Spiritual Opposition

I received an interesting response from a dear friend of mine, whom is a Professor and a spiritual teacher for many of us and it was about if families always accept that you are a spiritual person? Do families always embrace those that start walking on the spiritual path or move ahead in it?

I did write yesterday that your family members know about your reality, whether you are truly spiritual or not. However, it definitely isn’t always embraced. My dear friend pointed me towards a very interesting direction here. Sometimes, your family or close friends can become a hindrance to your spiritual path. There is a great amount of internal fear in being spiritual and the reason is that it allows you to be comfortable with being alone. However, family and close friends may fear that they will lose you if you fully embrace your aloneness and they use their imagination of you moving into a cave and meditating until you die. They may fear about how they will live – food, shelter, transport, their smartphone etc. They may also fear that you will not need them anymore as much as they need you. They may start to fear your independence and within them, they also crave for that independence but they don’t necessarily want someone else have it, even if it is their own beloved family and friends.

It is known in my family that my conversations will end up being spiritual in some sort of way. For me, spirituality isn’t an app that I check now and then or a piece of clothing when it feels like I have to. Spirituality for me is an everyday and every moment part of my life. In fact – it is my life. I can’t live without it. It has totally consumed my mind. This is not always embraced. I know I am left out of social events with friends because of my spiritual nature. If I am at an event, most talk has to be on a superficial level and I get bored. Even if spirituality is discussed on a superficial level, it is tiring for me.

In the past, my family have not been supportive of my spirituality and there was always worry that because I was not materialistic enough, I wouldn’t hold a good job or want to earn good money. However, I have shown my family that I have all of that spiritual seeker within me despite moving up in my career along with buying a house and even moving to another country for a better life. However, there is something in me that is always wishing the ascetic lifestyle. I would love to be a monk and what I have learned in the past few months is that I can be living in the world, in the midst of materialism, in the midst of social change and be a monk within. Untouched by the world and its drama, yet acting in it fully. It has taken me a long time to get to this place in life.

I feel that the opposition to my spirituality has not touched what others have gone through. Some are definitely called hypocrites and claim that it is all a show – a pretense to claim these beings are spiritual. Again, this is stoked by fear. If we see that someone is able to live out spiritual oneness, we attempt to discourage them with hurtful jibes. However, these people carry on in their spiritual life, no matter what their close friends and family say. They know the purpose of their life.

Many Gurus saints or bhaktas have faced opposition from their close ones too. From Guru Nanak to Kabir to Rumi to Tukaram to Mira Bai. Their passion and love for the One, for their realization was overwhelming and I assume for their family members torturous. Who would like that their family member starting loving God more than them? Or at least that is how it is perceived. Tukaram used to get a good old scolding from his wife. Rumi’s children were jealous of his relationship with Shams. Not every spiritual person, not every mystic is able to please their close friends and family.

There is a reason why I have, what can be termed as a normal life. I have a wife, eventually we will have kids, we have a home, a car, a job, a Netflix account and social media accounts. At the same time, my weekend is more or less devoted to spirituality, to my own individual practice as well as in the week. I read scriptures on a daily basis. Any free time I get and I will have my iPad out, reading on the Kindle app. I also do spend quality time with my wife, we go on date nights now and then. My spiritual life is perfectly balanced. However, some may say that one command from my Satguru (True Master) can change things? I may be asked to preach, if my Satguru truly desires so. This will not change my lifestyle but my lifestyle should become exemplary. Yes, my diary will change it’s focus but the monk within can still reside in the hustle-bustle of this world.

Not everyone has it easy and I guess this is my post to say that it is okay if you are condemned for being spiritual. Atleast, you know deep in your heart that you are doing the right thing for you. How can we care for others, if we ourselves are in turmoil? We should never dampen that spiritual zeal to further enhance our spirituality. If you feel you are being challenged in your spiritual journey, let me know. Let’s talk about it.

Love.

Being Nothing

The Truth is always revealed about us eventually and if you have a family, it is even quicker. Your family recognize any inauthenticity before you even utter the first word. Your actions, your body language, your intentions speak before anything else. That is why that if we truly want to be spiritual then the first people who will declare it is our family. For example, my wife will be the first to tell you my reality. That is the way it is.

We often seek to pretend to be something we are not in our social circles or when others are around. When we are with our own then our real nature shows. If we are truly kind and considerate then that shows. If we are mean and horrible then that will show. We cannot fool those that live with us each and every day.

