Carrying Him in Our Heart
When Master is on tour to various countries, what an amazing experience it is. For two hours we are in his presence: basking in his love and light, laughing at his humour, and marvelling at the simplicity and enormous spiritual significance of his answers.
And then it is over. He leaves the building. As we mingle with old friends outside, perhaps drinking tea and chatting about what we have just heard, we are hoping that he will come back to the satsang hall again, walk around among us as we have heard he does in some centres, give us darshan, maybe even play soccer with some of the young ones. But it is not to be. He leaves.
“Leaves” implies that there is one of us going away and one left behind. It implies duality and separation, but who is leaving whom? What is actually happening in our minds when we think about the Master leaving us? Do we see him in our mind’s eye climbing into a car and being driven away down the street, watching as the car appears smaller and smaller until it zips around the corner out of sight, leaving us behind? Perhaps we visualize him boarding a flight, winging off to give satsang somewhere else. How do we feel then? How do we feel when he has gone? Abandoned? Bereft? Empty?
Addressing a question about a disciple’s fear of losing the atmosphere of being with the Master when the Master and the disciple are no longer physically together, Maharaj Charan Singh in Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III, says something very startling, “Don’t send me away.”
What? Don’t send him away? This sounds like he is asking us to not let him leave, to keep him captive, maybe to lie down in front of his car and refuse to let him drive off. But he didn’t say, “Stop me from leaving.” He said,“Don’t send me away” – as though it is we who are causing the perceived separation, not him.
But we would never send him away, would we? We would never say, “Master, go away, I don’t want to see you in satsang. Go away, I have no time for you now.” We certainly would not say that to the physical form of our Master. Then Hazur continues, “Are you sure that I am not here when I am not here?”
Note that Hazur says don’t send me away, and how do you know I am not here when I am not here. This is personal. This is about our Master, not the concept of a Master. He continues:
If we can just know and understand that we are never alone, that our Master is always with us, we are never without him, then the atmosphere would always be the same. We try to tell ourselves that he is not here when actually he is here. So we have to know that he is always with us.
Hazur is telling us that our Master is always with us – and not just as a memory or in our imagination. He is literally with us all the time because our real Master is Shabd. Hazur explains in Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III, “It’s not the body which is the Master. It is the Shabd, that creative power, which is the Master. Our real Master is Shabd, which is within every one of us.”
This is how our Master never leaves us. So when Hazur says, “Don’t send me away,” he is referring to the inner Shabd Master. Sometimes we don’t feel the presence of the Master. But the Master doesn’t go anywhere. When we face him we can see him, but if we turn around and look behind we cannot see him; however, he is still there. We cannot see him if we are not looking in his direction.
This explanation makes perfect sense from a physical standpoint. Clearly, we can see the physical form of our Master when we face him, and when we look behind us we can’t see him. But when the Master uses this example, he is referring to something much more than the physical.
The Master tells us that we have a choice of where to put our attention – inwards and upwards towards our Shabd Master, who is always with us, or downwards and outwards into the world, where we feel his absence when he is not physically with us.
If we want to feel our Master’s presence, if we want to feel his love, we have to hold on to him at the eye centre and not send him away, not allow the mind to distract us by visualizing his driving away and abandoning us, but instead remember that he is inside waiting for us to join him at the eye centre.
Hazur explains a little more about the importance of keeping him with us when he answers the following question. In Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III, a disciple says, “The time for departure from the Dera is rapidly approaching, and I want some reassurance that we can take all this love with us and that this is as easily accessible at home as it is here.”
We might ask our Master a similar question when he visits us on tour in our country: Can you give us some reassurance that when you leave, we will continue to feel the love we feel right now coming from you and in our own hearts?
Hazur tells us very logically, “You see, the Master is within every one of us. No matter how much we try to depart from there, we can’t. So if we are carrying him with us, the question of departure doesn’t arise.”
He says that since the Master is inside of us, and since we cannot leave our own selves – logically there can be no separation from him. Then the Master continues, “Being here at Dera, if you don’t carry him with you, it is the same thing as being away and not carrying him with you. If you are here, he is with you if you are carrying him with you.”
If we want to feel him with us all the time, if we don’t want to feel the separation caused by our departure from the physical Master, we have to “carry him with us” all the time and not just think of him when we are doing our two and one-half hours of meditation. And this is true no matter in what country or satsang centre we are, whether he is with us physically or not.
Carrying him with us is an action. In fact, the verb “to carry” means “to support the weight of and move something or someone” (Oxford English Dictionary), and this implies conscious involvement and effort. We consciously take our Master with us everywhere we go, never forgetting for an instant that he is there, turning to him again and again during the day to speak a few private words of simran.
Hazur comforts us by saying, “We have to carry him with us, always within us. Then there is no departure at all.”
So our Master may have driven away from visiting one of our centres after two wonderful hours with us, but he did not go anywhere in that car. Our Master did not leave us. He is always in our hearts. We think of the time we spent with our Master, we relish the memory of how we felt when he sat before us, and we call to him within because he is always with us.
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it (anywhere i go, you go, my dear)