I Did That Already
On one occasion Maharaj Sawan Singh, the Great Master, asked Maharaj Charan Singh what he would like to be when he grew up: would he want to be an ordinary son, a bad son, or a good son? When Hazur asked what the difference among the three was, Great Master explained that an ordinary son neither increases nor decreases his inheritance, a bad son squanders his inheritance, whereas a good son puts his inheritance to proper use, increases it and uses it to help others. Hazur, then in his teens, replied that while everyone wants to be a good son, since everything was in Great Master’s hands, it was entirely up to him to mould him in whichever way he pleased. This was the trust and faith of a young disciple in his Master.
For many lives we also have been a good son or daughter, even a bad son or daughter, or a good or bad spouse, a good or bad parent. Now is the time for us to stop being something and become something – to become the Master, who is everything. We need to remind ourselves that we have done everything in our past births except meditate. The proof of our lack of meditation and effort is we are still here discussing what needs to be done to attain the ultimate purpose of human birth.
There is a story about a famous opera singer who was in her prime. The owners of a big New York opera house hired her as the manager of their opera house. When the prestigious position was offered to her, she accepted it – although it meant that she wouldn’t be focusing on her own singing any more. When she started to work as a manager, rather than as a singer, she started wearing a bracelet saying IDTA. Somebody asked what those letters stood for. She replied, “The bracelet is to remind myself that I DID THAT ALREADY.”
This is exactly what we need to remind ourselves as satsangis, as seekers of spirituality: we have done it all already. So, whenever we are tempted to compromise our number-one seva of meditation, we need to remember our Master and, keeping our trust and faith in him, walk away from whatever it is that distracts us, reminding ourselves: “IDTA – I did that already.”
There is nothing new that needs to be done in this life; there is nothing remaining that needs to be done. We did everything already; the only thing that needs to be accomplished in this life is God-realization.
A poem by Guru Arjan Dev in the Guru Granth Sahib reminds us of what we have already been.
In so many incarnations, you were a worm and an insect;
in so many incarnations, you were an elephant, a fish and a deer.
In so many incarnations, you were a bird and a snake.
In so many incarnations, you were yoked as an ox and a horse.
Meet the Lord of the Universe – now is the time to meet Him.
After so very long, this human body was fashioned for you.…
Through … the company of the Holy, you obtained this human life.
Do seva – selfless service; follow the Guru’s teachings and repeat the Lord’s Name.
We have done and been many things before; now is the time for us to turn towards the Lord and become one with him. It is not easy. In our lives, the people we love and are loved by look so real; the things we possess and we want to possess look so real; the homes look real; the health problems look so real. How can we think of them as being unreal? How can we put all of this aside and turn to that which is real – our meditation?
Our transformation lies within the will of the Father. The moment we are touched by Master, it is as though he is picking us up from muddy, dirty waters, placing us on the bank of the river and rinsing us with pure water. As the water drains off into the muddy river, we start to see the reality that we were not dirty after all; the water we were swimming in was dirty. And when we look at our cleaner self, the truth becomes more real.
However, for this to happen we need to accept what comes our way. We need to accept his will and stop hankering after things that will not take us closer to our spiritual goal.
In 1947, Great Master became very ill and had to be taken to Amritsar for treatment. From October of that year, Maharaj Charan Singh remained with him, serving him constantly until he passed away on April 2, 1948. While he was in Amritsar attending the Great Master, news came that Hazur had been officially selected for a post in the judiciary. Great Master responded by asking him what purpose it would serve for him to become a judge. Rather, he said, he should wait and see what Baba Jaimal Singh’s order for him was. Great Master then said that, since Hazur’s father’s health was failing, Hazur should give up practising law and help his father with the family farm. Hazur accepted the Great Master’s guidance without question and gave up his practice and independent life in Sirsa. With no idea of what lay in store for him only a few years ahead, he left the active life of a young lawyer and became a farmer in the village. Three years later, he was appointed Master by Maharaj Jagat Singh.
We all may have been lawyers, doctors, artists, scientists, farmers, mechanics – you name it. But this is the time for us to become one with Master himself by following the teachings of our Satguru, our Master. This does not mean that we should run away from our professions; it means that we should give the right amount of importance to everything in our lives. Shabd, simran, seva, satsang should be the four pillars of our life, and everything else should revolve around them. We need to make our meditation our foundation, and everything else should become mere detail. This should be our attitude to get through our life.
Whatever “important” thing we are doing right now, in all our previous lifetimes we have done it a million times, and it did not change the world or its outcome. If we are worried about raising our children right, we need to remember that we have given birth many times. Why worry this time also? Let us take care of our responsibilities the right way, leave the rest to him, and focus on our meditation. We cannot afford to spoil our meditation because of a bad relationship, parental problems, health upheavals, or financial losses. If we worry about property or money, we need to remind ourselves that we have been rich many times before, and it does not matter.
All these things are the toys that have been placed in front of us so that we can learn, grow, give and take, and pay our karmic debts. But they should not distract us from our prime responsibility of realizing God during this human birth.
In Philosophy of the Masters, Vol. IV, Maharaj Sawan Singh says, “Shabd is the life, the essence, the root and the quintessence of every created thing.”
For initiates, the door to this kingdom of Shabd has already been opened. The secret has been revealed to us. If we are unable to realize that, it is because of our lack of effort and commitment. Being a disciple on this path requires a lot more sacrifice than we think. The sacrifice is not only in our actions but in our attention too. We need to empty our mind of all worries and plans and let them go. We have done all of that already! All those things do not matter as long as we do our real duty – meditation.