I Am Nothing
In Spiritual Letters, Baba Jaimal Singh says, referring to the fateful day when the disciple meets his perfect living Master:
From that day forth, the disciple understands “I am nothing. All that exists belongs to the Satguru – body, mind and wealth.… I am nothing but an instrument.” That is why work performed with the body, mind and wealth will not do him any harm.
This concept of the individual being nothing but an instrument of the Lord is hard for us to grasp because we think we are separate from God and from one another. We look around us and see many different people, animals, birds, plants, and living things all separate from one another. But this is an illusion because everything that we can see with our physical eyes, along with everything that we cannot see, is a projection of the Shabd. In Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. I, Maharaj Charan Singh talks about what there was in the beginning before this creation existed. He says:
First, there was only the Lord, who is without beginning and without end. He has projected himself everywhere. There was nothing besides him. He was the only one. All that we see is just his own projection. Everything is projected from him. If we admit that there was something besides him, then the Lord is not one. He is the only one – he always was, is and will be. He is everywhere, and everything is his own projection.
So there is the one Lord, the Shabd, the Sound and Light, the Ocean of Love, the source of everything and everyone, the Creator whom we cannot see with our physical eyes. And then there is the creation that we can see. There is this physical body that we can see and our soul within it that we cannot see. If we close our eyes and go within by our simran, with our repetition of the five holy names given to us by our Master at the time of our initiation, we can see with our inner eye the truth that our true form is soul and that our soul is a particle of the Shabd.
Our true form is Shabd. This body that we see is only a piece of clothing, a coat that we are wearing to go through our karmas, a coat that makes us look like we are all different from one another, a coat that hides the fact that we are all Shabd.
If we could only realize this fact, in the sense of knowing from personal experience, we would see that there is no difference between you and me and every other living being on this planet, other than the body we are wearing and the karmas we are going through. If we were in a position to see this oneness, then how could we ever hurt another living being? How could we hurt someone’s feelings? How could we go to war? It would be like hurting our own selves, hurting the Lord.
But our mind does not allow us to go within to see this truth. Our mind keeps us busy in the world, thinking that this current life is real, is important, and needs our full attention. Our mind tells us that we are doing everything; we are in control. We are separate from everyone else. Baba Jaimal Singh Ji explains in Spiritual Letters:
All work, temporal or spiritual, is done by the Shabd-dhun, but the mind takes undue credit for it, which is all false. In fact, the Shabd-dhun does it all.
Our physical form is doing nothing; it is a puppet, animated by Shabd. Our mind – our ego – thinks that it is the doer. But this is wrong. Even our personality is nothing but an outcome of our bundle of karmas. The Shabd animates this body and acts through us. So this is why Baba Jaimal Singh Ji keeps saying to Great Master in his letters, remember that you are nothing. In Spiritual Letters he says:
Believe it implicitly my son, the Satguru has told us that man does nothing – only the means for doing appears to come through him.
We think we are doing things, we think we are making decisions, we think we are taking actions, but we are doing nothing. We think with our mind and if we can control our mind through our bhajan and simran, if we can release our mind from the senses that have it under control, and withdraw it to the eye centre where it will meet the Shabd Master within, we can experience the truth that we are soul and not the body. This is self-realization, knowing who we are from personal experience. And when we know it to be true that we are Shabd, we will understand that we are literally doing nothing here in this creation – the Lord is doing it all.
And that is what Baba Jaimal Singh is referring to in almost every letter when he says, “Wherever you go, keep your attention in the Satguru; then he himself is the doer.” He is saying: think of your Master – not the physical form of the Master – but the inner Shabd Master, and allow him to use you as his instrument, for in reality that is what is happening. Keep your personality out of your doings, keep your mind under control, and then the Master is responsible for the results, and we create no new karmas to pay off in a future life.
If we could lead our lives like this, knowing that we are just the means the Lord uses to enact his play, we could live without worrying about anything. We are not in control. This play has a script that we are following. We don’t know how the story will develop, we don’t know if there will be pleasure or pain in the script, but we do know that the script has been written in such a way that at the end, we will be free; we will never have to perform in another play again.
So instead of worrying about what will happen without our intervention, we should follow Baba Jaimal Singh’s advice when he says, “Whenever you are free, do your bhajan and simran. Our true work is bhajan and simran; doing even a little will add up to a lot.”
Our true work is meditation. Everything else is just balancing our karmas. Everything else is the destiny we have to complete in this lifetime; meditation prepares us for the future beyond our death. This is our real work; this is our own work. This is the work that should occupy our thoughts and receive the most attention in our lives because everything else is in the hands of the Master. This much we can do. We can try our best to do our simran and bhajan.
Baba Jaimal Singh writes:
My son, you are not separate from my form. This is an amazing play that cannot be understood without the perfect Satguru – merely in order to transact the affairs of the world he appears as a separate body.
The Master and all his disciples are the same. All living beings are the same. The apparent differences between us are on the surface. Let us do our own true work every day so that the Master’s words become experience for us, not just concepts.