“Can We Reach the Divine?”

30 Dec. 2012, Monthly Sunday Sabha, SSS Ashram: In the Sunday Sabha for the month of December, the main questions discussed were, “Can we attain the Divine?” and the problem of the mind’s frolicsome nature, especially while concentrating it. The English transcription of the discourse (in Punjabi) below provides the answers:

<Please click here to listen or download this discourse in Punjabi..>

Let us take the first question for today. It has been asked, “Can we attain the Divine in this very birth?” This question is incomplete. It is not totally correct. If it had been asked, “Can I attain Divine in this very birth?” – that would have been the correct question. The answer is, “Yes indeed, if one really wants to”. Wanting implies that if one yearns to attain the Divine. Even while asking such a question – there is doubt in our minds, we are afraid and therefore we ask – can we attain the Divine? It is a collective question, not a personal inquiry.  The answer is very clear. If it were in a deva yoni (birth as an supra-human being) or pashu yoni (birth in an animal form) then one could not attain the Divine in those bodies. But whosoever has attained a human body, is sitting right at the door of the Divine. If he just journeys inwards, he will arrive.

But in practice, one hardly sees it happening. It has been said, “Kaho Nanak, kottan mein kau bhajan raam ko paave (says Nanak, amongst multitude some rare being attains to the devotion and remembrance of the Lord) – this is what we hear. The reason for this rarity is simple – Our asking for the Divine is just like the asking of a child for the moon. The child wants to hold the moon in his hand. But he does not know how far away the moon is; what is the way to hold it in the hand, and what would be the result of doing so. Similarly, all we have done is heard from somewhere, probably in satsanga or we have read it is some text, and we have listened that when the Lord is attained then all sorrows end, the greatest joy is found and so on and thus we too end up thinking, “Let us also see this. Let us also attain the Lord.” Then the question arises, “Can we do it?” Until this is our background, till then it is difficult. For him who does not even know what the Divine is, there is no question of attaining the Divine. Go on shooting at the target in the dark, even though you may hit bull’s eye, you will not know it. Because, we don’t even know what the Divine is, why are we even asking – “Can we attain Him?” All these questions and discussions are just a simple curiosity. We have taken this question in the first place because this is really important.

We want to go to school as a child, and we go. We want to graduate, and we do. We want to marry, and we get married. We want to raise a family, and we do so. We want our own house, we ultimately find means and ways to build one. All that we want, really want, we work for it, and we attain it! Now, if we ask, everyone would say they want to attain the Divine. But the Divine is not attained. The reason is just this – in the first place, we just do not know what the Divine is. Then we read about someone who did so much tapasaya and still could not succeed. He fell. So just by hearing again we feel “Let us drop the idea too”. But if someone is really drowning in a river, he tries to hold on to even a blade of grass. In such a situation he will not think, whether the blade of grass will help him or not. On one hand, we say we want to attain the Ultimate, but then so many people tried and failed, so perhaps I too can’t do it and we doubt, “Can I do it?”

If you were to ask this being, this is what he would say, “Attaining the Ultimate is the easiest thing of all.” If we were to look for the easiest thing, and the grandest thing at the same time, it is nothing else but attaining the Divine. The problem is just this that we do not know what the Divine is. The second thing is, we see the external things – name, fame, wealth, property etc. and pursue them. The third thing, we imitate and take inspiration from those, who had tried to take the plunge in the dark, and had failed to reach. Yes, we are saying this is the easiest thing of all, but the question is this, “Do we really, really want to attain the Divine?” And this is where the discussion ends. If we really want it, then it is really very simple. But why do we want the Divine? So that my body will get well, or by business will run well! Or my sorrows will end – all these are the desires of a mind that is shrunk with fear, that is afraid of facing the challenges of the world! Those, whose hearts are so shrunk with fear, those who cannot face these trifles of the world, how can those same hearts assimilate the Grand Ultimate within them!

The thing to know is that what we call God, the Divine, the Ultimate is for me, right here, inside my body and even more importantly, I too am a part of the Divine – just like the seed is a part of the tree. If only, one were to understand this fact! That Divine, from whose Will the entire world has manifested, is for me, right here within my body; more importantly, I too am his part, and even more importantly, it is through Him that I have the power to move around, through Him do I breathe and do everything else. But we do all the things, forgetting Him – through whom all things are accomplished.

