves – our attention and love – to him. This we do through our simran and bhajan. This we do by following the first piece of advice we heard him give us, those many years ago – by doing our meditation.
He gave us the road map and the vehicle, but we have to make the journey. When we accept the challenge and take this spiritual road trip, we automatically begin to lose baggage. And before we can be as vast as he, we will have to shed everything that is not our true self. Then we will be weightless particles of light, breaking through the cracks in the earth, brushing aside the trees, soaring upwards through the clouds and reaching for the inner sky.
Through meditation we fulfill the very purpose of human life. Meditation is the only worship that pleases the Father. Through meditation we become worthy of his grace and receptive to his love. We build and grow the love and devotion which he gives us to carry us speedily towards our goal. So attending to meditation is submitting to the will of the Father; it is being obedient to our Lord and Master. It is through meditation, by his grace, that we develop an intense longing to return to our Source. The effect is truly a miracle! We turn from the world, and with the same intensity that we once ran towards it, we now run towards the Father. We experience that bliss and joy of real love and real devotion, as we ultimately merge with our Master to be transformed from the drop into the Divine Ocean itself.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Die to Live