His Guiding Hand
In Die to Live Maharaj Charan Singh explains:
Whenever a disciple sits in meditation, he’s never alone. He’s never alone, and he’s never allowed to go astray within. There is always a guiding hand, a guiding force to lead the disciple within. The one for whom we are meditating is always there with us to guide us.
Hazur is referring to the guidance that, as initiates of a true Master, we receive inside in meditation. But isn’t it equally true that the hand of the Master can be felt in our worldly lives too? Spirituality is a strange kind of ‘knowing’ that all of our life is connected with the inner Master. Where would we be without his guiding hand? The chains with which we are bound to this creation are incredibly strong and the eye centre is initially so hard to reach. Nevertheless, his silent inner call draws us there – to the place where, above all, we feel at home.
We’ve all come to this path in our own unique way. All of us are being guided to an awareness of our lost spiritual inheritance. The Masters point out that we have a unique relationship with the Father, and that reminder spurs us on to look deeper with fresh dedication. Working with the Master – inside and out – is an adventure with no lack of excitement. We find in it the enjoyment of an inner mystery of the greatest subtlety. As we fail, fall, and then get up again we sometimes quite unexpectedly experience that helping hand, and gradually the realization dawns upon us that there is an inner presence which enfolds the whole of our life. Slowly we are becoming attuned to that.
This lifetime is the turning point of our long journey downwards into the creation. We have evolved through so many lives and stages until, miraculously, we find ourselves at the point at which we start the long journey inwards and upwards. The pattern of our life is dictated by our destiny – karma created in previous lives. According to those past actions we will face both good and bad times. But we can lighten our karmic load with every round of simran, with any thought of the Master – in fact by doing the spiritual work we’ve come here to do..
Leading a life of the spirit will slowly but irrevocably wean us away from outer entanglements and interests. All day long we’re being exposed to worldly influences and they affect us more or less deeply depending on how much we’ve developed our inner strength. It is no mean feat to keep a balance in this world. We definitely have to put up a fight, but we won’t win it only by fighting. On this path everything will come from the time and effort we put into our meditation and from devotion to the Master, who is our guide and mentor. Maharaj Charan Singh explains in Die to Live that it is actually the Lord who does everything, so attaching ourselves to his emissary, the living Master, is of great importance:
He’s the One who is pulling us from within. He’s the One who is creating that desire in us to meditate. He’s the One who is giving us that atmosphere and those circumstances and environment in which we can build our meditation. He worships himself in us.
Through meditation our consciousness develops and comes to linger at the eye centre and slowly starts to stay there. The life of tranquility, of a deeper awareness of who we really are, will slowly unfold as we progress on the path. To ‘fall in love’ with the teachings might sound odd at first but, once we discover their depth, we can’t help but love them. The building blocks for leading a truly spiritual life are being handed to us by the inner Master, bringing about a radical shift in behaviour. We will become practitioners of the art of ‘doing nothing’, cherishing the opportunities to dedicate and devote ourselves to our main task in life. Lifelong passions may dissipate and we begin to see the deeper meaning of what it means to lead a simple life – that is, a life in which we seek the company of our true self. In Spiritual Perspectives,Vol.III, Hazur tells us:
We must get into the habit of living with ourselves, enjoying our own company, loving our own selves. The minute we are left alone, we say, “I am bored, I have nothing to do.” Because we are not in the habit of living with ourselves, we always want to be with others, to enjoy other people’s company; we always need something to keep us occupied. So try to build that atmosphere in which you can always be happy.
This radical shift from seeking other people’s company to seeking our own company is something precious. We are reminded of those beautiful satsangs by Hazur in which, discussing Saint John’s gospel in the Bible, he referred to ‘the Comforter’. This is none other than the Shabd, a constant friend and comforter to all initiates. We are never alone when we turn to such a friend. As Master’s children, we’re being led by the hand, consoled and encouraged to seek him within.
Leading an inner life is an intimate and most private affair. You can’t explain it, but the richness and joy and the sense of fulfilment is such that you become more and more inclined to turn within. We’re on a spiritual journey with our Master.
Rising above mind and matter is not something we could ever achieve on our own. It is his guiding hand that encourages us to look for and find that place within, towards which all our spiritual endeavours lead us. Our meditation becomes our main interest in life. Everything starts revolving around it. And from the spiritual service he makes us do comes contentment, gratitude and joy. Withdrawing our attention from the world and focusing it at the eye centre: that’s what our whole life is about. In Die to Live Hazur Maharaj Ji tells us:
What is meant by being at the eye centre? It means you don’t let the mind scatter into the world. You don’t lose your balance. Your mind is absolutely still, and you’re always contented and feel happiness, and radiate happiness. That will be the effect of stilling the mind: you’re always happy, nothing bothers you.