Approaching the Spiritual Master

A single moment with a (Spiritual) Master can transform your life. Recently, I read about how there are four types who approach a Master.

  1. Follower – they are more of a spectator. They visit the Master because maybe there has been a miracle that happened in their life when they first came into contact with the Master. They only arrive to meet the Master because sometimes they like the charisma, the personality and the aura of the Master. They appreciate the teachings, they love the Master too but they don’t know the Master intimately. This leads them to be followers but with no depth of spirituality. The mind is so cunning of followers that they may be able to parrot the teachings but they have no experience of it.
  2. Disciple – they listen to the message, they practice some of the teachings and they love being in the company of the Master. They listen very intently to the Master, they talk about the teachings and they serve but they have other motives at time. They can be a little political and allow their egos to sometimes get the better of them. Even though they love the Master, they have a little depth of spirituality, they possess a little of the inner experience but their heart isn’t completely for the Truth. They are totally in love with the physical form of the Master, that they have not tried to understand if there is anything more to the Master.  They will speak of the Master as what they understand the Master to be.
  3. Devotee – they listen to the message and understand the silence of the Master. They practice the teachings, they meditate and try to get rid of their ego through self-inquiry. They are not just attached to the physical form of the Master, they understand that there is an inner form of the Master. Their love to the Master is one that is close to union but there is still  a duality between the Master and devotee.  They vouch for the Truth but it is still mainly conceptual. They seek to understand more, they read more spiritual texts. They are very close to being enlightened, they are nearly there. They are great spiritual beings to be around, they will inspire because they will speak of the Master as the Master is.
  4. Mystic – they listen to the Master, understand the silence and beyond the silence too. They can look into the eyes of the Master and they lose all sense of self. They are one with the Master and there is no real difference between the two. They live and breath the Master. They are enlightened, they have understood the Truth and are consumed it. Their understanding is based on their own inner experience. They have not only the understanding of the Truth, they are able to observe all through the Truth. They live in the world, not consumed by it, they use the world to their needs over wants. They inspire everyone because of their energy, they are exactly what is expected by the Master. They are truly free from the ego and its trappings. They are in constant union with the Master, the representation of the Formless.

These are the 4 types that approach the Master and neither are good or bad, it is all based on what you want in life. All are welcome by the Master.

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Our own minds

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When we look into our own minds, we have to wonder where each thought has appeared from. We need to inquire into it’s origin? Also, has it caused limiting beliefs? Does it take away my freedom? Does it stop me from growing? Can I be in awareness with these type of thoughts for long?

If we decided to invest time and look into our mind, understand its nature and see how we can improve it, we would focus on making the most out of our mind – only when we understand that it knows its place, as a friend to my consciousness, not an enemy.

The space of ego is as large as you want it to be, and it can be the tiniest and even non-existent force in your life. It depends on how invested you are in keeping your ego. It is not that you can’t be spiritual if you have an ego. It is just that the vastness of spirituality will be smaller according to the vastness of the ego.

We all know what we need to do to grow, however the time and effort to do so, is totally something else. All I know is that observing the mind is a practice that needs to continue and continue, until it becomes clear on what the mind actually is.

The Story of a Bird in a Golden Cage

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There was once a king, who heard the sweet song of a bird. A bird that was able to fly to different branches of different trees, roam in the clear blue sky or thunderous showers. It could see the whole world with it’s wings whenever it wanted. It enjoyed its freedom. However, the King was in love with the birdsong and wanted to hear it every morning.

The King’s Assistant caught the bird and placed it in a  golden cage filled with diamonds, and other precious stones. However, the bird didn’t like the cage because he couldn’t fly and this deeply upset him. He would weep and the King thought the bird was singing a beautiful song and was immensely happy. Unknown to the King, he felt the bird appreciated the golden cage and precious gems, who wouldn’t love it?

One day, the King’s Assistant was assigned to clean the cage, whilst doing so, at the most opportune moment, the bird flew out and didn’t look back. He flew to the nearest branch, he could find.

Watching all this was a parrot and the parrot was annoyed at the bird and said to him, ‘What are you thinking? You had such an amazing home, you had to just sing beautiful songs for the King and you was given a golden cage. You are an idiot for giving up those precious gems. You didn’t even take one out when you left. You have lost everything with your so-called freedom’

The bird listened and after giving some thought, he replied to the parrot, ‘You may live in the cage if you like it so much but I prefer the freedom of roaming in the sky, living day by day and being happy because I am alive.’

Before the bird was intending to finish, the parrot flew inside the cage.

