5 ways a Spiritual Master helps you on the Spiritual Journey

I want to focus on the Spiritual Master and 5 ways that it has helped me on my journey, so it is incredibly personal. Before I go into this, let me discuss with you briefly the difference between a Figurehead and a Spiritual Master. The Spiritual Master has a personal relationship with your spirituality and the focus is purely on spiritual growth. The relationship has more compassion, forgiveness and love. The Figurehead is someone that carries on a tradition and is impersonal for the most part and has the danger of operating with fear and complete obedience. An image is created for them and the Figurehead follows this image accordingly. There are cases that some are a mix of a Figurehead and a Spiritual Master and each case is hugely dependent on the disciple or the follower.

My last blog post dealt with how we need to be self-reliant in our relationship with spirituality, if we are to be serious seekers. I mentioned that having a fixed framework that is a ‘one size fits all’ like a philosophy/ideology that all must follow and following a Figurehead was important for a casual spiritual aspirant. It offers structure, some practices that are not strenuous, and it will at least give us all the tools to make us decent human beings.

Let’s now look into the 5 ways a Spiritual Master helped me on my journey.

Individual Path

My Spiritual Master understood my approach with spirituality and responded according to it. My Spiritual Master guided me to carve my own way to understand the deeper realities. I was to pick myself up when I fall and remain grounded whenever my ego could soar to unnecessary places. My Spiritual Master was very quick in understanding and accepting that I didn’t belong to any organization/movement and that my Spiritual Master’s guidance is everything and would remain so. I would ask questions on what I was confused about and my Spiritual Master would give me answers sometimes. Occasionally, I would follow up with more questions. Then there were times that silence was the answer to my questions. Normally, a day or two later I would find the answer I was looking for. It was always within me.

Discovering the Inner Guru

My Spiritual Master through silence and the knowledge of the Self showed me the Inner Guru that was always residing within. I was to befriend this as much as possible. I was to ask this Inner Guru my questions, share my doubts and worries, and even my joys and feelings of bliss. Whenever I sat down to meditate, I was to focus on the image of the Inner Guru, who would then take me to the Formless, Impersonal, Ultimate Reality. So when I met my Spiritual Master, I could give a highlighted report about the progress of my spirituality and whatever answers I couldn’t find, I would ask those questions and would receive the answers accordingly. The more I connected with the Inner Guru, my Spiritual Master gave me a lot of love and we grew closer.

Return to the Source

The focus was always on returning back to the Source, the Origin, and the Formless Reality that is always there in the background. This doesn’t and has never disappeared. It is always there and I just had to focus as much as I could on it. My Spiritual Master would tell me to stick to the Formless, and don’t look anywhere else. If I would listen or read something, I could relate it back to the Formless. Explore and find the connection and then bathe in that Awareness. The more awareness I had, the better. This became the base of my meditation. I was blessed with some amazing experiences and this was because of simply following my Spiritual Master’s guidance.

Synthesis of Spiritualism and Materialism

My Spiritual Master laid great importance on connecting the spiritual and material. I wasn’t to live dual lives – one that is spiritual and then one of the world. I was to find the Spiritual in the Material World. I was guided that the Spiritual is very much present and that I had to lift the veil in order to see it. I did find that the more I focused on my spirituality, then I never had to worry about my job or anything like that. Somehow, life always remains smooth. I do my work to earn a living and I focus on my spirituality. Both have a beautiful relationship with each other because I was told to see the oneness between them.

Let the Heart Speak

This is something that is very dear to me. My Spiritual Master guided me to only share my best and that was through my heart. If I was to speak to a gathering, I was not to be prepared. It is funny but whenever I prepared something, I would forget it and deliver something totally different. I always enter a different state of being – very similar, if not the same, as when I meditate. I lose sense of my individual self, finding Awareness through the Heart and then I speak. For some reason, I can never remember anything I say verbatim. I can never remember lines of spiritual texts. I just seem to understand the essence.

Concluding Thoughts

The reality is that my Spiritual Master has allowed me to really develop my own spiritual path, according to my understanding. Being agnostic, this is very helpful for me. Even though, my Spiritual Master talks about God, I understood what was meant by that word. Although, I don’t like using the word but I know my Spiritual Master’s discourses reach a wider audience. But in private conversations, the word ‘god’ was seldom used. Only Formless, or Awareness was used with me.

The Spiritual Master understands you and works with you to excel in spirituality. The focus is on your own improvement alone as a spiritual disciple. One of the best moments during a conversation with the Spiritual Master is whenever you come to a realization or you discover a beautiful insight and you share it with the Spiritual Master. They will listen to it as if it was completely new to them as well and you will see wonder glowing through their eyes. In that, they teach true listening along with keeping an attitude of wonder. The Spiritual Master is the truest advocate of mystical experiences and their aim is to create a Mystic.

