Undoing the Knot
Mind is an instrument originating from the second spiritual region known as Trikuti. Here it was joined together with soul or atman which descended from its original home in Sach Khand. Mind is assigned the role of assisting soul to engage with the physical creation. Over the ages mind has taken control of soul and, having usurped it’s power, now leads soul away from its true home with the Lord.
Mind is held in thrall to the five senses of touch, taste, smell, sight and sound. Mind works by association and having associated with the senses of the body, the mind gives so-called reality to the information they supply. Despite the illusory nature of this creation, it is mind that gives credence to the idea that the physical creation is our true home – that the pursuit of security and comfort in the form of material wealth and status is somehow a reality. Whatever mind wishes to do, and wherever mind wishes to go, soul has no choice but to follow.
Actually, mind draws its power from soul like the moon draws light from the sun, without which the moon would remain in darkness. Without the power of the soul, the mind as an instrument would become powerless. Mind and soul are therefore interdependent in this creation.
The living Master who accepts us as disciples teaches us how to overcome the mind by undoing the gargantuan knot that keeps soul and mind tied together. The true Master provides the disciple with the remedy of repetition of the five holy names which are charged with the Master’s power. The repetition of these five holy names is known as simran.
These powerful names are given to the disciple at the time of initiation and are to be repeated constantly throughout the day when we are mentally free. Then, at the time of meditation, simran is to be done for a minimum period of two hours followed by thirty minutes of bhajan – the practice of listening to the sound current or Shabd, also referred to as the voice of God.
When simran is done with love and devotion, the effect is to draw mind away from the pull and attraction of the senses so that the attention no longer disperses through the nine apertures of the body. This important practice of simran is the method by which soul can escape from the prison of mind and body and collect at the eye centre, or third eye. At the time of initiation, the Master has placed his own Radiant Form, the Shabd form, within the disciple to await the arrival of mind and soul at the eye centre.
Our spiritual journey can only begin from the eye centre, the headquarters of mind and soul; and the eye centre can only be entered by the grace of the Master, through one-pointed concentration at this location. Once the disciple gains entrance to the eye centre, the Master continually works with the disciple, shaping and moulding him or her.
Meditation is primarily an exercise in handing oneself over to the Shabd. It is an exercise in self-surrender, which enables the Master to draw the mind and soul inwards and upwards to the point at which the mind will merge into its own source (Trikuti), leaving the soul free and unencumbered at last. The level of surrender that needs to be attained is such that the mind of the disciple is no longer dominant but submits to the Master. This is where simran of the five names is essential. Repetition of the five names must be done regularly and constantly so that it becomes a ceaseless prayer. This will enable a person to develop a full inner life, led by the soul. Always having the Master at the forefront of all one’s activities prevents the mind from dominating the soul. It helps the Master to awaken the disciple’s love that lies sleeping deep within.
Simran of the five holy names helps bring about full concentration and diverts the attention away from the sense outlets (the nine doors) of the body. The attention or soul consciousness then rises automatically within, penetrates the veil of ignorance, and gains entrance to the third eye. That is how to become God-centered. One who is fully concentrated through repetition of the five holy names will eventually enjoy spiritual bliss, sometimes described as the amrit or elixir which is kept within every human being.
Baba Ji says that true prashad can only be found within. The outer prashad that we are given by the Master is given to us as a reminder of the master’s love and his teachings. Maharaj Charan Singh says in Quest for Light that simran is a great power and it is this that will take us to the Radiant Form of the Master, from where the true sound will start and the inner spiritual journey will begin.