One of the biggest challenges for disciples is maintaining our intensity and constancy in devotion. Maharaj Charan Singh explains the reason for this. He says that above the eye centre we are filled with devotion, and below the eye centre we are filled with emotion.
Nevertheless, we should not be discouraged or disappointed by what we assume to be our lagging efforts on the path. Once the seed of devotion has been sown in us, it will grow provided we tend to it.
You never miss an aim, if what you aim at aims at you. An aim missed is always an aim attained. Let your hearts be disappointment-proof.
Mikhail Naimy, The Book of Mirdad
We do not miss the mark, provided we aim. Because the Lord has marked us to seek him, even if our efforts seem futile, we do not actually miss our target. Our love is never rejected by the Lord. As Mikhail Naimy also writes:
To a God-seeking heart all roads lead to God.
A disciple once asked whether one experiences a ‘stepping backward’ on the path. Hazur Maharaj Ji replied:
On the path, we are always going ahead and ahead. But we have to pass through so many phases; so many human failings are there. But we ultimately overcome them. The Lord doesn’t commit any mistakes. If he has marked someone, he has got to pull him to his own level. We commit mistakes, but not the One who has marked us, who is pulling us from within.
Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III
Since we are always ‘falling up’ or ‘bouncing forwards,’ the benefit of reaching the eye centre is a stimulus to our devotion. Most of us feel devotion only when we are in the physical presence of the Master. But the saints explain that separation from the Master has its own part to play, and no union is complete without it. We can maintain intensity simply by persevering in our meditation practice. When we cannot find the Master outside we seek him within, so that separation definitely helps.
Most of us have an emotional or intellectual inclination towards the teachings, which needs to be nurtured so that it can be transformed into true devotion. Unfortunately, we are mostly longing for worldly possessions and achievements. Our spiritual longing will intensify when we reach the eye centre, where our emotions will convert to true devotion.
The catch-22 is that the fervour to seek him inside comes from seeking him inside. Our mind says that we will meditate when we feel like meditating. But to feel like meditating, we have to meditate. Hazur Maharaj Ji explains that without meditation, longing and devotion do not develop. It is only through regularity, punctuality and sincerity in meditation that we can graduate from intention to intensity, and from love for the form to love for the formless.
We are like the group of seekers who knocked on the door of their Master. They were asked to remain outdoors for a while. Growing impatient, the seekers looked around for something to do. They noticed a basket containing rubber balls and decided to play some ball games. This entertained them for a while, but eventually they became bored again. Some began to lose patience, but they were reluctant to knock again. A few of them even realized that they no longer remembered why they had come. One by one, they wandered away until only one seeker was left. While waiting, the last seeker picked up one of the rubber balls again and noticed a message on the ball. After reading the message, the seeker smiled to himself and headed towards the door. The message read, “When you are tired of playing games, please come inside.”
We have set out to seek the Lord. But because of our impatience with the process, we allow ourselves to be distracted by the creation. We need to persist in our search by entering into a realm that has already been opened to us at the time of initiation. Our love for the Lord is not perfect, but the Lord will gradually make it so as long as we stop ‘playing games’ and go inside. He is waiting for our devotion to intensify. We need to grow in our longing, to tune in by tuning in.
The more time we devote to meditation, the more we strengthen our love, grow our love, become rich in devotion. I personally think the more time given to meditation, the more pain of separation you feel. And the more pain of separation you feel, the more progress you make within because ultimately this pain of separation will make you one with the Being, with the Lord.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III