The True Form of the Master
Listen, dear soul, and let me explain:
Unique and wondrous is my real form,
which no one can perceive until I lend a hand.
Practise meditation and subdue your mind
by holding your sense impulses in check.
Raise your soul – rise up through the sky of Trikuti
and go beyond the top of Sunn.
Sar Bachan Poetry
Soami Ji makes this spiritual plea to practise meditation so that we may perceive the real form of the Master. He explains, in the same poem, that this realization happens only when the Master “lends a hand.” And he assures us he will show his true form, “Have patience, keep the company of the saints and I shall purify you through my grace. I shall not rest till I show you that form – why are you in such a hurry?” Just think, if we get to experience all that, why wouldn’t we want it as soon as possible? But, he reminds us to allow the purification to take place, to be patient, to remember that our destiny is in the Lord’s hands. Soami Ji states that he won’t rest until he has shown the disciple his true form. Then he adds:
I carry your burdens in my own heart
so that you may be free of worries
and nurture my love in your heart.
Give up your misgivings, be steadfast in your love – .…
I shall myself help you put in the effort,
I shall myself take you to your ultimate home.
Listen to what Radha Soami has to say:
all will be worked out
as and when the supreme will ordains it.
This should assuage all our fears and worries because the Master reminds us that our destiny is to return to our true home and merge with the Lord, and that he takes our burdens so that the love he has planted in us can be nurtured and can grow.
On the mental roller coaster ride we have created for ourselves, we want what we want, when and how we want it. But with that kind of a ride comes ego and the absence of the Divine. We create our own worries and problems, but the Master comes along to relieve us and to remind us that the outcome the Lord has planned for us is for the best. He continues to guide us through the map of our destiny in the direction of our true home.
It is said that years ago in Scotland a family dreamed of going to the new world in America. They worked hard, saved every penny, and finally had enough money to board a new ocean liner to America. A week before their departure, their youngest son was bitten by a dog. After the doctor treated the son, the entire family was forced into quarantine for fourteen days in case the boy had contracted rabies. The family was devastated. The father cursed his son and God for dashing their dreams. He watched in anger from the window as the huge ship set out for America. Five days later he learned that the ship had sunk, killing hundreds on board. The grateful father then realized that their bad fortune was in fact a blessing; he hugged his son and thanked God for saving them all.
This story is a reminder that we don’t know what our blessings really are; the events in our life, regardless of how we view them, are set to guide us or push us toward our destination – our destiny. The saints come to show us the way, to awaken us to our predicament, and to provide us with the solution. Maharaj Charan Singh says in Quest for Light:
In Sant Mat we should try to live within the will of the Lord and accept whatever he sends to us. Every person has his destiny with which he is born and nothing can change it. Everyone is reaping the results of his past actions. Life and death are entirely in the hands of the Lord.
Hazur reminds us that since our future cannot be changed – it is already written – we should be thankful to the Lord for this life and the opportunity to return to him. Our map is already created. We cannot alter it, but we can enjoy it and appreciate it; we can take advantage of it and learn from the Master’s teachings.
From our perspective, life might seem random, but nothing is really random. When we are born, where we grow up, who we come in contact with and what those relationships mean to us are not at all random – they are destined. Many of us have jobs where we work with thousands of people in a lifetime, while others only interact with a few people. Some of us have certain talents while others have not even discovered what talents they have.
Our lives are mapped out carefully as if in invisible ink. We find ourselves colouring in the lines that cannot be switched or erased. It is a unique journey for each of us. We are not alone; we are always accompanied by the mapmaker who understands us so well. The saints know how the mind works and they give us our most effective tools – simran and bhajan – which, in turn, give us the courage to go through what cannot be changed. Maharaj Ji addresses this in a letter published in Quest for Light:
Nothing can happen which is not in your destiny…. Material things will always be taken care of by your destiny and nothing can change it. You brought it with you when you were born in this world. Then why attach so much importance to them? Why not let the mind think of bhajan and simran instead?
Meditation builds the relationship with the Master. Meditation helps lighten our karmic load. It helps us control and still the mind; it helps us to let go of the worries of the world. Eventually we learn that meditation is the solution to everything that comes our way.Meditation is the most important tool the Masters give to their disciples. It gives us the strength to gracefully fulfil our destiny. Meditation helps us break down the barriers that hold us here – greed, lust, anger, attachment, and ego. And eventually meditation helps us merge into Shabd.
Even though all aspects of life are destined, the saints continue to help us aim high, to refrain from finding fault with others, and to refrain from becoming so harsh with ourselves that we become worried or discouraged.
Worrying is counterproductive. What is productive is doing our meditation and living a Sant Mat way of life. Be worry-free when it comes time to sit and spend time with the Master each day. Remember our ultimate goal – to devote our life to God and merge into him. It is a ‘life changer’ as they say – a shift in consciousness. How many lives have we had and not known there was a way back to our true home? We might not even have been curious about our true identity. It is no wonder that we can sometimes feel overwhelmed by the process of shifting our minds from worldly aspirations to spiritual ones. But we can take heart we are not alone in the quest. Hazur reminds us in Quest for Light:
Do not feel unhappy, frustrated or in despair whatever the circumstances may be. Face life courageously, with patience and courage, remembering that the Lord is there to help you and guide you, if you place your trust in him. Attend to your simran. Always keep the holy names with you throughout the day. This simran has great power and it will give you much strength.
We have only to experience the power of simran to remind us of the truth of this statement. Our simran is our language of love for the Master, who is always with us. When we are lonely, frightened, angry, or out of sorts, how many times have we turned to simran and found comfort there? Our job was and is to keep taking one step at a time toward God-realization.
The thirteenth-century Persian poet Jalaluddin Rumi reminds us in the book Rumi and His Path of Love, to continue to come to that place for meditation:
Come, come whoever you are.
Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.
It doesn’t matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow a thousand times
Come, yet again, come, come.
Rumi reminds us that what is in the past is in the past. Wherever we are, whomever we are in this moment, we can put aside our guilt, our despair, our woes, our wandering, and be with the Divine. Rumi is trying to bolster us – encourage us to show up, to just keep coming to that place of meditation, and to be with him. The Master loves it when we give him our attention – when we turn to him. Our destiny is already written. On our spiritual journey, we only need the Master and our meditation. We must do our part. We can help the Master help us. When we meditate, we are helping him to lift our veil – to awaken that which is hidden within us.
If nothing is random, if it is all planned out exactly as it is to be played by each of us in our starring role of our life, why not be the best at it? Why not be happy with the role that we landed in this big play of life? Why not play that role of disciple to the best of our ability? Eventually, we will be united with him – why not put in our effort now?
The divine call of my Beloved comes to me.
“Awake,” he says,
“from the dark winter’s sleep of materiality.
Your spiritual springtime has come.
Let your heart blossom; let love appear.
Hidden in the flowering of your heart
is the promise of an abundant harvest.
So come, dear soul, do not hide your face
in the narrow byways of this world.
Fly like a dove to the inner skies.”
Commentary on Song of Songs 2:10, in Song of Songs: The Soul & the Divine Beloved