Our Life Within
We are living in an illusion, not seeing things for what they really are. We only see those things that are perishable and impermanent. Things change continually in this physical world. What we see today is different from what we see tomorrow. Our bodies are continually rebuilding cells until we die. However, when we die, we really have a chance to be freed from this illusion through the Word. The radiant music that is discovered within the human body is unending and carries us to the Lord.
Within the body there is played, O Kabir,
Music unending – played without instruments.
That music – the Word – resounds
Whoever listens is freed from illusion
And meets the Lord face to face.
Kabir, The Great Mystic
What does Kabir, a saint from the fifteenth century, mean when he says there is unending music within? When we sit quietly and close our eyes so there are no distractions, what do we hear? Kabir says there is music within the body (Shabd) and that whoever listens to it is freed from illusion. Not only can we listen to the Shabd but its music can take us to an understanding of the purpose of creation, and we can meet God “face to face.”
The core teaching of the saints is worship of the Name of the Lord – Nam, Shabd, Word. The Name is omnipresent, all-pervading, everywhere.
The Name is also omnipotent, having unlimited power. This power or force of the Name or Word is in every particle of the universe. It existed before time, and exists today and forever. This great truth is spoken of in the gospel of John in the Bible:
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him,
and without him
was not any thing made that was made.
The very idea that a sound or a word could create the universe and then maintain it or keep it going is astonishing. But the saints tell us that the Word is the Creator who made all that exists. Maharaj Sawan Singh, often referred to as the Great Master, states in Spiritual Gems, “The power that has created the entire universe is Shabd.”
In Psalms it states, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made.” Maharaj Jagat Singh explains in Science of the Soul, that it is by developing our inner intuition, we can know this is true:
One may doubt how Sound [the Word] can create and maintain the universe. This is not the subject of intellect or reasoning.Reasoning takes us only to a certain point. Beyond that we have to take the help of anubhav (inner experience), and till we have developed the power of comprehension without reasoning, we have to depend upon the inner experiences of those who have gone within and have seen with their own eyes. In the meantime, faith must replace reason.
The Shabd is the law of the Lord. By his command all things come into existence. We put our faith in the Lord and Master until we experience the true reality of the Shabd, the Word. It is through the teachings of the Masters that we learn the way within.
The Word is God and we humans are made in his image and likeness. Shabd is the energy source that supports our life and all of creation. The Lord is the Ocean and our true self – our soul – is a drop of this Divine Ocean. By living a Sant Mat way of life – attending to our meditation and following the three other principles - the disciple’s soul merges into the Ocean. The soul can become one with God during this very lifetime. Maharaj Charan Singh answers one of his disciples in Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. I, by saying:
Sister, who would like to be a drop … and not become an ocean? Who would like to be a part and not become whole.
Only by returning to the source from where we came originally can we experience the peace we long for, the love we long for, the happiness we long for. In this human lifetime we have been given the opportunity to control the mind, clear our karmas, and practise ‘dying while living.’ The soul can become one with God only when it has a human body, comes in contact with a living Master, is taught how to meditate, and is guided back home by the Master. The living Master is able to relate and communicate with us, human being to human being. He gives us the tools to become one with God and attain peace and everlasting happiness. Hazur tells us in Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. I:
That Shabd is within everyone, irrespective of caste or creed. Whomsoever the Lord has created, that Shabd is within every one of us.… The same Shabd is in humans, same Shabd is in the Master, and same Shabd is the Lord.
Only the Shabd can pull us back to the Father so that we can realize God and become one with him. The Shabd, the Word, never changes nor will it ever perish. Great Master writes in Spiritual Gems:
The truth lies within you, within everybody. Without that truth, we could not live for a second. Just as the sun is in the sky but its rays illuminate the earth, similarly, truth is within us – in the brain, behind the eye focus – but its rays activate the entire body. If we could hold our attention in the eye focus, our attention would then be able to grasp the truth. So long as the attention is scattered in the body or out of the body in the world outside, our face is turned away from truth.
How is truth or the Word revealed? Only a living Master who is alive at the same time the disciple is alive can reveal this. One needs to find a living Master, or more accurately, the Master will find the disciple, one of his marked sheep. It is through initiation by the Master that the Word can be revealed. This is the first step toward God-realization.
When the disciple begins hearing the Shabd, the harmonious music from within, he is so fascinated by the beautiful, rich, and magnetic sound, that his attention begins to shift away from the world and turn inward and upward. Automatically, a disciple begins losing interest in worldly activities and becomes more and more attached to the divine melody within. Attachment to the Word creates detachment from the world and reveals the life within. The Indian mystic Kabir Sahib is often quoted as saying: “Your Beloved is within you.”