Going to the Giver
Maharaj Charan Singh often said that love is losing your own identity and becoming another being. In My Submission, Maharaj Sawan Singh says:
Love is a state of being consciously absorbed in the intimate and intense sweetness of the Beloved and is the ultimate objective of devotion. In this state the heart is saturated with the remembrance of the Beloved and the eye with the contemplation of his form.… Every pore of the body becomes a tongue to sing his praises.… Love is a constant and everlasting pull.1
How many of us can really say that we have experienced such a state? Is the kind of love we feel for our Beloved constant? Is it everlasting? Is it true love?
Hazur gives us a simple yet profound criterion for true love: Once it comes, it never goes. If it goes, it is not true love.
In our present state, we sometimes feel that closeness, that love for the Master, for the path, for meditation. Yet at other times we feel completely empty, dry, and distant. Is love just a positive emotion that comes and goes? How can we find that true love that comes and never goes?
Naturally we try to look to the world to fill that need. We think that if we could just get some desire fulfilled or befriend so-and-so or have a new relationship, maybe that experience or person would be able to give us true love. We don’t realize that the other person is also expecting us to fulfil their need for love. As Hazur used to say: We can only give someone what we have; what we don’t have, we cannot give. So we’re like a beggar begging from another beggar, and so we set ourselves up for disappointment.
But the question remains: Where do we go to find true love? Guru Nanak brings us right to the point when he says, “Without the Name there is no love and affection.”2 And Great Master also tells us, “God himself is Nam or Shabd, as he is love.” 3
So we must go to the giver of Nam, who is also the giver of love. If we want that Nam or Shabd, we must go to the true mystics, because the Lord himself has so ordained. But just by going to the Master, we won’t get it; just by our wanting it, we won’t get it. We will only get it when he wishes to give it to us.
In the meantime, we must go to the Master with an open mind, a sincere mind, like a child who goes to school and listens earnestly to his teacher. The child may just be learning the letters of the alphabet, but when he listens intently to the teacher’s lessons and does his homework, that becomes the basis of all the education he will receive throughout his entire life.
Saints teach us the ABC’s of love. Our alphabet is the simran given to us by the Master. We just have to sit and start the repetition. Sardar Bahadur Jagat Singh says:
Just go on repeating the Holy Names as the small boys repeat “one, two, three, four.” Simran is a great force.4
Simran is the foundation.… There is hardly any limit to what can be achieved by proper and intensive simran.5
Our simran is similar to the prayers of the elderly man in the folktale who goes to church to pray but realizes that he has left his prayer book at home. Instead of going back, he decides to sit down and talk to God about the situation. He says: “God, I have forgotten my prayer book and without it I cannot pray, because my memory isn’t what it used to be. Let’s do it this way; how about I recite the alphabet and you fill in the words of the prayer?” 6
We have heard Baba Ji say something like: We can only do simran; everything else is the natural consequence of focused simran. So if we do just that, just recite the alphabet (simran), he fills in all the other components: the grace, the love, the devotion.
We do get frustrated and sometimes complain that the mind doesn’t sit still. But it is not our job to make the mind still. Our job is to do simran. It is the simran that has the power to still the mind, because it is infused with the power of the Giver. It is the Giver who gives us those words out of love for us. We can show our gratitude by using that gift, by ceaselessly repeating the simran, since that is the only thing that will gain us the pleasure of the Beloved.
We must do our job to invoke his grace and love. Love is a two-way street. When two people fall in love, they want to see each other all the time. How long will that that relationship last if one person stops showing up? Nobody likes to be stood up. We claim to be in love with the Master. He has been waiting for us at the eye centre, yet we stand him up time and again. If we want this relationship to last, as we proclaim, then we must show up and repeat our simran during meditation.
Great Master says:
The whole beauty, therefore, lies in the Word and its practice. Because the saints are rare and the Word cannot be had except from a living saint, … without the grasp of the Word there is no awakening of the soul, no victory over the mind and senses, no development of the positive qualities and no banishment of evil; the man, no matter how intellectual, remains an animal.7
Fundamentally, it is a matter of obedience. In most of the letters that Baba Jaimal Singh wrote to the Great Master, began by saying, “Radha Soami … to my obedient son, Babu Sawan Singh.” 8
Don’t we all want to be an obedient child? Great Master says, “Love is not the path of arguments, excuses and justifications.”9
Nor is it a path of analysis. We worry too much about whether we are making progress, whether we will get somewhere, when we will get there, etc. But Hazur says:
We shouldn’t worry much about progress or anything. We should go on giving our time to meditation, and attend to meditation with an absolutely relaxed mind, without any tension, without any excitement, and progress automatically goes on.10
He says don’t worry about anything, because the Saints tell us that whatever has to happen has already happened. This means that the seed of the action was sown before we were born, and the destiny is now set. No matter how much we worry about the events of our life, they will take place as destined. They do not require our attention for their unfolding, despite what we may think. Our attention is a precious commodity. Let’s not waste it on things that don’t matter. Let’s remember only what is important and forget everything else.
We tend to blame the world for taking our attention out. But we can turn off the world and turn on our simran just as we can turn a light switch on or off. Saints tell us that our attention can be preserved and held in its headquarters behind the eyes; we can regulate its outward and downward flow.
Saints impress on us a sense of urgency because we don’t have much time left. The countdown to death starts from the moment of our birth. Sardar Bahadur says: “Life is like an empty dream. There is nothing real about it. Just as a blossom does not last for long, so does not life.”11
We are so shortsighted when it comes to matters of death. We don’t realize the end has arrived until it is right upon us. We are like someone holding a small candle in pitch darkness who can only see a few yards ahead. The moment of our death is coming closer everyday. In an instant this drama will be over. Saint Paltu says:
Why do you walk the earth so unwarily?
Listen to my warning!
Right behind you sits death,
Awaiting the contracted time….
O Paltu, like the morning dew on the grass,
your life will soon vanish into thin air.12
That’s why saints encourage us to go within now: to illuminate our inner selves so that we can see what lies ahead. We eliminate fear of the unknown by illuminating it with the Shabd’s light. Our physical body is given to us so that we can prepare for another state of existence. With regular meditation, we can learn what death means and also what lies beyond. Life becomes joyous, as the soul is liberated, rising on the power of Shabd. As Shams-e Tabrizi says:
What a blessing it would be
If you were one night to bring your soul
out of the body,
And, leaving this tomb behind,
Ascend to the skies within.
If your soul were to vacate your body,
You would be saved from the sword of Death:
You would enter a Garden that knows no autumn.13
Only through our daily simran and bhajan, by cleaning our vessel and holding it right side up, can we become worthy of receiving the gift of that constant and everlasting love and merge in him and become him.
- Maharaj Sawan Singh, My Submission, pp.137,139
- Ibid., p.141
- Maharaj Jagat Singh, Science of the Soul, p.188
- Ibid., p.161
- Source unknown
- Maharaj Sawan Singh, Spiritual Gems, letter 202
- Baba Jaimal Singh, Spiritual Letters,7th ed.
- Maharaj Sawan Singh, My Submission, p.140
- Maharaj Charan Singh, Die to Live, 7th ed., p.269
- Maharaj Jagat Singh, Science of the Soul, 4th ed., p.106
- Pt 1, Kundli 43, 47; quoted in Sant Paltu, 4th ed., p.104-05
- Shams-e Tabrizi, quoted in Die to Live, 7th ed., p.25