We like to show the world that we are something else. We want others to have a certain image of us and we play upon that image. Yet, the spiritual path, the path of wisdom is all about destroying the image. We do not need to be labelled, or put into a box of a certain kind. We are to be free from such notions. The path of the wise is about becoming nothing and this is the biggest fear we fearfully hold. Being nothing is linked to death. With death, we know that nothing will happen to us. Inside we know it. For example, even if you believe in heaven, you are still nothing on the Earth now. This can create a sense of fear of us. The highest spiritual attainment for the mind is to become nothing, to become empty and this is the truest victory. It is only at this point that we understand that we are actually Fullness. We are Imageless. We are Formless. We are beyond even the sense of nothingness, emptiness or void.

Too much of our life is about what we are trying to portray instead of revealing what we truly are. It is the ascetics, the monks, the spiritual householders that truly look to reveal what they really are. Vedanta calls this Brahman – the Ultimate Reality. How many who claim to be spiritual, who claim to be sharing wisdom, who claim to follow religious rituals are in touch with the Ultimate Reality that is within them? Not just within, it is around one, beyond one and the Ultimate Reality is the Gyana (Knowledge) that is understood beyond the mind. Therefore, this can only be shown and known when one accepts what they are. Once one is able to silence the mind so that it can be programmed as being Brahman then they are Brahm Gyani (Realized Being). It is the Realized Being that is living the Ultimate Reality as the Ultimate Reality.

I am very fortunate that I am able to discuss this with close friends, my wife on a almost daily basis. One thing that has really helped me is seeing Brahman, or Nirankar (the Formless) in my wife. In the morning, when I bow down to touch her feet for blessings, I truly feel that the Ultimate Reality in her and in me too is Greater. This is the birth of real respect. This is the beginning of being authentic. This is the flowing river of love. It creates mystics. For if you can see love in the eyes of your beloved one, in your parents, in your friends then wisdom is at your beck and call. What is the point of wisdom, if it doesn’t create respect for others? What is the point of wisdom, if one is not open-minded towards all.

I do want to talk about spiritual intoxication and maybe will tomorrow. How do you practice spirituality in your day to day life? I would love to know.

Love.

Uncles and Life Lessons

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I look back at all the blessings that I have received from my elders and younger friends and family and I always have a gentle stream of tears roll down my cheeks – out of gratitude and joy.

Recently, me and my wife bought a home and I was at my home, feeling this immense state of gratitude for all the people in my life, who have touched my soul with their presence and love. Their pure love has given me so much strength throughout my life. My present moment is beautiful because of all these great people.

Recently, I have been spending some time with my niece and she is a great lesson in being present and joyful. Her every need is catered in the moment, she isn’t anticipating a future nor is she contemplating over the past. She simply is. I was thinking of my own Uncles, who have each taught me something different and unique. One Uncle taught me to keep reading books, to always inquire about the Truth.He taught me how to always spend my life propagating the Truth. Some important lessons were ‘It’s nice to be important but more important to be nice.’ and ‘If God is knowledge, why not have it?’  One Uncle taught me to always be joyful and have a sense of humor. One Uncle taught me to always be there and supportive especially in difficult times (when my brother was in hospital, he travelled by public transport in the snow). One Uncle taught me that silence and serving guests with love is important. Another Uncle taught me to remain in discipline. One more Uncle has shown me to live life to the max, not to worry about anything and live authentically – simply transcend your own bullshit and the bullshit of others. I am talking about my Uncles only because I am an uncle to my niece and I want to show her this way of life. She doesn’t have to live the way I live, she is unique to her own self and I just want her to know that I am always there for her.

Learning and shaping who you are is what life is all about. Imagine that you yourself are a block of marble, all the thoughts, actions and intentions represent the sculptor and they will chisel away on that block of marble. The beauty of the sculpture depends on how aware we are of each thought, action and intention. When our life is full of joy, when our life is lived in the present moment then our mind is at peace. A mind in peace is a mind alert with awareness. This is the opportunity at hand.

As I continue to grow, as I continue to try and live a life of awareness, as I continue to explore the Truth, I am going to be changing a lot until that one transformation settles itself. I do find that transformation is occurring in the background of countless changes that are perceived.

