Entering Sach Khand
We often refer to the highest spiritual region as Sach Khand and call it the goal of our path. We are told that we can enter this region while still in this human body through meditation. We also know that such a goal is easy to talk about but seems impossible to achieve. We fail even in the initial baby steps when we attend to our simran and bhajan, and so this ultimate goal called Sach Khand seems a distant dream. Yet we do entertain the hope and belief that as we have been initiated, a place for us in Sach Khand is reserved and assured.
When a near and dear one passes away, we often say “he/she has gone to Sach Khand,” in much the same way as believers in various religions speak of entering heaven or whatever term they use to refer to the abode of God. Such an attitude makes our path no different from other religions – a belief system rather than one that is subject to verification. As long as we have not had any inner experience, our path is actually just a belief system. That being the case, is there anything we can do to make it more practical and more than simply a belief system?
Attending to meditation regularly, even if there are no apparent results, is of course the most important thing we can do. But in addition, we could go deeper into what the term “Sach Khand” stands for. Sach means truth or reality. Khand means section or division. What our physical senses reveal to us is illusion, maya – we could call it Jhoot Khand (that part of reality which is not true). In this way, we divide the reality of what exists into two parts – that which is true and that which is not true. We can see the reality or truth of this physical world only when we can see God within each particle; otherwise we only see maya, the illusion. So Sach Khand is actually a reference to the truth or reality that can be experienced even in this world, not merely something we will encounter only after death. Hazur Maharaj Ji described this truth as follows:
The pity is that what we see, what we feel, what we touch is not real. What we don’t see, that is real. What we don’t touch, that is real. That is the pity of it. …. God is in everything. God itself is reality. Wherever God is, is a reality.1
We can strive towards this goal by not only bringing our so-called failures at meditation every day to the Master, but also, throughout the day in our interactions with everyone around us, by reminding ourselves of the truth of the above statement.
Perhaps it would help to think of God as shabd and shabd as energy. Nothing that we see around can function without energy – every body, every mind, even dead matter needs energy because, as science tells us, matter consists of sub-atomic particles which are actually immeasurable energy. So every time we drive in our car, we could tell ourselves, “the energy that fuels this car is shabd”; every time we get up from bed, we can tell ourselves, “I can do this only because of the energy my body has, and this energy is a manifestation of shabd.” Such reminders of “God in action” can be a help in focusing our mind when we sit in meditation, especially if the day’s events have made us miserable. Let’s say we have been cheated or slighted by someone. Seeing everyone as “energy,” and therefore as shabd – guru – God, might help us overcome our negative feelings.
Another way we can approach the concept of Sach Khand is to equate all living beings with their consciousness, rather than their body/mind. We often say our soul is a particle of God. These days, Baba Ji often equates soul with consciousness. The advantage of using the word “consciousness” is that we have all experienced it. Even atheists cannot deny its reality – for the body is totally incapable of anything when it enters the unconscious state. Therefore, if we can focus on the consciousness – as different from the body and mind – of the person we are interacting with, then we can recognize the love, the soul, the God in one another.
This comes through well in a question-and-answer exchange in which the questioner complains about the terrible behaviour of her teenage granddaughter. She describes how the girl makes unfair demands on everyone and goes into terrible temper tantrums when denied what she wants. She speaks of how fed up she and the girl’s mother are with this behaviour and asks Maharaj Ji for advice about how to deal with the situation. She adds that her son-in-law, however, remains unfazed by all this and deals with his daughter very lovingly despite her difficult behaviour. Maharaj Ji asks how the son-in-law has managed to remain unaffected by the terrible behaviour of his daughter. The lady says, “Well, he never misses his mediation, ever.”
Such situations test not only our patience but our spiritual maturity. Unlike the mother and grandmother, the father of the girl was focusing on her spirit, on the love, rather than on her mind and its unfortunate behaviour. This allowed him simply not to react, but to respond in a more loving and compassionate manner. While there is no guarantee what results this will have, at least the father doesn’t lose his balance as well and remains a calming influence.
The child’s reality is the life-force in her. When a child is born, sometimes even before birth, we are totally consumed by our love for him or her. At that point, we have no idea what form his or her body or mind will take. It is the life-force or consciousness that grips us, immerses us in love. But as the child grows up, we start mistaking the body and mind for the reality and do not focus on the child’s consciousness. The father of the young girl who was experiencing tantrums focused on the reality of the girl – the love in her, the God in her. That represents the Sach (true) aspect of her. Her tantrums represent the jhoot (false) aspect of her. His devotion to his daily practice of meditation enabled him to make this important distinction and thereby not get upset by his daughter’s tantrums.
Whether we succeed in having inner visions or not during our meditation is of less consequence than the changes that happen within our inner being as a result of our efforts, however fruitless they seem at that point in time. In fact, it is not in our interest to have visions until a certain level of spiritual maturity is reached. Therefore, it is necessary for us to reach a level of spiritual development that gives us the ability to handle “difficult” people and situations with love and understanding before we are ready for such inner visions.
When we are faced with difficult situations in life, there is a natural tendency to want to run away from the world. But Sant Mat is only for the brave – no question of running away from anything. Saints come to this world as living examples of how we should lead our lives here. For instance, Kabir continued to live in Varanasi despite all the social problems, hatred, and poverty he encountered there. He earned a meagre livelihood through his daily efforts at weaving cloth. He provided for the worldly needs of himself, his wife, and their two children. Despite the hardships of his life, he never wanted to run away from his worldly responsibilities.
There is a story about Kabir which describes that when his wife went to the local grocer to purchase their daily needs, she ran short of money. Seeing how beautiful she was, the grocer told her, “As you don’t have the full amount of money, you will have to come to me tonight to compensate for the shortfall.” That night, Kabir himself took her in his arms to the grocer as an offering! Seeing this, the grocer felt ashamed at what he had wanted, and that enabled him to turn over a new leaf and become a better person. Thus, Kabir was demonstrating the truth of what he had said: “I live in a township full of love.”2 To an ordinary observer, the town he was living in – Varanasi – was anything but a town of love. But to him, it was Sach Khand – even the grocer who wanted his wife represented God. To reach Sach Khand, he did not have to leave the body or Varanasi and go anywhere.
As Baba Ji once told someone who had quoted from a book that described this world as a “smelly toilet,” it all depends on our perspective. From the saints’ perspective, this world and every living being in it is a creation of God, and nothing He creates is anything less than wonderful. If only we can realize this, we will have already entered Sach Khand.
- Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. I, Q# 16
- Kabir Sahib ki Shabdavali (Hindi), part 1, p. 15