The moral of this story is that we as human beings love to be caged under doctrines, repeat whatever isn’t our own experience, we bound ourselves under religion, nationality, race, gender and color. If by some chance, someone decides to be free, to tread on a path that no one is willing to walk upon, we think they are crazy. However, if we really want the Truth, if we really want enlightenment then we have to do it alone and be willing to live moment to moment, whatever it brings. Yesterday, today and tomorrow will be the same for the parrot in the gems-filled, golden cage. However, every day brings in a new possibility for the bird that found it’s freedom again.

Likewise, if we are stuck on a body level only, then we will only be subject to the laws of the physical. If we choose to let go of this cage of the mind, invest time in thinking, in inquiring about what stops us from living the truth then we can truly transcend the time and live as consciousness, a pure awareness, as the Formless.

Inspired by Osho.

If someone throws a stone…

We all have the power within us to change how we want to live and perceive life. If we are consumed with our thoughts too much, we tend to feel heavy, tired, sleepy, lethargic. If we are consumed with awareness, we tend feel light, energetic, full of life and eager to live.

The difference is that when you feel change isn’t in your hands then you have opened yourself to any possibility that you may not desire. However, if you feel that you can be an instrument of change and then that means, change yourself first.

We are always looking around us on who will change first or feel that someone else needs to change. In fact, the change has to come from within me. As my Spiritual Master once said that if someone throws stones at you, instead of building a wall, build a bridge.

This type of insight can help one understand that forgiveness is the bridge and that enmity is the wall. Acceptance is the bridge, humility is the bridge. Once, we understand this, we are able to look within ourselves, be humbly, forgive ourselves and understand that all the strength we need to better ourselves, is waiting to be utilized.

Informed decisions

If one is calm and collected, we can make informed decisions. These decisions that we make are based on our experiences and our intuition. What we tend to do is always react, we make issues bigger than that they actually are.

If we stay calm, we are able to see the broader picture and this means that the approach that we take will encompass all perspectives. When we understand each perspective, we are able to take that action, which will benefit not only yourself but others too.

When we broaden our vision from the single perspective to a whole perspective that covers humanity, we end up being more selfless.

With Baba Ji – my journey continues…

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You can wake up in the morning, everything will occur as normal but something is missing, something just doesn’t feel right. That is how I feel everyday since my Spiritual Master left His body three years ago.

His kindness, His humility and His loving personality won many hearts and it definitely won mine. I spend time thinking about Baba ji, my Spiritual Master very often in the day. Whether it is a walk down the corridor, I think of Him and my eyes well up with tears. I am in the car and I look at the clear blue sky and a flash of His image appears in front of, obviously from my own mind, but yet a sign to say, nothing truly dies. I am sitting in my temple, and a thought that Baba ji gave is heard and my heart skips a beat, as if not knowing what to do with the thought that He is known in the past tense now.

He was someone where my spirituality began, where my spirituality continues and where my spirituality will one day end. He is my past, my present and my future. I haven’t loved anyone as much as I have loved Him and I know so many, that feel the same way with me.

The great thing about Baba ji was that He somehow was able to reflect however you saw Him. If you saw Him as a cool person, He was just a cool person. If you saw Him as a person you admire for His sincerity, that is what He reflected. For me, I was fortunate, very lucky by fate or my own faith that I was able to see Him as my Satguru, my Spiritual Master of Truth. For me, He was a God and much more. Maybe this is why there is a lot of pain in the physical loss as right now, I am in growing pains, I am trying to realize the subtle form of His that I know He had planted into me when I was initiated with His wisdom.

I have often said that I reached a peak of one mountain when He was alive and when He died, He took me from that peak and placed me at the bottom of the largest mountain one can ever perceive. For some, they may find that Rahul isn’t as spiritual as He used to be, he was calmer before, he didn’t get so angry but actually I have started climbing this mountain, which I literally have no map to guide me with except my own self. All I know and what I totally have faith and trust in is that I have to find the compass of the inner guru within me – sooner, rather than later.

I am now content in that I cannot change anyone, inspire anyone, or even truly advise them on their spiritual journey except for what I know and like I said right now, I don’t know much as I am climbing this mountain, of which I have climbed only a few steps up. So everyone literally has to bear with me here.

What I have learned is that these three years, which was literally about abseiling down the mountain of which, I had reached my peak. I had to take the valuable lessons and be thankful for they have taught me so much. Now the Master is going to advise me from within but the foundation of all that will be advised from now is literally from what I learned from my Spiritual Master before His passing.

