Sewing a Button
Simran is a bit like sewing on a button. It is a very humble, simple task, sewing a button onto a shirt. We thread a needle, then attach the button to the fabric with several repetitive stitches. One stitch won’t accomplish the task. We have to pass the needle and thread many times through the holes of the button and the fabric before the button is sturdily attached. It’s the repetition that holds the button fast.
Our simran is stitching our attention to the Shabd and to the Master. Needle in, needle out. By that repetition, we are attaching ourselves to the inner world, thus automatically detaching ourselves from the illusions of the outer world. Sewing on a button is not glamorous. But it works. And simran works too. But for it to work, we have to give it a chance – not just think about doing it, but actually do it. We need to make simran our friend. It focuses and quiets our mind so that we can attach ourselves to the Master and the Shabd.
The saints encourage us to repeat the names whenever our mind is free throughout the day. It’s easy to forget that part. Meditation becomes much easier when we keep the mind disciplined by repeating simran as we go through our day. Maharaj Charan Singh says in Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II:
This constant simran helps our attitude towards meditation, helps to draw our mind towards meditation. That helps when we sit in meditation because we are developing a certain attitude towards Sant Mat, towards the teachings, towards the path. It helps a lot. It may be dry, but if you leave your mind alone, it will have other, worldly thoughts. It won’t be still. It will always think something or other.… Why let it go so astray, why not pull it back? We are helping it not to run very astray and wild. The more it runs astray and wild, the more difficult it becomes to pull it back. That is why, whenever we get time or we are mentally free, we do simran.
Just like sewing on a button, every second of simran done day in and day out strengthens our bond with the Master and brings us closer to the Lord.
The most outstanding wonder of God’s creation is the human mind.…
An old man describes an experience going on in his mind to his grandson:
“There’s a terrible fight between two wolves going on in us all. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside you and inside every other person too.”
The grandson thought about it and asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old man simply replied, “The one you feed.” The wolf we feed will determine if the good within us has triumphed.
Concepts & Illusions: A Perspective