And see, when we go to sleep, we see dreams. In dreams we see so many buildings and oceans and skies and what not! Now inside the body, there is none of that. But through a certain mechanism all that is created. How is that created? It is created by my own will. Because, I am a part of the Lord, there is so much strength in my will, that whatever I want to see, I see. But what kind of a world do we create in our dreams?  A world of fear, tension and desires! The kind of fear and desire that we create – through our mind – in our dreams, a similar world we create for ourselves in the wakeful state too. In fact, we become more afraid and tense in the wakeful state. But there is so much power in the will of man, that he can create anything. Only thing is that he is unaware of the source, the intelligence that lies within. Shakti has not awakened in him. If he undertakes some task, doubt arises. If he tries to practice, doubts arise – “would the mind go inwards?” etc. etc. We are taking the second question simultaneously, since it has been asked, “We sit in meditation, we practice, but the mind goes on thinking about so many other things. What to do?”

Now, who says this? Does any scripture say that your mind cannot concentrate? Did your Guru tell this to you when he initiated you that you cannot concentrate your mind?  So, from where does this thought arises that my mind does cannot concentrate. Have you ever given it even a little thought? Alright, let us accept that the mind goes on thinking about various things while we try to concentrate it. Say, we went to office, did this or that there, talked to some person, said all such things – such thoughts go in the mind when we sit to practice. What thoughts arise in the mind? Only those, that we had ourselves filled in. We went to the office and with great concentration and involvement did particular things, whose impressions were left behind in the mind. Now, all those impressions will naturally arise in the mind when we try to practice. What is there to worry in this! But the thing to be really worried about is when we begin to say, “My mind does not want to practice. It just goes on roaming here and there. It does not concentrate.” When we are to work outside, it is natural that certain impressions will get attached to the mind. And they will rise when we try to concentrate it. But the problem is that with all these impressions we join a third impression which is – “My mind does not become steady in meditation”. At least, before practicing, while practicing, and after practicing – drop this impression! This thought is really dangerous. Whenever this thought arises, it is as if we were making a building and keep the brick but then take it away. We utter, “Raam”, and simultaneously, “O, this mind does not become steady”. So drop this impression and then do not worry about other impressions that arise. Just go on replacing them with the positive impression of practice.  We say, out of the 24 hours, 22 hours you can may work, those impressions will invade your mind, but if you practice even for two hours (in the manner told) then those impressions of just two hours would be so powerful that they will overpower the other impressions. It is from this viewpoint that we say, that meditation or dhyana is the easiest thing. So trust yourself, that I am the part of the Divine. There is great power in my Will. As we will go inwards nearer and nearer to the Divine, the impressions created by the contact of the senses with the world will go on diminishing in their strength and attraction.

So go inwards! There are many ways to do that. The first thing is do not engage in negative things deliberately, because in this way their impressions, being connected to our ego, go very deep into our being. It is difficult to root them out. And if impressions arise on their own, as has been asked in another question for today, do not worry about them. They have no power. Just try to dive deeper within by understanding that the Divine resides within me, I am a part of Him. Affirming within that fact, that His power is active in my mind and intellect, and keeping the body totally relaxed, comfortable and steady, releasing all anxieties of the outside, keeping the eyes loose and relaxed, going on seeing your body, do this dhaarna that I am His part, do a little japa to concentrate the mind, and not worrying about any impressions that may arise, go on doing the practice, and eventually the source of Shakti will begin to get awakened. That the mind goes not becomes steady – give up this impression. Give up thinking negatively that someone could not succeed on this path. Keep faith that what the scriptures and saints say is true, and realize that this practice of meeting with the great Lord – there is nothing as important and grand as this. We worry about this or that, how our working to earn our livelihood is indispensible to our welfare, and in the process we keep our practice at the least priority. We can leave our practice, but can’t leave going to work; we can leave our practice to attend a guest lest he may feel bad about us. In this way, we neglect our practice, compared to everything else.

