We will go where our attachments lie… if we love this creation and we have deep attachments here, then we will have to come back here. If we love the Master and our attachment is to him, then we will go where he is and we won’t have to come back.
So far–as clearly we are all still here–we can assume that the attachments from our past lives have been too strong in the world.
And so we keep coming back, life after life. Our addiction to the world, our worldly relationships and the material objects of the world, have kept us incarcerated here. The royal road back home is very narrow, and the door by which we exit–very small. Because of this, when we die we can take nothing with us, everything will be left here. And if our attachments to what is left behind are many, then we cannot expect to go inward and upwards; we will be drawn back into the world.
Those of us who use email will know the frustrating experience when sometimes we try to send someone a message with an attachment. If the attachment is too large for their mailbox it will get ‘bounced back’ to us. Maybe their policy is that they can’t receive attachments, so unless you remove the attachment, the message won’t go.
The policy for attachments in Sach Khand is zero. Simply, we cannot be received there if we have any attachments. So long as our attachments remain here, so shall we. We will remain here in the creation, in this prison house of the world. Stuck in the Outbox–waiting to go, but unable to do so.
This is not our true home, we are all denizens of Sach Khand, we are pure spirit, held prisoner by the mind and manacled to this physical body. Through our long association with this plane of existence we have become institutionalized and believe this dank, dark and dirty prison cell to be our home. All our lives we have constantly dwelt on the things of the world; every waking hour we have been obsessed and infatuated by the illusory aspects of this material plane, so when we die, we come back to what we are attached to.
As it says in the Bible, “For where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.”1 And the soul being a slave of the mind will have no choice but to remain here.
When we sit in meditation at home, in those familiar, cosy and quiet surroundings, we all know how we struggle with our mind and find it hard to focus and concentrate–all the things of the world dance across the screen of our mind, even the most trivial of events can be replayed again and again. If this is challenging now, then how can we think that at death–which is without doubt the most stressful and challenging time of life–how can we think that somehow then we will be able to focus on the Master and let go of our attachments? Aren’t we kidding ourselves? Certainly he will be there to help us–of that we have no doubt! But if we still hold deep attachments to the world then we may have to come back.
How deeply are we attached? Let’s just reflect for a moment. We have all seen those traumatic scenes on the TV news where a community under the imminent threat of some marauding army, or a natural disaster, have to leave their homes with very little notice–they may have a few days’ warning, or maybe only a few hours, or possibly only minutes. And with only that much time they have to gather up what is most important to them, and just leave the rest behind. They may have a handcart or a car, maybe a truck or a mule–or only what they can carry, think of that! The rest–most of the stuff they own–they have to leave behind. Just look at the terror and fear on their faces, the desperation; they have no idea of where they are going, what awaits them, and they have left so much behind! Awful… it moves one to tears.
So what if we were in that unfortunate situation–what would we take, what is most important to us? Family and loved ones, for sure. Then what? Money? Food? Clothing? The more time we had the longer the list would get. And if we were to do a quick audit of that list it would reveal to all of us where our greatest attachments lie.
Now here’s the kicker: you can throw away that list! A day is coming to all of us when this will be precisely our situation. We may–or may not–get notice that we are about to leave. Death is always at our shoulder. And when death calls, nothing will go with us–not a single item on that list. Even the hand that wrote the list will not go with us! These bodies to which we are so attached will also remain here. If when we die we are not looking forward and are not happy to move on, but are looking backwards with longing, then back we may come!
Deep down we are all so lonely. We feel that deep longing for something–something we can’t express, something, someplace or some One we have forgotten. That craving leads us to seek to fill that void, and trapped in the world, we look for it here. Maharaj Charan Singh says:
This constant feeling of loneliness and missing something is in reality the hidden unquenched thirst and craving of the soul for its Lord. It will always persist as long as the soul does not return to its ancient original home and meet its Lord. Only then will it get true contentment and eternal peace. This feeling has been purposefully put in the heart of man.2
Sadly, the sweetness we find in the world is very sticky. We stick to it. We let it permeate every part and pore of our body, we become saturated with it and it weighs us down. Being so weighed down, we find it hard to move forward and so we remain here–life after life the pattern repeats itself and we can’t move. We need help. Deep within us our soul is so unhappy, and she cries for her Lord. He then hears the call and he comes to her rescue.