Approaching the Great Teacher

Earlier in the morning I was reading a book on J Krishnamurti and came across some beautiful lines:

Awake, arise, having approached the great teacher, learn.

The road is difficult, the crossing is as the sharp edge of a razor.

Katha Upanishad III

These words had an impact this morning. Some of us are fortunate to have a Living Spiritual Master, some of us are fortunate to have had a Spiritual Master in the past. We approach a Spiritual Master to learn something new, to gain some wisdom, to learn the practice of Spirituality that could lead to awakening or enlightenment. When we approach the Spiritual Master or the Great Teacher, do we simply just regurgitate what we have learned without seeing the implications of practice? Therefore, our repetition isn’t a sign of wisdom or understanding. The real words of the Spiritual Master is when practice defines and becomes the foundation of wisdom. This means our failures, obstructions, confusions, doubts all have a part in what is constituted as wisdom.

The attitude to learn is one where we are happy to admit that we do not know and acknowledging the long path ahead of us. As the lines of the Upanishad guides us further that the road is difficult. If we simply think that we are in a state of bliss because we have received a teaching, then that isn’t bliss but inspiration. We can feel inspired and sometimes we mistake this as bliss. Feeling inspired gives us a high that dies down after a couple of days and bliss is a continuous and unbreakable high according to the Sages of the East. Therefore, when we recognize the difference between the two, we can get closer to what is considered to be bliss. We must use that inspiration to move us forward fearlessly.

The crossing is as sharp as the edge of a razor. Do we truly feel this? That one wrong turn then we could be back to square one in our spiritual journey or we come to realize we didn’t move as far ahead as we thought we had. Do we understand that when we cross from knowledge to a practical application that it could destroy everything we know about ourselves. The body that we thought we were, the thoughts and memories that made us who we were, suddenly holds little value in life as we find ourselves at the pinnacle of true understanding. When we practice and realize that we are formless beings and are nothing but a manifestation of the Formless, are we happy to live by this wisdom? Can we live by this wisdom 24/7? These are questions to really ponder about.

Are we ready to arise and awake? Are we ready to approach the Great Teachers and admit we need to know more and that we need wisdom to awaken us? Are we aware of the difficulties that our mind will face once we receive knowledge from the Great Teachers? And can we confidently cross the ocean of materialism unscathed by the sharp edge of the razor called the ego?

Innermost Essence

This morning was spent on contemplating the changes that have occured in the last 4 years. A lot has happened in between and not only have things affected me on a personal level, but it seems the country, continents and the world at large has gone through a lot too.

In May 2016, when my Spiritual Master left His body, the brightest Light in my world had disappeared and I continue to miss His persona, His compassionate teachings and His understanding nature. My experiences with Him were always pleasant and one that moved me forward in my spiritual journey. In fact, it was having close contact with Him that truly helped. It was having the ability to discuss my ego and the way it would trap me and it often finished with a good belly laugh after recollecting the experience. When He would finally speak His one or two sentences, they would become pointings to guide me spiritually and they stood the test of time. I used to have a lot of questions too, I dare not repeat some of them here but He answered them gracefully and understood my doubts fully. He made space for me to deal with them. He never advised me to let go of my doubts but instead instructed for me to keep pursuing the doubt so I carried on learning.

I do believe that behind every doubt lies a great teaching. Doubt is like a veil that hides the Light of the Teaching. You have to use your hands to remove the veil, you must have faith that you will get to the Teaching. You simply cannot surrender and expect the veil to move by some hand of God. Therefore, it requires an element of strength and determination that one would work on delusions and ignorance so the Light faces no obstruction.

There is a gift that my Spiritual Master gave and the Spiritual Masters that have followed Him have continued to give – that is to show the way to the Inner Light of my atman (innermost essence). It is understanding that this innermost essence must be discovered daily, I must abide by it as much as I can and be aware of it as much as I can. This innermost essence is formless, shapeless, colorless, boundless, limitless etc.

4 years on with the continuous guidance from my Spiritual Master(s), I have found that this innermost essence is shining brighter whenever I focus and concentrate on it. The question is my availability to this practice. The ability is already given when one is blessed with Brahm Gyana (Knowledge of the Ultimate Reality). Even a minute spent available to this wonderful blessing is most beneficial. Yes, the Spiritual Master will always be the brightest Light and will be there to guide but it is us, as individuals that have to awaken that same Light within us. It is my delusion that this Light, that is the brightest ever just shines with one individual, when really it is within every being. To say it is not, I would be implying that the first spiritual sages thousands of years ago and the philosophy built upon their teachings till date is wrong. Day by day, this feeling grows stronger that each being is divine and all are the same One Light. All that is needed is the vision to see this Light within everyone and understand that no veil can extinguish it.

