Freedom in the Formless

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As I sat in contemplation last night at a gathering last night, I kept thinking of the words in the title of this blog – Freedom in the Formless. It felt like an inner voice guiding me that I had to write about this and explore what it meant.

I regularly attend a spiritual gathering and the fundamental teaching is that we are all formless and that we can understand this by understanding that the world that we see around us is eventually formless when we break it all down. When we know that beyond the universe is formless, we can contemplate within that we are also Formless.

I find this to be a very powerful thought, which in the beginning it simply is a thought. Then as we begin to contemplate on it, meditate on it, we slowly begin to feel like the Formless and then we become Formless. The closest material to the Formless is love. In fact, love helps us a lot in spirituality. My wife is amazing at helping me grow spiritually and ensuring that I don’t remain stagnant. She is a perfect mirror for me and every time I think of her, I am overwhelmed with this sense of unconditional love. I don’t know why I love her, I just do. I don’t mean to be all romantic here, but simply stating we can feel spiritual concepts within our own homes and that my wife has allowed me to dive back into my spirituality.

The one thing that I love is when I express how I feel about the day with my wife, I express my emotions and I have slowly seen how anger is slipping away from me. There was a time maybe in 2013/2014 where I didn’t experience anger at all. It just never happened. Many things could have stirred that anger but I was so drenched in my experiences of the Formless, anger just couldn’t rise. I didn’t overcome it, I let it rest for a while.

Then in 2017, my anger started coming back. Questions appeared and no answers were good enough. The problem was not about the answers that people gave, they gave the best answers they could but I had the answers within me all the time. However, I didn’t have the time to look at my own answers. I was angry with the world, angry with the circumstances and most of all, angry at the lack of love. Which is hilarious when I think about it, being angry at the lack of love. However, it felt so true at the time. I couldn’t understand how far we stepped back when it came to following spiritual principles that were held on to so tightly like love, understanding, forgiveness and acceptance.

Yesterday, while talking to my wife, I expressed that there was a time in my life when I didn’t get angry. I would raise my voice a little but it never grew into anger. I stayed calm for most of the time as I was so aware of my own self. My wife very beautifully asked – “But you meditated a lot back then?” and I replied that I did and that I used to wake up at 4am in the morning and meditate for an hour (Thank you Dad for waking me up at 4am). I got rid of a lot of the emotions that disturbs the peace of humans. However, in 2017 and especially 2018, my anger and those other disturbing emotions came back again. The only answer was and is a lack of meditation and awareness that I am formless. Not conceptually but experientially.

It has been in recent times that I have noticed my anger has been a regular visitor to my consciousness. It feels like a guest that has overstayed its welcome. I keep showing it the door but it keeps staying for yet another night. The only reason this happens is because I choose to let the Formless stay out for another night.

Although, I haven’t spoken much about what freedom in the formless means but this is reflective of a past that was good but a present that has all the possibility of becoming better. All that is needed is for me to go into that wisdom that shows me that within me, it is all Formless. In this vast experience, where is anger, jealousy, greed, lust or pride? These tiny specks of the human experience have enlarged themselves so much that they live in the majority of our days. I feel it is a time to bring an end to that. How do we do that? Awareness, we need to become aware of our own awareness.

How much am I aware in the day that my body is Formless? How much am I aware in the day that my mind is Formless? How much am I aware in the day that I am simply the Formless? In fact, how much am I aware that there is nothing but the Formless? Do I dive into these contemplations everyday? Maybe we should try it out for a week. See how it goes and what happens. It is an experiment where the only thing you could lose is your ego – the nucleus of all the negative emotions.

Let’s come back to this next week and share what we have discovered.

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Discover like an agnostic

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I have quite a few friends who are atheists and to be fair, they are some of the best people that I know. I have never believed that people who believe in a God are somewhat better than those that do not. I have felt that those that drown themselves in dogma, end up harming society more because time has moved on, cultures have evolved and yet the practices remain the same.

I am a keen meditator and although I don’t believe in any abrahamic version of a god, I do believe that within us and around us, there is Formless, Conscious Energy. This is the creator, sustainer and destroyer all in one. It has no end and no beginning. It can never be defined and most of all, you can only experience this as you live as it is – or live in your most natural state.

We have been programmed to judge others, to be skeptical of others, to gossip about others when really why do we even care? I understand that judgment is needed, certainly some people are so entrenched in their ego, that does mean you will suspect an ulterior motive but your way of being shouldn’t change. You will not trust that person for sure, but love and respect will always be what you speak of.

The biggest challenge for me is that despite being an atheist in some ways, I would say I am happily an agnostic. I simply love the fact that I don’t know and even if I did know, I want to stay in the state of “I don’t know” because therein lies the beauty of discovery.