The one thing that life will always show us is how vulnerable we are to death too. Two of my Uncles mentioned have passed away yet, something of them lives in the hearts that they touched and in a way makes them eternal. Each Uncle that I mentioned is an uncle that I have spent considerable time with and are related to my mum and dad. I have so many Uncles who are friends of my parents and it would be a very long post to go into each of the lessons that they have taught too.

One thing that is most important and that is to live authentically and allow your uniqueness to be. Nobody is perfect, nobody is without flaws and we have to understand this. In our relationships with others, we have our own expectations of how they need to be but let them be as they are. They have their own journey and their own growth and if they need your help, they will ask. If not, then you be authentic and promote authenticity. We live in the shadows of others, failing to see that we have immense Light.

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?

Memories and Machines

I have often wondered about the nature of Existence and how great it is. From stardust to planets to human beings and possibly a hybrid of human and technology. In fact, the way phones are glued to people right now, it can feel like you are talking to part human and part machine!

The crazy thing about the human condition is that we were already machines in a social construct. We are fed what to think by everyone around us, the media, our job, our beliefs and they all made us into machines that kept going and going until one day, we are about to die and we feel that we have never lived before and in these last moments, we are feeling life, fresh and new.

Except for the mystics, who have this immense grasp on living in the present moment, loving each moment and living life as if it is a new day that has never been experienced, despite living in routine day in and day out. They have something amazing and it is worth exploring maybe another time.

However, our attachments to social media or our phones has really led us into not feeling connected. It is so strange but that human touch is so much more sacred, so pure that if it is ignored, it will be detrimental to that person and even society at large. Although, I now live in the USA and my parents live in the UK, I do miss them but to know the true depth of that connection is only going to be discovered when I meet them. When I touch their feet (it is a spiritual custom to touch the feet of others as the divine is in them too) and take their blessings. When I give them a hug, that joy cannot translate itself in pictures, no matter if I do capture that perfect moment.

The other part of connection is the awareness of our memories and as I live away from my parents, my memories of my parents gives me connection, it makes me miss them and love them as if I was with them. In fact, my mind can even visualize that I am meeting them.

The point is how can I capture those memories if I am not present, if I am not observing my surroundings? Have you ever heard anyone remind you of a memory when you was on the phone? Like a deep memory. Not really. I can count on that I have probably missed so many memories because I was busy taking out my phone and trying to capture it. Then never looking at those pictures again. I can’t remember when I went into my photos app on my smartphone to go through the memories. Memories are meant to be imprinted in the mind not on phones.

When my brother died, I didn’t capture the moment he died on my cellphone. I lived through it with him. I wanted to experience the moment my brother would breathe his last. I allowed all that memory to be stored in my mind. Likewise, this is what I value today, that I was with him. That I held his hand, that I prayed that he would merge with the One.

We will all end up losing our loved ones and it is such a sad but inevitable part of life but if we have photos captured as well as memories then we are true winners. My point is that the generation(s) that just believes in taking pictures on their phone at any given moment, or we are looking down on our phones without living each moment, connecting with each action and thought we take, we will lose this great opportunity of being human.

Again, I often wonder about the nature of existence and I am so happy to be alive and that if my next breath were to be my last, I am happy.

 

Poem – Swept Alone

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This pain calms down and settles,
You feel that it is still and grounded,
Suddenly you are swept away,
Struggling to think as a wave crashes against you.
Then you realise it is an earthquake
Everything is crumbling down,
A tornado vacuums all your happiness,
And then it all stops.
You would call this a time of disaster
But now nothing is happening,
And this nothing feels like a disaster.
Atleast the activity kept me busy,
Now all I have is myself
And I don’t know where I have gone.
I went out on a journey,
Travelling against land and sea,
Still my Beloved is missing.
I seek for those eyes,
I seek for that smile,
I seek for that embrace,
I feel lost without You,
I am all alone at sea,
No activity not even myself,
Enlightenment without You
Feels like I am all alone.

@rahulnsinghpoetry

The Struggle continues

grief

3 months ago, a world that was full of colour turned dull, a life full of light turned into darkness in just one moment. All that remained was the observer in me – the watcher was untouched by the sadness and grief that struck my mind and my whole world was shattered. I didn’t know where to look, what to feel, what to say, what to do. I was lost in a world that didn’t make sense anymore. That is what happens when you have surrendered everything to someone – to a Spiritual Master.

