Masters of all ages and on all continents have advised their disciples to practise meditation in order to make contact with Shabd. This Shabd is that power by means of which the Creator caused the universe to come into existence, and is the means by which he sustains it even now. This power permeates every iota of the entire creation, and it can be contacted only by entering into the temple of the human body.
The Master tells us that it is only by going within that this living Word or Nam may be contacted. Once the soul comes into contact and merges with this power, it is truly on the road that leads permanently out of the realm of illusion and which ends finally in the court of the Creator himself.
The Master makes it plain that our single biggest task in this life is to get the better of our mind and train it to help us to achieve our objective of self-and God-realization. If we do not, we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past and to continue in the seemingly endless round of birth and death. The purpose of meditation is to overcome the downward pull of the negative tendencies of the mind and to cultivate its finer or higher aspects.
Think of how an airplane works. How does a massive airliner manage to take off? It is carrying several tons of fuel, hundreds of passengers, and the plane itself also weighs several tons. How does this huge contraption manage to fly? The magic of flight is in the design of the wing. As the wing moves through the air, its shape generates upward lift. This upward force increases proportionately with the speed of the plane. So when the plane goes fast enough, the wings generate enough upward lift to overcome gravity, and the plane lifts off the ground and flies.
Our meditation, in its early stages, is a bit like this. We feel we are making no progress because we are not “lifting off”, so to speak, but we have to develop the speed, the momentum, that will provide the upward lift to overcome the downward drag of our negative tendencies, our attachments and our karmas. Therefore we need to concentrate on the spiritual practice, our meditation, in order to generate that upward force that will carry us up to where we will meet our Master on the higher planes of existence.
The Master gives us several techniques to achieve this. At initiation he gives us simran, the repetition of five names - and initially this repetition seems extremely dry and boring. It even causes us to wonder sometimes how this seemingly unrewarding activity is ever going to get us anywhere. The Master, however, knows what he is doing. By doing simran, as he explained it to us at the time of our initiation, we are withdrawing our attention from this world and focusing it inside at the eye centre. By doing this we are gathering our consciousness and focusing it at a point beyond the domain of the physical. When simran has been perfected, our attention rises up to the point where we encounter the Radiant Form of our Master inside. At this point the second technique of spiritual practice automatically comes into play, namely contemplation or dhyan. The soul is so entranced by the luminous vision of the Master that it is helpless to do anything but gaze in wonder at this incredible spectacle. The Master then places the soul in contact with the divine Shabd that is ringing at this point, and helps the soul to merge in it. And the third meditation technique is listening to the Shabd or Sound.
This Shabd practice then becomes the main method of the soul’s further progress towards its divine destiny: ultimate union with the Lord. At the end of the day, our only resource is our focused attention during meditation, and our only friend is our Master. Only he is deserving of our undivided attention and loyalty. Only he will help us in the end, to achieve the dream of spiritual liberation and convert the dream into an eternal reality.