The True Purpose of Separation
When a visit with the Master comes to a close, whether we are attending the Master’s satsangs in Dera, Haynes Park or anywhere across the globe, we feel an inner sadness when he leaves. The realization that we will not be in his presence for much longer consumes us. What we often don’t remember in that moment, is that his presence is always shining brilliantly within us and that he wants us to look within and find his Radiant Form. As such, the purpose of being with the physical Master is to kindle the fire of longing within us so that we may transfer the intensity of that longing into our daily practice – the practice of meditation.
Maharaj Charan Singh tells us in Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III, that our physical separation from the Master does serve a purpose, one that helps to create a true taste of intense longing to merge into the Radiant Form of our Master. He says, “The object of the body Master is to fill us with love and devotion for the Father, to put us on the path, to create that deep longing to become one with the Master.” The physical form of the Master helps to engender love for the Lord within us, which ultimately transforms into spiritual love. This spiritual love creates longing and devotion, Nam bhakti, that is grown by the practice of our meditation on the path to God-realization.
In many ways it may be beneficial for us to be physically separated from the Master because this separation creates a greater desire and longing to be with him. In Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III, Hazur explains, “It is in the interest of the disciple that the Master should leave him.” This way, “When he [the disciple] wants to be with the Master, he has no option but to turn within and find him there.” Physical separation serves to create longing to turn to him within. The idea behind Hazur’s words is that when we want to be with the Master, but don’t have his physical presence, we may automatically turn within in the hopes of seeing his Radiant Form. This intense longing for the physical form, which we are unable to fulfil in a worldly sense, leads us to do our meditation without fail.
This inward turning, by doing our meditation, is a great blessing in that it deepens our already burning desire to know God. Steadfastness in our meditation intensifies our longing to find the inner Radiant Form of the Master. Our desire and devotion create a ‘virtuous circle’ – Master’s love awakens our longing and that longing propels us to meditate to meet the inner form of the Master. As a result of our persistent meditation, Master bestows upon us the most immense grace of keeping the longing for inner darshan alive within us. It is this longing which perpetuates the ‘virtuous circle’ by motivating us to meditate even more fervently in order to experience him within.
As Hazur tells us in Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III, “Real darshan is when you see the Radiant Form of the Master, because then you get real faith, then you get real devotion, and then that real love develops.” When we experience inner darshan there is no thought, no desire, no expectation – just love. That love consumes the heart of the lover, leaving in its wake a deep yearning for union with the Lord.
This physical separation between us and the Lord, therefore, serves a very important purpose in driving the magnitude of our longing. A major function of a living Master is to bring about longing and devotion for the Lord within us. In his visits across the world, he does exactly that by creating an atmosphere of unconditional love, support, and kindness. Our mandate is to transfer that devotion into our daily practice of meditation so we can feel a deep yearning to be with the Lord at all times.
Listen, O innocent devotees,
repeat your simran without a break
and all of your bad deeds will be burnt.
If you can serve the guru
this age of darkness won’t harm you
and you’ll come to know liberation.
The guru –
treasure-house of knowledge,
mountain of courage –
he will ferry your boat to freedom
if you practise his simran.
He is the force of life at the core of creation.
Where he is, there is liberation.
If you practise his simran
all the gods and goddesses will be yours.
Glory to my guru – my father and mother –
who helps me quit this coming and going.
this living and dying in countless forms.
Concentrating in the innermost heart,
Bodhla has come to see his own Being.
Mankoji Bodhla, in Many Voices, One Song