After surrendering to Baba ji (my Spiritual Master) I didn’t have to think about anything in my life. I knew that it was in safe hands and still is despise His demise. I know that He has made sure my life will be comfortable and He must have given me all the strength to continue until my body decides that it has run its course on this Earth. However, there was certainly a sense of stability and comfort knowing that Baba ji was alive in His form, you felt safe knowing that if you had an issue then you could see Him. It was His approachability that made Him our everything and today, it is that very approachability that myself and others miss and seek.

My life has taken a turn where I am struggling to cope with this loss. It is no normal bereavement. It is one of excruciating pain where even the Observer, the Witness, the God within us understands the soul’s pain in losing the One who gave it so much joy, happiness and celebration. I always have this image of my soul crying, all alone in the universe, searching frantically for Baba ji. It is lost and doesn’t know what to do. I don’t think losing Baba ji is something I wanted so early on in my life.

How can I explain that God had showed me God? How can I explain that it was God that showed me how to be human? How can I explain to others that God had shown me how to become God Himself? And now this very God, the one we all worship regardless of our different paths had now left His mortal form. Can you imagine the pain of a devotee losing Krishna, Buddha, Kabir, Rumi and other Great Spiritual Masters whilst they were alive? You just don’t want to imagine it but today that imagination that I avoided is now my reality.

The only reason I am living is to write His praises, to write about how loving He was and to give the world now and in the future – the story of Rahul and Hardev. It is not that I want to die tomorrow or even right now. I don’t want to die until it is the right time but I can’t stop expressing the pain that I feel and it is not wrong to feel this pain. I have lost my breath and I am suffocating and drowning and I am only beginning to swim again. It feels like I have just been born again and have to start life all over again. This is not easy when you are left without the Beloved. I wonder if I trip or fall, will I be saved? Will someone pick me up?

As this struggling heart continues on the path towards liberation, I know that we have Satguru (Spiritual Master) in a new form and we have to surrender to Mata ji with the same zeal and enthusiasm that we did for Baba ji. It will have its own challenges but we can see through it. It does not mean we will not grieve for Baba ji, the tears will always flow and we will only be telling others about the legend of Hardev – the sweetest, caring and compassionate Guru. In a world spread with turmoil, suffering, hatred, intolerance and jealousy, we will know of a man that defied those values and became an embodiment of peace, love, humility, tolerance, forgiveness and compassion. We lived and walked alongside this legendary being.

His one smile was always something that we all longed for whenever He was going to visit us, wherever that may be in the world, but I know for sure that Mata ji will give us the same loving smile. She did this for me the day after Baba ji’s funeral. It was something that I needed and I also need that right now. I seek the glimpse of the Satguru to give comfort to the pain that my heart feels for my Beloved. As a devotee, I have full trust in Mata ji and all devotees of Baba ji have to support Her vision.

On the note of forgiveness, we all know that Baba ji had left His mortal form in a car accident. That is exactly what it was – an accident. The quicker that we can accept this, the better it will be for our own advancement. I have only seen this as an accident and have placed no blame on anyone. The point is that I knew Baba ji told us to think with a broad mind. We all say that a leaf cannot move without Satguru’s grace but have some of us just said it to meet our own egoic needs? Satguru does all and we cannot become judges of what happened and who should be guilty or not. I find it incredibly inconsiderate to do so. Baba ji only told us to love and forgive and if we cannot do that for our brothers, our family then what tribute can we ever possibly pay to the Satguru who sacrificed His whole life to put a smile on our faces. Those in the car are also grieving like we are. The quicker we forgive and welcome them in our hearts then we can concentrate on our own grieving process with the right mindset and focus.

Our Beloved Baba ji was overflowing with love for us all and we need to be the same. He wasn’t the best human being for His own praise, far from it. He wanted us all to be like Him – hold the same values and become those very spiritual values. We can never let go of the target He set for us, we have to remain focussed. I miss Him loads and I am struggling but the more I am the observer, the more I allow light to enter my dark world. The more I am in the present, the more I feel His love and presence. It is in the connection, focus and merging with the Formless that we see Baba ji again. Every day, I do meet Baba ji and I receive His love, I touch His feet and receive that warm embrace of His. This can be our way, and I need to surrender my struggle to Satguru Mata ji. I will trip and fall but She will pick me up. I will always miss Baba ji and I will still write about it because we are all sharing this grief collectively, but we have to at the same time, side by side, bring the message of Truth everywhere. And the message will always be in our thoughts and actions. Be aware, observe and be.

Thank you for reading. Please like, share and comment.

With Satguru’s love and blessings,
Rahul