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His Inner Guidance

There are times in our lives when we really don’t know what to do. But if we sit still and listen very carefully, we will discover that we have an inner voice that tells us what to do. To be sure, we ask ourselves: Will this particular action be spiritually conducive to me or will I lose my inner peace?

Our voice may not be very strong, but it’s always there. We just have to be attentive and listen. This inner voice will warn us if what we plan to do would be harmful to ourselves or to others.

Meditation helps us be receptive to our inner voice. We actually become restless with an inner disquiet if our actions do not follow the path. As our inner voice gets stronger through meditation, we no longer want to do anything that takes away our peace of mind.

Maharaj Charan Singh was once asked:

When we want guidance from within, but we´re not able to contact the radiant form, how do we receive this guidance? We may feel like we are getting an answer, but is this the mind? How do we know that the master within is guiding us?1

And the Master answered:

You are only supposed to attend to your meditation. The rest of the guidance automatically will come from within. The mind automatically will be molded accordingly; you will think accordingly; you will act accordingly; your whole approach and attitude automatically will change. You don´t have to do anything at all.

The questioner continued:

Did you say that the disciple is always conscious of the guidance of the master?2

And Maharaj Ji responded:

A person may not be conscious, but the guidance may still be there in an indirect way. The helping hand is still there. For example, for a disciple who hasn´t come to the path yet, a guiding hand is still there, but he´s not even conscious of the master’s existence.3

In Die to Live Maharaj Ji explained:

Whenever we make a decision, we should keep the teaching in view and our master in view; and by meditation our level of consciousness is also developed to the extent that we make the decision. Still it can happen otherwise, but then we have to go through our fate karma too. So we should try to do our best.4

If we are open, if we are attentive, we will know what is beneficial for us. We’ll know what supports our spiritual flourishing. Gradually, as we learn to let go of that which is spiritually unwholesome for us, we’ll find a kind of serenity that cannot be shaken by the wind of circumstances. Then nothing can cause anger or anxiety, or any other negative feeling.

We gain inner strength through meditation. This strength helps us to develop a healthy “spiritual immune system” which protects us from negative feelings that would normally overwhelm us. Then we’re able to turn our face to the positive side. We begin to see a blessing in everything. We begin to develop an appreciation for everything. And we simply begin to value everything – so much more.

Maharaj Charan Singh said:

When you are happy within yourselves, then you find love and joy even from anything you pick up; every step you take you just dance with happiness.5

These are wonderful words. Maharaj Ji is saying that our happiness does not depend on anything from outside. Real happiness and contentment come from within and nothing can disrupt our inner calmness, our tranquility, or our balanced state of mind.

In Honest Living we read:

As we build around us the atmosphere we need to support our meditation, we will find that the ups and downs of fortune do not disturb us so much. As we become happier, contentment and detachment fill the sails of our ship and carry us effortlessly in the direction we want to go. … Once we let go and let our destiny take its course, we find that life immediately becomes easier and more pleasant.6

When we are sailing with the wind of contentment and detachment, we feel an equanimity that counteracts all negative feelings and helps us to feel the divine in everything. This is exactly what we want to cultivate.

In our daily life, it might help to become a little more aware of the things that disturb our feeling of contentment. All of us know that life doesn’t always go the way we plan and people don’t always behave the way we expect them to. When this happens, are we really able to stay calm, or do we get angry and upset? Simply being aware of the fact that anger is very harmful to us is a big step in the right direction.

As Maharaj Charan Singh counselled in Divine Light:

You should not get upset or excited over anything, whether great or small. Even weighty things should not have the power to upset us or to make us lose our balance. If one could realize what harm one single wave of anger does to one´s physical as well as spiritual health, one would never find any occasion or any loss worth it.7

This is very important. As he goes on to explain in another letter in Divine Light:

Anger is a harmful emotion. We unnecessarily upset ourselves and others. At such times, take your thought to repetition of the holy names, with full attention. By means of repetition you will gradually be able to overpower this weakness. If you knew what great harm one moment´s anger does to your liver and to your whole body, and what poison it creates in the system, you would never become angry at anything, no matter how upsetting the condition may be.8

It’s extremely important to remember this. Otherwise, when things don´t happen according to our will, we simply react, lose our temper, and end up dancing to the tune of our negative feelings.

When we feel angry, instead of reacting negatively, we should pause for a moment and try to discover the real reason for our anger. Often, it’s because a situation has not gone the way we planned or our expectations have not been met. If we truly understand this, we can begin to look at the situation in a different way. This new perspective helps us to develop a sense of compassion. And this compassion helps us to inculcate forgiveness.

Jesus said:

And when you stand praying, forgive anyone you have anything against. Then your Father in heaven will forgive your sins.9

Nobody is perfect, so when the Lord forgives us for so many of our “wrongdoings,” shouldn’t we try to find a way to develop forgiveness for others too? Then we would feel much lighter, much more relaxed, and much happier. Otherwise, there is a heavy burden on our mind and this disturbs our meditation.

