Dialogue between the Soul and the Mind
In Sar Bachan Poetry Soami Ji offers us a unique and tender shabd, featuring an intimate dialogue between the soul and the mind.
The shabd begins by presenting a plea by the soul to the mind for help, to join her, so both can escape this darkness. Soul acknowledges the power and position of the mind:
O mind, listen to the one petition I place before you.
Life after life, I have been your slave, and you my master.
You are called the Lord of the three worlds, …
Gods, humans and yogis are under your control,
no one dares act in defiance of your commands.
You can trap anyone you want in this world
and set them free whenever you like.
Soul is so humble, saying: You are so powerful. I have been your slave, and there was no hope for my escape from your trap. You have kept me tied up and bound to you for aeons. Soul then continues by trying to reason with the mind:
Having heard all this praise about you,
I feel inclined to ask you:
Why do you languish in the vale of darkness,
this base realm, the world of matter?
One thing my Master has advised me:
Take your mind along as soon as possible.
Soul recognizes that it cannot pull away if alone, that it is too tightly knotted to the mind, and that it needs the mind - a quiet and disciplined mind - to advance on this supreme journey homeward.
So, I entreat you, my mind,
to soar with me to the heavens without delay.
Give up indulgence in passion
at the portals of the senses and decide
to extricate yourself from this entanglement now.
For me there is no companion like you,
for I belong to you and you are meant for me….
This plea is significant as it emphasizes the spiritual bond - the potential friendship - between the mind and the soul. “I belong to you,” says the soul to the mind. “You are meant for me.” Rather than dwelling on the fact that the mind has enslaved her, the soul appeals to the mind on behalf of both of them to find higher ground, to rise together as companions and friends, above their present situation.
Now the soul reveals a secret from the Master, one that will benefit both of them. It is quite moving to read of the soul’s request for both of them to find their own homes:
The Master has given out the secret
of how to take you with me on my return home.
But I am still in your power,
unable to reach the Shabd without your help.
If you do not follow my advice,
both of us will languish in the cycle of birth and death.
Please listen to my pleading, have pity on me,
and look for the melody of Shabd, which is close by.
Let us both rise to the higher regions within….
You stay there to rule the whole region,
while I move on to the court of Radha Soami.
This is a very convincing argument. It appeals to the mind with logic, pathos and pleading. The Master has revealed a secret that will enable them both to go to their original homes - the secret is that mind must cooperate with soul. The soul cries: Have pity on me; I need your help! Let us both rise. Let us both go home, forever. We know that the mind has been labelled as our worst enemy. But here the soul pleads with the mind to cooperate. Soami Ji knows that ultimately cooperation between the mind and the soul is not only possible but absolutely necessary.
Now consider the mind’s reply - it’s surprisingly humble. The mind seems to have been affected by the soul’s pleadings. This following communication could well have been spoken by any of us. It is so honest, so true to our situation in life.
The mind spoke to the soul, saying:
I am unable to overcome my taste for sensual pleasures.
What can I do - how can I take your advice?
My enslavement to the senses is no small matter.
I have lost all strength, I have given up all effort,
I can no longer exert my will against them.
I really do want to give up the sense pleasures,
but when faced with them, I lose my resolve.
I severely repent, before and after,
but at the time I do not miss a chance to indulge.
The mind continues:
Ill at ease like a restive colt,
how can I ascend to the sky within, O beloved!
Mind is affectionately calling the soul ‘beloved’. It agrees with the soul, who says, “I belong to you and you are meant for me.” Then the mind surprises us by saying to the soul that they both need help:
I therefore suggest we beg for the Master’s help.
Let us join together to seek refuge with him
and strengthen our faith by listening to his satsangs.
When the Master showers his grace on us,
he will keep me in check. I can never go up with my own strength -
I must meet the Master,
the emancipator of prisoners.
Happily, the mind has willingly become the ally of the soul; mind is eager to join with the soul and beg for the Master’s grace. Mind too longs to meet the Master. This can be our winning attitude for simran and bhajan. We can envision our mind and soul joining together to seek refuge with the Master. This is the Master’s secret of how to take the mind along with the soul on the journey home. With firm determination and Master’s grace, we can succeed - quieting the mind, keeping it disciplined, keeping the simran going, and holding awareness at the eye focus.
This journey is difficult but not impossible. When we were initiated, we were given the power that we need for this task. And it is our task; no one else can do it for us, each must do it for oneself. We have the strength to do this - we have the capacity - right now in this life. The force of Shabd that is upholding us is upholding the entire creation -we can use that fuel for our journey, to soar to the heavens without delay. Great Master says in Spiritual Gems:
The preliminary stages in Sant Mat are difficult; but when they are traversed and the mind goes up, then meditation begins to yield pleasure, so much so that one is unable to give it up.
By the end of Soami Ji’s poem, hearing this, the soul is overjoyed: “Come quickly and let the Master cut our bonds!” Both submitted themselves. They fill their cups to the brim; they drink nectar to their heart’s content. Holding hands they rise up to the inner sky. Radha Soami showers his mercy upon them, manifesting his will, and overcoming the formidable mind.
When by the grace of the perfect Master one is put into touch with the magnetic
Word, one’s eyes are opened and blindness is cured. The inner light shines forth and the drakness of ignorance melts away.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Quest for Light