One thing is for sure, I go with whatever someone’s vibe is telling me. If someone tells me an experience or something that is not true, I will never say that it isn’t true. I will silently listen. This is how one should approach whether there is a god or not. Meditate and contemplate until there is nothing there. That is what I am doing. You can surely try it and let me know if you want to know how.

 

Your Presence Prevails

10808bf51ff30249a8b83f13f7095d2fThe Guru dispels all darkness of the mind. The mind is in the delusion that it is the body with psychological impressions. The mind is given power by the soul and the soul is in the illusion that it is what the mind is. It takes on a different identity and leads a double life. This double life is the cause of disruption, stress and incredible ignorance that has loyalty towards the ego.

The only way the mind is free from the body and psychological impressions is simply by the elimination of the ego. When the ego is removed from the equation, the soul has access to the mind. When this happens, even for a split second and the Guru is present to give you the Eternal Wisdom then enlightenment can happen in a split second. A journey of bliss continues.

However, this is not the case for everyone and certainly not for me. I was given the Eternal Wisdom, also known as Brahm Gyan by my Guru while ‘my’ ego was running riot. The ego has most definitely calmed down as I transition into soul consciousness, which is god consciousness. However, my ego has put up a good fight and doesn’t look to be taking flight any time soon.

As I mentioned the Guru dispels all darkness of the mind, this is when one remembers the awareness of the Formless, this is the Eternal Wisdom. Understanding and having the realization that this Formless is everywhere and everything, the elements of compassion and acceptance are at the forefront of every decision, even every word.

The ego can put up a fight and the real YOU, that is Formless Awareness can watch all this happening. This is the clearest indicator to show that the ego doesn’t control you. If it did control you then it would incessantly control what you should be aware of. It does its best but in front of the Formless, it is weaker.

When you are in the awareness of the Formless, your ego slowly weakens. It is a gradual process. The only time it can speed up is when you have the physical darshan or receive a loving glance from the Guru. Even in that moment, you must be receptive to it, sensitive to it and open to it. If you are just going to meet the Guru without any intention to be transformed, then nothing will happen. A small urge to be transformed is required.

Spiritual complacency is what happens when we feel the glance (darshan) of the Guru has taken out the ego forever. The Guru never promises this, the disciple somehow falls under this subtle but devastating delusion. The ego and it’s influence has only weakened, not necessarily destroyed. It is reminding yourself of this glance, contemplating upon it, being aware of the Formless that is within everything, only then is the ego on the fast-track to be transcended as you take the flight into the beingness of the Formless.
This is what liberation is. This is what my Guru described to me and I am trying to live in this.

Without Him being here physically, I am fortunate to have had atleast 10 of those darshans, those glances that pierced through my ego, weakening it to the point that only a little bit is required to destroy it once and for all. Then Formless consciousness will be my way of life, it will be my life.

However, with His physical absence, my ego got a little stronger. It thought that my spiritual journey will come to a halt, it would be finished. I would stop having faith, I would stop having the desire to become enlightened as the ego believes that I have to become enlightened, it doesn’t know that I am enlightened. However, I know this intellectually, but experientially I am not there yet.

The ego thinks it is winning and I am here to tell it that Baba ji is more alive than ever! The darshans He blessed me with, those glances are not forgotten. They are with me always. 2 years on, they are stronger than ever. Why? I cannot allow His positive efforts, His precious time that He blessed the Earth with, go to absolute waste.

Baba Ji was the most beautiful being that I had ever come across. Falling in love with Him was a sheer joy for my heart. Crying in the darkness of many nights, seeking His darshan when He was physically here and physically absent, even those moments were one of incredible beauty. He always appeared and will always appear in front of me. His smile is imprinted into my consciousness. Nobody can take this away, no organization can claim ownership of this.

Dear Baba ji, my Beloved, appreciating my limited time in Your presence, full of gratitude, this journey towards being the Formless started with You and it will end with You, however, the journey never ends, it continues. Whatever the outcome of my life, I am grateful that I got to live a few moments with You and had taken breaths in the name of Hardev. For me, you were never born and you can never die, You were, are and always will be fully alive.

You are my journey and destination – Hardev, the Formless Resident of my soul knocking on the door of my mind and I can see my ego moving aside, dissolving away to let Your presence prevail for Eternity.

The Struggle continues

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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

Remembrance – the key to being who You really are.

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Some of us learn to meditate, we have done it for many years but there always comes a point when we feel that something is blocking any further progress. The thing with meditation, apart from its scientific and medicinal value, it is a spiritual practice that is about reaching a state beyond the body and mind.

