Behind the Yearning
What do we want in life? What are we seeking? What do we yearn for? Certainly, it is peace – a feeling of tranquility and contentment. But more than that, we desire fulfillment. We want to be recognized, understood, and loved unconditionally.
The Masters tell us this yearning is within us because we are experiencing real loss, and our soul is suffering from that loss. They tell us the love that we seek exists; and because our souls were once immersed in this love, we miss it, we long for it, and we yearn to be once again enveloped in its comfort and joy.
That love that our soul misses is the love we once knew from our Creator. And the yearning we have for fulfillment is our soul’s desire to merge back to him, our source.
The Masters tell us that we are an expression of God himself. Just as sun rays are part of the sun, we are projections of the Father, made of the same essence. The part wants to merge back with the whole. Our soul wants to regain its former state. It misses the bliss of being one with perfection, one with the Creator, one with that which is described by all the saints as love. Because we are made of love, our soul longs to rejoin the source of love.
Caught as we are in the alluring net of maya, or illusion, most of us do our best to avoid facing our inner yearning and loneliness. We fill our days with activity, seeking fulfillment in the pleasures of our outer lives. But the Masters tell us that lasting joy and fulfillment can only be found within. It is for this reason our experiences here fall short of our desires.
This creation is all the Lord’s play. He sends souls down into his creation. In its descent into the lower planes, the soul acquires the mind as a necessary covering to function here. In The Path of the Masters, Dr. Julian Johnson writes about the change the soul undergoes once it acquires the covering of the mind:
Now the soul begins to acquire experience upon its own initiative. Its era of … ‘self-regulation’ now begins. This means that it begins to establish an individual law of its own life, its own regime, and to create its own destiny. It begins to enjoy, to suffer, to reap rewards and to pay penalties. And this is the beginning of its own karma.
Because the mind has been left unguided throughout its odyssey here, it has gained great power and control over the soul, severely limiting its expression. In the process, we have lost touch with our true identity, while accumulating vast quantities of karma, thus forging chains of attachment to this plane.
However, owing to good karma, at some point in its evolutionary ascent back to the Father, the soul begins to awaken from under the domination of the mind, and the individual experiences a growing dissatisfaction with what life offers. We are told this discontent, the sense that something is missing, and the desire to find greater meaning in life, is grace from God. When the Lord decides we are ready to meet a Master, he makes us receptive to his pull, and we become seekers.
While we believe that we are the ones searching for answers, Maharaj Charan Singh tells us this is an illusion. In Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II, we read:
It is not you who are seeking. It is the Lord who is seeking you. The Lord is pulling you from within, and when the Lord makes you receptive, he will automatically put you on the path through someone.
That someone is a guide in human form, a Master who imparts the teachings of the saints, the core of which is the practice of meditation. It is through meditation that we are made worthy of merging back into God’s love. Hazur calls our spiritual practice love itself:
And what is the purpose of meditation? To merge your soul back into the Father, to remove all the dross from the soul and to make it shine and to make it one with him. That is meditation. So that is why meditation itself is love.
So, when we do our meditation, we are loving him. This is true even when we feel sorely lacking in love and devotion, dissatisfied with the depth of our love. The effort we put forth is the result of our desire to know him, to be with him. We are loving him, and his love for us causes us to meditate.
And what of our dissatisfaction with the depth of our love? Hazur answers:
This feeling which we have within us, that our love should grow, that is also planted by him, that is also a part of destiny, that is also part of his grace…. This wanting it to grow is not in your hands; that is in his hands. That he’s pulling you and you feel that your love should grow more and more – that is in his hands.
Although our efforts in meditation are absolutely necessary, they cannot take us far on our spiritual journey. The Master tells us the mountains of karma we have amassed, along with our powerful attachments, could never be eliminated through our own efforts. What our efforts can do is invoke the grace of the Lord to accomplish the impossible – to pull us out of this creation and return us to the source of love.
The knowledge that progress in meditation is not ours to claim, but rather the result of his abundant grace responding to our feeble efforts, can help us to keep a proper perspective. We cannot expect rapid progress in the extraordinary process of detaching from bonds that have imprisoned us here for eons.
Disappointment and frustration with our meditation practice arise from a lack of understanding. If we were aware of the role of the Master in the course of God-realization, we would feel only humility and gratitude for everything we do to follow the path. We are guided and encouraged within for every effort we put forth in meditation, for our struggles to control our thoughts with simran, for leading a life often at odds with conventional behaviour – for every action we perform that leads us toward our goal of merging into his love. If only we knew how much he gives us!
Hazur responds to a questioner:
He is within us, every one of us. Being within us, he gives us his own love. We think we love him, but actually he loves us. It is he who creates that love in us. We are just responding to his love. The more we respond to his love, the more we feel his love in us. In fact, it is the Giver who is giving this love. We are not doing anything. We are just responding to what he gives us. The more receptive we become, the more love and devotion we feel within ourselves for the Lord.
It’s a circle of love, beginning with the Lord and returning to him. We are mere players in his holy game. Our interminable passage through lifetimes on this plane is coming to an end. Let us recognize who is moving the pieces and creating the opportunities, acknowledge who is behind our efforts to reach our goal, and strive to be receptive to his love. Gratitude and humility will replace impatience and dissatisfaction as he opens our heart to the reality of his love.