The turmoil of the global pandemic has brought feelings of sadness and despair. The history of the world speaks of other such disasters: wars, atrocities and human suffering even worse than pandemics. We might read about them, feel sorry, offer to help and then carry on with our lives.
But when personal tragedy strikes? The grief from the death of a child or spouse, the loss of a job or a diagnosis of a serious illness often overwhelms us with depression and anxiety, and we feel helpless. Some of us may even lose faith and blame our Master, thinking: “How can he let this happen to me?” We may see no way out, no hope, no solution. But when we are in enough pain, we may cry out to him within: “Help me please!”
In that moment of desperation, a ray of hope may pierce our hungry heart. Our losses remain, but if we are attentive and turn to the Lord within, we can attune ourselves to his presence, to the creative power of the Shabd – our real Master that is guiding us from inside. This is the source of all hope – and love.
Our Master repeatedly tells us to turn inward and seek spiritual help and support within. When we acknowledge his presence, he will be there. Maharaj Sawan Singh writes in Spiritual Gems: “Satguru is always present with you in Shabd Form. He sees, he knows and responds.”
To ensure that we don’t fall into hopelessness and despair in the face of worldly troubles, we need to cling to God by remembering him, not only in our meditation but throughout the day. We do this through mental repetition of the five holy names. This remembrance is how we develop love and devotion for our Master.
In Legacy of Love, the author describes an evening meeting when Maharaj Charan Singh answered foreign guests’ questions:
A lady got up and said over and over again to him, “I love you, I love you, I love you.” Maharaj Ji did not interrupt her. When eventually she had emptied her heart, he responded simply, “Sister, you didn’t say ‘only’.”
The Master is a jealous lover; he expects us to love only him, not the world and its objects. He needs to be everything to us, an integral part of our lives. We can talk to him as if he were right in front of us; laugh and cry as much as we want before him, sharing with him all our joys and sorrows. We can take him with us when we go shopping, to our jobs, to the gym. In the end, we need to treat him as our best friend, because that’s what he is. Others will leave us eventually, or we will leave them – that is the nature of worldly relationships. But he has always been with us because he is the Shabd, and our soul is part of that power of love.
As Maharaj Jagat Singh writes in The Science of the Soul, “So long as we lean on others, He lets us do so, but when after repeated disappointments we surrender to Him completely, regarding Him as our only sheet-anchor, He comes to our succour instantly.” If we trust him completely and obey his will, he will guide us and show us the right way, giving us the strength and confidence to go through our problems without losing our balance.
We trust him and obey his will by making meditation our priority and building our lives around it. Regular meditation replaces fear with faith and uncertainty with confidence.
We need not lose hope if we have made no apparent inner progress, or even if we have given up or deviated from the path. There is hope for all of us, all the time. As Baba Ji always tells us, the Lord is a forgiving father. So, we should not worry about our mistakes but just continue with our meditation. As Hazur wrote in Spiritual Perspectives:
When we are working our way up, we are in tune with him, and we will also get happiness in this world. If we forget him, this whole world becomes a place of agony and misery for us. We will get happiness only in his devotion.