A Bright Sun Has Dawned
When responding to our questions, Baba Ji reassures us again and again that the Lord loves everyone, gives love in equal measure, and does not take away from one to give to another. Saints and mystics of all times, of all religions and faiths, come to remind us of the fatherhood of God and brotherhood of Man: one Father, and we are all his children, regardless of our race, gender, nationality, religion, or status in society – one spiritual family.
As seekers longing for God’s love ourselves, we may ask, why is it that in our experience “divine love” remains a rather abstract quality, an elusive goal? Why is it not a constant tangible presence in our life? Are we applying ourselves correctly to our quest?
In a letter to a disciple, the Great Master explains:
You are right when you say that to concentrate on an attribute or abstract quality, such as love, is a little too intangible. Let your friend seek the substance of which love is the attribute. The attribute does not exist without the substance. The substance lies behind the attribute. The Sound Current is the substance and love is its attribute. This current is present in all of us. When the current is grasped, the attribute – love – comes with it.
Your sorrow over your inability to come here is also bhajan. Never mind the distance. When the desire to come here is in you, you are here with me. Satguru is always present with you in Shabd Form. He sees, he knows and responds.1
From the Shabd masters or satgurus of the Surat Shabd Yoga path we learn that Shabd or sound current is the emanation of the Lord in this creation. All of creation and all beings in it resonate with its divine sound. This sublime resonance is the originator of all life in this world. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are constantly being guided by God’s love through that luminous resounding energy within. It sustains us, and without it we wouldn’t be alive. The masters say that through the Shabd, the Lord projects himself in the creation and is constantly calling all his beloved souls to return to him.
God’s Nam as Love cannot be separate or be severed from him, so the Shabd masters are God-realized, having surrendered and blended their being in the love of God through the practice of the Name. They take birth and live among us, as the tangible, corporeal true Friend we can relate to. They come as a trusted and beloved guide to show by their own example that we have the potential to develop our soul power through which we, too, can aspire to God-realization by attuning ourselves to the Shabd and awakening love for God within.
Limitless and infinite is the power of the soul. Is it not a drop from the limitless and infinite Ocean – the Almighty God?2
To cover an emptiness within or a dry spell in our meditation, we may pursue recreation and new experiences to give us a diversion and satisfaction for the mind. Before long, the latest innovation, discovery, or breaking news captures our attention and entices us again, but never finds lasting peace of mind. Baba Ji has often said that Hell is a heart on fire, while Heaven is a contented heart.
As seekers on the spiritual path, we have the opportunity to avail ourselves of the experience of an expert guide who not only lays down the path for us but is always by our side to protect us from the pitfalls on the way. If we choose to accept our Master’s advice and learn from him, we need not go through obsolete lessons and experiences that do not benefit a spiritual life. Why re-invent the wheel? As Hazur Maharaj Ji says: “Either we want to experience, to learn the lesson, or we can take advantage of the lessons of the mystics.” 3
A rendering of one of Kabir’s poems follows below:
I wandered out into the world
And was amazed at what I saw,
For I beheld all humanity burning
Each in its own blaze of passions.
But I could not find the One
Who would give me refuge – the One
Who could lead me from this inferno
To a place of safety….
O Lord so merciful, I pray with folded hands
That you grant me the joy
Of the company of your servants –
That through your limitless mercy
You lead me in humility to their holy feet.4
In her book Adventure of Faith, the author describes the pain of longing for a personal experience of the Lord.
Whosoever reads the words of mystics about their intense longing may heave a deep sigh and confess not feeling such a strong desire for God themselves. But the moving and inspiring words from the mystics can create a painful awareness that this desire is lacking. This deep pain is precisely the pre-condition for stepping on to the spiritual path, because it creates in the seeker’s heart that empty space in which the Lord can kindle the spark of true longing for him. To nourish this desire for the longing of God within and not seek consolation in worldly things – is essential for walking the spiritual path. Seekers of God can trust that the Lord will kindle a spark for Him in their hearts and that, if it is nourished, this spark will develop in a blazing fire of love.5
To begin with, the spiritual path is about learning to go through life with a contented heart and becoming aware of our role and responsibility on the spiritual path. Here, we are reminded that for every effort we make, the Master supports us with an abundance of kindness, consideration, and love. He constantly empowers and reassures us that he has full confidence in us, that there is no reason why we couldn’t succeed in attaining our spiritual goal. All our efforts in trying to live as a good human being, live the Sant Mat way of life, together with our sincere efforts in meditation as instructed by the Master, serve to facilitate the ascent of mind and soul in the spiritual realms.
Attending to the meditation practice as instructed by the Master will result in calming the restless waves of the mind. The saints underline the significance of the moment, be it only an instant, when we will be able to be truly still within. Soami Ji wrote:
No one can describe the glory of the moment when the mind is still and the soul is in a state of complete absorption.6
And Shams-e Tabrizi wrote of the same exhilarating moment:
Yes, even though one moment is a short time, yet a moment spent with God is an eternal moment.7
It is said that humility is the “adornment of the Saints,” who speak from personal experience when they advise us to approach our meditation with reverence and humility. They say that the full extent of the glory of the Shabd can only be discerned by the soul. Through the Master’s grace, the soul rediscovers its soul power and in loving devotion submits its humble supplication before the Supreme Being. It is our responsibility to nourish this longing and be receptive to our Master’s love within our heart. By gradually weaning ourselves away from unnecessary outside activities, into the stillness of meditation, we learn to patiently wait for his grace. The biblical prophet Jeremiah sang of faithfully waiting for the blessing of the Lord’s presence:
The grace of the Lord has not ceased,
and his compassion does not fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
The Lord is my portion, says my soul;
therefore I will hope in him.
