Our Last Lifetime?
When Maharaj Sawan Singh, as a disciple, wrote the following words to his Master, Baba Jaimal Singh, “One day my work will finish, but when will that day arrive?” was he writing about his worldly work, the work of going through this human existence or his spiritual work? Baba Jaimal Singh, referring to the Guru Granth Sahib, responds in a very reassuring way.
When the perfect Satguru has been found, and with it the whole secret of the saints’ path, then nothing further remains to be done. The task was finished right then and there. So no other path is to be trodden, because no other task remains to be done.
We have been searching for the Lord for many lifetimes. We may have followed many different spiritual paths, performed many penances and rituals in our seeking, but now that we have found a living Master, all that searching is over; we have found what we have been looking for. We have found the Satguru. He has given us initiation and taught us the way to return to our true home. Baba Jaimal Singh continues:
Only that as long as any worldly affairs – taking from some or giving to others – are still to be finished, the inner attention will catch the Shabd-dhun infrequently. The barrier of karma will not be broken until the account with the world is settled. That is why the Sant Satguru takes the soul across the barrier of karma only after completing the account right here, so that it may not be born again. If any debit or credit is left out, the account of past karmas will have to be cleared by taking birth again.
What is this Shabd-dhun that he says our inner attention is to catch? The Shabd-dhun is the sound and light within us, which is the true form of the Lord and of our soul. It is the Shabd-dhun that we are trying to reach when we meditate. But until our destiny karma is finished, our attention will rise up, catch the light and sound, and fall down again. The only thing standing between us and our inner enlightenment is our karma. So there is nothing to worry about if in our meditation we are seeing and hearing nothing; it is only the karma that is in our way.
Baba Jaimal Singh continues:
From the day the disciple meets the perfect Satguru, all work takes place with the Satguru’s permission – he is not going to give another birth.
This is truly an encouraging assurance. No one likes to go through difficult times, but if we keep turning to our Master, he will be there to help us go through whatever befalls us. He is there through good times and bad. We cannot avoid going through our karmas. But we have our bhajan and simran, our meditation, to help us stay balanced. When we do our meditation, we are invoking the grace and mercy of our Master. During the day if we do our simran and keep the Master in our hearts and minds, we are, as it were, walking hand-in-hand with him. Master is always there along the way.
This can be our last lifetime – as long as we complete our destiny karmas and don’t keep adding to the pile. As long as we are meditating and following the Satguru’s instructions, we are assured that any new seeds will not take root. In Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. I, Maharaj Charan Singh says:
Since all types of karma have to be cleared before you can escape from this realm of Kal, and destiny you cannot change, the saints advise that if you meditate and live according to the principles of the spiritual path, your willpower becomes very strong and you are not affected by those fate karmas. You will be able to go through all that cheerfully, without losing your balance. And, in the future, you won’t sow any new seeds for which you may have to come back into this world again.
Living according to the instructions of our Master and doing our meditation protects us from sowing new seeds and allows us to go through our destiny without losing our balance. When we live our lives in this way – putting full effort in our meditation – nothing further remains to be done by us. Then it is in his hands to ensure that this is our last lifetime.
It takes time to control the senses and turn the mind inwards – reversing habits of lifetimes on end. For some disciples it may be a year, for some a whole lifetime. The spiritual seeker needs faith, courage, discipline, longing – all these qualities – to patiently maintain the rigorous practice of meditation.
Many Voices, One Song