30th March, 2014, Shabad Surat Sangam Ashram: Bhagat Jagat Singh Ji is a name that very one visiting and connected to this ashram must become aware of, for such was his personality that generations of aspirants will continue to take inspiration from him. Born in a middle class family and himself the head of a vibrant village family, settled in Malke, Bhagat Ji was the disciple of Prabhu Kambli Wale. That we are writing these lines today and connecting to you, dear reader, also owes itself, big time, to this great devotee, for he was the one who invited Maharaj Ji to come and live in Mallke (before that Maharaj Ji used to stay in solitude mostly in the Himalayas), and in a way laid the foundation of all activities carried under the name of Shabad Surat Sangam Ashram. So, it was only pertinent that residents of village Mallke and surrounding areas gathered in the ashram to remember his life on his Barsi. It was wonderful to hear Sr. Arjun Singh Ji of Bhatinda and Sr. Kaka Singh Ji of Malke (now settled in Canada) offer their heartfelt gratitude to Bhagat Ji. Both of them shared many intimate experiences that they had with him. Not only the two of them were in tears as they spoke but so were their listeners. Such was the strength of emotion following their speeches that Bodhraj Ji of Moga, who usually is a vibrant speaker only urged the listeners to drink deep the emotion, call out to the divine, and sat down saying such uncharacteristically few words. Nonetheless, after this, it was time for Maharaj Ji to present his thoughts on the occasion.
What follows below are some points from his discourse:
‘Meri Mukti’ – Not the Goal
- Listening to the incidents from the life of Bhagat Ji, the heart is filled with enthusiasm for how someone living such a simple, honest, life, and doing all the duties of the household with full involvement as selfless service and attained that state which is called as the fulfillment of the human birth, a state which is said to be beyond the miseries of life and one with the Divine.
- Commonly, the narrow meaning of Mukti or liberation is said to become free from rebirth. Why? Because such people believe that world is a place of misery and by being liberated they would become free of them. The goal of life is taken to become free from the miseries and suffering. But this thinking is not fully correct. Even animals are free from the usual miseries of life; neither do their bodies commonly fall ill nor are they pained by mental illnesses of jealousy, anger, greed etc. If we can understand and contemplate a little on the goal of human life, then the sadhana to attain that goal will also become easy. This goal is to be one with the Source of one’s existence, from which one has got separated, and because of this separation he is struggling against the thorns of ignorance. In this way the goal incorporates the end of delusion and then the experience of the same Divinity within and without. This is the goal of the journey, ongoing from countless incarnations, of every human being.
- One should understand that as long as one is afraid of life, its challenges, and therefore seeks Mukti, one will delude oneself in one way or another. It is true that life brings with it its share of suffering and one wants to be free from it, but for that one needs to search for the cause of suffering and the means to eradicate it. Else all one’s efforts will remain incomplete.
- The cause of suffering is the disconnection from the Blissful Source of one’s existence that resides within oneself and also in all creation. The idea then is to talk about and search the means to end this disconnection, lift-up the curtain that separates one from the Divine inside. In this way the miseries will end by themselves.
Senses Cannot Satisfy
- Apart from this there is the following principle (hypothetical, but useful) propounded by the great sages from deep experience that even if one were to get all the objects of one’s desire yet he would remain discontented, in fact he would only desire more and more. In practice this principle is never realized because the world is filled with duality. With bhoga (pleasure) roga (disease) is attached; with favour, is disfavor attached; with huge mansions come more and more confinements and boundaries. To gain a clear discrimination of this is what viveka is, what vairagya is.
- It is obvious that one does not start from the highest ideal. But anyone can start journeying towards it only if an aspirant can remember two principles: 1) That I am part and parcel of the Divine 2) That objects of the external world cannot satisfy me; and with these if he goes on progressing forwards, a time would certainly come when he would attain the state of total freedom, power and bliss.
Love and Yearning is the Path to the Self
- How can one establish these principles inside? Certainly analysis of one’s own experiences of life is a step, but in itself it is incomplete. It should be yoked with love and faith at the feet of saints. Love implies an attraction, a liking towards the god-imbued saints, just like Bhagat Ji had or aspirants linked with him had. In the beginning though it cannot be the love that a moth has for the flame, or the fish has for water, but even if one can have 10% of one’s usual attraction to sensory objects, towards saints, the inner path would start opening.
- This would imply offering SELFLESSLY atleast 10% of the earnings at the feet of saints, devoting 1 day out of 10 days to solitude practice etc.
- The only thing is to have a yearning. Bhagat Ji used to leave all work behind the moment a yearning to meet his Master entered him. Even though one may not be able to do this, atleast one can make a supportive schedule for sadhana and stick to it. Having this love and yearning is more important than and precedes learning various techniques of practice.
- One must note that no saint has any need of donations, dandvats etc. But an aspirant out of love offers his all. This is the way of Nishkama Karma.
- To repeat, more important than yoga, asana, pranayama etc. is love, a yearning, vairagya to meet the Source. Then the path will be automatically traversed.
- Bhagat Ji used to travel sometimes 50 kms. on foot and visit Mallke from Kalyana, where he used to stay during his last days. What need did he have? None. He did not desire any prestige or material benefits. But he saw Kambli Wale in all forms and therefore he travelled to clear the path of sadhakas with the broom of Jnana, Vairagya etc. If we can gather even 10% of their inspiration, we too would begin to travel on the inner path.