The Invisible Helping Hand
It seems that most people feel troubled when they have no apparent means of spiritual support, and yet the whole world seems to be searching for just this. Bhakti yogis say that we are all seeking that “dear sweet friend” which every soul needs. That is the one who dwells within us – the one who has the answers to all our questions, who gives us ineffable joy.
We are all struggling with five powerful passions. We all experience pride, anger, greed, lust, and attachment at some point in our life. What is behind each of these passions is a desperate and futile quest for security, power, worldly control or fame. Yet even if we attain these, we remain unsatisfied.
These five passions let us down. We are aware that there isn’t anything in life that does not keep changing. We ask ourselves what will stay as a constant, dependable, permanent, and ever present means of support in our life? It is the Master and his invisible helping hand, the Shabd. His helping hand is always there. We just have to reach out for it. Each disciple has a personal connection to his Master and can, if he wishes, contact him directly. We connect with him each time we meditate, each time we do simran, each time we remember him. That’s how we are able to grab hold of his invisible helping hand.
A Master is not an ordinary human being. He is the giver of all comfort, bliss, and happiness. In his company, miseries and worries are forgotten. In his company, rays of spirituality are there; we just need to become receptive.
Master doesn’t tell us to earn more money, have a good family, or buy more clothes. Saints don’t come to entangle us in this creation – we are already deeply entangled. They don’t come to give us children; they don’t come to give us employment and good jobs; they don’t come to heal us of physical and mental pains; they don’t come here to give us wealth, position, and power. They want to eliminate our ties to all these things so that we may become detached – so the mind can turn inward.
The message of the saints is to repeat the Name of the Lord. If we go on repeating it, then we will one day merge into the Lord. So Master’s business is to remind us that, with every breath of our life, we should try to keep the Name of the Lord with us.
We know there are two sides to life: one is attending to our outer, worldly needs, and the other is realizing that there is something besides this worldly life – a higher ideal, a greater happiness, a deeper insight into life, and a greater peace. Right now, however, our soul is being held down by our karmas – the debts that we still owe here in this life. Every time we meditate we get rid of a little of that weight. The Master tells us that the entire burden that was holding us down will one day be gone, and our soul will eventually go within. We have no idea how many debts we have yet to pay, and perhaps that is a good thing. So we have to keep trying.
If we remember the Master during the day, we impress upon the mind that his presence is with us everywhere. When the disciple meets the inner Master, all miseries and sufferings will be completely forgotten. But until then, we need to remind ourselves that he is ever by our side and holding our hand as we walk through this life.
We can also keep him close during the day by practising gratitude. The best way to cultivate this grateful heart is simply to realize each and every day all the gifts we have in life. We can train our mind to thank him for the day, for our breath, our home, our food – for everything – and to realize that he is the source of all these things.
A grateful heart is a kind, loving heart, a soft heart full of love and appreciation for the Beloved. It is a heart tempered by humility because the Lord granted us the great good fortune and grace of meeting the Master. In Sar Bachan Poetry, Soami Ji speaks of the grace of the Master:
The Master has arrived to grace my home,
he has woken my destiny from its long slumber.
He has revived the withering plant of my life,
he has repopulated the deserted city of my heart.
How can I describe my situation?
I cannot contain myself.…
Soami Ji also explains:
The state of the saints is beyond all comprehension –
no one is capable of offering them devotion,
no one is capable of singing their praises.…
He has opened all the doors of my heart, through which
my soul has soared like a bird to the heavens,
singing his praises.…
The unbounded love that has welled up in my heart
has made me forget my body and mind.
We are asked to do our meditation and start moving along the road back home as quickly as we can, not allowing our mind to entice us and draw us away with its alluring temptations of the world. Yes, it may seem like a long journey, but Maharaj Charan Singh reassures us in Quest for Light that we are always under the protecting hand of the Lord:
Every initiate is being looked after by the Master and whatever comes to such a one, whether good or bad from the disciple’s limited point of view, is all within the knowledge of the Master and is for the disciple’s own good. The Lord has his own hand of protection on all those whom he has drawn to the path.
We feel his grace at every step. A child feels the guiding hand, the helping hand, of his mother at every step in his upbringing, his development. Without the mother’s helping hand a child can never develop. Master’s helping hand is always there for our spiritual development. We could never spiritually develop at all without his guidance, whether outside or inside. His helping hand is always there with the disciple, for his spiritual development.…
Ultimately there’ll be one shepherd and one fold. Everybody has to be in that fold, all those who are marked. So naturally his guiding hand is always there, whether we are conscious of it or not conscious of it. For our spiritual development, he is always there to help us in every way.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II