Touch of Grace
The whole of creation is saturated with souls. Out of those billions of souls there are a handful of lucky ones. Souls who have been blessed by the Father and who are called back home again. Since times immemorial the Father has sent his Sons, the Sons of God, to this creation. These saints are on a unique mission, coming to gather their own. In one way or another, these chosen souls have associations with a particular saint, causing them to come in contact with him. That contact, when the Master’s soul is touching the soul of his disciple, is the greatest cosmic event imaginable. Once that contact has been established, the disciple starts on his spiritual journey back home.
We don’t know for how many lives we’ve been longing to come into contact with one of the beloved Sons of the Father. What we do know is that once his glance of love has fallen on us, a spiritual relationship starts to develop. The depth and intensity of this spiritual relationship is such that everything in life is being radically transformed. Our whole focus is being redirected from outside to inside. This doesn’t happen overnight, it may take a lifetime, but it does happen. Slowly but gradually, in a most subtle manner, our attention is being drawn inward. To our three-dimensional reality a new dimension is added, the spiritual dimension. That dimension can only be experienced. It is the miracle taking place uninterruptedly, of living with the presence of the Divine. Saints call it the Shabd and these Shabd masters inspire their disciples to become Shabd practitioners.
At initiation the master connects the disciple to the Shabd, the Logos, the Word or the Holy Ghost. And most importantly he implants his Astral Form in our being, to accompany and guide us on our cosmic, spiritual journey back to the Source of creation. This journey is so utterly beyond our comprehension, that all words and thoughts fail us to give even the faintest inkling of what this implies. The wonderful thing, though, is that deep inside us something or somebody, some unspeakable entity knows. It is that spark of divinity that has never been extinguished, that will slowly start to burn with an ever increasing brightness. The Shabd practice is called meditation, but it is nothing like what people consider meditation or mindfulness these days. It goes deeper than a lifelong commitment, although that is also part of this divine bargain. This Shabd meditation becomes the pivot of our life, around which everything else revolves. It becomes so much part and parcel of our whole way of life, that one day we wake up and find it the most natural thing in the world.
Through initiation we have been given back what may best be called is our spiritual birthright. Finally, we can start leading a natural life, that is a life in alignment with the divine. Not for part of the day but for all the twenty-four hours in the day. For this to happen first of all discipline is needed. Besides discipline we need perseverance. Next to perseverance we need patience. More than anything the path of Shabd is a path of patiently waiting, discovering and experiencing that there is an incredible sweetness to this waiting in darkness. Huzur Maharaj Ji refers to it in Spiritual Discourses, Vol. 1, as follows:
If you can take what comes to you through Him, then whatever it is becomes divine in itself: Shame becomes honor, bitterness becomes sweet, and gross darkness clear light.1
During the 2019 October session at Dera, Baba Ji said a couple of times that we should be grateful that Huzur Maharaj Ji had given us an easy path. We don’t have to stand on one leg or torture the body in any way. Ours is the path of doing nothing. How difficult can that be? We’re being asked to practice an art which is unique in its simplicity and which can be done under all circumstances. It is the art of doing nothing, a practice which is aimed at rising above the mundane affairs of the world. On the surface it seems as if nothing special is happening. But just look a little deeper and look back on what you have left behind you. Then you will see that a steady process of change has taken place over the years.
You have overcome obstacles which initially might have looked unsurmountable. Deeply seated attachments will have lost their power of attraction and in a most natural way you have started to lead a simpler life. The hammering of repetition will have done its work, and the realisation of life’s fleetingness has sunk in thoroughly. A shift of focus has taken place and your outlook on life has become less and less outwardly directed, but more and more inwardly directed. From an outward looking human being, you have been turned into an inward looking human being. Huzur used to explain this so beautifully when he commented on the Gospel of John and referred to the fact that we should “labour for the meat which never perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life.”2
It is seeking that treasure within, for getting which it is worth giving up everything. That is wealth which truly belongs to us, it is our personal treasure and personal property. With accessing that inner treasure comes a sense of contentment and deep gratitude. Dipping into it, it gives us peace of mind. That is the daily miracle, that we’re being cut loose from our attachments and simultaneously we’re being anchored in a state of being, which can only be called otherworldly.