Keep such a time for practice, when you will not be disturbed. We ordinarily keep it at such a time, that disturbances are prone to happen. You need to be steadfast in practice. This will only happen when we give importance to this work. This work of sadhana is something which I have to do. This is such a work which can’t be equaled by any other work of the world. There are many works that we do, because someone has asked us to do them, there are works that we do, because we need to do them, like earning money etc.

We can categorize our works into three kinds. First, the work that joins us straight to the Lord, like meditation, keertan, japa etc. This we have to do ourselves. If we understand its importance, we will be steadfast in our practice and surely we will fall into a continuous routine of practice quite naturally. Secondly, there is work that we must do to earn our livelihood etc. Now, in this work, do not try to steal anyone’s share. Then these works are not wrong. Do not increase your own business at the expense and loss of the other. Anyways, we get results according to the works that we do. And what we get in the present life, is to a great extent determined by the karmas that we have performed. Owing to the force of the karmas that we did, we find particular circumstances (favourable or unfavourable) in the present life, which determine our success or failure. But even to gain the results of previous karmas, we have to do action in the present too. So, understand this law and do not deliberately do wrong to others. Else, in the process of reaping fruits of previous actions we will also fill much filth, tension and stress within us. So the works that are necessary to be done, do them from the standpoint that what I will get would be the result of my previous karmas. And therefore do not do anything in a wrong way, because that will add more thorns on our path.  And thirdly, avoid bad company.

Do all actions as service. In fact remove this distinction that meditation etc. is different and working for livelihood is different. Do all works with so much concentration, become one with the act that there is no scope of mistakes. Then those works are direct means to reach the Divine. The difference is just this that in meditation we are joining to the Divinity residing within us, in other works we join to the same Divinity that also exists in all others. But the thing to remember is that if we could not join to the Divinity that is nearest to us, in our own body when we practiced, then we will also fail to connect to the same divinity that exists in the body of the other. But still we can try. Because we cannot leave works necessary to earn our livelihood etc. understand that this work is a test of our depth of practice.

If you think that we will only act and there is no need to practice, you will be wrong. If you think that we will only meditate, there is no need to work, that too will not be correct. In fact the Upanishads say it clearly, that he who only works outside and neglects meditation, suffers, and he who only meditates and neglects action, suffers in a worse way. So one needs to join karma (action) and upasana (meditation). But note each individual’s action or duty is different. It is important to correctly recognize one’s duty. Normally, when we say one should do one’s duty, people think that now Maharaj Ji has given freedom to go on earning money  and look after the family. Yes, if you have little children you have to look after them. If they are to be married, you are to arrange for that too. But what we see is, the people get old, and become grandfathers or mothers and they are still looking after the young ones of their children under the pretext that it is their duty as householders. Note, duties change with time. It is not that if you looked after your children when they were young and in need of your care, you are to go on looking after them all your life. So recognize what you must do. Do one’s duty and also go on doing upasana.

    We are to do action, but the nature of action will go on changing. If we talk about ourselves, the nature of our actions too is going on changing. When Maharaj Ji were in his body, we used to serve him. When his body was no longer, then many people advised us to keep serving his temple, but we said that we cannot do. The nature of service changed. We moved to the mountains for solitude practice. Then came the time of discussing scriptures. That also changed. And things are changing. But still there is action. So as per our standing, as we evolve, our realm of action should go on expanding and along with that there should be regular practice. And if we will go on walking in this way we will begin to experience what the Divine is. And once, one gets even a glimpse then a being just goes on running for he understands that it is here that there is great bliss, joy, peace – without which I cannot remain. And when this state arises, then attaining the Lord becomes extremely easy, is extremely natural and simple.

Now the mind plays clever tricks. It will say, “I have not got this glimpse, so for me it is very difficult.” But the question is this, “Why am I not getting that glimpse?” It will not be that when we have nothing else to do, we will look for God. No, while doing all duty, rise above it and instantly you will get the glimpse.  And there was this another question about helping parents. The thing to understand is this that unless one knows himself, how can he know the other? Unless one has studied himself, how can he teach the other! So first, know yourself, and then you can also know and help your parents.