Everything that happens to us brings us closer to our true purpose in life – to return to the Lord. To help us realize this purpose, the Lord sends a living Master to guide us home. Right from birth the hand of a living Master is with us. He showers us with his mercy and grace. Over time we come to appreciate that everything is grace, even the air we breathe.
Our karmas or past actions determine everything that happens to us – our past influences our present. Due to our karmas we may experience periods of darkness that overwhelm us. We might become confused or experience difficulty dealing with unexpected troubles, losses, or tragedy. Without hope, the aftermath of what we experience as negative events may stay with us for days, months, perhaps years, possibly causing despair and depression. Yet, moments of misery can serve as a catalyst to help us realize that all things happen for a reason -and are in our best interest. It is a balancing of our karmas. Nothing lasts forever, so it is important to keep a positive attitude and strive to maintain our balance as we experience the ups and downs of life.
The Master never gives us more than we can handle. He is our refuge; our meditation is our way of seeking sanctuary with him. Meditation allows us to tap into that deep inner stillness, which helps us to stay balanced as we seek meaning from our experiences, even while experiencing turmoil in our lives.
We are constantly reminded in satsang that if we do our meditation he will take care of everything. Knowing this gives us hope. An optimistic attitude can greatly reduce our reaction to events and give us strength as we work through our karmas.
If we had perfect sight, we would see things as they are – in complete balance. But if we are not spiritually advanced, we may tend to be shaken by things that happen to us. So the only thing we can do is to focus on our Master through meditation. We can keep in mind that, as we work through our karmas, he is with us as we are lightening our load and are preparing ourselves to meet the Lord. After all, he wants to erase everything that stands between us and him.
He knows everything we go through. When we experience suffering, we are better able to understand that others suffer too and that this is the human condition. This influences and shapes our mind toward right thinking and living. Suffering grounds us in the reality of the pain and pleasure of this world. He awakens in us compassion for the suffering of others. Adversity fortifies the mind and the soul to resist any inclination to complain and become disheartened. We should treat adversity as a gift from the Lord and accept it with grace and courage. Above all we should avoid bitterness and recrimination that arises from our suffering. If we become embittered by our pain, this is a potential cause of rebirth as it may lead us to actions that bring us back. Once we move beyond outward suffering, we start to realize that happiness lies within.
Truly brave is the person who forges ahead. The saints tell us that it takes courage to make the choices that are aligned with going home to the Lord. The basic question is always, “Am I managing my life, my home, my family and the friends that I surround myself with in a manner that will help me do my meditation?”
Worry can only sidetrack spiritual progress. So, let’s not lose heart when things go wrong. Instead, stay hopeful. Concentrate on meditation. Perseverance and practice are essential. Understand and accept that everyone experiences tragedy that can rattle the spirit; let us cherish hope in our hearts, and have confidence that our Master will accompany us home. When we have been stripped of illusion, we will see that he has been holding our hand all along.
In Quest for Light, Maharaj Charan Singh gives us a comforting message of courage:
Please remember there is no place for any disappointment or dejection in Sant Mat. It is a path of joy and hope. When the Lord has chosen you for eternal liberation, then what other power can keep you back for long in this creation? It is only a question of time. All are struggling souls and are carrying their individual burden of karmas. It will take a lot of time and effort and perseverance to control the mind and throw off this burden. But it will definitely be done one day. The Master will see you back home. So give up all your worries and with love and devotion do your duty every day. Give time to bhajan and simran without caring as to how the mind behaves.… The Master is always with you and so is his love.
As we go through this life, we can keep the Master foremost in our heart and mind. The things that will give us strength and sensitivity to appreciate his constant stream of grace are our daily meditation, a grateful heart, a positive attitude, and a capacity to hope. Life is short, really just a moment. Let’s not delay.