As Great Master says in The Dawn of Light:
The attention has to be brought inside, and when it likes to rest there, like the wanderer coming home, it will find peace within.3
On our own we would never get anywhere, let alone getting to the eye centre. On our inner journey we’re being guided every step of the way by the inner master, which is initially for the greater part an unconscious process. Through the master’s infinite grace a subtle working causes our consciousness to open up. The inner core of our being is touched and becomes more finely attuned. What the disciple starts to realize more and more deeply is that he is really not doing anything. Something else is at work and he becomes a spectator of his own life. He also realizes that he is not walking alone, somehow the feeling of master’s presence is at the back of all his doings. A shift of consciousness has taken place, bringing with it a concentrated focus upon the task in hand, and that is doing our real work, master’s work. The daily Shabd meditation becomes such a source of strength and inspiration, causing such a deep longing to be in touch with the Divine that everything else becomes secondary. It is more than a top priority, it is the lifeline you can’t and won’t let go of, whatever it takes.
When we become initiated and are sent out in the world with a new awareness, we are faced with the formidable task of finding room for our meditation amidst all our activities. The master makes us go through our karmas, so many worldly obligations requiring our attention, that slowly and imperceptibly our meditation is becoming anything but centre stage. We needn’t worry in this respect, we’re paying off our karmas and regular wake up calls are bound to come. They may come in any form, unexpectedly and under any circumstances. We are not to miss these wake up calls, they come directly from him. It is nothing but the master puppeteer pulling the strings, not allowing his disciple to go too far astray.
You’re being filled with a new sense of vigour and determination, and you don’t want to let go of his hand. You may suddenly find that the time for meditation which used to slip through your fingers, has become such a strong foothold in your life. You have always time for it, it is the best portion of your day, not the spare time left after finishing all your worldly obligations. It is the most precious time; you’re really living Life to the fullest. One day all the hard work of meditation will pay itself off. It is the retreat beyond all retreats, it feels like coming home in a dimension you could only dream of. And yet, this coming home is the feeling of being close to the master and the Shabd. That feeling you don’t want to lose for anything in the world. It is the divine love affair which has set your whole being aflame.
In the course of a lifetime the bigger picture slowly unfolds. We have become so utterly engrossed in the creation, with all its temptations and allurements, but also with deep seated fears, especially of the unknown, that the grand purpose for which we have come here, totally eludes us. It is the effect of the lifelong meditation practice though, which makes us gradually aware of being involved in a life-changing process of transformation, the magnitude of which is beyond our comprehension. A complete shift of perspective and reorientation forces us to seek the connection with an inner reality, which is so much more real than the outer reality.
The path of the masters is a living path, with a living master. It is the living master who gives us a new sense of life and direction, teaching us the deeper meaning of life with and without words. We take our breaths for granted, somehow believing that we have an endless store of them. By raising our consciousness the master makes us see how unique and precious the gift of a human life is. That it is out of compassion that the Father has graced us with a human body, which is likened to a temple of the living God.
The true religion of man knows no outer trappings. The binding with the Divine takes place at an inner level, within the temple we carry with us wherever we go. We have been provided for in such a way that under all circumstances, no opportunity to get in touch with that inner reality needs to be lost. The living master becomes a living presence, whose boundless love may flood our being at unexpected moments. There is an unseen director at work giving stage directions, giving you the feeling that your life has been taken over. With that feeling comes a sense of trust, you begin to feel and see his guiding hand in your life’s affairs. This is all part of the relationship with the Divine which is being restored.
Saints have come to this creation on a mission of love. If you’ve had the incredible luck of having been initiated by one of these saints or living masters, you will agree wholeheartedly with the following quote from A Treasury of Mystic Terms, Vol 11:
Mystics say that the nature of God is love, that He is an ocean of love. The experience of this love is deeply blissful and entrancing, and once a soul gets a taste of it, all other pleasures pale by comparison. This automatically detaches the mind from the world and from the creation. Love and bliss are primary attributes of the soul, as well as of God, and the closer a soul becomes to Him, the more is divine bliss experienced.4
- Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Discourses, Vol. 1; 1st ed. 1964, 1987; p.91
- Maharaj Charan Singh, Light on Saint John, pp.82-83
- Maharaj Sawan Singh, The Dawn of Light, letter 64
- Treasury of Mystic Terms, Vol. 11, p. 45