Change can be frightening for us human beings, locked as we are into our physical bodies. On the other hand, on the spiritual level, change brings wonder and transcendence. Change is what we are actually here for. Our lives seem quite fixed and permanent to us, not appearing to change from one day to another or even from one year to the next. But actually, everything physical is in a state of constant flux, including the state of our own bodies. We probably wouldn’t wish to be shown the extent of the physical changes we can expect in the course of our life, but the human body is clearly subject to dramatic change during a relatively short period of time. It is a sobering thought that, if we remain alive long enough, we will all have to face inevitable physical deterioration during just a few decades.
Of course we live with the sense of the finite. When we consider our happiest periods, like being on holiday with the family or perhaps staying at the Dera for a couple of weeks, in the background there is always a sense of the beginning and end of the allotted period; it’s something we can never avoid and so we accept it as part of life. After all, how long could you stay on holiday before the concept of it as a mere vacation began to wear thin? Change is the order of the day on this plane and as we are often keen to proclaim, when life begins to become dull and repetitive, “A change is as good as a rest!” This brings into sharp focus the small amount of time there is to make best use of our lives – and perhaps, worse than that, the uncertainty of what that ‘best’ might be.
As we approach the true living Master, it’s through His grace we undergo a change in our understanding. Our former notions about what human life truly means undergo a complete transformation when he gives us the method to contact his subtle form within the third eye, from which point this unfathomable grace emanates. The method or path into which we are initiated by the Master is one of meditation, along which he guides us, and which is paved with his grace, lifting us at every step, reorienting our attention inwards and upwards, changing our focus from without to within.
The journey to the abode of the soul, Sach Khand, is made by the attention itself, which is detached from this world by means of our meditation. First, the attention is concentrated by means of simran, or repetition of the five Holy Names, and then it rises through more and more subtle regions. With the help of bhajan – listening to the sound current or the Shabd – the soul connects with the audible source through which it eventually reaches the level of the Creator, returning to its own home in Sach Khand.
In other words, through meditation, our focus is being shifted – uprooted from here in the material world, where our attention almost exclusively lies, and replanted in the domain of the spirit, wherein the Lord resides. Too often, our attention is at play, running out into the world and attaching itself to physical entities, creating the endless karmas or actions that keep the soul bound to the physical body. Even though the mind is animated by the current of the soul, equally it is dissipated in worldly pursuits, acting for good or for bad, and ultimately creating a prison for the soul.
The purpose of meditation is to turn our attention within the eye focus and, in so doing, withdraw our consciousness from the world, effectively closing the doors of our body – eyes, ears, nose, mouth and the two lower apertures – that lead the attention outward and away from it’s natural focus in the eye centre. This is necessarily a gradual process, as we have to grow into our real selves as spiritual beings slowly.
We have to find a means by which to discharge our worldly duty and yet withdraw from the world in a gracious, loving manner. The vital link is the Shabd, the true form of the Master, which brings about the entire change and provides the necessary inspiration of grace which eases our way along the path. This transformation is beautifully described by Maharaj Charan Singh in Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II:
A child is born to become a man, but he is yet to become a man. So, when the soul is initiated, it has to become God, to go to that level. Every soul potentially is God, but due to the overpowering of the mind, it is helpless. Yet, with spiritual practice, with meditation, our mind becomes refined, matured and we can know anything. When spirituality – that is, devotion to Shabd, Nam or the Word – grows within us, all the other good qualities of a human being come in us like cream on milk. These qualities come automatically within us when we have the devotion of the Lord to transform us from within. In such a way we undergo genuine change and our whole outlook is changed the nearer we go to him and, the more we find peace within, the more we find peace outside. It makes us true humans.