O Master, you are the Creator and we are your souls.
I am a sinner even to the tiniest pore of my being –
please forgive me, O Lord!
Sant Charandas was a well-known 18th-century saint. He taught that the path of true happiness and knowledge is acquired by detachment from this creation and attachment to the love of the everlasting Creator. Thousands would gather to hear his satsangs and have his darshan, and his sangat included great rulers of Delhi and Jaipur.
Given that Sant Charandas was deemed a revered teacher and an elevated soul, one might wonder why he would submit himself to his Guru and call himself a lowly sinner. At the end of the poem, he appeals to his Guru, asking him to accept him, a lowly slave, and liberate him from this world. Nearly every hymn of Sant Charandas begins or ends with a reference to his Master’s grace. In fact, all great saints do the same thing. Why?
The virtue which makes all great saints surrender to their Masters and the Lord, is humility. Maharaj Sawan Singh expresses the importance of humility this way:
Water does not gather at the top of hills but flows down and accumulates there. He who bends drinks water but he who holds his head high remains thirsty.
The Philosophy of the Masters, Vol. III
Like Sant Charandas, all true saints know that the Lord is the only truth that is ever-present and everlasting; the truth that permeates and illuminates all realms. He is the beginning and the end of all. He is beyond all beginnings and endings. When nothing existed, only he existed; when nothing else remains, he alone will remain.
It is wrong to hate or dislike a person simply because he does not worship God as we do. We all want a personal connection with the Lord. However, on this physical plane, we inadvertently commit countless sins. When the time comes for us to face the Lord, we will have to answer for them. At that moment, we receive what we deserve according to our karmas, and we cannot be sure what the fruits of our good and bad actions will be.
Sant Charandas explains that the Lord is the beneficent Father who ferries lost souls across the ocean of existence. The soul is burdened with countless karmas, and the forgiving and merciful Lord is our only true support. If we humbly approach the Lord and seek his forgiveness and shelter, he will shower us with his grace and mercy. Hence, the importance of the words of Great Master: “He who bends drinks water but he who holds his head high remains thirsty.”
Another reason why Sant Charandas submitted to his Guru and no one else is because we, as individuals, may read and hear that the Lord is eternal, all-powerful and omnipresent, but this is just a concept in our mind until the soul actually realizes its own divinity. It is only a true living Master, a Satguru, who can lead us through and beyond scriptures towards true understanding because he has successfully travelled the inner path and is one with the Lord. Without him, spiritual progress would not be possible. How can we imbibe the virtue of humility? Maharaj Sawan Singh wrote:
Of course, as truly civilized and civil persons we should address others with respect and in accordance with good manners. We should behave humbly, and to show regard for the guest, utter words in humility. This befits us as human beings. There can be no doubt that we should utter words which come from our heart to our guests. A truly humble heart desires that instead of his saying so, others should say of him that he is the most inconsequential and unimportant person.
Philosophy of the Masters, Vol. III
A truly humble person produces sweetness in his heart, and that sweetness would be for everyone and everything. We cannot simply act or pretend to be humble – the Lord knows the difference – and true humility does not appear overnight. We imbibe this virtue gradually, through seva, satsang, doing our meditation, and by following the teachings of the saints.
All great saints express their humility towards their own Master, not only through their interaction with them, but also through their hymns and poetry. The Great Master says that to many persons, humility is natural while some learn humility from the sufferings of the world. But true humility can be learnt only in the company of saints.They are the epitome of this virtue and by following their example and teachings, we too can learn to bend our heads and partake of that divine nectar.