Hazur Maharaj Charan Singh used to tell a beautiful story about the child who visits the fairground with his father. The child is holding the father’s hand and sees all the bright lights and the whirly rides, hears the riotous music, the hurly burly and the clamour of the people. And the child enjoys everything around him. But sadly, in the midst of all this the child becomes distracted and loses hold of his father’s hand. Head down, he gets lost in the crowd. He looks around himself, full of fear. All the things that before he thought were so novel and enchanting now appear frightening and scary. Terrified and alone he tries to find some safe corner or someone who will comfort him and give him back that feeling he had in the company of his father. But there is no one and nothing–nothing can replace the father! The strength of the father’s hand made the child feel safe, and in his care he was just an onlooker passing through. Once that hand was gone, everything changed.
But the moment the child realizes he has lost the hand of the father and nothing else will replace that, then he cries out and the father comes immediately to his aid. Meditation is the way we call to the Father.
The child in the story, our soul, is actually never lost. Although to us it may seem so, just because we can’t see him doesn’t mean that he can’t see us. He was always watching us, keeping a close eye on us, walking with us. Then that indescribable feeling of loss or loneliness came upon us and we cried out to him. Suddenly there he was at our side. We came to the Path. He had been there all the time, watching and waiting. We were simply looking in the wrong direction–looking the wrong way out into the world, into the crowds of unfamiliar faces and the cheap illuminations of this shabby Theme Park we call home. We just needed to turn around–to look within–and there he was.
This world can be likened to a Theme Park (Universal Mind Studios), where the theme is sensory overload. It’s full of myriad attractions. The proprietor (the mind) wants to keep us all safely locked in; to him we are valuable paying customers, spending our precious wealth (our time and attention) in what are ultimately useless pursuits. Imitations of reality. So he employs his Weapons of Mass Distraction–love for body, family, wealth, position, sensuality. All the tricks of the trade keep us engaged and distracted from who we really are, from our true identity. We have become addicted and obsessed with the ‘rides’ of all our lives and the cheap baubles put before us.
The duties and responsibilities we have performed in all those past lives–in any of the 8.4 million species (or roles)–have more or less been the same. The CV or résumé of each life reads pretty much the same: in some form or other we had a mother and father, brothers and sisters. We will have taken food, we will have struggled to survive and we will have reproduced. The Circle of Life spinning us in a merry dance. Different rhythms, different tunes, different forms, always moving, around and around, never a chance to stop, look or reflect, constantly distracted. Busy fools digging our own graves.
But here’s the good news. The tide has turned. Our endless wandering has now come to an end. Unbeknown to us and without any clear sense of direction on our own behalf, we find ourselves at the top of the ladder of creation. We have received the highest promotion, the top job, we are Human Beings. The highest office for any soul in this creation.
So how is this life any different from all the others we have had? Soami Ji says:
Get busy with your own real work,
do not get caught up in other people’s affairs.3
We have spent all our past lives working for others, looking after the needs of everyone other than our real self. Our real self is not defined by those around us, nor by those things with which we have surrounded ourselves. Neither is it this body or our mind. Not even this narrow sense of individualism we call ego. This is not us. Our real self is our soul. As human beings we need to understand the work–the real task–for which we have incarnated into this body. Let’s look at our Job Description:
Position: Top of the Creation. Job Title: Human Being. Reporting to: God, the Father. Job Purpose: To seek the Truth. To realize the divinity that lies within. To become one with the Father and return to our True Home. Duties & responsibilities:
- To meditate for a minimum of two and a half hours each day.
- To be a lacto-vegetarian.
- To abstain from alcohol, tobacco and mind-affecting drugs.
- To live a clean and upright moral life.
- To be a good human being.
- To clear all our karmic debts and credits.
