Use It to Go to God
This is a time of upheaval, breakdowns, and challenges on global, national, and personal levels. Covid-19 has ground our lives to a halt, teaching us to come to terms with the stark timeless lessons of impermanence, change, and unpredictability in this world.
All human beings live in two worlds, the world outside and the world inside of us. Although we have little control over outside events, we have ultimate control over our inner self. Our response to our outer circumstances in this turbulent time illuminates our inner development and progress on the spiritual path.
As long as our happiness depends on external circumstances, we’re going to experience some degree of inner turmoil, anger, and fear. If we become so disturbed that we can’t handle what’s happening outside of us, we’re of no use to ourselves or others. To perform optimally we must come from a centered, calm, and clear seat of consciousness, which we develop through meditation.
Our internal world belongs to us, and it doesn’t have to be negatively affected by the outside reality. Spiritually speaking, our inner development is put to the test in difficult times. The question is: Do we have the capacity to find and operate from our calm, peaceful center within, or do we fall prey to panic, fear, and resentment? When confronted by adversity, the saints tell us: Use it to go to God.
The whole purpose of spiritual growth is to let go of our small personal selves and do the necessary work to connect to our true infinite self, the Lord. These turbulent times that are so fraught with peril and so much out of our control provide a perfect opportunity to do that. So, let’s get our focus off our personal wants and preferences and learn to accept his will. Remember, we don’t run the universe, God does. When fears and anxieties disturb our mind, we can learn to withdraw into our seat of awareness, our soul, through simran, and feel the presence of God.
This difficult time presents an unprecedented opportunity for us to evaluate our spiritual trajectory. Hopefully we are reaping the benefits of our efforts in meditation and finding solace within. However, if we’ve neglected to make meditation our top priority, we may find we are living in spiritual poverty. What better time to change our course than now?
Great Master gives us a glimmer of the advantages of our spiritual practice:
You will get everything you wish – things more wonderful and remarkable than you ever dreamed of. He who has to give you all is sitting inside, in the third eye. He is simply waiting for the cleanliness of your mind and is watching your every action.1
So why not be good to ourselves, do our meditation, accept what is unfolding in front of us, and trust in our Master and God? That doesn’t mean throw up our hands and make no effort; it means we acknowledge the reality of our situation and work with it. We accept the Master’s invitation to take refuge in him and the Lord, do our best, and then let go. We might not be able to do this perfectly. However, the saints tell us that if our intention is sincere, we will get their help and eventually succeed.
All life is interconnected; the coronavirus has clearly shown us that we are not separate. Covid-19 doesn’t respect national boundaries, race, religion, or socio-economic class. As we watch the upheavals occurring throughout our world, it is normal and human for our hearts to break over the hardships many of us are undergoing. In this time of global suffering, confusion, and adversity, let’s not use spiritual platitudes to deny or hide from the pain we all feel about what is happening around us. Instead, let’s use this opportunity to open our hearts, feel compassion and love for our own and other’s suffering, and help wherever we can while maintaining our peaceful inner center.
Hazur Maharaj Charan Singh encourages us to cultivate a loving and compassionate heart. He says:
If you have a kind heart, a loving heart, you are kind to everybody, you are loving to everybody, you are helpful to everybody…. We have to develop that. It happens automatically if we are filled with love and devotion for the Father.2
Now is the time to stop living small lives by clinging to the world outside of us. Instead, let’s seek the treasures of wisdom, love, and compassion that exist within all of us. The Lord’s grace is always there, waiting for us to surrender and turn to him. Our primary job remains the same: Use whatever is going on in our lives to go to God.
- Maharaj Sawan Singh, Spiritual Gems, letter 171
- Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III, #500