We all share one enormous common tyrant – the mind. For countless lifetimes we have allowed the mind to drag us mercilessly through the creation while holding us hostage here through repeated incarnations in the cycle of eighty-four. When we encounter a true living Master and receive the gift of initiation, we have received a sure sign that the Lord wants to free us from the mind’s tyranny once and for all. But we have a part to play in securing this freedom. We are called upon to follow the vows we take at the time of initiation, and, most important, to attend to our meditation regularly and punctually every day. It is the power of this daily meditation that will bring us freedom from the mind’s tyranny.
Maharaj Charan Singh explains our status in this creation as long as the mind is in charge.
This mind of ours, which is absorbed in deep slumber, has to be awakened; the only obstacle that hinders the soul from merging in the Lord is our mind. The soul is of the essence of the Lord. It is a ray of that divine sun, a spark from the Supreme Being, a drop of the divine ocean.… It has taken to the company of the mind. The mind itself is in the hands of the senses and is being constantly dragged by them in different directions. The result is that the soul, which is intrinsically pure and sublime, gathers coats of dirt and rust, which cover its refulgence.
Spiritual Discourses, Vol. I
Ironically, our tyrant mind is not happy in this creation. On its own, the mind will continue along the path of least resistance and follow the habits that have been deeply ingrained for lifetimes. This tendency of the mind makes meditation difficult for most of us, because the mind habitually runs out unchecked.
Eventually, we realize that this tyrannical mind cannot be controlled by our efforts alone. In the case of worldly tyranny, we may be able to escape its clutches by running away from the source of our distress. Perhaps we can find a different job, home, school, if they are the problem. However, attempting to control the mind is a much different challenge. As long as we remain at the mercy of the mind, we are trapped in this world. We attempt to control this tyrant in a variety of ways. In Spiritual Discourses, Vol. I, Hazur states:
We go to forests and deserts, temples and mosques, chapels, and churches. We make pilgrimages and take holy baths. We turn to recitals and charities; to scriptures and sacred books; to penances and austerities; … None of these, however, is of any avail, for the mind does not cease its wanderings.… Unless the mind becomes attached to something vastly more enchanting than anything this world has to offer, it can never be successfully weaned away from whatever worldly pleasures it happens to be enjoying.
Maharaj Charan Singh continues:
Except for devotion to Nam, no second method exists whereby to awaken the mind. The result of practicing Nam is that as the attention is held steady at the eye focus, it begins to contact the heavenly music. Gradually … the mind awakens to the Lord.… The soul is released from its clutches, and … it realizes its divine origin.
Only Nam can free us from the mind’s tyrannical attachments to the creation. “The Stubborn Pig,” a story from Tales of the Mystic East, illustrates this point:
According to the story, Udho, the devoted disciple of Lord Krishna, once asked his Guru, “Sir, you are all-powerful and can do anything you wish. As I look about me, I see in this world that all living beings are suffering pain and misery of every possible kind. Many are sunk in despair. Why can you not be merciful and take all the suffering creatures to your heavenly abode, where there is everlasting bliss?”
Lord Krishna smiled and said, “Udho, my faithful friend, they do not wish to go.”
“How can that be possible?” Udho asked. “It is hard for me to believe. How can I possibly believe that you are right?”
“Why not go and ask the creatures themselves?” Lord Krishna suggested.
Thinking that this would be the only way to discover the truth, Udho set out to ask his question of any creature that crossed his way. As it happened, the first living creature he came across was a pig.
“Pig, my friend,” he said, “there is a beautiful heavenly world beyond this earth where there is always peace and happiness. If you will come with me, I will take you there. We can start right now if you wish.”
“Will I have babies in your world?” asked the pig.
“No,” said Udho.
“Well, will I get the delicious refuse and swill in heaven that I get to eat here?” asked the pig.
“No,” said Udho. “But there is other food in heaven that I believe you would like very much.”
“I rather doubt it,” said the pig. “For what food could taste better than the garbage I eat here? So run along with you; I don’t want to go to that heaven you are talking about at all.”
Detachment can only come as a result of attachment to Nam. Attachment to Nam allows us to cultivate love for the Lord through our meditation. Love is a gift from the Lord and not something we can generate within ourselves by effort alone. However, when the Lord sees that we are sincere in our spiritual practice, his heart is moved to compassion. When he sees fit, he will bestow this gift of love upon us, and our meditation will become a joy rather than a struggle. Then, at long last, the tyranny will be over.