Three Diseases, One Cure
All beings are curious, humans most of all. Animals wander around, sniffing and looking wherever their instincts and senses lead them. So do we! Unlike animals, however, we are also curious about existence itself. And we can’t ponder the question of existence for more than a few seconds before we bump into the reality of death.
Soami Ji names “the liability to birth and death”1 as the first of three universal maladies. We understand that death involves the disappearance of life from a body. One minute, a person’s body is the most precious thing in the universe; the next minute, it is put in a coffin or on a funeral pyre. That fact is alarming, because everyone we love and everything we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch is liable to disappear at any moment.
When we are troubled by this situation, our feeling is a spiritual gift – it propels us to seek. We read scripture and attend religious services; we take pilgrimages and join prayer groups; we wander to mountains and forests and seashores. This is normal behavior: people have been doing such things throughout history.
We are searching because we need to know what is the meaning of this life, if indeed it can end at any moment! We wonder, is there something that does not end? The poet Rosalie de Castro put it beautifully: “I don’t know what I seek, but it is something… Which lives invisibly in everything I touch and see.”2
Hazur Maharaj Charan Singh Ji writes, “Love alone is eternal and God is love. He alone is permanent, … on the otherwise shifting sands of time and space. Those who devote themselves to Him alone also become eternal and deathless.”3 Could there be a more healing promise? This disease can be cured, say the Masters, and the cure is spiritual devotion.
The second question which plagues every single human being is how can we win “the strife and struggle with our minds”?4
People rich and poor, healthy and ill, famous and unknown, all of us struggle with the mind. No one escapes this fight, and it is extremely demanding. After all, as the Great Master wrote so succinctly, “We are out to conquer the mind – the mind that governs the world.”5 What an audacious goal!
During our life’s journey, people mistreat us and we mistreat others. Our mind becomes filled with negative thoughts about ourselves and others and about the general condition of life. How do we stop?
In regard to our past harmful actions, Hazur writes, “By just mere praying to the Father, we don’t get forgiveness. We have to work hard for it in meditation.”6
In regard to being mistreated by others, he advises, “We should forgive the person, because we’ve had enough and we don’t want more of these karmic relationships.”7 He adds, “We do forgive people, but now we don’t forget that we have forgiven them. So a scar is always there. We shouldn’t be conscious of even the scar.”8 The Masters offer us the spiritual remedy: to focus on simran instead of worldly relationships. That our simple repetition of five holy names with love and devotion is sufficient to heal us from this persistent strife and struggle – this is the great surprise of Sant Mat!
Soami Ji diagnoses our final malady to be ignorance: “Man does not know who he is … or where his Source is.”9 Who are we? Where did we come from? We think our parents created us, this world is our origin, and the body is who we are. The Masters say, however, that we are strangers to our own essence.
Not being in touch with our true spiritual home, with the confidence that brings, leaves us psychologically dependent on others and deeply vulnerable to being manipulated.
So much depends on our relationships with other people. We meet somebody and later we say we shouldn’t have trusted them. Others we don’t dare trust for years, but later, we may count them as a good friend. Whom can we trust when these three diseases are blinding us spiritually?
We are looking for someone who inhabits a place where death does not reach. This person must have access to that place which existed before physical life began and after it has ended. We cannot rely on someone who is frightened of death or struggles with the mind or is ignorant of our origin. We have enough ignorance of our own!
Is the living Master deserving of our trust? We can easily find out, through study, satsang, and meditation at the eye center, where our spiritual essence is located in the body. It is a natural human interest. As Hazur Maharaj Ji wrote, “Man seeks the Lord because the Lord is man’s origin.”10
The answer to these three troubling questions rests in the process of our own heart. Who are we? Where is our home? Are we this body and the mind that directs it, or are we a being of divine vibration? Is our origin the moment of human conception or before countless previous lifetimes, in Shabd?
It is one thing to say it, but it is quite another to know it, through experience. To know it, we must do what Baba Ji and Hazur did: meditate with love and devotion, like nothing else matters. Not only when we feel like it, but also when we don’t feel like it.
We trust the living Master to provide the remedy for these three maladies, because we feel his love and understand his message. He gives us the medicine for spiritual recovery: being with him in meditation is the medicine.
We can recover from these troubles and identify with Master through simran, so that when the body is dying, we may cling to simran with attention at the third eye and let the body go. The experience of meditation slowly turns our fearful mind into our fondest friend: no more strife and struggle. As our meditation deepens, our trust grows. We find comfort within, and ultimately we realize our spiritual origin and destination.
- Soami ji Maharaj, Sar Bachan Prose, 11th edition (2001, 2019), # 222, p. 161
- de Castro, Rosalie, Spanish Poetry , edited by Angel Flores (Dover Publications, 1998), p. 225
- Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Discourses, vol. 1 (2020), p. 115
- Soami Ji Maharaj, Ibid
- Maharaj Sawan Singh, Spiritual Gems, Letter 52
- Spiritual Perspectives, Volume III, QA 333, p. 260
- Spiritual Perspectives, Volume III, QA 332, p. 257
- Spiritual Perspectives, Volume III, QA 338, p. 263
- Soami Ji Maharaj, Ibid
- Maharaj Charan Singh, Light on Sant Mat (1985), p. 22