The Gift of Simran
Sant Mat is a very individual path − it concerns only a specific soul and the Master. The reason we get initiated is so that we can leave this creation forever and our soul can merge back into the Creator.
Some say it is a lonely path, but how can one be lonely when after initiation you always have your Master with you? Initially it is our perceptions and our own ego that make us feel lonely because they keep us from realising the truth. The way to change our perceptions and control our ego is through meditation. This is the way we develop focus.
Sultan Bahu says:
The dog of ego must be slain and minced into bits
by the repetition of God’s Name—
practised with love, with every breath of one’s life.
Simran is the first step in our meditation. It is the repetition of the five names given to us at the time of initiation. The Masters say that these names are the true names of the rulers of the five inner regions. The names in themselves have no power. Only when they are given by a God-realized soul do they actually become meaningful. The Masters use the example of a bullet fired from a gun. Then it has power, whereas when simply thrown by hand it is ineffectual. We may find these names in a book and recite them until we are blue in the face, but we will get little benefit from this. We may get a little bit of concentration, but it would be dangerous to attempt the inner journey without a guide. Imagine if we tried to climb Mount Everest without a Sherpa guide – we would surely die! The words are powerful because they are given by a perfect Master. They connect us with him.
The reason we do simran is to bring our scattered attention back into the eye focus so that the mind and the tongue become motionless. The mind is so used to running out into the world, darting here and there − it is never still. It is constantly thinking, scheming and dreaming up stories and scenarios − doing what it was made for – creating the interface between the soul and the world. Only through simran can we charm it to sleep, rein it in to a state of stillness, and so achieve one-pointed attention. This is the gift of repeating those magic names given to us by our Master.
Simran is the start of an incredible journey. It will facilitate the withdrawal of our consciousness from the body, then concentrate it at the eye centre until the soul’s power of seeing and hearing is steady and firm. By withdrawing the mind and soul from the nine apertures of the body and concentrating it at the eye centre, the tenth door will open. This is our first task and it can only be accomplished by simran.
So it is clear that simran is the first and most critical part of meditation. When the Masters tell us to do our meditation, which they do at every opportunity, they primarily mean: do the simran. There is no escaping simran – we have to do it and then bhajan should follow.
Of course, nowhere does the Master say that we have to be good at our simran or get it right or perfect. He just asks us to do it, and because we want to please him – we do it. We do it because we promised to do it. We don’t do it to see the inner sun and moon and stars, we only do it because we want him − and if we want him, we must do our meditation. Again Sultan Bahu tells us:
A lover offers his prayer in an unspoken language.
It is not for everyone—
only the aching heart of a lover can know this prayer.…
Only a rare devotee knows the prayer for which
the tongue does not move, lips do not flutter.