The Way Out
To this confused and confusing world we all come, and from it we all go. We are born and we die, to be born again and again.
Endlessly this cycle repeats itself. Time and illusion keep it on course. They are responsible for keeping this perfect process of recycling going. But there is a way out of this maze of the world, this labyrinth of thoughts and thinking. A living spiritual Master is that way. He leads the world-weary soul out of this dense physical world of ignorance and unknowing back to its source, the source of all knowing and all love.
In this, our present world where we are looking for the truth, matter and coarseness have the upper hand. Dr Julian Johnson, author of The Path of the Masters, describes it as a place that is suffering from spiritual anemia – hence the overwhelming lack of interest in, and understanding of, the spiritual side of life.
Here everything is compounded. All and everything in creation is made up of different elements. And the material element always far outweighs the spiritual content of all things. We humans, too, are compounded. Our spirituality is mixed with pride, emotions, thoughts and opinions. Nothing is pure in this material world.
Seekers of the truth have to remember that when speaking of truth on this path, the Masters are referring to something that is pure. They refer to that pure, unchanging, unseen consciousness of spirit which is our essence. This purity is hidden deep down in our deepest being. And Masters also speak of that pure spirit as God, our source.
From the Master’s wisdom we learn that this pure spirit or pure consciousness is the only everlasting reality. Everything else is destructible. Everything else comes and goes. This pure spirit is also known as nam, shabd, sound current, kalma, holy ghost – it has many names. This Nam is the only thing that never ever changes. Therefore, saints call it real or true: the Truth.
Seekers look for purity in an impure world. It is for them that the saint, Dariya Sahib, writes: “The greatness of the world is incomprehensible, but it stands no comparison to the majesty of Nam.”
It is this majesty of Nam that makes everything possible. It is this that pulls the seeker to the path of devotion. And devotion, after all, is love in action. It is also this Nam that wondrously transforms the devoted seeker into a wise, sensitive and subtle being; a loving being who has become receptive to the Master’s teachings – to his wisdom and his love.
This is a delicate and humble state. And it is a truly rare state – most difficult to attain, for the path is slow and steep – and long. But the journey is a happy one, because after initiation the majesty of Nam starts revealing itself – subtly and so slowly – to the disciplined seeker. Imperceptibly things happen. We change. Transformation comes through the grace of the Master. Dariya says of such a Master, that he is “the manifest form of the Lord without parallel, being the manifesta-tion of mercy and kindness of heart”. He also says:
Along the streets, and in the market place of the world,
He moves with profound silence.
He uncovers the invaluable Divine Sound
sparingly and with discrimination.
Dariya Sahib, Saint of Bihar
As Dr Johnson writes in The Path of the Masters: “Truth reveals itself only to those who seek and love it.” In other words, the glory of Nam will make itself known only to the devotee, the persistent seeker of this pure consciousness, this divine spirit.
In this vast material world, which remains indifferent to matters of a spiritual nature, it is the rare seeker who asks the question: “What is this inexplicable spirit, this hidden power that is never seen but moves the entire creation, and is moving us and living in us as well?” We see the results of this mysterious power – scientists study and measure aspects of it – but the power itself remains a mystery. However, real seekers do have a desire, a deep need, to understand something about this mystery. We want more clarity, which we can perhaps use as we journey towards our source.
Also in The Path of the Masters Dr Johnson tells us that “the fundamental qualities of spirit are wisdom, power and love.” So wisdom, power and love make up the essential character of our soul. This tells us something of what we are in our deepest being. Hence the profound desire in every seeker’s heart for more wisdom and understanding, more of that positive spiritual power, and more love, while coming closer to the source, the living Master and the Lord.
All the Masters tell us that the spiritual path starts and ends with love. Dariya Sahib boldly says: “Without love there is no spiritual path.” And he imparts another truth: “The technique of love is truly the root of spirituality.” We are all of the same essence, he says, and that is love. But we may discern a difference. Some are drops of love while others are great waves of that love.
This true love is not easily given – it has to be developed by spiritual practice. Says Dariya Sahib:
Cultivate the discipline of the Shabd. …
So long as the technique of love is not gained,
whatever one talks of knowledge is in vain.
We must work at the technique of love. We have to acquire it and make it our own. It is something so important that the seeker must obtain it and use it. However, practising the discipline of the sound current is both rewarding and demanding.
Every initiated seeker soon learns that the path is slow, long and steep, and this is simply because we are so impure. Attempting to free ourselves from the lower passions takes time, patience and courage. There are many ups and downs. But gradually and naturally these passions diminish as our conscious soul is slowly, very slowly, purified by the Master’s loving Shabd.
During the steep climb towards the eye focus, the Masters remind us, as Dariya did, that though the greatness of the world is incomprehensible, it stands no comparison to the majesty of Nam. Instead of remembering that the path of the sound current is difficult and long, let us rather focus on what causes happiness or delight. We are journeying along with the Master towards our destination. Let us consciously enjoy what Hazur Maharaj Ji used to call ‘the better pleasures’. In other words, the fruits of discipline, devotion and our meditation.
Dariya speaks of tranquillity as one of these better pleasures that come from our meditation. He says this tranquillity is the essence of truth. We do taste contentment and tranquillity as we go along the path of Sant Mat. This is a gift that we receive in greater or lesser measure from the teachings and from the practice of Shabd. Fear and worry, those tensions ever harassing the mind in this shifting world, soon start disappearing from the life of a disciplined seeker. As Dariya writes:
The unwritten Nam is the pure cord.
Kal cannot play tricks with those
who are connected to it.
The better pleasures which Maharaj Ji referred to are numerous. In time we learn that there is joy in a commitment to meditation. And we derive peace from the effort as well. We become aware of this in the increasing levels of serenity and contentment that we experience. And we also experience a higher level of joy as we become more and more free from the negative aspects of our relationships, from obsessions with worldly pleasures, objects and situations. We accept our karmas, our destiny, more easily. The ups and downs of this life become more and more insignificant. We can observe how life unfolds and we learn to let go, accepting more easily what the Master gives us. We do this through the grace of our Master and the majesty of his Nam.
Real happiness comes from within, when the soul is yearning towards its own source. The more it is nearer to the Father, the more happy it will be. … Real happiness is only in the love and devotion of the Father and nowhere else. You can’t find that happiness at all anywhere. So meditation gives you that bliss, that peace, that happiness, that contentment within you. … Nobody can find happiness in the sensual pleasures – there’s frustration after that. The real happiness is only in meditation, nowhere else.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. I