However, as our level of consciousness rises, we gradually find ourselves reacting less and less. We begin to act in a more positive manner. We begin to accept more readily the situations that don’t go according to plan, and without realizing it we begin to live in His will. As we develop acceptance and learn to live in His will, we automatically become happier. Hazur said:

Give up the habit of worrying and losing your temper. It is easy to be happy and laughing…. God does not want us to be unhappy. It is a sin to worry. Have faith in his goodness and grace and try to keep simran on your lips at all times.10

When we repeat the names, we begin to feel detached, and we operate on a completely different level. We can also maintain this level of detachment by not involving ourselves so much in worldly matters – as Hazur goes on to say:

You are quite right in saying that one´s meditation suffers if one gives attention to unnecessary worldly things and indulges in useless talks with other people. It is natural for a satsangi to seek loneliness, as his plane of action is within. We should attend to our worldly duties and social functions as a matter of duty but should not become absorbed in them.11

If possible, we should engage our mind in simran – as Hazur emphasizes:

For proper concentration and going within, repetition of the holy names by the attention, at the eye center, is necessary. In addition, one can and should do simran … at all times, whether walking, sitting, waiting, traveling and so on.12

The solution of all your troubles is the repetition of the five holy names at the time of meditation and also at other times of the day.13

And in Living Meditation we read:

Constant simran will lead us to feel the divine in our life. This itself becomes our practice. Loving repetition of the names will naturally make us aware of the constant presence of the Master. … We will feel the Master’s presence like a warm comfort inside and around us. Our Master´s presence in our daily activities will change our relationship with him. He will cease being the Master who is far away from us in Dera and instead become our everyday companion and intimate friend. He will be the close friend who shares our laughter and sorrows, our joys and pains, our difficulties and success. Through the deepening of our formal meditation practice and through the habit of remembering him in our daily activities, our understanding of the path will grow stronger and we will know without doubt that he has always been with us. He is with us now and he will always be with us.14

Just being aware of the presence of the Divine in our lives enables us to see his hand in everything. Our inner restlessness turns into peace, our discontentment into contentment, and our narrow view into a broader view. We begin to see the bigger picture instead of only one perspective.

The German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote about this feeling of the divine presence in our life:

By loving forces silently surrounded,
  I feel quite soothed, secure, and filled with grace….
  By loving forces wonderfully sheltered,
  we are awaiting fearlessly what comes.
  God is with us at dusk and in the morning,
  and most assuredly on every new day.15

And the Great Master said this about the presence of the divine in our life:

The father is always with you. You live, move, and have your being in Him. He is always helping you in every kind of task that you perform. The nearer you come to Him, the more fully you will feel his presence and realize his help.16

If we are conscious of the divine in our life, we can overcome our inner restlessness and find inner peace. The presence of the divine is the presence of love. And this love doesn’t judge us. This love holds us and accepts us as we are. Therefore we shouldn’t always judge our own weaknesses but focus on turning our face towards the light.

In Honest Living we read:

While it is good to be self-aware, judging ourselves too harshly is dangerous and counter-productive. With the same generosity of spirit and tolerance that we show to others we need to be compassionate and charitable towards ourselves, too.17

Yes, we should be aware of our shortcomings and try to reduce them. But we also have to accept our imperfections. If we weren´t imperfect, we wouldn´t be here. If we make a mistake, we should learn from it and then forget it. Don’t let it become a burden for you.

The Spanish Jesuit philosopher Baltasar Gracian (1601–1658) is often quoted:

Search for the good in everything. There is nothing that does not hold some good if we but seek it. … Be the man who, among a thousand evils, strikes upon the single good.18

When we have a negative attitude, then, even if we have everything, there will always be something missing in our lives. When we have a positive attitude, we will see a blessing in everything.

And at the end, let us refer again to the words of Hazur Maharaj Ji:

Please give full time to your meditation every day. Besides this, try always to keep your mind in simran when you are not engaged in serious business, such as when you are walking, bathing, eating, waiting, or in transit and so on.19

  1. Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III, Q. 61
  2. Ibid, Q. 62
  3. Ibid
  4. Die to Live, Q. 234
  5. Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. I, Q. 441
  6. Honest Living, p. 48
  7. Divine Light, Letter 207
  8. Ibid, Letter 386
  9. Bible, Mark 11:25
  10. Divine Light, Letter 180
  11. Ibid, Letter 205
  12. Ibid, Letter 93
  13. Ibid, Letter 23
  14. Living Meditation, pp.113–114
  15. Widerstand und Ergebung, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Werke Band 8, Gütersloh 1998, S. 608 (German Edition)
  16. Dawn of Light, Letter 2
  17. Honest Living, p. 40
  18. Ibid, pp. 59-60
  19. Divine Light, Letter 46