A comedian was reminiscing about his hard scrabble past, how he was sleeping in a car during his formative years of trying to make a career in stand-up clubs, and how with a lot of “praying to God,” hard work and luck, he finally became a success. At the end of his motivational story, he said that he never gave up no matter what, because he knew “God is always coming, he’s never too late.” At his most discouraging and frustrated moment of never giving up is when he learned that faith was everything. In his darkest hour, he never gave up.
Like the comedian, when doing our meditation, we have to be brave and never give up the fight with the mind, as Hazur Maharaj Ji says:
Ours is a lifelong battle. Face the onslaughts of the mind like a brave warrior. Do not lay down your arms before the enemy. Help will come when you make up your mind to resist the evil thoughts.1
“Evil” thoughts run the gamut of A-Z and seem to come out of nowhere; doubts are especially unnerving. Baba Ji has said that it’s natural in the course of our lives as satsangis to have doubts, but not to give them any energy. If you do, the mind can find the tiniest crack to get a toehold of control, planting doubt like a seed waiting for the nourishment of self-pity or perceived failure to grow steadily bigger. It flourishes with negativity and spawns despair. It makes us question our faith. We must be brave and resist by fighting those thoughts with the sword of simran, our plea for help that will be answered, as the Master assures us.
In mountain climbing, you have to have faith in your own ability, your partner’s ability for safety, and your equipment. Once you start the ascent, you have to be able to count on the unknown to exist – a crevice or a knob of rock to hang on to – you don’t know if it’s there, yet you reach out with limb and blind faith. You have to have trust in your partner who you’re tied to, to be able to help if needed, in a real life-and-death situation. Yet, people climb on and on, for the thrill, the accomplishment, and perhaps unknowingly, for the experience of faith in action.
As human beings seeking spiritual fulfilment, we come to this Path because we are pulled to the Source by a nameless unforeseen power that eventually we recognize as Love. We reach out for this Love by doing our daily meditation, while the rest of the world sleeps or springs into action. It’s not easy to swim against the tide, yet we persist because we have Faith. Faith that if we persevere, our efforts will merge us into the source of Love. So, we climb on, because once starting the ascent, there’s no turning around. Even in the darkest hour when we feel utterly useless in the battle with the mind, we must not give up because our destiny is to succeed. It is not an “if” but “when” we succeed. All doubts succumb to the realization that we are always tied to our Master, as He says:
It is only a question of time. The battle with the mind has to be won. Many blows will be given and many received but with the Master and the Lord on our side, victory is assured.2
As the song goes, “He’s got the whole world in His hands.” Have faith that the Master indeed has us in his hands where we are safe from peril, and he will never let us go. For our part, we must give him our daily effort of simran and bhajan, to hone our skill of climbing the heights to our goal, the summit, our true spiritual home. Faith will move us up the indomitable mountainside tethered to our Master, and Love in the form of the Shabd will be our victory.
- Quest for Light, Letter 46
- Quest for Light, Letter 190