The Use of Our Extra Time
Look upon your time as the most precious thing and go on increasing your time for devotion. With full faith in the Master, derive proper benefit from his gifts. His is always with us, and we do not know in how many ways he is helping us.1
This quote from the Great Master, written over 100 years ago to one of the first initiates in America, could be from Baba Ji to us in our current global pandemic situation. These early overseas satsangis did not or could not see their Master, did not have satsang meetings, had no or very limited interaction with other satsangis, and had no seva.
But unlike us, they also did not have satsang videos to watch, Q&A sessions by the Master to watch and listen to, phone calls and email to commiserate with other satsangis, and many books to read. Their only sources of Sant Mat information were a few letters from the Great Master, which they were permitted to share with others.
The two books that contain these letters, The Dawn of Light and Spiritual Gems, are favourite Sant Mat books for many of us. These letters were written to seekers and satsangis who had no background in the Path or mysticism in general. They clearly describe the essence of the Path, the mystic background of other religions, our priority in life, how to deal with life’s trying situations, and how to adjust our attitude to weather life’s challenges and achieve our objective of God-realization.
Some of the passages from these two books are very relevant to our current situation. We should keep in mind that during the Great Master’s time, satsangis lived through World War I, the 1918 Influenza pandemic, the Great Depression, World War II, and the Partition of India.
So there is nothing to worry about the next war or the atom bomb; this very kind of loose, vague talk was indulged in during and at the end of the Great War I, and is also indulged in after floods, earthquakes, famines and plagues. The worry should be about the entry into the eye centre and meeting the Radiant Form of the Master, so that the Master is made a companion on whom reliance can be placed here and hereafter. He who has connected with the Word cannot go amiss in catastrophe or peace. He has a place to go to and goes there, and is not lost.2
The current pandemic situation has caused most of us to greatly reorient our daily lives through mandatory isolation at home. This is a perfect time to spend more time on the spiritual aspect of our lives. We can access a wealth of Sant Mat materials on rssb.org, and watch satsang and Q&A videos on the RSSB YouTube site. More important, we can increase our time for devotion – do our committed 2.5 hours of meditation and more. As the Masters tell us, when we enter the eye centre and reach the Radiant Form of the Master, we will know that He is with us and protecting our soul in all situations.
This world is the plane of struggle. There has never been peace here, nor will there be. Problems of today give place to problems of tomorrow. In a place where the mind and matter are active, there can never be peace. Sorrows and wars of nations or communities, or individuals, shall continue. The soul must seek other planes to find peace. To find peace is the business of the individual. Everybody has to seek it within himself.3
The Saints constantly remind us that we can never find peace and happiness in this ever-changing physical world. We can only find it within ourselves and this can only be accomplished through meditating on the Word and engendering the grace of the Master.
Do not be anxious. The Master is taking care of you every instant. You cannot see it now, but as you advance in your journey, you will see it yourself.4
To understand what our Master is doing for us, how He is protecting us, we must go inside. It is easy to talk about how the Master is taking care of us, but at our level these are just words; we must experience it for ourselves, inside.
...whatever good or bad happens to you, through whatever person or object, directly proceeds from our loving Father. All persons and objects are but tools in His hands. If an evil befalls you, think it as His greatest mercy. We have to suffer for our past actions sooner or later.5
Everything that happens to us, whether we think it good or bad, “directly proceeds from our loving Father.” We are paying off the karmas we created in previous lives and the Master is helping us go through them.
It is difficult to be happy in calamity, but you will find much change if you look at it from the viewpoint just stated [to reconcile ourselves with what is happening]. Guru Nanak, a great Saint, said: “Misery is medicine and pleasure is disease, because in pleasure the mind scatters and in adversity or misery it contracts.6
In summary, in trying environments as we now are experiencing, the Master tells us just to focus on why we are on this Path – God-realization – and take advantage of all the extra time available to us. He knows what we are going through and is taking care of us.
- Maharaj Sawan Singh, The Dawn of Light, letter 5
- Maharaj Sawan Singh, Spiritual Gems, letter 72
- Spiritual Gems, letter 148
- The Dawn of Light, letter 19
- The Dawn of Light, letter 4
- The Dawn of Light, letter 66