Hide and Seek
This constant feeling of loneliness and missing something is in reality the hidden unquenched thirst and craving of the soul for its Lord…. This feeling has been purposely put in the heart of man.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Quest for Light
The feeling of loneliness that Hazur is speaking about compels us to seek. In a worldly sense, we seek comfort, wealth, honour, love, a feeling of belonging. This seeking drives us from job to job, person to person, even master to master – all to distract us from the feelings of loneliness and isolation that plague us. Yet, even while we are immersed in this play of the mind and senses, something still nags at us from deep within. We realize that somehow these things and people are not what we are truly seeking. We turn to books, to scriptures, we devour every morsel of wisdom that we can – and yet we are still empty.
A time may come in our lives when we realize that the loneliness is never going away. The solace we have sought through overeating, or alcohol, music and movies, or even endless intellectual discussions and education – nothing has worked to heal us. At some point it may occur to us that we can’t heal our own pain and emptiness.
If we are lucky, there comes a moment when we know that what was missing all along was a deep and abiding connection to God. At that moment we begin to actively seek to cultivate a relationship with the Lord, and we are forever changed. Our seeking takes a different turn. Cultivating a one-on-one relationship with the Lord becomes our focus. This is the very basis of the path of Sant Mat.
A fundamental assumption on this path is that knowledge of the Lord is attainable, and that knowing him is possible in this very lifetime. In fact, we can experience a loving, personal relationship with him from the moment we are initiated, when the spiritual nourishment that we had been seeking becomes ours, whether we realize it or not. For a short time we feel whole. We feel absorbed and intoxicated by our ‘finding’ the path, the Master, and the teachings. Now all we have to do is sit quietly, come to the eye centre, make the mind motionless and go within.
Having had a glimpse of what is possible, we are disappointed when we don’t see him inside the first time we meditate. But then it dawns on us that we can’t have this experience at will – because it’s his game. Maharaj Charan Singh says in Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III, “When that love arises in us, when we become victims of that love, then he conceals himself. Then it is a game of hide-and-seek.”
Sooner or later we realize that the only way we are going to remove this separation from him is to do our simran. That’s the beginning of our understanding of the commitment we made at the time of initiation.
Stilling the mind and controlling the senses is the most difficult task the disciple has, and there is only one way – bringing our attention inside with our simran. Collecting every ray of our attention and focusing it on simran is the only way to light the footpath to him. Simran is our conversation with him, one precious word at a time.
Now just keep repeating the Lord’s Name.
When you repeat his Name constantly,
No sins will stay with you.
Even if you have millions of sins.
It won’t take a second for the Lord’s Name
To burn them away …
Kal has no access to that place.
Tukaram: The Ceaseless Song of Devotion
Repeating simran constantly prevents sins from adhering to the disciple. Since these sins are what stand between the disciple and the Master, this is the beginning of reducing the distance that one experiences because of our apparent separation from the Master. And then our loneliness begins to subside.
Maharaj Charan Singh in Spiritual Discourses, Vol. I says:
Except for devotion to Nam, no second method exists whereby to awaken the mind. The result of practising Nam is that as the attention is held steady at the eye focus, it begins to contact the heavenly music. Gradually, the enchanting strains of the music become overpowering and all-absorbing. It is then that the mind awakens to the Lord. Its dreams are then cut short. It recognizes the transience and impermanence of everything that surrounds us here. It gets to know the fact that the world is unreal, that it is only a shadow-show, and that God alone is real, permanent and immortal. With intense yearning and unwavering devotion, divine love permeates one’s whole being. The mind begins to miss him, with the result that the bonds with the world are broken and those with God made tighter. The devotee’s love then becomes one-pointed. The coats of rust begin to fall off and the mind rises up to its own source in Trikuti. The soul is released from its clutches, and purged of its physical, astral, and other coverings, it realizes its divine origin.
What better gift in exchange for the practice of ceaseless simran than the mind’s becoming one-pointed and returning to its source where we are free to experience union with Master firsthand.
When this simran is perfected and ongoing throughout the day, then the time of meditation becomes a time of joy. Meditation becomes a time when every worry and concern can be left behind, and when the flight to the presence of the Master becomes swift. Balance comes into our life. Our simran done with one-pointed attention leads us to the Shabd, the Shabd takes us to our Beloved, and we realize not only that we are in the company of the Beloved, but that he was with us all along. The game of hide-and-seek is over forever.
What is grace of the Father? To pray to him that whatever stands between us and the Father should be eliminated and that we should become one with him. That is the mercy we are trying to seek…. Our own ego, our own load of karma – our mind – stands between us and the Father…. Meditation is nothing but invoking the mercy of the Father.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II
Whatever time you give to simran – whether moving, walking, sitting – and whatever books you read on Sant Mat, or satsangs you hear, they are all to your credit. All these are preparations. When you want to fill the vessel with milk, you have to prepare that vessel for keeping the milk…. These preparations strengthen our love and devotion, and create that desire in us for meditation.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Die to Live