The Machinery of Love
The writings of the saints ripen as we do – over the years the same passages we’ve read many times reveal different meanings to us. We understand the teachings in stages. Maharaj Sawan Singh wrote in The Dawn of Light:
As for your visit to India, you are in the right, because spiritual progress has nothing to do with any particular locality.… The holy Master keeps each one of us in the place best calculated for our spiritual good.1
Each one of us, right now, is in the exact place – physically and even mentally – best calculated for our spiritual good. So, in all the vast universes, the billions of galaxies and moments of time, the Master has arranged our karmas so that we can be in this setting, and in this century. Where we are right now is the best place and time for our spiritual growth and well-being!
It boggles the mind. But the saints want to push us beyond our limited thinking. They want us to shrug off the narrow way we conceive of the Shabd and our discipleship. We are not as limited as we think we are. We have more capacity than we think we do. They want us to give up the minutiae of analysis and go with the flow of the big picture. And that big picture is love. Great Master said:
Our Father is love and we are small drops from that ocean of love. This huge machinery of the universe works by the eternal principle of love. So try to bring yourself in harmony with this principle of love.2
Often people tell Baba Ji that they feel jealous of other disciples who receive his outward love or attention. Baba Ji reminds us that love isn’t limited; it’s expansive. Because we perceive life from a physical perspective, we feel that if the master loves someone else, he can’t love us. But, he always reminds us that God's love is so immense that all of us can experience it. There is enough for everyone.
In our physical selves, we experience the body as a closed container – of thought and physical function. We consider ourselves separate and individual, but physics tells us that there is no division in matter. We just think we’re separate, divided and limited. Remember, we are spiritual beings having a physical experience. As spiritual beings, our core, our soul, is a piece of the vast machinery of expansive love. This machinery literally expands our awareness of the Divine. When we forget this, we contract. We shrink into denseness and defensiveness – into our fearful psyches – and forget that love overcomes all barriers. When we protect ourselves with fight-or-flight instincts, our awareness collapses.
The Sufi mystic known as Shaykh Ibn Ata-illah speaks to this tendency to limit ourselves:
If you were to be united with himAt our level, we experience the Master’s love with simran. When someone asked Maharaj Charan Singh whether the Lord’s names (simran) were the same as the Lord himself, Hazur answered with one word: “Yes.”4 In very practical ways, simran is the nugget that expands into limitless love. Baba Ji has said it’s the one thing we can do. Dhyan and hearing the Sound are not in our hands. It’s simran that will allow us to concentrate at the eye centre. The Great Master wrote,
Only after the extinction of your vices
And the effacement of your pretensions,
You would never be united with him!
Instead, when He wants to unite you to Himself,
He covers your attribute (wasf) with His Attribute
and hides your quality (na’t) with his Quality.
And thus He unites you to Himself
By virtue of what comes from Him to you,
Not by virtue of what goes from you to Him.3
Every time you repeat a Name attentively, you are trying to rise up, and sooner or later the eye focus will become the headquarters of your attention.5
We’d like it sooner rather than later, but in the meantime, Great Master tells us what to do:
You should remain confident that…you will one day see and know what you so long for.… Until that time, go on strengthening your trust in his mercy.6
We can strengthen our trust in his mercy by remembering that the Lord is lightening our karmic load in ways that we cannot always understand. Great Master said, “If we had to pay one ton at first, now we are released by paying one pound only.”7 And to add to that thought, Maharaj Charan Singh noted, “He minimizes most of our troubles. We see only what we have to pass through but not what we have been spared.”8
We can strengthen our trust by accepting where we are on this path. The Master is not here to judge us, to rub our noses in our weaknesses. He is not disapproving. He knows we’re trying our best and he doesn’t judge us. We tend to believe our best is not enough. He will pull us towards greater effort at the right time. He knows the pace.
There are as many ways to live on this path as there are disciples. Each of us is different. Each of us has ups and downs. But every single one of us is living a life perfectly calculated to move us through our karmic account in the fastest, best possible way, under his guidance. As Great Master said, “The holy Master keeps each one of us in the place best calculated for our spiritual good.”9
He’s got us covered. Where we are, what we’re doing, and yes, even what we’re thinking are part of his script. We just need to follow instructions and keep playing our part. In time, we’ll realize we are just puppets in his show. We can relax and allow Him to pull the strings. He is directing the whole performance perfectly.
- The Dawn of Light, Letter 23.
- Ibid, Letter 4.
- Shaykh Ibn Atta-illah al-Iskandari, Kitab al Hikam (Book of Wisdom), p. 42.
- Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II, #234.
- The Dawn of Light, Letter 66.
- Ibid, Letter 23.
- Ibid, Letter 4.
- Light on Sant Mat, Letter 64.
- The Dawn of Light, Letter 23.