Yesterday, on May 12th, it marked the 5th death anniversary of my Beloved Teacher Satguru Baba Hardev Singh Ji. Every single day since I discovered that He had left this Planet Earth to unmanifest Himself into the Formless, I have truly missed Him and wish His manifestation was still here to guide me.
Under His guidance, my spiritual journey grew immensely. His teachings of oneness, love and acceptance of everyone was what this world needed back in 2016 and what we increasingly need in 2021. It seems that since He left, the world is more divided, more labelled, more individualistic and more consumed with having more. We have become less open to listening to each other and more controlled by the devices we hold in our hands. Therefore, leaving less time to understand who the True Self is. Baba Ji often told us to discover this True Self and to completely identify with it. With this true identification of our origin, when we interact with the world, we will be noble citizens of humanity.
Baba Ji had a Supreme Vision and was beyond His time. It was a vision that sought others to stop discriminating based on caste or class, our educational background, our differing levels of wealth, our gender etc. In fact, He often called for equality, maybe understanding that in the times to come, income inequality will only grow and that even spirituality will be divided in such a way. Maybe He understood that if the rich were more giving and changed the structures of society, we would have a more just society. The rich wouldn’t show off with their charity work but do the real work and that is eradicate poverty and income inequality. Although, Baba Ji understood that it didn’t matter if you were rich or poor, you could still realize your True Self or God, but I also feel He knew that the poorest will be more worried about whether they would have food to eat that very night. Therefore, His emphasis of living in the world and leaving it more beautiful than when you found it makes absolute sense.
He understood the basic elements of religion had to be explored. Whether we wanted to go down the God route then by realizing God, we will know our True Self. If we chose to go down realizing what our origin is then by realizing that, we will realize what God is. You could be religious or an atheist – the origin remains the same beyond labels. We didn’t need to be bounded by rituals, but devote our time in the pursuit of realizing who we truly are. This was enlightenment described by Him. Being shown what the Truth is, was not enough. You had to live it, you had to be consumed by it. It has to become everything for you. There was nothing but the Truth – manifest and unmanifest, form and formless. It is all the One.
Baba Ji’s emphasis on the philosophy of the Formless is based on common sense. In the end we are all a bunch of atoms, and within those atoms, it is only Formless Energy. And say that one day, all of this is to be destroyed, even energy then in the end, what remains is Formless. Baba Ji didn’t see Formlessness as a form of nihilism, in fact, it was more positive. Baba Ji saw this Formless as pure potential for manifestation, if it so desired.
With these teachings, Baba Ji transformed my life for the better. He left me a lot better than when He found me for sure. By adapting His teachings, I found myself more forgiving, tolerant, and compassionate and these virtues came naturally. I didn’t have to practice them. They are already there as the pure potential of the Formless and His presence aswell as His teachings guided this.
I will always be indebted to Baba Ji, He was the best Guru that I could have asked for. He showed me how to be there for others by being there for me in tough times. He showed me how to listen to others because He always patiently listened. He showed me how to be aware of my origin, this Formless, this True Self by giving by the Wisdom to abide by it. I can never describe the transmission between the Master and the Disciple and even there, I always felt He wanted to remove that duality. It was like He saw the True Self in everyone and since He recognized it in Himself and that was how He interacted with others. With this state of true oneness, He would then embrace others. It was strange in fact, and I may have difficulty in describing it. However, as a disciple, I would always touch His feet, my Master’s feet with my head as was the custom and tradition. But then He would hug me and I would feel that we were the same, there was no difference. The seeming duality become non-dual with that single hug. I will miss the smile and the twinkle in His eyes as if reflecting my own whenever we would meet.
Baba Ji despite having a simple message, leading a relatively simple life, is possibly still misunderstood by the likes of me. He had a universal approach, a very human approach to spirituality and I don’t feel I have understood the scope of this. He certainly was a believer that we should practice the Teachings as we learned them deeply, and that we weren’t to simply repeat His words. In fact, we were meant to be more creative and go deeper into His teachings.
I simply haven’t let go of Baba Ji being my Spiritual Master. I don’t think I ever can and this may disappoint some and maybe some will relate completely to this. But 5 years on, I feel just as connected to Him, still as close to Him. In fact, in trying to embrace the more recent Masters has led me to more duality and has divided me somewhat. The matters of the Heart cannot be forced as love is gentle and sensitive. We can’t simply substitute greatness with a passing of a single thought or moment. 5 years on, it was meant to get easier but it seems to get more difficult as each day passes by.
I recall a moment with Baba Ji in December 2012. I told Him that I could only remain loyal to Him and that my allegiance was only to Him, not to any place or organization. And I still remember seeing Him smile and say ‘I know and I love you.’ I reiterated the same thing to Him in August 2014 on a conversation over the phone that my loyalty is with Him alone and nobody can take His place. His reply was ‘I know you are always with Me.’ These weren’t simply words of declaration but my living reality. The more I remembered the Formless, the more I connected with the Formless, Baba ji would get closer and be more of who He really was. The paradox was understood.
When you give yourself to someone as completely as I did to Him, you simply cannot ask for yourself back. You have no choice but to remain one beyond forms and beyond time.