All I now know and what I knew before was that it was all up to me. I had to have the faith and I had to be in charge of my growth. Nobody could take me there. I recall a conversation that I had with Baba ji when I was around 19 years old. We were walking at the Center for Oneness, West London and for some strange reason, Baba ji stopped walking and stepped inside as we were in mid-conversation. It was only me and Him. I poured my heart to Him and said “Baba ji, I am struggling. I am doing sumiran (remembrance) but I am not connecting. I feel my faith is weak.” Baba ji looked at me, smiled and in a quizzing manner. “Rahul ji, I don’t understand how your faith is weak when it is so strong?” I just stared into His eyes for a few seconds, my eyes moist, lost in His humility, His love and His mercy I bowed and touched His feet for around 10 seconds, to which when I was getting up, He was holding my shoulders and He gave me the biggest hug. As we pulled away from the hug, we both gave the biggest smiles to each other and we both bowed as I stepped away so another devotee could talk to Him.

This conversation changed the whole direction of my spiritual journey. I started questioning my whole belief system a couple of years later in order to get what I perceived as ‘weak’ faith into something so strong that it is unbreakable. However, a lesson I have learned recently is that I was in charge of my faith. I decide whether it is strong or weak and that whatever faith you have for yourself, is how much faith you truly have with the Master. If you feel you are incapable then the Master can do very little to change that because you feel incapable. However, you can feel incapable but you know your Master is with you, within you so now you are absolutely capable and this brings forth a very strong faith.

I have a lot to thank Baba ji for and He knows how much He means to me and nothing can change that. No philosophy, no teaching can change that. Like I said earlier, it ends with Him. We are meant to have full faith in a living Master, to which I absolutely agree with. Living is subject to one’s definition. Does someone have to be physically alive to be living? Or can someone be alive through consciousness itself -in a more subtle form? One of the rules of nature is that energy never dies but is transferred. All that has happened to Satguru Baba Hardev Singh ji on this day, three years ago was that the energy that was physical or gross matter became subtle matter.

This post has come from a lot of reflection with some meditation too. I don’t know if what I believe in right now will give me liberation but all I do know is that I know that is my destination. Thank you Baba ji. Love You and miss You! Your child forever.

Transform this one attachment

The past couple of days and the next few days, including today,  are days where I am extremely emotional. I still remember the morning of May 13th, 2016 and being told that my Spiritual Master had left His body.

Since that day, I have never been the same and my life has never been the same. It was a difficult time to embrace many changes but the one change that ruled over all of them was that the physical presence of my Spiritual Master was no more. I will never hear His voice again, give Him a hug again, touch His feet with my head.

Although, years prior to His passing, I had understood that the Guru, the Teacher is not the physical frame but the Spiritual Wisdom that takes one towards self-realization, the death of my Spiritual Master hit me really deep. Even though, I had seen the presence of my Master in more subtle realms of the mind, for some reason, I felt I had lost something.

It is coming up to three years and what have I lost? That belief that I can reach self-realization. Why? I always said and felt that it will only happen through Him. He will be the Spiritual Master in which self-realization will occur. The biggest battle in my mind right now is that He is physically no more and now what do I worship?

I have accepted His successors and my deep respect and reverence goes to them. However, my words, my statement that only Baba ji will give me self-realization always comes to the forefront. I know that eventually as one deepens their spiritual experience, the Spiritual Master lets go of the disciple and the final part of the journey towards self-realization is between you or myself and the Formless, Unseen One. If you get there, you get there and if you don’t and you fall, the Spiritual Master is the net that will protect you from the fall. That is what I believe right now, it is subject to change.

The reason why I say this is because today, more than spiritual, I am a conflicted man. If my Master could leave so suddenly, then where is the hope for me. If I was to go suddenly, would I remember the Formless One that my Spiritual Master instructed will lead me to own realization. He used to say that realize the Formless, and you will realize your own true self.

Maybe the biggest issue I have is that I placed too much emphasis on the external guru that I completely ignored the internal, subtle form of the Guru, of the Master. This is why maybe I am at a loss.

However, I miss my Spiritual Master because He was full of unconditional love, He had a personality that was humble and kind. Again, these are all my perceptions of Him and He did the biggest favor upon me, which was showing me the absolute stillness, Formless One.

I have a long way to go with my spirituality, maybe the only way to move forward and transform this attachment is to live the realization. The teachings of Baba ji will follow naturally once the realization takes place.

If anything, I am going to research into whether enlightenment is possible for me. I cannot say for others but is it possible for me. Where does it lead me to? I am open for any possibility now.

The hypothesis is simple – can Rahul attain self-realization that his Master once gave him the key for?