Many of us are probably familiar with the playwright Noel Coward’s famous line, “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.” One wonders what he would have said about people who get up in the dark hours of morning every day of their lives, sit stock still for two and a half hours silently repeating, over and over, the same five words. Perhaps the playwright would have found this equally as mad.
And there may be times when we would almost be inclined to agree with him. After all, it is so much more comfortable to stay in bed. But then, for most of us, meditation is not a madness, but a miracle – a miracle of love that happens every day.
A lot of people in today’s world meditate, for whatever reason. But how many of them were taught their technique by a perfect living Master who could reconnect their souls to the Word of God? Because this, in fact, is what our meditation does. Satsangis are not making it up as they go along; they’re not following a Meditation Made Simple manual; or choosing one of a hundred suggestions offered by Google. Our meditation technique comes from a living spiritual Master who is acting in direct response to a request from God: that his marked sheep be initiated and brought back to him. Is this not a miracle?
The percentage of initiated souls on this earth plane is minute. We initiates of perfect living Masters are indeed marked by the Lord with a final expiry stamp and a return address – initiated by a Son of God, cared for by him for the rest of our earthly lives, finally to be escorted by him to their original home in Sach Khand.
But still, even though we might know this intellectually, sometimes meditation may seem a bit more like a daily grind than a daily miracle – especially when it is cold, when the body is aching or worldly cares are overwhelming. In fact, if we ever sit down and think about it, maybe the big “why?” question comes up. Why do we do it? Many of us, probably most of us, meditate because of what seems to be the real miracle: that the living Master has come for us. We meditate because he asked us and we promised.
Granted, at the time, we didn’t know what the promise entailed. We didn’t understand that something as seemingly simple as repeating five words for two hours every day while sitting still, could be fraught with difficulty. What could be so difficult about two hours and five words? We soon discover – everything!
And yet we still do it. Why? Out of love for our Master and out of desire to please him through obedience and effort – which seems to be all that we can offer him. Someone asked Maharaj Charan Singh: “Maharaj Ji, how does a satsangi’s love grow from an intermittent thing, to one of God-absorption?” He replied:
There is a very special process. … That is meditation. You see, meditation creates love. It strengthens love. It deepens love. It grows love. Ultimately it illuminates you and it make you God. That’s all meditation.
Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II
We must never forget that the entire meditation package is a gift from God himself. We don’t get marked because we are so marvellous or so deserving. We get marked because he takes pity on us. We don’t get up to sit because we are so wonderfully spiritual. We get up to sit because he wants us to and so he pulls the right strings. We don’t feel love for the Master or God for any other reason but that God has planted the seed of his own love within us.
It’s through the process activated by our meditation that our Master works his daily miracles within us, quietly transforming us into better people, and helping us with our karma. Here are Hazur Maharaj Ji’s words on what meditation is doing for us.
Meditation changes the very attitude of our life. …You see, even if we don’t experience anything within, … meditation changes our outlook on life. It makes us humble. It makes us more loving, more kind, more God-fearing.
Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III
For countless lifetimes we have been blind to the world of spirit and deaf to the voice of God reverberating within us. We have been totally involved in the world of senses. Our Master now needs us to change our orientation from down and out, to inward and up. We need to become alive to the inner world. And our Master needs our co-operation to make this miracle happen. He needs us to show up obediently every morning, to take our seat and try our best. It seems we have to be there for the alchemy to work.
Masters tell us that meditation is also about paying off or lessening the impact of our karmic debts. Maharaj Charan Singh says:
Miracles happen with satsangis at every step of their lives. They’re all individual miracles. A miracle is something that happens within, not outside. How our karmas are being taken care of, what we are supposed to pay and how much remission we get – these are the miracles of the mystics. … A miracle is the remission of our karmas – how much remission we get inside, what help we get in meditation, what help we get to go through our karmas in this life so that we are not affected by the worst karmas which we have to face. These are the miracles of the Master.
Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III
This whole business of karmas is such a mystery to us. But even here Master works his daily miracles, often turning sword thrusts into pinpricks. We, of course, have no way of knowing whether what we are going through is the full karmic episode or an abridged version, but whatever it is, it happens under Master’s loving, watchful eye and with his full approval.
From a spiritual perspective, meditation is all about reaching the eye centre and eventually entering the inner spiritual realms and meeting the Master’s Radiant Form – contacting the Shabd. It’s all about the journey back to Sach Khand. If we want to return to God, then there is only one way, and that is by attaching ourselves to the Shabd, which will draw us up and take us home. And we have to participate in this journey actively. We have to meditate. Master needs us to participate actively and willingly as he works his miracles.
Someone once asked Hazur Maharaj Ji whether the Masters perform miracles on our behalf that might otherwise be explained as coincidences, and he replied:
They perform spiritual miracles, so to say. We who are slaves of the senses, slaves of karma, slaves of the world, who are bound to this world – they detach us from here and take us back to the Lord. That is the greatest miracle they can perform, and that is their main mission in this life.
Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. I