The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul that seeks him.
It is good that a man should quietly hope
for the salvation of the Lord.8
When faced with a challenge or difficult task in the world, we believe in and rely on our knowledge and acquired skills so that we may overcome the difficulty and bring about a positive outcome. Having a spiritual master by our side, we can draw on our devotion and faith in him to preserve our meditation practice or when we lack the strength to overcome a weakness on the spiritual path. Hazur explains how to preserve and strengthen our faith:
How can we deepen our faith? By meditation. Meditation will strengthen your love, strengthen your faith, strengthen your devotion. Your roots will go very deep, and then nobody will be able to shake you from the path.9
The Great Master consoles us:
When we are away from the Master and the satsang, the world imperceptibly impresses itself on us so much that, in spite of our regularly giving time to simran and Nam, we often begin to feel discouraged, dry, and desolate. In such a state, faith and love are our support; and if faith is firm, the Master responds. He is always with us – within us – watches as a mother watches her child. So long as we are on this side of the focus, we do not see him working. But he is doing his duty.
Your worries and cares are Master’s worries and cares. Leave them to him to deal with. Having become carefree, your business is to cultivate his love. He is not going to let you drift. You will go up.10
The Master’s written and spoken instructions motivate us to action. By practicing devoted and attentive meditation, as instructed by him with all our heart, we begin to enjoy the sweetness of the inner serenity and tranquility. Like a weary traveller finding respite in a welcoming refuge after traversing strange and treacherous terrain, the mind finds poise and equanimity during its retreat in silent remembrance or repetition on the Name. Here again, the role of the Master is vital as he guides and supports each disciple throughout the inner journey. To the extent that the mind becomes firmly established in inner concentration, it releases its stronghold on the soul, permitting the soul to partake of the ‘Nectar-Name’.
Softly fall the showers of the Nectar-Name,
And through the grace of the Master
I see my Beloved Lord.11
All is accomplished by the grace of our Satguru who shelters us with compassion and patience and who sustains us with his love. He guides and encourages us to never let go of our meditation practice. We may look upon the meditation practice with some apprehension, as a difficult and tedious task requiring great effort – or with a contented heart – as the ‘lifeline’ it is, and a precious opportunity to be cherished with profound gratitude. As Maharaj Sawan Singh wrote to a disciple:
When your love for the Master exceeds your love for yourself and the I-ness has been replaced by “Thou-ness,” the form of the Guru will make its appearance visible within.12
And Soami Ji expressed the glory of the inner realization.
Your radiant face has brought such light
to the darkness of my heart
that it would put to shame
thousands of suns and moons in the sky.13
In One Being One the author writes:
So, to find Him (the divine Beloved) is the eternal quest, the only journey worth travelling with all our heart and soul. To remain seekers until the journey’s end. Never to give up, to remain positive, to let go of despondency and negativity, and become aware of the One… He is never apart from His creation. He is always there, within every little being, every soul. It can never be said enough, never lived enough. He is in the present moment, right now. He is within. He is without. Whenever the mind is quiet, we will find Him in our being. He is the “wind beneath our wings” He is not what we think; He is what we are.14
Only by attending to simran and bhajan can we gain the personal experience of the love of God within our very own being. Union with the Divine is attained by worship of the Name with the help of a master, a God-realized soul. This is the ancient and timeless message of all saints and mystics: To this day the living Shabd master of the time encourages us to understand and practice this form of true worship of the Lord and devote ourselves wholeheartedly to it.
By awakening to the thundering strains of the Anahad Shabd within, I have pleased my Master, my supreme Guru. A bright sun has dawned and the flame of the moon lights me within.15
- Maharaj Sawan Singh, Spiritual Gems, Letter 189
- Maharaj Jagat Singh, Science of the Soul, 9th ed., 1994; “Spiritual Bouquet” #50, p.202
- Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. I, # 61
- Isaac Ezekiel, Kabir, The Great Mystic, “The Quest,” pp.171 & 175
- Shraddha Liertz, Adventure of Faith, p. 481
- Soami Ji, Sar Bachan Poetry p. 233
- Farida Maleki, Shams-e-Tabrizi, Rumi’s Perfect Teacher, p. 119
- Bible, Lamentations 3:22–26, as quoted in The Mystic Heart of Judaism, p. 97
- Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II, # 182
- Maharaj Sawan Singh, Spiritual Gems, Letter 117 pp. 172-173
- Guru Ram Das, in Adi Granth, p.442, quoted in Philosophy of the Masters, Vol. IV, p. 396.
- Maharaj Sawan Singh, Spiritual Gems, #47
- Soami Ji, Sar Bachan Poetry, p. 245
- John Davidson, One Being One, pp. 177-178
- Soami Ji, Sar Bachan Poetry, p. 233