When you feel lonely,
when you feel unwanted,
when you feel sick or forgotten,
remember you are precious to Him.
Mother Teresa, No Greater Love
There are times when we feel very lonely and wonder why we have this feeling when we have been blessed by the Lord with so much. As human beings, we think: My spouse belongs me, my children belong to me, my friends belong to me, and so forth. But, just like the canvas that looks beautiful and perfect from the front but ugly and dirty at the back, we too feel miserable, confused and lost within.
Sometimes this loneliness gets to us and we do all kinds of things to overcome it. Many give in to sensual pleasures and get entangled with other worldly attachments thinking that these things will bring them relief from this feeling of loneliness.
Saints openly explain to us that this feeling of loneliness is a natural instinct of the soul towards its own source. Maharaj Charan Singh has even called it a divine law. He says:
You have everything of the world, but still you want something more. In spite of everything that you need in this world, that feeling of loneliness does not leave, and will not leave us unless the soul merges back to its own source. That is a divine law, you see.
Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. I
A disciple once asked Maharaj Charan Singh (as quoted in Spiritual Perspectives, Vol.I): “How should we best deal with loneliness?” Hazur replied:
Deal with it? We are all lonely in this world. It is a self-deception to think that somebody belongs to us, or we belong to somebody. It’s just self-deception. The time comes when we all realize the self-deception, when we wake up from our deep slumber. We are lonely because the soul is the essence of that divine ocean, and this feeling of loneliness will never leave the soul unless it merges back into that ocean.
In everyone’s life, there comes a time when one realizes that he is really lonely and that nothing belongs to him. Saints says that such an opportunity does come in everyone’s life. They call it an opportunity, and as Hazur puts it: “The sooner one can rise above it and realize it, the more fortunate one is.”
This loneliness is a blessing in disguise. We cry, we weep and try to overcome this feeling, not understanding that there is a hidden depth in this loneliness. It is actually the cry of the soul to go back to the Lord. This loneliness urges us to find him, to seek him, to become his forever.
By his grace, the same feeling of loneliness – the urge to be one with him – may turn us towards the Father to overcome that loneliness. That urge is the same within every one of us. With his grace, this urge can be diverted towards him, and without his grace, this urge can lead to the vices, to the sensual pleasures, and you may be lost in the creation again.
Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. I
A child who goes to a fair while holding his father’s hand enjoys everything around him – all the lights, the toys, the sweet shops – everything pleases him. But if by mistake he lets go of his father’s hand, he starts crying in spite of everything that had amused him. He then realizes he could derive all the pleasures from the fair only as long as his father was with him. Without that support, without the precious companionship, everything became miserable for him.
We are in the same position. The whole creation is a miserable place for us if we are separated from the Lord. If the Beloved and the lover are separated, the lover cannot be happy no matter what you give him, no matter how comfortable he may be. What pleases him the most is being in the company of his Beloved.
If the Father has showered his immense grace on us, if we have experienced even an inkling of this feeling of loneliness, and if he is our focus, then our destination is not far away – we are moving towards our true home, to become forever his.
His guiding hand is always there. He is within us. He remains within us. We should never look to anybody else. We can get help from each other; we can get strength from each other, from his disciples or his successor, we can get a sort of strength, we can resolve our doubts, any help, but we should look only to our Master as a Master. For us he is forever. And he will remain for us forever.
Maharaj Charan Singh, The Master Answers