Can Forgiveness End Separation?
We keenly feel our separation from the Lord but standing between us and the Lord is the seemingly impenetrable barrier of past mistakes. How may we ever be forgiven?
Obtaining forgiveness surely involves learning from our mistakes so that we don’t repeat them. However, since we don’t know what we have done in past lives, how can we refrain from repeating those actions?
The present Master has tellingly said that he does not offer forgiveness because he does not judge us. The passing of judgment is the function of an appointed judge in the lower spiritual realms. What the Master crucially does offer us is the means to clear our karmic account, and this automatically brings divine forgiveness. Eliminating the karmas that stand between us and the Father is forgiveness in action.
In the Bible we read, “And whosoever speaketh a word against the son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” Maharaj Charan Singh comments in Light on Saint Matthew:
[Jesus] says, even if you turn against the Master, you can be forgiven because you are in the flesh and I am also in the flesh, like you, in this world. So if you have no faith in me, if you do not realize or even think that I have come from the Father, then your sin against the Master can be pardoned, provided you are giving your time to the light and sound to which your Master has attached you, you are attending to your meditation…. So, he says, do not turn your back on the Holy Ghost, even if you have no faith in me or are sometimes doubtful about me.
When we are sincerely repentant, the first thing we can do then is to take the four vows of Sant Mat very seriously. These are the fundamentals of the spiritual path. Standing firm on the four principles helps us to avoid creating more karma, thereby adding to the already heavy load which has piled up from actions taken in past lives. The idea is that we promise to do our best to avoid committing further foolish actions and we ask for forgiveness through our meditation practice.
We repent through meditation, by attending to spirit.
Whilst working at meditation, genuine grief at separation can also act as a spur. Jesus said, “Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.” Those who mourn are feeling the pain of separation from the Father. Because they have real longing to go back to him, they will be driven to action, they will contact the Shabd (the Comforter), and they will return to the Father.
Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Master in the line of Guru Nanak, was sent away to Lahore by his Master, Guru Ram Das. For many years he was not allowed to come to see his Master. That physical separation enabled the master-disciple relationship to develop and flourish to such an extent that ultimately the disciple succeeded his Master. Physical separation serves its own purpose as separation sharpens true love.
Jesus further states, “It is expedient for you that I go away, for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you, but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”
Maharaj Charan Singh explains Christ’s saying in this way:
Day and night you are running after me. Now you are mad in your love and are not trying to devote your time to the spirit inside. Without attaching yourself to the Comforter or the Holy Ghost you can never go back to the Father, so when I leave you physically you will not find me anywhere outside and you will have no option but to seek me within. Then you will be in touch with the Comforter who will pull you up to my level, to the level of the Father.
Hazur Maharaj Ji goes on to say:
The Master comes to our level to fill us with devotion and to put us on the path. He fills us with so much love that we cannot live without him. Physically we cannot always be with him, so the love he creates in us ultimately leads us within. When we turn within, we are in touch with the Comforter which pulls us up to the level of the Father.
The barrier of our mistakes that cause this feeling of separation from the Lord is slowly eroded as devotion to meditation takes its place. Meditation is nothing but seeking his forgiveness to finally bring an end to our feeling of separation.