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Following Instructions

If one were to withdraw his mind from sensual pleasures and attach himself to the Sound Current, he would go back to Sach Khand. Then there would be no more coming and going. All this is within one’s self, and whoever ‘goes in’ according to the instructions of a Master reaches his Home.1

There’s no room for misinterpretation in Maharaj Jagat Singh’s clear statement of consequence. Yet despite this message being conveyed by the Saints continually over time – that “if” a course of action is followed, “then” the consequence will be certain – we fail to follow it through. And then wonder why we haven’t realized Sach Khand within.

It’s not as if “the instructions of a Master” are difficult to follow. They’re easier to follow and understand than tying a shoelace. Although an ideal posture is suggested, an initiate just needs to sit completely still in any comfortable position and repeat five names for two hours, followed by half an hour of receptivity to the Sound Current. It’s called simran and bhajan.

If we tie a shoelace too loose we can expect it to come undone within short order. It will no longer be tied. By the same token, if we fail to repeat our simran with the one-pointed concentration that’s required or skimp on the specified duration, that Sound Current will prove elusive. It’s as simple as that.

These days we’re able to view YouTube videos online for every conceivable task, including how to tie a shoelace. Imagine an explanatory video showing the step-by-step instructions explaining how to realize the Lord within. It would simply show a person sitting in a comfortable position, eyes closed, silently repeating five names for two hours. That’s it.

We can go on asking questions about techniques or trying to do calculations about this or that – delving into why certain events might, or might not, be happening in our lives. We can do as much as we can to avoid the simplicity of the situation we are in. But ultimately the only way to achieve our objective is to sit. And do our very best to concentrate on our simran, with all the effort we can muster.

When we express our frustrations, a cursory examination of the explanations given by the saints reminds us that the nature of the mind is to resist following the instructions. For countless lifetimes the mind has enjoyed wandering around with thoughts all over the place. We cannot expect it to suddenly turn away from these habits and relish and embrace the idea of what appears to be the dry repetition of five names over and over again.

But anyone proficient in their specialist field, for example a world-renowned sportsperson or an accomplished musician, will relate that their achievement comes from constant practice of technique, following a regular routine, day after day, performing the same task over and over again until perfection in concentration is achieved.

Similarly the saints explain that the only antidote to the natural tendency of a wandering mind during simran is to constantly and unceasingly put in the effort and practice of repetition.

Maharaj Jagat Singh puts it bluntly:

Always keep your mind in simran. Does it cost anything? Just go on repeating the Holy Names as the small boys repeat “one, two, three, four.” Simran is a great force. By simran alone you develop strong willpower. Simran should be done patiently and vigorously, without a break. It should be incessant, unceasing, continuous, and constant.2

Always keeping your mind in simran doesn’t only mean at the time of meditation. The saints encourage us to use any spare time when we are not concentrating on our work or other pursuits to engage in repetition, so it becomes a deeply ingrained habit to occupy our mind.

Smartphones can now record how much time we spend on screen time. A weekly notification advises the average daily time we’ve spent looking at the device. Imagine if there were an App that could record how much time we spend on repetition of the five holy names each day, if a Fitbit wristwatch could tell us the amount of concentration during our meditation as well as our nightly sleep patterns. But these would simply be a distraction. As Baba Ji often tells us, we shouldn’t calculate or analyze these things. We know whether we’re putting all the effort we can muster into something. We really don’t need any more distractions or diversions. We just need to sit and do it.

One of the three-part slogans put out by a government to encourage its population to be Covid-aware included the phrase “Stay Alert. Control the Virus. Save Lives.” As seekers of the Lord, we need to “Stay Alert. Control the Mind. Realize the Lord.” Staying alert means being aware of the tricks of the mind. Controlling the mind means constantly practicing simran. Realizing the Lord means giving that time for bhajan – receptivity to the sound current.

Maharaj Jagat Singh, replying to a point raised by a satsangi who said that “my mind does not allow me to sit in bhajan, and when I sit it makes me forget simran,” explained:

Well, what else should it do? It is doing its duty most faithfully. Should you not do yours? Attack it with full force. At this stage it is a fierce battle between mind and soul. Never give any quarter to the mind.3

  1. Science of the Soul, p. 69
  2. Science of the Soul, p. 201
  3. Science of the Soul, p. 201