Slaves of Love
Who are we and what is it that drives us to seek? What are we in our very essence? In truth we are all simply slaves of love. We are here in this body because our beloved Lord asked us to experience this creation, and as slaves of love we had no option but to obey. And now we have existed with a covering of mind for so long that we have completely forgotten our original home and our Beloved. We find ourselves in a state of complete ignorance and forgetfulness.
But the Beloved has not forgotten us. He too is a slave of his love for us and has done something incredible. He, the perfectly intelligent and conscious One, has come down to this level and incarnated in human form to work with us.
But why would the truly enlightened One willingly surround himself with the ignorant and arrogant creatures that we are? It is his love that has driven him to come and live among us as our Master, and to work tirelessly to pull us to his level of pristine consciousness and bliss. In fact, it is his love that leaves our Master powerless to resist the yearning of those souls marked for him by the Creator. He too is a slave of his love for us.
In spite of our ignorance there is a searching in us, a yearning to discover who we really are. Shakespeare famously said that “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” Maharaj Charan Singh also used to say that we are merely playing a role on this stage. But we have become so absorbed in that role that we have come to think we really are a husband or a wife, we really are rich or poor. And so the sad moments in our lives make us weep and the pain really hurts us.
The mystics have taught us that although we are inherently spiritual, our true nature has been smothered by mind and by its close associate, the ego. We have lost all awareness of who we are. And only a Master, through his great love for us, can help us to rediscover our true identity – and in the process make our way back to the divine home from which we originally came.
Inside each of us is a spiritual being – a being who has been bullied and gagged by the ego, and has quietly submitted and completely faded into the background. And it is an awareness of this spiritual self that we crave to awaken. It is our soul, our true spiritual self alone, that has the ability to see this world for what it is, to experience true bliss, and fathom and experience God. And yet, it remains imprisoned it in this world of pain. Soami Ji asks this question:
O soul, what foolishness are you caught in?
You wander about with the mind,
not listening to the Master’s word.…
Kal has spread this web of attachments
and baited it to entice souls like you.
Through ignorance and greed you stray into his trap
and pay heavily for it.
I am here to explain to you now
that only the Master can save you
Sar Bachan Poetry
Baba Ji has told us we are like a man who is sinking in quicksand. We cannot get out by ourselves; we need someone who is standing on solid ground to pull us out. We need an enlightened one to show us the way, to tell us that at our core we are pristine, beautiful and blissful beings. And we need a Master to teach us a method of meditation that will guarantee our freedom from ignorance and deliver us to essential consciousness.
This is the greatest love story of all. Out of love and compassion the Saint, the living Master, has come from his abode of pure consciousness and bliss to this material world that is filled with ignorant, suffering beings. It is the Master who draws us to him and teaches us the secret of meditation.
We’re told by the Masters that initiation, and learning how to meditate, are the greatest gifts that could be conferred on us. They are the very turning point in the ages-long existence of the soul. It is only through meditation that we can eventually end our imprisonment in the creation and learn to know ourselves as spiritual beings – as the Master himself is a spiritual being. It is through meditation that we can start our inner journey that will take our unhappy souls back to the lap of the Father.
This is what we must learn to do – simply turn in and up within ourselves. But for a person who has been walking bent over facing the ground for countless eons, looking up to the sun seems a forgotten art. In truth, though, at our very core is an intense desire to turn our gaze inward and upward, to start coming into harmony with that divine music, that inner Shabd that is pulling at our very essence.
However, it takes time to start becoming aware of that stream of love and light which is flowing within and draws us upward. Seekers and initiates often complained bitterly to Maharaj Charan Singh about being held captive by our own weaknesses. In one of his responses, he said:
Well, brother, your protest is justified. Nobody can doubt it. Because if this creation is to continue, then those weaknesses have to be there. Otherwise nobody can remain attached to this imperfect creation. Everybody would go back to the father. We are only here because we are imperfect.
Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. I
This world has to be imperfect for it to continue – it has to be filled with sinful, ignorant individuals. And because we all have no choice but the act, we inevitably incur karma – countless karmas in every life that we have lived – and these karmas keep us locked in the creation to keep enduring the consequences of those many actions. This is the Lord’s plan to keep the creation rolling on. In fact, behind the scenes he is the puppeteer. The people whom we may judge for their apparent evil, or dislike for the pain they have caused us, must act this way. It is the Lord who pulls the strings for them to behave as they do.
Fortunately, the Lord has kept an exit for a number of souls. If we are feeling lonely, or carry pain in our hearts, if we feel disillusioned and want to get out of this world, then maybe we are among those who can escape from this vast prison house. The pain and suffering we have experienced that has brought us to this point, may turn out to be our greatest blessing – for the Master responds to that pain and comes down to our level out of his love and compassion for us, and pulls us to himself.
We have all suffered more than enough. The question now is, will we allow ourselves to escape from all this? Will we allow ourselves to start sensing that flowing inner stream of light, love and bliss? For it is only then that an all-consuming love for the Beloved will flower, and we will begin to do as the Master asks. It is love for him that will help us to meditate and do our simran with love. Baba Ji recently explained in a question and answer session that the trick to focusing in meditation is just a little love for the Master. It is essential that we generate love for him.
But what is behind this love? What is it that our Master wants to give us? He wants to give us his greatest gift: himself – in his real essence as the Shabd. But to receive this glorious gift, we have to make ourselves receptive to his love. And further, it is in our best interest to heed his advice very carefully, for then we are assured of deliverance soon.
Is it difficult to please our Master? No! All he wants is our sincere effort. Great Master said: “If you cannot bring me your successes, then bring me your failures.”
Why don’t we just try it? Try to take Master’s hand and walk by his side, and we will surely see how he supports us in every way. We will find that at his table our failures and failings are insignificant in comparison with his love, compassion and generosity.
Let us meditate earnestly every day, remembering that this is a great gift and privilege. And just simply let go, for the barrier that separates us from our Master within is thinner than the wing of a butterfly. Let us just give ourselves to the Sound Current, and Master will embrace us and drown us in love – until there is nothing left of us but pure divine love. Then all will be accomplished.