Eureka! Do the happy dance! For the first time in half a century I can see. Not only can I see, but I can see better without glasses than I ever could with corrective lenses. Ever since I was five years old, I had to wear glasses. Not the chic, classy kind that made me look smart, but the heavy, strong convex lenses that made my eyes look like they were swimming in my head. The miracle of modern medicine, advanced technology, and a skilled surgeon removed the cataracts from my extremely myopic and stigmatic eyes and implanted toric lenses that have given me perfect vision. This dramatic physical change happened in less than twenty minutes; one could say instantaneously. It made me think about the veil that impedes our inner vision - our inner cataract. If only we could rid ourselves of this inner blindness so easily. What would it be like to have true inner vision? Would we see the Lord in everything and everyone? Would we see Master with us all the time? Maharaj Charan Singh, in Spiritual Perspectives,Vol. II, says:
How else can we see the Lord except through spiritual insight, through that inner eye, the single or third eye? That is spiritual insight, when we have opened that inner eye. It is only with the inner eye that we can see the Lord.
Just like the physical cataract that must be removed by an operation, the inner cataract must be removed before the gift of inner vision can be restored. The first step is just realizing that we are blind. Once the Lord’s grace awakens us to our state, we start looking for relief. Then the second wave of grace washes us to the shore of a perfect living Master. When the Master grants us the precious gift of initiation, he in effect pierces our third eye and starts breaking up that inner cataract by connecting us with the Shabd. The inner cataract took lifetime upon lifetime to develop. As our attachments and karmas grew, the inner cataract also became denser. The occlusion that keeps us from seeing the Radiant Form of the Master is made up of all our worldly desires and attachments. Maharaj Charan Singh further states in Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II:
Because of the veil of ego and our attachment to the creation, there’s the darkness, so we do not see that light. The moment we start concentrating, we start seeing that light, but since we don’t stay there permanently - we are there and then come down - it looks like lots of flashes.
In this state, only the mercy and grace of the Master can lift this veil and give us the gift of his inner darshan. In order to get that grace, we need to do our part. We must attend to our meditation. Simran is the key to piercing the darkness. We sit in the darkness during meditation hoping for a glimmer of light, a flash of colour, the face of our Master. Although the light may not come - or if it comes, it may not stay - it is essential that we persevere with our simran, even if we spend a lifetime in the darkness. Maharaj Sawan Singh says in Philosophy of the Masters, Vol.V:
When the seeing inner eye is opened or the Lord himself makes himself known, then one begins to feel the reflection of the Lord within him. The only object of simran [repetition] is to open the seeing inner eye so that we may be able to see the Lord everywhere and in the Master, where he is manifest. But this is possible only by the Lord’s grace.
What pure joy it will be when the Radiant Form of the Master appears! Isn’t this a primary goal to be reached - meeting the Master within? There is no way to know how thick the veil of darkness is that keeps our inner eye from opening. Both effort and grace will eventually result in the clearing of the inner cataract and the development of our inner vision - the nirat - the power to see within. It takes time and constant attention to our duty to the Master to eliminate the layers of darkness that blind us, and it also takes time to strengthen the nirat. In The Science of the Soul, Maharaj Jagat Singh eloquently explains:
The soul cannot ascend until the nirat or the power of seeing is developed within. The two faculties - one of hearing and the other of seeing - are utilized by the soul for its mystic transport. Some disciples devote their attention to hearing the sound but do not try to fix their nirat inside. This is a mistake, for unless the attention is fixed at the eye centre, the mind does not become motionless, and there is little pleasure in the practice.
When the nirat or the inner vision is fully developed, the sound that emanates from within it becomes increasingly distinct. The soul, however, must catch the finest note, by means of which it will ascend to higher regions.
Simran is essential to helping this process along - to withdrawing the consciousness from every cell in the body and focusing the attention at the eye centre. Each concentrated round of simran withdraws the scattered attention and stills the mind. And slowly, slowly, with dedicated practice, the attention becomes concentrated at the third eye, where the soul is knotted together with the mind.
The mind must be stilled. Unless we endeavour to sit in meditation, our attention will remain focused in the world, and we will remain inwardly blind. Maharaj Charan Singh states in Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II:
We have to withdraw back our consciousness at this eye centre. Then we have a single eye. Now, in this world, we are seeing with two eyes. So we are a victim of duality. When we withdraw back behind these two eyes, we open that single eye - the third eye, as you call it - only then does our soul see that light. Actually, there is nothing but light here, but we don’t concentrate to that point where we can see that light. When we withdraw our soul, our consciousness, back to the eye centre, then we see that light, then we hear that sound. So ultimately it is the same thing. The soul hears the sound, the soul sees the light, but they are just different aspects of the soul. You are one; the soul is one. The soul sees, the soul hears, inside.
Further, Hazur Maharaj Ji addresses the benefit of dhyan as a great help in achieving concentration at the eye centre:
With the help of simran we have to withdraw the consciousness to the eye centre. With the help of dhyan we have to hold our mind there because it is difficult to hold the mind in a vacuum…. Both faculties have to be occupied: the faculty to think and the faculty to contemplate - that is, to visualize … if you can’t contemplate on the form of the Master, you can feel you are doing simran in the presence of the Master…. That also helps you to hold your attention in that vacuum, in that darkness. In the beginning you have to imagine naturally. You don’t see the Master within. You have to try to visualize his face. You have to imagine, of course, that he is there and you are looking at him, and that will help you concentrate at the eye centre. And once you are concentrated there, then you will see that light. That veil of ignorance or darkness is eliminated from your way and you start seeing light. And when that develops into the Radiant Form of the Master within, at that higher stage, then of course you will be looking at the Master.
How many lifetimes have we wandered in darkness? To think that in this one lifetime - considering the aeons we have wandered in this creation - we can attain spiritual vision relatively instantaneously! He has given us the method, and now it is up to us to do our meditation with love and devotion to eliminate the blindness of duality. We can do it!
Establish your base at the third eye
and have darshan of the inner Master.
Always listen to the voice of the Shabd Guru,
burn to ashes the low cravings of your mind
and merge into him.
This form of the Master is of unsurpassed beauty -
it will light up your inner being
like the radiant glow of the sun.
Sar Bachan Poetry