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A Change in Outlook

We all like to believe that we love the Master sufficiently in our own unique fashion. So what if we do not always meditate? We are present at seva and satsang. We avoid meat and drink and don’t harm anybody – isn’t that a sufficient sacrifice? But the question we should ask ourselves is this – should we love our Master according to our preference or his? Is not doing anything wrong enough to earn his precious happiness? Does an athlete achieve a high level of fitness simply by not eating sweets? He or she must actively train the different aspects of body and mind – be it strength, flexibility, skill, hand-eye coordination, reflexes and more. Only then does one improve at one’s sport slowly over time. The same holds true for spirituality. Shouldn’t we aim to please him with our heart and soul, and follow his every command like obedient children? That includes more than simply not doing something wrong, but also taking positive action whenever we can. And that positive action is meditation. Through our daily practice, we will be able to grow the different facets of our spiritual fitness, be it our focus, our resilience, our love, our humility, and our resignation to his will. Only if we obey the instruction of meditating every single day of our lives till our last breath can we earn his infinite grace.

When we are around the Master we feel a great pull and love emanating from him. We can’t help but look at him helplessly. But the mystics tell us that this attachment to his physical presence is somewhat misplaced. The Master is not limited to the physical form. He is within each of us in his rapturous, boundless, and ever-present Shabd form, awaiting our arrival at the eye centre. He is closer than we can imagine and all we need to do is realize it through bhajan and simran. In the book Honest Living we read:

When we put our spiritual goal first, we find that our happiness and contentment increase. When our lives are clear, harmonious and balanced, we sleep well at night because we are at peace with ourselves. We discover for ourselves, through our own experience, that it is through the natural order of the Lord’s creation and not through our efforts that we receive whatever we have.1

Yes, if we think about it, everything we have has been given to us by the Lord – our education, our family, our cultural influences, our bodily appearance, and our circumstances are all things that have never been in our control. We like to believe that it is we who are intelligent, or wealthy, or kind. But is it not a gift from him that we must cherish? He is watching over us in ways we don’t even realize. It is he who pulls us back in the right direction when the mind is easily influenced by the attractions of the world. We have been granted the priceless gifts of seva and satsang, which serve as the boundary walls for the crop we are trying to grow, so that it is well-protected and not squandered away by the tricks of the mind.

The highs of success and the temptations of the world may appear appealing, but are a lethal trap. If we don’t keep the mind in check, it is these temptations that can take us away from our vows. We must remain unaffected by the highs and lows that come our way in life. When something bad happens to us, we always tend to ask – why us? But are we as analytical or suspicious when something good happens? We simply accept it without stopping to appreciate it.

These notions of good and bad emerge from our limited understanding of life. The reality is that everything in the Lord’s creation is in perfect harmony. ‘Worldly good’ does not always equate with ‘spiritual good’, and the things we label as ‘bad’ are often blessings in disguise. It is often in difficult times when we feel truly helpless and alone that we go back to remembering the Master and realize our powerlessness. We interpret worldly conditions as good or bad because we forget that our ultimate goal is to grow spiritually, and not indulge in the fleeting play of the creation. Our goal is to achieve union with the Lord in this very lifetime, and we must never let that objective out of our sight.

The Great Master wrote to a disciple:

Human life is very precious and is due to past good karma. It was not granted to us for rearing children, or for enjoying ourselves. All these functions are performed even by the lowest animals. The only difference between man and the lower creation is that man’s life here was meant for seeing the Lord and reaching the highest spiritual plane, in this life.2

There is a great pleasure in stillness. That is when the mind, in a rare moment of peace, has been bullied into submission and quiet. From a spiritual perspective, the more still and focused we are, the closer we come to hearing the Divine Music. We forget that we can greet and merge with the astral form of the Master within. We don’t have to ‘reach anywhere’ in our meditation – we are already there. The entire creation is already within us – we must simply realize it. And to do so, we must be filled with devotion, obedience, and love. Maharaj Charan Singh reassures us in Die to Live:

Just change your way of life according to the teachings and attend to meditation. That is all that is required. From meditation, love will come, submission will come, humility will come. Everything will come.3

Love in all forms is beautiful and powerful because it's the opposite of ego and is capable of destroying our sense of self. We feel an immense love radiating from a true living master. He has blessed us with a human life and with initiation despite our glaring flaws. He only looks at the divine potential in us and has even given us some degree of control in how we live our lives from this point on. We must learn from our follies and shortcomings. If we choose to forgive, kindly and lovingly, then it is possible that we will be treated the same. If we count every good deed we do, then every bad deed of ours will be counted too. We can all choose the measure by which we want to be judged and the way in which we want to build our lives. Let us build our lives around our spiritual goal and submit to His sweet will.

  1. M.F. Singh, Honest Living, 4th ed., 2001, p. 52
  2. Maharaj Sawan Singh, Spiritual Gems, Ltr. 21
  3. Maharaj Charan Singh, Die to Live, Q. 352