Imagine being chained to a massive machine like a bulldozer. It is so powerful, that once it starts moving forward, an ordinary human being, no matter how strong, would be powerless to stop it. He would only have two obvious options. One would be to stand up and walk along with it, or two, the more painful choice, just lie there and be dragged by it through the dirt.
Mystics have used this example to explain why simply being initiated on the path is not enough to achieve our goal of God-realization. They emphasize the importance of the disciple’s effort.
Saints explain to us that initiation is a precious gift from the Master. In this special moment between Master and disciple, the Master plants the seed of Nam and connects the soul of the disciple to the divine melody of the Shabd – the supreme power that is the creator and sustainer of the entire universe. He then imparts the technique of how to nurture this seed of Nam through the practice of simran and bhajan. This gift once given, can never be taken away. Fire cannot burn it. Water cannot drown it. Time or illusion cannot destroy it. But, it grows only when it is nurtured by meditation.
Initiation is a mystical spark bestowed by a living Master to his disciples, thus igniting their dormant spiritual energy. Once lit, its fire keeps burning when the five names (simran) are constantly repeated.
Concepts & Illusions
When we adhere to the four vows and practise our meditation daily with love and devotion, we become aware of the presence of this supreme power that lies within us. With this power by our side, we have unfailing support. It gives us courage, strength, and confidence to cope with any crisis that comes our way. It enables us to face the ups and downs of this unpredictable human life and allows us to settle our karmic debts effortlessly. In other words, we have the power to choose to walk alongside the bulldozer.
But if after receiving initiation from the Master, we make excuses not to sit for meditation – we are tired, busy, sleepy, not feeling well; or perhaps we think it is a bit dry and boring and so we choose not to meditate – then we will go through this tumultuous human life without the support of our spiritual practice, and end up battered and bruised, as if we were being dragged by a bulldozer.
Following the Master’s ‘hukam’ will give us the wisdom to face a multitude of adversities. Without the anchor of meditation, our lives will be like a stormy sea, so he says, “follow,” or meditate – for it will spare us from being “dragged.”
Concepts & Illusions
On a positive note, there is good news. We are not alone. The Master is always by our side. He is the one who has pulled us on to the path. He is the one who has given us the gift of Nam and taught us how to meditate. He is the one cheering us on, providing us with the atmosphere that we need to be able to carry out our spiritual practice.
The only action required from us is to sit for meditation sincerely, every day. With chains of love, the Master is the one who has tied us to the bulldozer. In fact, if we look carefully to see who is driving this powerful machine, we would see that it is in fact our beloved redeemer, showering his grace upon us.
All he asks is that we make the effort to walk along with him – to just do our meditation and then leave the rest to him.
Meditation must be attended to every day, and then no matter how much you try to involve yourself in other activities, you’ll never be allowed to go astray at all. You’ll never be allowed to get involved so much that you forget your real path, because your chain is very strong – you are just tied down to that bulldozer and it will not let you go anywhere. So if we don’t compromise with that, then everything will be all right.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III