Once we realise that we are separated from God, then a passion to be one with the Lord will be ignited in us, writes Sant Rajinder Singh
As human beings we get entangled in the activities of the physical world around us, and many times we do not even think about God. When we begin to remember God along with daily chores, then this is a sign that we are taking steps towards our goal and that our spiritual journey has begun.
The realisation of our separation from the Lord is a harbinger to the state of union. If we do not know we are separated from God, then we will never take steps towards the Lord. Therefore, we need to realise what state we are in; otherwise we continue with the same habits, believing that our purpose in life is just to work, make money, and support our families until the day comes when we pass away.
There are millions of souls who physically pass away every day, and millions more who are born. People pass through life without recognising what the purpose of their existence is. Therefore, saints and mystics tell us that first we need to realise, that we are soul and then to realise with that we are connected to God and all His creation.
We are not alone; we are a part of God. We are conscious; we are not distinct from God. We have coverings of the body and the mind, forming layers of mind, matter, and illusion, but once we realise that we are separated from God, then a passion to be one with the Lord will be ignited in us.
When we want someone to come to our home, what do we have to do? First, we need to be home. Similarly, if we want God to come to our house, what do we need to do? We need to be in a meditative state. What generally happens to us is that our attention is either on the body or in the emotions, or our mind is putting our attention into the world outside.
As a result, we are never home. Instead, we are engrossed in our thoughts, or our attention is wandering in the activities of the world. If we are never home, how can we expect God to be there? So the first key is to be home. How can we be in this humble dwelling? We can do so if we take our attention away from the world outside and focus it within ourselves. This process is called meditation.
Generally, when we are home and expecting someone to come, we are looking at the door. What, then, is the door from which we experience God? It is our single or third eye. How do we focus there? First we still the body, and then we get to a state in which no thoughts are coming. Then we focus our attention at the seat of the soul, located between and behind the two eyebrows, our sensory currents begin to withdraw.
Referred to in various religions as the third eye, the single eye, the shiv netra, the divya chakshu or daswan dwar, this is the doorway through which the soul transcends consciousness of the physical world and physical body and awakens to the spiritual realms that exist concurrently with this realm. Hence, true meditation is a shifting of the attention from one state of awareness to another.
There is an interesting tale out of the Sufi tradition. There was a lover of God, a Sufi, who was lucky to find his way to God’s house. He knocked on the door and God from inside said, “Who is there?” This person said, “It is me” The lover stated his name but there was no reply. Although he stood at the door, it would not open. He realised something was wrong, and returned to his home. After meditating for a long time, he finally became enlightened and returned to God’s house. He knocked at the door again, and God again asked, “Who is there?” This time, the lover said, “It is Thou,” and the door opened for him to pass through.
We need to experience the oneness that we have with God. We are not away from God; we are one and the same. We are consciousness, full of the Light and love of God. That experience comes in as we rise above physical body consciousness as we experience God. We can read in the books and we can listen to all kinds of talks. We can be intellectually aware of it, but it is the experience that makes us realise who we truly are. It is good to read scriptures to find out how others reached the spiritual realms.
It is also inspirational to know that others have found the doorway within. Until we enter it ourselves, we can never be fully sure and satisfied. It is like hearing about the sweetness of sugar but never tasting it for ourselves. These sweets are available for one and all.
When we turn our attention from the world and invert through meditation, we begin to open ourselves up to receive God’s love. Once we receive it, we are changed forever. God’s love, when it embraces the soul, is so powerful and ecstatic an experience that all other loves pale by comparison. We begin to see that all other loves are but reflections of God’s love.
The saints and mystics talk about meditation as entering states of rapture, states of sweetness, of being intoxicated to the very core. Rapture is a word reserved for the spiritual union of soul with God. The experience is one of bliss that fills the soul, making us oblivious to all lesser pleasures of the world. Whereas the distractions of the world can make us happy for a moment, they cannot put us in a state of rapture like union with God can.
Bliss and joy can be ours through accurate and regular meditations. Not only will we experience the spiritual rapture described by the great saints and mystics, but we will be fulfilling the goal for which we were born, which is self-knowledge that we are a part of God and God-realisation.
The writer is a spiritual leader