Many of us love the sunshine; we love the warmth. Nothing grows without sunlight. Even the moon’s light is dependent on the sun’s rays. In England the most popular conversation is the weather. Because it’s so variable, how much or how little sun is expected is of constant interest. But wherever one is in the world, the sun seems to be the centre of life here on earth.
People flock to beaches and holiday venues to soak up the sun, to get that “feel good factor”. This helps some relax and unwind and gives many people something to look forward to when their lives feel dark.
And yet, the spiritually minded have always realized that the physical sun is not enough to bring true relaxation and joy. In fact, many gurmukhs spend long hours meditating in dark rooms so that the outer light does not distract from their concentration on their journey towards the inner sunshine. Baba Jaimal Singh meditated in a dark hut on the deserted banks of the Beas River in India for many years to experience the inner suns, until he eventually reached the source of the light and sound that created and sustains the entire creation. He then initiated many souls trapped in darkness and showed them the way to the never-fading sunshine, the source of love.
One grey, cold and rainy day in England, when Baba Ji was giving satsang in the tent at Haynes Park, a young man got up and complained that he had no love for the Master or the path. Baba Ji laughed and told the man that he could have chosen to be on a beach somewhere soaking up the sun instead of freezing in this miserable cold tent … so he must have some sort of love!
Only the Master’s grace pulls us to his outer and inner satsang and seva. Often we have to discipline ourselves to attend to these; we deliberately turn aside from outer luxuries and hobbies to reach towards the love, security and warmth of the Master. This self- control will always move us closer and closer to the source of love, light and happiness. The answer from Baba Ji to the honest young man could be taken as a message to all of us, to teach us not to chase after physical warmth in the world at the cost of meditation, satsang or seva. How can devotion to the Master ever compare to the momentary, pleasing sensation of the sun on our skin? For many initiates, a realization eventually dawns, that sitting in the sun (i.e., enjoying the pleasures of the world) is not enough to still the mind and senses. It isn’t enough to fill the yearning in our heart to find love and connect with God. No matter how beautiful the day is, we will still feel restless and empty without our mind focused on our beloved Master.
As we do more meditation, we naturally begin to choose to retreat to the quiet cool ‘shade’ of life, to the stillness more conducive to meditation. As soon as our simran, dhyan and bhajan deepen and grow, Master graces our lives with his presence. We are in the comfort of his sunshine. Whatever the weather, the gurmukh enjoys the radiance of his Guru’s love. He is indifferent to outside circumstances.
A Gurmukh is not much attached to worldly people. He does not crave or care for pleasures or enjoyments, nor does he long for sight-seeing and amusements. His only desire is to be at the Feet (of the Sat Guru), and he remains absorbed in that bliss.
Soami Ji Maharaj, Sar Bachan