Become So Beautiful that God Can No Longer Resist You
We are living in challenging times. However, the saints point out that natural catastrophes, pandemics like COVID-19, as well as the suffering caused by human selfishness, pride, exploitation, and tyranny are nothing new in this world. In fact, our precarious existence here – fraught with instability, uncertainty, strife, and sorrows – results in misery not just in this life but for countless other lives as well. Saint Farid points this out when he writes: “I thought I was the only one in pain, O Farid, but the whole world is suffering. When I reached up high, I found the fire of suffering in every being.”1
Mystics emphasize that if in this world we experience 10,000 pleasures, they’ll always be followed by 10,000 sorrows. The Buddha strongly advised those heavily invested in finding lasting happiness in the world to remember five truths: “I will lose my youth; I am not beyond aging. I will lose my health; I am not beyond sickness. I will lose everything (power, wealth, position) and everyone I value; I am not beyond loss. And I will lose the very one I call myself, this body; I am not beyond death. The only things I will keep are my actions; I cannot escape their consequences.”2
Fortunately, as human beings, we’re not limited to this calamitous life of duality. We all have the innate potential to gain self-control and change our focus away from looking for lasting happiness in this ephemeral world, where it can’t be found, to looking within. The saints tell us that as we do this, we will mature spiritually and experience ever-increasing states of bliss, awe, and wonder – until eventually all distinctions between us and God disappear, and we become One.
The purpose of this path is to empower us to accomplish this. Hafiz points out the goal of spirituality:
Listen: this world is the lunatic’s sphere,
Don’t always agree it’s real,
Even with my feet upon it
And the postman knowing my door
My address is somewhere else.3
The saints tell us that it is up to each one of us to set our own priorities. There are basically three types of human beings in this world. The first lives only to serve their own egos; the second strives to transcend their egos and become one with the Lord; and the third vacillates in between.
It is only the second type of person who is a true spiritual warrior and succeeds on this path. That one – with courage, love, faith, devotion, and strong individual effort – wins the struggle to subdue the mind and contacts Nam at the eye center. They alone know the beauty, peace, and joy that is always available no matter what’s happening in this world.
However, those of us initiates who are the third type remain suffering in this delusion because we vacillate, often preferring our own personal desires and judgments over our Guru’s teachings. Why don’t we stop and do ourselves a favor and change? The masters promise that if we embrace, prioritize, and act on their message, we’ll definitely weather this world’s ups and downs more easily, even if we haven’t yet mastered going within.
And for those of us who have made this path their priority but feel disheartened because we haven’t reached the eye center and gone within, both Hazur Maharaj Ji and Baba Ji emphasize that it’s a big mistake to try to evaluate our spiritual growth in terms of what we think we’ve seen or heard “inside.” We won’t have so-called inner experiences if we’re too immature and full of ego to value, digest, and assimilate them without becoming proud, side-tracked, or tempted to use them for personal gain. In fact, we might not know where we stand spiritually until the time of our physical death.
The R.S. masters emphasize that our Guru’s purpose is not for us to remain as we are, slaves to our own mind, and yet still have spiritual powers and experiences. Their job is to work with us and guide us so that we transform ourselves into spiritual warriors who are so beautiful that the most beautiful One of all, the Lord, can no longer resist us. Then we’ll return to the supreme state of oneness with God without falling back into new physical bodies or having long intermittent stops in illusory realms along the way.
The masters have given us a challenge: to do our best to live the Sant Mat way of life, meditate as directed, learn from our mistakes without constantly repeating them, and accept all situations as opportunities to live in God’s will. They stress that the only way we can evaluate our own spiritual growth is by how well we consistently do this, not by how many sights and sounds we experience within.
They also encourage us to relax, be patient, find our own personal balance based on understanding our own strengths and weaknesses, and make the most of our time here with firm faith that if we do our part, Nam and our Guru will do the rest. We will achieve self- and God-realization and experience the wisdom, love, and compassion that are our spiritual heritage. There are no failures in Sant Mat.
Both Baba Ji and Hazur emphasize that we should carry no guilt and never fall prey to self-pity. Both are very damaging. At the end of the day, all we can do to attain liberation is try our best. We have no capacity to even think of the Lord much less completely realize him on our own. That happens through his grace. What’s important is that we have no regrets at our time of death. We want to be able to look our Guru in the eyes and say, “Do with me what you will, but I want you to know, I gave Sant Mat my best shot. I left nothing on the table.”
- T.R. Shangari, Sheikh Farid, The Great Sufi Mystic, Radha Soami Satsang Beas, p. 207
- Upajjhatthana Sutta: Subjects for Contemplation, translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, 1997
- Daniel Ladinsky (translator), “Then Winks,” in The Gift: Poems by Hafiz, Penguin Compass, 1999, p. 229