As a quick note: certainly as part of our duty to be a good Human Being we should diligently carry out all our responsibilities in regard to taking care of our families, professional commitments and so on. But remember, these things–or some version of them–we have had in all our previous lives; having these is not our purpose.
To reiterate, our purpose is: To seek the Truth. To realize the divinity that lies within each one of us and to become one with the Father and return to our True Home. This is our priority. It’s why we are all here. If we prioritize this, then the Master in turn promises that he will take care of all the rest–both our spiritual and worldly needs. As the Bible says:
But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.4
Seek ye first… not second or third, or after my children are grown up, or when I have a steady income, or when I retire. No, seek ye first the kingdom of god and all things shall be added unto you.
The daily choices we make will reflect our priorities. When we make our daily list of things to be done, at the top of the list should be our meditation–remember it is in our Job Description. Everything else should follow from that. If we were to have a review meeting with the Master of the past year, what would we show him? Have we taken our job seriously? If we only place before him a list for fulfilling the basic activities of life, such as meeting family commitments, keeping our homes, attaining professional status, etc., then how are we making the best use of this opportunity he has given us? He knows what we are capable of and that is why we have been given this top promotion–Being Human.
If we meditate every day, then we have turned up for our real work–our real task. We have not burned our days in the needless and pointless toil of others. Not wasted the time weighing ourselves down with the accumulation of more useless baggage which will only hold us back and stop us from going home.
That’s what we need to get into our heads. When we die we’re not leaving home like those tragic refugees we talked about earlier. We’re going home. We should not be looking back at what is lost–nothing is lost. Remember, we’re homesick–we’re tired of this world and we want to go home.
It is our misplaced love that keeps us here. If that little love that we have has the power to keep us here, then if we can re-attach it to what lies within us–the Shabd, the divine melody that resounds within all of us–then all is accomplished.
The Master knows how we are, he understands that only attachment can create detachment. A beggar may hold on tight to those few pennies that he has in his hand; no lever could prise open that hand. It's all he has. But offer him diamonds and rubies instead and he will gladly open the hand and drop the coins in order that the hand can be filled with the treasure you have put before him. The Masters offer a far more priceless treasure. They offer us access to the Shabd, that divine treasure that has lain hidden within each of us since the beginning of the creation. The Masters say that the Shabd once tasted bestows such joy and bliss that by comparison everything the world has to offer becomes insipid.
Saint Bhika said:
None is poor, O Bhikha: Everyone hath rubies in his bundle, But how to open the knot he doth not know And therefore he is a pauper.5
Our daily toil is like that; it is the result of a misplaced search for joy and happiness outside in the world, when inside, in our own bundle, there is an inexhaustible treasure of love and bliss.
It is by attaching our souls to Shabd–the only real and lasting joy–that we can free ourselves from the gross pleasures of the world. When we go inside, when we enter the reality within, we will have detached ourselves from the world and the senses and attached ourselves to him within. We will have crossed that threshold of the tenth door and entered into the heavenly spheres. Below the eye centre is only pain and suffering; above and beyond the eye centre these things vanish. And the more time we spend in meditation the less we will be attached to the world. We will start to refine our senses, seeking the purer and more subtle things in life. The gross attractions of the senses will slowly slip away and we will find greater pleasure in pursuing the spiritual life and whatever supports that way of living. Our love will only be for the Master.
We will be attached to our meditation; it will be our number one priority, which is as it should be. Maharaj Jagat Singh Ji says:
Your own work is that of doing simran and bhajan (the spiritual exercises) which will, in due course, liberate you from the vast prison in which you have been confined for countless ages. Life is short. Time is fleeting. Take full advantage of it, and if you have not done ‘your own work’ already, start doing it now. Seek a true Master and under his guidance attach your soul to the Shabd, the Word and reach your True Home.6
- King James Bible, Matthew 6:21
- Maharaj Charan Singh, Quest for Light; letter 10
- Soami Ji Maharaj, Sar Bachan Poetry (Selections), 1st ed., p.110
- King James Bible, Matthew 6:33
- Maharaj Charan Singh, Divine Light, 7th ed., p.17
- Maharaj Jagat Singh, Science of the Soul, 11th ed., p.85