Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream.
The expression “out of the mouths of babes” certainly rings true with this simple nursery rhyme of unknown origin. Who knew that this well-loved song many of us happily sang over and over in our childhood contained a “divine” message for living our lives?
We have been told we need to be as simple as a child. We need to trust, be enthusiastic, wake up every day expecting the best, and doing our best.
If we take this song, line by line we will see Master’s teachings in an uncomplicated way.
Row, row, row – Meditate, meditate, meditate. Just like rowing a boat, meditation is the hard, constant work necessary to reach our goal. It can be tiring but will make us stronger and with each stroke, or round of simran – repetition of the five holy names – we are proceeding closer to our destination, which is the eye centre. When we can, we need to put all our effort into this meditation practice. If we stop this rowing or repetition, we cannot move forward. Of course, rowing in calm waters is a lot less strenuous than when the water is wavy or choppy. Our meditation will help to still our mind or calm the water, so to speak.
Your boat – Our life is unique. There is no one else like us because we all carry our own individual karmic load. Only our meditation and a true Master can help rid us of this burden and free us from this body and the cycle of birth and death so we may travel home to the Lord.
Gently down the stream – Go with the flow. No amount of planning or maneuvering will change our destiny one bit. Our karma has to be gone through. It is our attitude we can change by being positive and upbeat no matter what happens.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily – As Hazur lovingly advises us in Die to Live, “Live a simple, happy and relaxed life.”
Life is but a dream – As we have been told, we are spiritual beings going through a human experience. Baba Jaimal Singh reminds us of this in Spiritual Letters by saying, “Always keep in mind that the world is unreal.”
Sometimes we get a day when getting up to meditate seems especially hard because we feel too tired or are too wound up from the ups and downs of life. Maybe remembering this happy little song at those times will help us to overcome the mind’s excuses for not meditating.
When a newly published Sant Mat book becomes available we can’t wait to read it. Are we expecting something new or different from what we have already read? Hazur has said that whether we read a whole book, one page or just one word, the message is still the same. Every mystic’s teaching is the same and will never be different, just as this little song has no need to be altered or added to. The truth is the truth, and sometimes the less said the better.
We are no longer children, but we can greatly benefit from being childlike in how we proceed on this path. We should do what our Master advises, knowing he loves us and wants nothing but the best for us. By doing our meditation we can be happy everyday, knowing we are rowing to shore where our true home is and where we will ever be God’s children. As always, we can take comfort in Hazur’s words in Spiritual Discourses, Vol. I, “The devotee is the Lord’s child.”