Prescription For Life
In 2013 Baba Ji reportedly gave what might be called a four-part prescription for life:
- Do your meditation.
- Don’t analyze too much.
- Don’t worry too much.
- Be happy.
It sounds like a doable way forward, so let’s explore each component.
First, each of us on this path understands that our most important responsibility
in life is to do our meditation. That is the purpose of our being here, in this
human form. The saints say this is the purpose of life because through meditation
we can return to our original home, to God, the Father, the One, the Divine.
The depth and breadth of God is incomprehensible really. Our mind cannot take it in because the enigma of what or who God is, is beyond the level of universal mind, let alone our individual mind at this level. If we look at the nature of the mind, we are told that it is closely intermingled with our soul at this level. But the mind has limitations and is unable to comprehend what lies beyond its range; therefore it must rely on creating concepts – all within the limits of its own programming – in an attempt to understand. But the true Masters see things differently because they are one with the Father, who is beyond mind, and they perceive reality directly. Until we, too, have actual inner experience and know, concepts are the best we can do.
Maharaj Charan Singh, said:
Human life is a journey, not a home; a road, not a city of habitation. We will not stay here forever. We must therefore weigh carefully what we do. … We have to apply the body to its real task and this real task is God-realization … The truth is that the body is not an end but a means.1
He’s saying that life, our body, this world are not permanent. All are just a conveyance, a means, an opportunity to be about our real mission – God-realization. The human body is a great boon, and we are fortunate to have it, for it is essential for returning to the Lord.
But developing all the fine attributes of a human being and performing right action are just the foundation for approaching God-realization. Right action is a means, a very good means, to purify us, but it is not itself the end. The end, the goal, of God-realization can only be obtained by practising the meditation that a true Master teaches. It is inner, not outer. The critical component of the meditation is contacting the Sound, the Word, the Logos, the Shabd and Nam within; merging with it and following it back to the Lord. It sounds simple, but it is not, because the mind keeps getting in the way with all its gyrations, fears, doubts and negative tendencies.
Maharaj Sawan Singh, the Great Master, wrote:
All saints are sons of God; their mission is to make others the sons of God; their method is the Word – sound current. There is no other method. … The Word is light. It resounds throughout the whole creation – material, mental, and spiritual – within us and outside us. It is light and sound both.2
But as we said, it’s not so easy to contact this light and sound because our mind refuses to concentrate and is held down by its outward and negative tendencies. We struggle and struggle, and then we realize that we need the Master for traveling this inner path. And as much as this path focuses on the importance of and need for our efforts to control the mind, it can also be said that everything is due to the grace of the Lord – and particularly the role of the Master as a conduit, a bridge, the personification of the Lord and Shabd. Great Master wrote:
The Word has been, is, and will be, the basic reality. It is imperishable and all-pervading and is present in all beings. If people could derive benefit from this all-pervading Word, or if this all-pervading Word could help people directly, there would have been no need at any time for the Masters or ‘Christs’ to appear in flesh amongst people. If there was need for their appearance at one time, the same need requires their presence now.3
So we need the Master, and we do our meditation, which is the pathway for contacting this Word or Shabd within, and the way back to God, the Divine. As the Great Master wrote, “there is no other method.” And we do that meditation, regularly and punctually every day. That is the task we’ve been given to do, and by doing it we express our love and gratitude.
Now we get to the second prescription for life: Don’t analyze too much. What do the Masters mean by analyzing too much? Clearly, an accountant has to analyze the numbers in his accounts to present his conclusions. And so do many, many jobs require analysis. But that type of analysis doesn’t seem to be what the Masters are talking about. Hazur was asked: “Would you please explain the difference between clear thinking, discrimination, and analyzing?” He replied:
Everybody has his own concept of clear thinking. Even a thief thinks that he’s absolutely clear in what he’s going to do. Everybody is always just analyzing themselves. No matter what we do or don’t do, we are always analyzing within ourselves. As for discrimination, we have to develop a sense of what’s right for us and what’s wrong for us. … We have to develop discrimination so that we can make the right decisions and reject the wrong ones.4
So discrimination, discerning what is right and what is wrong, is essential on the path and must be developed. Discrimination is not what the Masters mean by analyzing too much.
But Hazur did say that no matter what we do or don’t do, we are always analyzing in our mind. We start analyzing (and worrying) that we have not made sufficient progress. Have we detached sufficiently from this world? Do we have enough love? And so on. And our mind then can put us into a rut because we, as humans at this level, will never be perfect, will never meet the ideal; and the mind can feel hopeless and then start undermining our efforts on the path.
Hazur was asked: “When I was a seeker I felt that intense longing, and now that I have been on the path for a while, I feel like the meditation is part of a daily routine, and I am wondering if feeling content with that is a hindrance to the progress.” Hazur replied:
No, it doesn’t become any hindrance. You see, after initiation we start analyzing ourselves too much, whether we have been able to detach from this object, that face, or not. … how much progress we have made … This calculation doesn’t lead us anywhere. We should just continue with our meditation, and detachment is automatically the effect of meditation.5
Another disciple asked Hazur: “Master, I have trouble sometimes reconciling myself – one moment I feel a lot of love and devotion for the Master, and the next moment I am off doing something that is just totally lacking in love and devotion.” He answered:
Sister, our problem is that we analyze ourselves too much: ‘Now I am in love, now I have no love, now I am dry.’ … The Lord has sown the seed of love, he is nursing that seed of love within us, and it is always developing. The fruit definitely will grow on the tree, but sometimes there is a wind which takes away the fruit – even the flowers fall – but the tree bears fruit again.6
Think of that. He says the Lord has sown this seed of love within us, he’s
nursing it, and it’s
developing all the time. It will bear fruit.
