The Story of the Soul
One day the Lord asked to see his favourite child. He told him that the time had come for the child to witness the world below in its fullness, and to experience the power of supreme grace. The child was curious for he had known nothing besides the light and love that filled his Father’s home. As he imagined travelling the journey with his Father, the child became excited. Filled with anticipation, he asked, “When do we leave?”
The Father smiled, “My child, you will need to make this journey without me; only then will you understand the Truth.”
Everything changed that instant for the child. What if he gets lost? When will he return? Who would look after him? With tears, he begged the Father not to send him away for he could not imagine a world without him.
The Father took him in his arms and lovingly explained, “Fear not. Nothing can ever separate us. Even if you forget me, I will not forget you. This journey is for your own spiritual progress and will be filled with many valuable lessons. I promise that my guiding hand will always be upon you throughout the journey. And when the time is right, I will send you a guide who will lead you back home to me; then, your happiness will have no bounds. The ultimate gift will be awaiting you.”
The obedient child looked into his Father’s eyes and promised, “I will remember you with every step.” And with those words, the child was born into the world.
This may be just one of many imaginary stories illustrating our descent into this creation. It reflects the underlying message of all the saints: that we were once residents of the eternal home in Sat Purush, and were sent down into this creation countless lifetimes ago. It serves to remind us of our relationship with the Lord and our separation from him.
But the true story of our soul is much more complex. Being born in this creation, rather than using the mind as an instrument of cognition, we became a slave of the mind and senses. Instead of learning the Truth – our life’s purpose – we became absorbed in the world, imprisoned by our desires and attachments. Life after life, with every action we accumulated a heavy load of karmas that bound us to this material world.
Man himself entwines the rope of karmas, which become a noose around his own neck.
Kabir, The Weaver of God’s Name
Without doubt, the most regrettable and tragic part of our journey in this creation was forgetting the eternal promise to our Father: that we would remember him at every stage of our journey.
When you were in the hellfire of the womb, you promised to remember the Lord and recite his Name day and night…. You promised to attach all your attention to his feet and fix your mind on his Name. Whether you lived or died, not for a moment would you forget him…. But you forgot the promise and became a prisoner of illusion.
Kabir, The Great Mystic
Mystics explain to us that the soul feels captive in this mortal body. It is purely for this reason that mankind has never felt truly at home in this world and tries restlessly to search for happiness and meaning in material objects and relationships. Although the yearning to seek the Lord is inherent in every soul, the heavy weight of the mind holds it back by wrapping itself around the sensual pleasures of the world.
I know, dear soul, that you have been in distress ever since you forgot the Shabd and made friends with the mind…. How could you, a conscious entity, get so embroiled in a world that is inert and is but an illusion? This time therefore you should remember God and go home…. The Master will help you find the jewel of Nam within yourself and retrace your way through the inner skies. Just do this now, in this very life, and the Master will take care of the rest.
Soami Ji Maharaj, Sar Bachan Poetry
The Lord has fulfilled his promise. It is out of the Lord’s boundless love for us that he has put us in touch with his guide, the living Master to take us back to our true home. The Master has travelled the inner path and he is very familiar with every intricate detail of the path. Saints and mystics of all ages have described the Master as the way to the Lord. Through the living Master, our love and longing for the Lord is awakened and we are reminded of our true purpose in life. By connecting us to the audible life stream, he teaches us how to draw our attention to the point from where the creative power emanates. Every time we taste the sweet nectar of the divine melody, the longing to return to our true home increases.
And so the story of our soul continues …. If we listen to our guide and follow his teachings earnestly, not only will the journey be shorter, but we will be safe and secure in this turbulent ocean of existence. Our duty is to go forward unwaveringly and untiringly, so that we can invoke the gift of grace from the One who calls us unceasingly to return home. With practice, perseverance, faith, and above all, with the Master’s loving grace, this journey, which is a blessed opportunity, will be completed one day.