Understanding His Will
There is so much happening in the world that is out of our control. Every day we work hard and do what we can to help care for our families. We struggle and experience pain. We feel lonely, afraid and anxious. It is in these difficult times that we turn to God. Sometimes we ask for his blessings and strength to get through these tough times. Sometimes we think and ask, “Why? Why is this happening?”
We should try to face our day-to-day problems remembering our destination, remembering the path. Our problems are of our own making. We may not be creating them now, but we have created them in the past. We have sown the seeds and we are here now to face the result of those seeds.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II
The Masters remind us that everything is destined according to the will of the Lord. We cannot see or understand why things happen as they do. Everything that takes place in our lives is a result of our karmas – “What goes around, comes around.” – as the saying goes. Our karmas determine what we experience, good or bad. We do not know what the Lord has planned for us. If we choose to accept that everything is destined and that He knows best, we can learn to live in his will.
There is a story of a king who learned to trust in God’s will. One day, while cutting an apple, he accidentally cut himself and his hand began bleeding. His servant rushed over with a cloth and tied up his wound. “Don’t worry,” said his servant, “everything happens for a reason, we must thank God.”
Perplexed and in pain, the king cried “Nonsense! I’m hurt and bleeding. You are saying we should thank God?” Angered, the king ordered his guards to throw his servant in jail. Still, the servant remained calm, repeating to himself, “Everything happens for a reason, we must thank God.”
The next day, while hunting in the forest, the king was captured by an ancient tribe and was tied to a tree. “Let’s kill this man as a sacrifice to God!” shouted the tribal chief. The king struggled to break free as the group prepared for the sacrifice. The tribe’s priest arrived to inspect the king and noticed a bandaged wound on his hand. Seeing this, the priest told the tribal chief, “This man cannot be sacrificed because he has a scar, set him free.”
The king quickly rushed back to his castle and told this story to the servant he put in jail. The servant smiled and said, “See, I told you everything happens for a reason! Your hand got cut to save your life. And because you put me in jail, my life was saved too.”
“What do you mean? How was your life saved?” asked the confused king.
“As your servant, I must follow wherever you go. But because you put me in jail, I did not accompany you to the forest. If I had been there, the tribe would have sacrificed me, as I have no scars. I was saved too. Everything happens for a reason; we must thank God.”
Accepting that everything happens for a reason is easier said than done. We are trapped in this world of illusion and take everything that we see and everything that we experience to be real. Our scattered minds run in search of solutions to our perceived problems. This is why meditation is important.
What is the Master’s will? Just to be firm on the principles on which we have to build our meditation and attend to our meditation – that is his will, that is his teaching, those are his instructions. That is the base on which we have to start. The real will of the Master we can know only when we go beyond the realm of mind and maya. Now, as long as the mind exists, we are in the realm of the mind, in the will of the mind. So naturally we have to follow the Master’s instructions with our intellect, our strong willpower, obedience and submission in order to reach to that stage. These things are essential to begin with. But ultimately we have to reach to that stage where we live in the will of the Lord, the will of the Master – they are the same thing.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III
We should strive for this elevated perspective through our meditation. Our efforts to sit daily for simran and bhajan will help us to cope with the inevitable ups and downs that life throws at us. Let us observe this world, watch the dramas that unfold, and focus on emancipating ourselves from the wandering mind.