Our Heart’s Desire
There have probably been times in most of our lives when we have felt weary and defeated, when the world in general, and our own lives in particular, have become too much for us. Sometimes there seems to be no way forward, no solution to our problems. Probably we have all had times where we simply want to fall at the Master’s feet weeping, begging him to accomplish this task for us, because we feel that we just can’t do it.
Surely we are all familiar with the feeling we get sometimes when we find that once again we have fallen asleep, or spent our entire meditation time in useless remembrances of the past or fears for the future. How unequal to this task we may feel. But in an odd way, this defeated state may be positive and possibly even a result of Master’s grace.
As Soami Ji writes in a poem from Sar Bachan Poetry:
The Lord then spoke, saying:
Accept my will and stay calm.
Have patience, have faith,
I shall bring to fruition your heart’s desire.
Maybe at this point we should ask ourselves: just what is our heart’s desire? As young people we probably think that a good partner, job, family, or home might be our heart’s desire, but as we age these desires change. Some of us might say death is our heart’s desire, because we falsely believe that we will not unite with our Master in his Shabd form until then. But we should not be discouraged: God has put us here in this human body, in this particular set of circumstances, because this is the best place for us to be to pay off our karmic debts.
The mystics have never said we should sit back apathetically waiting for God to fulfill our heart’s desire. There seems to be a paradox here: we have to admit defeat, recognize our true helplessness, and then act positively in order to bring our heart’s desire to fruition. For most of us, that heart’s desire is to make space for Master’s love to flourish through increasing our love for him.
So what is it that we must do now to grow Master’s love in our hearts? Perhaps the first thing to understand is that spiritual love is a gift from God. It grows at his bidding alone. He will bring our heart’s desire to fruition in his own time, which is why we are exhorted by Soami Ji to have patience.
The Lord gives the love, nurtures it, and brings it to fruition – which would not seem to leave a lot of room for our personal effort or involvement. But this is not the case. We are encouraged by our Master to put in the effort, for there can be no sitting back passively on the path waiting for him to grow our love. Only the relationship that we form with our Master will go with us beyond the grave.
We should ask ourselves: how urgently are we trying to attach ourselves to the Master and the Shabd? We know this will be a tremendous battle with the mind, which yearns for the world and all of its many attractions. But is Master’s love not worth enormous struggle?
Ultimately, of course, we know that it is the Shabd that will cleanse the chamber of our heart. But perhaps we can help prevent the mind from leading us astray by taking the advice of Maharaj Charan Singh in Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III:
You have only to be conscious of attaching yourself to the divine melody within.… If you fight to attach yourself to the Shabd and Nam within, then automatically your mind will become detached.
So it is not that we need to detach from the world: rather we need to focus on becoming attached to the Master, to the Shabd within. Once that attachment is formed, automatically we will become detached from all else. So how are we to achieve this? Through simran and bhajan. To allow our heart’s desire to flourish – to increase our love – we must give more of our attention to Master and God.
It is no simple or quick exercise to turn Godwards – not after being in this world for so long and being so dominated by the mind and senses. Thus we have to stay calm and have patience and quietly and lovingly refocus our minds every day.
Thanking God for everything can become a habit, and gratitude is the most positive habit we can cultivate. Why allow the mind to dwell on all our negative experiences in the world? It is such a waste of our time and attention. We can choose our thoughts; we can reject the negative and choose the positive. The Masters tell us that this is within our power.
Everything we are to receive in this lifetime has already been decided, so why waste time longing for and worrying about things that may not be in our destiny? Rather, we need to just accept that our Master will send exactly what we need to clear our karmic accounts, while we focus on trying to attach ourselves to the Shabd within with determination and persistence.
But we cannot force this – we cannot do any of this ourselves, because even the desire itself is God’s gift to us. And what a gift it is! To want our Master’s love in our hearts above all else is nothing short of a miracle. How grateful we should be for this gift!
We have been given the extraordinary privilege of helping in this endeavour. We have been provided the gifts of simran and bhajan, which give us the means to purify our mind. That is why the author of Essential Sant Mat writes that nothing can substitute for daily meditation. He writes that meditation alone can purify the mind and prepare it for contact with the Shabd, which transforms the darkness of ignorance into the light of understanding.
Our true heart’s desire is a gift from the Lord. Recognizing that this is so is another gift of divine love. Fulfilling it is also God’s gift to us, as and when he sees fit. We must strive most urgently and sincerely to direct our attention within so that the desire may grow.
Our efforts may actually achieve very little, but they show our wholehearted commitment to this great and glorious path of love. Our Master, the personification of divine love, cannot resist sincere and loving effort. He always responds, because he loves us so.