The Masters also discuss how this analysis can depress us, make us despair. The mind turns on itself and pulls us towards the negative side. We don’t get what we’re expecting when we expect it, which is a bit of a demand on our part. The Masters want us, tell us, to stay positive, stick with our meditation, and keep following the path that the Lord is opening up before us. Hazur again:
Every day we judge ourselves. We are the judge, and we are the accused before the judge. The mind is just always running in a circle like this.7
He’s saying that first we are the judge, then the critic, then we become our poor, lowly, miserable self. Our mind plays all these roles over and over again. This is all just the mind. Hazur continues:
This self-analysis doesn’t lead us anywhere. Self-pity – it depresses us sometimes. Let the Lord judge. Let him know what we need. Our work is to do our duty. Our duty is to knock; it’s for him to open the door. We can’t take on our shoulders his responsibility also. It is for him to open up the door.8
So, if we think we are getting back to the Lord solely on our own efforts, we are mistaken. We cannot make it unless the Lord wills it and unless the Master takes us, by way of the Shabd. We cannot make it unless the ego effaces itself, which happens through contact with Shabd and love. But we also need our meditation to develop that love – to focus, concentrate and intensify that love which dissolves ego and allows merging.
The third part of this prescription for life – Don’t worry too much – is similar to the previous – Don’t analyze too much – in that both advise against the mind running to the negative side. Both take us down a worrisome path, perhaps one of despair, so that we become restricted, tense and limited by our own sense of limitation. We forget that our soul, that drop of the divine, can fly high – can with the help of the Master become unbound from the mind and return to its original home. Hazur was asked why a satsangi had nothing to worry about, and he replied:
It is a very simple thing. If something is destined and we have to go through the destiny, will this worry solve any problem? If this worry is not solving any problem, then why punish ourselves?
Interesting: worry is a means of punishing ourselves, and he asks, why punish ourselves? He goes on:
Worry can be of many kinds and it depends upon the individual, what problems they have. But our general attitude should be that since things are destined and I have to go through it, good or bad, then why worry? Why not solve those problems, face those problems, live through those problems instead of unnecessarily worrying about them?9
He says to take a practical approach. On the outside, solve those problems, face those problems, live through those problem; and on the inside the practical approach is to redirect the mind upward toward the Shabd and Nam.
He also says that the practical approach includes learning to accept what comes in our lives, in our destiny, and to turn toward the Lord, to trust that he has our best interests at heart. Hazur again:
So you are training yourself. Meditation trains you to accept what is in your destiny, if not cheerfully then at least with a smile.10
So there is a two-fold aspect to the practical approach. We do our meditation, which redirects our focus upward; and we also try to accept what the Lord sends our way, accept our destiny and then deal with it. This is part of what they call seva of the mind. We try to train the mind to leave the results, inner and outer, to the Lord and Master.
This brings us to the fourth component of a prescription for life: Be happy. Again, this is two-fold: an attitude of the mind, a training of the mind; and then with inner experience comes true happiness. And again, this attitude of mind is related to the other three components. There is overlap here. But the message is similar. Again, Hazur said:
If you stop worrying, you automatically become happy … By nature, man is happy and contented. What makes us miserable is our wishes, our demands, our ambitions, our desires. When they are not fulfilled, we become miserable. But if we don’t have any desires, automatically we are happy.11
Very interesting that he says, by nature we are happy and contented. Who would think so? It is our mind that stands in the way of that happiness and contentment, that believes that if it could only have this, or become that, or be young again, or healthy, or married, or even single again, it would be happy. All these things, these desires, overlay and interfere with our true nature – that of being happy. And all our desires – some of them conflicting – cannot be fulfilled in this lifetime. Not only would we have to be reborn to fulfil them, but they may not be in our higher interest. We cannot see the bigger picture of what is in our best interest, of what must happen to pay off our karmic debt, of where we are really headed. The saints can see, and they advise us to get rid of these desires, these ambitions, these wishes, so we can be happy. If something is in our destiny, it will happen anyway. If it is not, our efforts to obtain it will not be fruitful; and all those unfulfilled desires just add to the mountain of desires standing between us and the Lord. We are just expanding our ego.
On the inner track, meditation itself brings us inner happiness because concentration gives peace and happiness. And the Masters say we feel the effects of meditation before we actually see progress within. We may feel an atmosphere within us, a growing contentment, a bit more detachment from events in the world. This is all very positive and it makes us happy.
So let’s strive to be our happy, natural, divine self. In the inner and outer worlds let us make our efforts, but let us also learn to accept what happens, whether or not the intended results manifest. For we are in his hands. We’ve always been in his hands, but now we have the opportunity to become more conscious of it.
We’ll end with a final quote from Hazur:
If you can take what comes to you through Him, then, whatever it is, it becomes divine in itself … Everything takes its flavour from God and turns divine; everything that happens reveals God. When a man’s mind works that way, things all have this one taste … therefore … seek joys that are not conditioned, that are certain, and that do not fade.12
- Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Discourses I, 8th ed., pp. 6–7,
- Maharaj Sawan Singh, Spiritual Gems, letter 104
- Spiritual Gems, letter 105
- Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II, #446
- Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II, #446
- Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II, #447
- Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II, #448
- Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II, #448
- Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III, #256
- Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III, #254
- Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III, #253
- Spiritual Discourses I, pp. 91-92