Hot and Cold
Don’t we all wonder at times if we are the only ones who blow hot and cold on this path? There are days when we come together with other satsangis and feel tremendous warmth – as if in each other’s company our need for higher love is somehow expressed. Rather than a remote ideal, Master comes back into focus as a friend, an exciting companion. But there are other days when guilt is our constant reminder of a duty we are failing to carry out, and then we feel a heavy burden in our hearts. How often we seem to swing from one extreme to another. But if the dark moments are painful, how sweet is the coming back into the light.
The friendship of the Master, his initiation, is no little gift, but often its value seems too subtle for our worldly demands. With astonishing regularity we look for satisfaction in all the wrong places. But there is no peace in that route, and it only increases our longing for the lightness and joy of his company. Master once said that it is a hard fact of life that the Shabd, the spirit, is our only true friend. But sometimes we need a push in the right direction and events have to test us to our limits before we are willing to see the truth.
When we are in trouble, we naturally look for solace inside. Indeed, sometimes desperation inspires us to look deeper inside ourselves than we have ever looked before. But, in fact, anything that helps us to actively focus within is beneficial; is bringing us closer to the point of contact. And as our consciousness ventures beyond the familiar, it becomes more alive than ever, then the miracle of life really begins. In Die to Live, Maharaj Charan Singh talks about this awakening:
Q: Maharaj Ji, I know the disciple must struggle to learn to develop the proper love for the Master. Can you speak of the nature of the Master’s love for the disciple?
A: Master’s love for the disciple? The disciple only thinks he loves the Master. Actually it’s the Master who creates that love in him. We only think we worship the Father. Actually, he is the one who is pulling us from within to make us worship him.
Q: Master, if we have no love and we have no devotion and we have no desire to meditate, how do we come to the Master?
A: If we had no devotion, no desire for meditation, we would not have come to the path at all. The one who has pulled us to the path will also give us those things. He has not forgotten us after pulling us to the path. He is still there within us.
Perhaps meditation is just the dying of our old selves to experience the subtle, intangible spirit within. Through the five holy names and the focusing of our thoughts on higher love, we definitely can find peace.
We should try to imagine for a minute how it might look to God. Picture him watching us, struggling in utter darkness, surrounded by uncertainty and temptation, but nevertheless somehow remaining steadfast in our search for light. Would this not move him? Surely, the holy spirit, the source of all love, the cause and object of our search, will not be able to resist our fragile attempts to make contact for too long. Our effort, empty though it may seem to us at the time, is in reality an act of courage and love – and perhaps the more hopeless the experience seems to the disciple, the greater its value, if he persists.
If we have a dozen reasons to hesitate, we still need to proceed. What choice do we have? We are miserable if we remain as we are, and all our efforts to mitigate our pain constantly fail. Surely keeping our rebellious natures still at the eye centre for meditation is only a slight discomfort compared to some of the other things we go through? Better to stop running away from the facts. There is only one move left for us to make: to centre our minds and focus our attention inward on our real friend.
Why should we worry? The order has already been given: a wave of mercy and spiritual uplift, more powerful than we can imagine, has already been set in motion. Just a little effort on our part is required for us to be moved by it; to realize and relish it, for it to be able to loosen our roots so that we can be freed by its liberating force.
If meditation is a blind leap of faith, it is blind only until the inner darkness is stirred with his presence, until the radiance can no longer be questioned. The Master’s nature is love. He is insisting that we join him inside. Perhaps even at this moment, he is longing for us more than we can imagine. So why hesitate? Who could refuse such an invitation?
The Father is always with you. You live, move and have your being in him. He is always helping you in every kind of task that you perform. The nearer you come to him, the more fully you will feel his presence and realize his help. As love for him increases in you, you will get a deeper and deeper realization of his Radiant Form within yourself. But you must remember that you should not expect spiritual realization all at once.
Maharaj Sawan Singh, The Dawn of Light