I have always used the image of my Guru – Nirankari Baba Hardev Singh ji when I begin the remembrance of the Formless Truth. Remembrance is the next stage after meditation. Meditation clears the mind, remembrance goes beyond the mind. Meditation takes you to the boundless, formless state whilst remembrance allows you to become the boundless, formless state. Remembrance is simply knowing who you are and being who you are. When we seek to know our true nature that is meditation, when we seek and become that becomes remembrance.

The power of remembrance is moving beyond words and entering silence. When you know you are focussing on the Formless, you recognise you are in This and you are blessed. This is the blissful state that is only felt with remembrance. When you become that very thing that is always stable and still – when you remember that this is your nature then stability and stillness is your state whilst in movement.

Meditation comes in waves and you reach peaks and valleys. However, with remembrance you are able to be in this one state of rising above, you are the witness and observer. You are neither moved by pleasure or pain, happiness or sadness, differences of forms, by the nature of thought, by action or inaction.

What I am saying here is not about comparing. If you think this is comparing then it is ego. Many compare the difference and then drop one of them. If you want to enter the state of remembrance, meditation surely does help and can help you get to focus quicker. Use meditation to help you if remembrance is proving to be difficult. Whilst meditation needs to move to remembrance eventually as this is the next stage.

I still sit with my back straight, tilt my head back a little and allow my eyes to focus on the third eye area, sit cross-legged with my palm facing upwards whilst my forearm rests on my knees and this is something I learned during my meditation days. I carry this forward because it reminds me of the sacred space I am about to enter completely. Then I begin to enter the state of remembrance and lose all essence of myself and enter this formless state and be in complete being.

Remembrance is being both in movement – sitting, sleeping, eating, waking, walking, talking etc and at the same state be in the same state of the formless – still, free, boundless, love, compassion, blissful etc. This is the tricky aspect of remembrance. You have to live normally and do all the normal things but be still and blissful like a Sage, a Buddha or your Guru. This is the essence of spirituality that not many can grasp or understand. They cannot balance this because they have not become the formless state. They fear it because somewhere they have fear for something. If you want to enter the Formless and be the Formless then you have to be as mighty as a lion, fearless and determined to be completely free.

In this state of balanced remembrance, you will be able to fully function in your daily activities and be in bliss at the same time. This has to be the goal for anyone seeking enlightenment. There is no two ways about it. This whole process is made easier with the grace of a Master, a Buddha, a Sage. I was lucky enough to have a Master, who gave His kind grace and showed me how to meditate and be in remembrance of His true nature. The Spiritual Master is a mirror and reflects Your true nature and this is the beauty. Unless, we clear our vision so we can see this true reality, we will be stuck in just praising the Master but doing nothing about it. We have to be as the Master wants us to be. The disciple has to end the relationship between the Master and Disciple because their relationship has to go beyond all titles and labels into a state of unconditional love. This has to be the aspiration of the disciple.

The Grace of the Master with practice on remembrance makes the whole process towards enlightenment easier and we need to learn to be this Formless at all times. Settling for anything less isn’t good enough. Go beyond everything so you can be Everything.

Be in remembrance – when you know you are focussing on the Formless, you can observe and witness the Formless and converse with it. Then you recognise you are in this Formless and are protected by this Formless. Finally you are blessed because you are one with this Formless – the bliss and ecstasy you are witnessing and have become is the biggest blessing. And in this process, you may see your Master and seeing the Beloved Master is just another sign that the blessing has begun. And it surely has for me!

Try out being in remembrance and feel and become the presence of That which you seek.

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

His blessings
Rahul

Enlightenment – Time is Now

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Postponement
The whole journey of being enlightened is something that we like to postpone. Let us get a good job first, let the children grow up, let me retire and then I can look at enlightenment. However, if we look at what the Sages said, the message is simple and that is that only this moment matters. Who knows when our life will end?

Why should I strive for enlightenment?
The need for enlightenment is a personal step one should take. It is up to me, up to you if you want to reach the highest state of being a human. Enlightenment has always been the next step for evolution. If we are to evolve then enlightenment is said to be the answer. It may be that we are cynical and we can say that it is all words but not a reality, however, the question is have we even attempted to go towards enlightenment before we just sweep it under the carpet? Have we even taken a single step towards knowing the Truth? The choice is ours to test it and experiment with it to reach a result and conclusion.

Enlightenment is exciting
The one single factor that makes enlightenment exciting and worth pursuing are that you get to see the whole world, the whole universe as One. In a world where people want to divide us in the name of religion, nationality, colour of our skin, our caste or class within society, the hierarchy in the workplace etc. isn’t it better to strive and see everyone and everything with the same non-discriminatory approach? It makes perfect sense to my mind. The mind that has itself created all these concepts, ideas and divisions would want to end its current paradigm for a vast , indefinable and formless paradigm. When labels were meant for recognition, we have instead taken a darker turn and it has taken the form of definitions . Once we have started to define them and keep them in a box then that is all we can think of – the box. It is like a frog in a well, the little he sees of the sky is what he perceives to be the whole universe. Until the water rises to the top and he is able to leave the well can he discover that there are infinite life-forms and therefore his vision is expanded. This is the true aim of having enlightened-thinking.

