Our Life’s Job Card
In the days of the Sikh gurus there was a disciple who was not happy with the state of affairs in the world. He kept complaining to his guru about the problems in the world – the diseases, strife, poverty, wars and unhappiness. He asked why, if God was so loving and compassionate, didn’t he just take away all the troubles in the world and make everything perfect?
Eventually the Satguru asked him to sit in front of him in bhajan. The satguru then, with his own divine power, took his soul up through the inner regions. The guru allowed the disciple to see with his own inner perception the entire workings of the creation as well as all the individual karmas unfolding. The guru then asked him to say what he thought needed changing.
After examining everything the disciple turned to his guru and said that there was nothing that needed any change. He said, “I can now see that everything is absolutely perfect just as it is.” He apologized and said that from now on he would live happily in the will of his guru and God, totally satisfied that everything that was happening in the world was exactly as it should be.
I’m sure that we can relate to this disciple, as these same thoughts may have crossed our minds many times. Just like this disciple, we sometimes struggle to understand why the world is in such a mess and why our lives are sometimes in such turmoil. Our Master has told us many times that our lives are unfolding as they should, and that everything is happening exactly as the Lord has willed it. Yet we can’t seem to help wondering if things could possibly be different.
During a question and answer session back in the 1980’s a lady came to the microphone and sobbed through her tale of woe, telling Maharaj Ji that life had become almost unbearable because of the heavy burdens that had been placed on her shoulders. Maharaj Ji said gently, “Sister, please don’t take life so seriously. It’s all just a gigantic puppet show.”
We’ve been told so many times by the Master that we are just actors playing the roles assigned to us according to all our actions in previous lives. As the playwright William Shakespeare wrote:
All the world’s a stage
And all the men and women merely players
They have their exits and their entrances
And one man in his time plays many parts.
As You Like It
And in his Rubaiyat, the Persian mystic poet Omar Khayyam wrote:
For in and out, above, about and below,
’Tis nothing but a Magic Shadow-show,
Played in a Box whose Candle is the Sun,
Round which we Phantom Figures come and go.
All true Masters have said that when we are born we come with a scroll imprinted on our forehead, listing all the events and actions that we will have to undergo during this life. Let’s call this our job card for this life. When our Master initiates us, he tears up this job card and rewrites our destiny as he sees fit. We can be sure that this modified choreography of events has been made a lot easier for us to bear. Knowing how loving and compassionate our Master is, we can also be certain that this special list includes a huge discount. After all, haven’t we been told that he turns a serious stab into a pinprick?
Nothing is happening haphazardly. We are reaping the comeback from actions that we ourselves have performed previously. In order to clear this mountain of karmas, our Master has choreographed our entire life so that, through his grace and mercy, our job card will be cleared when we get to the end of it. And yet our minds still wonder if things could not have been different.
We have to understand that the mind is not actually a part of us. It is a separate entity living inside us. On our way down into this creation, as we passed through Trikuti, this entity hitched a ride and has been inside us ever since. It is this entity that is generating many different thoughts in order to lead us astray. And because of our close association with the mind, we think that we are doing the thinking and we follow these thoughts, one after another. And another.
Our Satguru has told us many times that the mind is our biggest enemy, but this doesn’t sink in. Instead of our endless thinking, shouldn’t we be much more dedicated to simran and meditation in order to hasten our journey back to our true home with our Master? Shouldn’t we be eager to do what he asks us to do?
Our Master has told us that being blessed with a human birth is a rare privilege. He has also said that to be pulled to the feet of a living Master is the most precious gift that God can bestow on a soul. And all he has asked us to do is to meditate every day and adhere strictly to the vows we made when initiated. As well as during regular meditation, he has also asked us to do our simran whenever our mind is not fully occupied. This simran is crucial as it helps to stop the mind continuously thinking about worldly matters.
However, when we do simran more often, we may crave distractions and worldly nonsense. So as each new thought enters our mind, let’s examine this thought and observe what it’s about. Does it lead us towards our Master or does it try to lure us into indulging our fancy? If it’s a thought about our Satguru, meditation, simran or the path, we can be sure that this has been generated by our Master’s grace. Also, if we’re not occupied with any worldly duties and we suddenly feel the urge to sit for some extra meditation, we can be absolutely sure that this motivation has also come through his grace.
Our Master is taking us back with him to Sach Khand and the only thought that should occupy our minds is how best to please him. He has sacrificed his entire life in order to rescue us. What can we sacrifice as a token of gratitude for his priceless gift of initiation? Surely, as a token of our appreciation, we should be willing to devote a little more time to meditation than the required minimum. Our Master has said that the path and meditation should be given the highest priority in our lives. Everything else in life should be secondary. Do we behave this way, or does the mind make us feel that we’re too busy looking after other things in life that we consider more important?
Great Master answered a letter from a satsangi who seemed concerned about his business, as well as the problems in his life, and the lack of sufficient time for his meditation. The Great Master told him:
Other things in life are of minor importance.… Every satsangi in the world who has been so fortunate as to get Nam from a perfect living Master should consider it his primary aim, purpose, and business in life to go inside and take up the journey to higher regions. To that everything else must be subordinated, even the making of a living. And if you make this your main objective in life, you need have no worries about business or other affairs. Do not forget that your Master is one with the Supreme Lord and he will take care of you.
As quoted in With a Great Master in India
This makes it clear what we should be focusing on in this precious life. Simran is the only thing that will eventually control our wayward mind. Shouldn’t we be working hard to perfect our simran?
Of course, we know that it takes a great effort to keep our simran going while not getting any results. However, that is what our Master wants us to do. So we should do our simran with love and devotion, knowing that it pleases him. Simran is knocking at his door, as much as possible with focused attention. He has said that we should do our repetition while concentrating between and slightly above our eyes. With a thankful heart let us do some dedicated knocking. This knocking should be constant, unceasing, incessant.