Sant Mat is about essence, or truth or love: words synonymous with what we mean when we utter the word ‘God’.
There is only one Word worthy of our full attention and constant remembrance – a Word that we comprehend not through learning but through direct perception. This Word is Shabd, also referred to in the Bible as the Word. It’s also called the Kalma by Muslims, the Tao by the Chinese, the Holy Ghost by Christians and the Holy Name or Spirit by Jews.
All other words are merely containers which each one of us will fill with our own wine – a product of our limited understanding, cultural background, geography, personal history and above all, past sanskaras – the experiences we have collected.
Mystic philosophers through the ages have taught the same truth about the essence of the Word; this essence can be experienced by all people through direct perception, which is the only worthwhile communication. Direct perception is a faculty of the soul which is above the intellect and beyond semantics. In other words, what we experience through direct perception cannot be conveyed in ordinary language. One can only experience it for oneself and it is impossible to communicate it to someone else.
Mystics, all of them perfect living Masters, have all declared the same truth:
- there is only one God, who is the essence that we call life, life-force, spirit, Shabd or all the myriad names we may find for God;
- this essence is in everything;
- essence or God can only be found through stillness within one’s self through the practice of meditation, sometimes termed “to die a living death”;
- this meditation requires initiation by a perfect living Master and submission to him. Then it is just a matter of practice.
In Sant Mat everything one could ever hope for begins and ends with the perfect living Master. He teaches us to become vegetarians and to abstain from alcoholic drinks and recreational drugs as we try and live a moral life and give one-tenth of every day to meditation. Soami Ji says in Sar Bachan:
Leaving everything else aside, one must implicitly obey the Sat Guru of his own time, and faithfully follow his instructions. This will lead him to success. This is the long and short of everything.
All saints bring the same message – that this world is not perfect, that it will never be perfect and that it is not our home. Those souls who are marked will eventually be led to the presence of the perfect living Master of the time and be initiated into the path of eternal liberation. For initiates on the path, nothing else remains. Baba Jaimal Singh reiterates time and again that it is only the pralabdh, the fate karma for this life – or, in other words, the giving and the receiving that has to be dealt with. Our sole purpose for being here is to meditate and grow spiritually. He says:
The compassionate Hazur in his Shabd form is always with you.
… The disciple should not do what his mind dictates, but should remain within the will of the Master. Worldly duties have to be carried out, because when the fruit is ripe, it drops automatically from the tree.…
If after being born in a human body one meets a perfect Sat Guru, then everything is accomplished. This is the fruit. To stay within the will of the Sat Guru is the ripening of the fruit; to attend daily to meditation to the best of one’s ability is watering the tree; and to merge in the Shabd-dhun is the ripening and the falling of the fruit.
The Greek philosopher Plotinus says the following about death:
There is no death of anyone save in appearance only, even as there is no birth of anyone, but in appearance only. For when anything turns away from its essence to assume a nature, there is the notion of “birth”, and in the same way when it turns away from the nature, to the essence, there is the notion of a “death”, but in truth there is neither a coming into being nor a destruction of any essence, but it is only manifest at one time and invisible at another.
This manifestation and invisibility are due respectively to the density of the material assumed on the one hand, and to the density of the essence on the other.
As quoted by Roger Lipsey in Coomaraswamy, His Life and Work, Vol. III,
This essence is the Shabd and every individual soul is a particle of the Shabd, just as a drop of water is the same as the ocean. In essence water is the same wherever it is found, whether in India, Alaska or elsewhere. It might be somewhat polluted, but it can be purified. Similarly, electricity is the same wherever it is found. It could be weaker or stronger depending on the amperage, but if one presses the switch the light will shine. Gold, no matter how much filth covers it, remains pure beneath the dirt.
As unworthy as we are, it is the Master’s love that has finally brought us to the path. He will find every one of his marked souls and pull them into his fold when the time comes for that soul to start its journey home. With initiation the process of purifying the water, of cleansing the gold, starts. All he asks from us is to follow the principles and to try our best to do our simran – repeating the five holy names he gives us. Simran is our lifeline, for as he often says, “I am closer to you than breathing”.
We may feel hopeless and desperate when we read how difficult it all seems, and we get tied up in knots worrying about our progress on the path, even though the Masters assure us time and again that the results are not in our hands and we should just try to do our best. As Baba Ji asks us, just sit and do nothing. It is the Master’s love that is doing it all.
It is all love and love conquers all. God’s love for us will make this personal miracle happen. But sadly, it seems, we have no concept of what this word “love” really means. In the Sant Mat sense, it is the love of the Master for his disciple.
The Great Master once said that if one could look down from a great height to this creation, one would see that it is nothing but a gigantic rubbish dump. If you put a child on a rubbish dump, it will inevitably get thoroughly soiled, and it will be quite a task to clean it. We are now in the process of being cleaned, and this is being done with a love which is beyond human understanding.
Gradually we will become aware of the Master’s presence at all times and see him everywhere, for there is nothing but the Master; he is all there is and everything is in his hands.
At initiation his Radiant Form takes its seat within the disciple, from where he administers our whole metamorphosis. Slowly but surely and imperceptibly the merging process starts, and eventually the drop once more disappears into the ocean of pure love.
Maharaj Charan Singh used to say that love is within us and is not to be found anywhere outside. The love and recognition that we seek from the body Master is already within us. Our souls are already in love with the Lord. His gifts can be had here and now at the eye centre. We only have to believe and look.
The Masters repeatedly tell us we must meditate. However difficult or impossible it might seem at times, meditation is the only way. And as Soami Ji promised, he himself will see that this meditation gets done, for it is his love that does it all.
Q. So the real form of the disciple is the same as the real form of the Master?
M. What is the real form of the Master? Shabd. And what is the real form of the disciple? Soul. And what is the difference between soul and Shabd? It is the level of consciousness. The real form of everybody is potentiallly the same. Potentially everybody is God because we have the capacity to become God. So the real Sarup of every disciple is ultimately that of the Master because he will merge into the Master and become the Master, and after becoming the Master, he will become the Father.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Heritage