Fragility of life and time
Life is fragile and it can escape from our hands just like we hold sand in our hands, we watch it slide through with great ease. Life will leave this body with great ease but what remains is our soul. Some may believe or not believe in a soul and again it is just another word to recognise that awareness that has been the same throughout our life, that has watched us grow up yet has remained untouched by all the changes. I call that witness the soul. It is a subtle energy and it is part of the greater formless expanse. Once we know our soul and we realise we are not just this body and mind then we attain a unity with this Formless Energy. We only have this moment to realise it. No doctor will guarantee that you will live tomorrow. Nobody can say this for certain so it is best that the most important task as the Sages say must be done now. Once, we have attained this oneness with God or the Formless then we see the whole universe as our own.

Going beyond Darkness and Light
Enlightenment is all about leaving the darkness and entering into the Light. This does not mean that darkness will not exist. It will and that will be the battle between your ego and realisation. If we are in darkness then the Light will try to enter into our lives in many ways. One way and this is the quicker way is to find someone who is enlightened and receive wisdom or True Knowledge from this person. It is said in many scriptures that by staying in the company of those in the Truth is the quickest way to realise God and be enlightened. You see there is no difference between the darkness and the Light. The only reason we see a difference is because we are not united with either of them. When we are in darkness, we need the Light. When we are in the Light, we want to be in darkness as it looks an easier way to live. Such is our nature towards ignorance. However, once someone has become enlightened they see no difference between the Light and Darkness. They rise above and live a life beyond all descriptions. That is the nature of God – unaffected and unmarked and enlightenment can give us that way of life.

Enlightenment is now!
The journey is ours to take and all I can say is that for me – enlightenment is my number one goal or target. It is the purpose of my life and this is because my Guru (Spiritual Teacher) has given me a gift in which enlightenment can happen in this moment itself. All it requires is the audacity to think beyond my ego. Some say that you need many lives in order to be awakened or to know God but who knows if this is the very life in order for you to achieve it. If we are to take full advantage of being a human being, to reach the highest potential then enlightenment is the only way! Enlightenment is a happening in the now.

Humanity – the root of all virtues

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We all face a certain situation where we feel that we have been treated unfairly or we know of others who have been treated unfairly. We find corrupted leaders who are able to place corruption charges of those that are ‘below’ them or accuse them of crimes, which they themselves commit. Such hypocrisy is there and it is up to us to do something about it.

When you expect someone that you respect breaks your trust, could be a person in your own family, could be a friend or a role model and they turn their back on you then what do you do? If you are treated disrespectfully, is it right to fight back? Is it right to be angry? Is it right to be violent in such situations? What should one in such a situation?

The easiest thing always looks like the most difficult thing to do. The easiest is to forgive the fool. Now you may be thinking how is that possible, especially when you have been wronged but that is the best form of retaliation. On top of that, you keep silent with them and you do whatever is necessary to bring justice. If a person is famous for something, show what they do as an opposite for what they are famous for. Another one is to forgive them openly, and if they don’t respond to that then they surely will look foolish to the intelligent amongst the crowd.

You see a lion only needs to roar once to indicate that the presence is truly there. You don’t have to be a dog that barks at anything and everything – that is a quality for something else. A lion decides when it is best to prey for righteous action and that which does less harm.

I have a friend, a close friend who is in such a situation and cannot speak out. This post is rather vague in the context but what I am trying to say here is that take whatever comes your way but never lose your righteous spirit, your spirit to do good and inspire good. The corrupt never win because truth always prevails. Truth always wins and will be victorious. All it requires is humility, love and compassion. If these are the driving forces for action then you will do the most damage to what is bad and unruly. However, this is not damage in a destructive and evil way but damage in the sense that the world cannot cope with evil for too long. We see that the basic humanity within us all starts speaking and, therefore all good action grows and has the snowball effect.

If you feel that life is drowning all hope, if you feel good isn’t winning for you, if you feel that bad people look ‘holier-than-thou’ but are in fact manipulative and conniving, then do not lose your values in exchange for their vices. Another person’s vice cannot be defeated by your own vices. It is by your virtuous nature, rooted from your humanity that finds ways to let the Truth highlight what is false.

Do not give up. The sun always shines whether it is day and night. In the day, the one Sun lights up the sky but it is the millions of Sun’s that light up the night sky. Truth works faster in darkness because then it is a group working together – and that is why they are called stars!

His blessings
Rahul