Practice is Key

There will always be the Light of Truth and it is all about how you can get yourself there. Don’t look upon anyone to give you the truth, to take you to the next stage. Accept that it is solely your responsibility.

The Spiritual Master simply gives you that wisdom, which opens the ground for a practical realization of the Truth. The Spiritual Master simply guides that the Truth alone should be worshipped. In fact, worship of the Truth is the only way to worship the Master. All other means are simply your own devotion but has nothing to do with true worship.

We have such powerful minds that we can do anything if we truly desire to do so. It is best to focus our desires on a fruitful life that is lived in an enlightened realization. It is okay to have all the riches of the world but a life of enlightenment is what makes life become a spectacular journey.

Never run away from responsibilities, the Truth is given so that you can enjoy every aspect of life – whether that is your family relationships, your occupation, your hobbies etc. Enjoy it all and again, remember that the foundation has to be built on Truth.

The Truth is only understood, comprehended and an embedded part of life until you truly meditate on it. Without meditation, remembrance on the Truth, it will disappear because it is so subtle. How can we grasp the Formless through the limited form of our senses. Going beyond the senses, we are able to grasp the Limitless Formless Truth.

All we need to do is approach a Spiritual Master with the sincerity to practice until the goal is reached. Merely thinking, talking, preaching about the Truth is not enough. Practice is key!

Mirages and Spiritual Awakening

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Growing up with a thirst for spiritual awakening was not easy as I had to study and build a life thereon. Studying for me was boring because it was forced upon me and inside I knew that I would probably never use half of the things I learned in high school. I was right about that but my thirst for spiritual awakening was also growing, as I became more thirsty, several mirages appeared in my life to distract me – whether it was women, intoxicants, wealth etc.

Eventually these mirages were ignored after several years of going through these experiences as if they were true. I look back at the past and think I was so sure I was doing the best thing for me and now I almost regret some of it. However, what has been done has been done. I have to move forward.

As several mirages appeared again, I knew it was right to let them be as they were but not be allured towards them. I was then clear for spiritual awakening, so I thought but such experiences never come easy even if you have the tool to instantaneously get it.

The mirage of concepts was very heavy and while I got rid of some concepts through careful analysis on their validity, I ended up created some more concepts and down again I went down the rabbit hole. From saying there is a god to know saying there isn’t a god – I was firm on both these concepts at one time and now – I don’t know even though the answer is very, very clear to me.

Two things I had never let go of: One was my love for my Spiritual Master and two was my meditation. Even though, I tried to stay clear from my Spiritual Master, I understood that something else was being played. Even though I disagreed a lot with some of the philosophy that His organization taught, it was later discovered through my own meditation that those were my philosophies and not His. This was when I realized that our perception had to be cleansed in order to truly understand a philosophy as it is and not how you interpret it.

Let’s just say that the way I see the philosophy now is very simple – the realization of the Formless Self, is the realization of your True Self. The Spiritual Master just points at that Formless Self. It is up to you whether you look at the Formless Self or take a little detour with looking at the Spiritual Master. If you do take the detour, it becomes dangerous territory because you may love the Master but your mind has not realized it’s true self so therefore, your Master will be judged by you – even if it is a positive judgement. Any judgment will not let you see something clearly.

As I mentioned, I stayed away from my Master while I was going through this major analysis, but I was very devoted to meditation and meditated a lot. I was working and would wake up as early as 4am and meditate for an hour, then read for two hours and then get ready for work. It so happened, that on a Saturday, I started meditating again around 9am and as I was focussing on empty space for a while, I saw the tiniest dot of Light appear and I was amazed at this. I floated in this empty space and went near it and I heard a sound that simply said ‘Before this, I am,’ and I just saw this dot expand and the whole of creation was presented to me. I couldn’t contain myself and took myself out of the meditative state. I didn’t know what I experienced other than there had to be something before creation.

I have never forgotten this experience but it came back to me three weeks ago. This time, the tiniest dot was not seen but empty space was taken away from me and I came to an absolute stillness and centered my whole focus on that stillness. I was so taken aback by it that it felt like I had been there for 10 minutes when in fact, it had only been around 30 seconds. It was an intense experience. I realized one major thing – it didn’t matter whether this is god or not – there is only stillness. Call it whatever you want now to personalize it. I totally understand why we name it. Yes, it certainly dilutes what It Is but people need something to relate to and the easiest thing to do is to name it.

I enjoyed this experience and I have noticed how it continuously presents itself to me without any desire from my side. It’s presence cannot be ignored by me. It only then occurred to me that my Spiritual Master had told me about this around 5 years ago. He held his right hand out, His palm facing His stomach, maybe 15 cm away from His stomach and with His left hand waving in between the right hand and the stomach said “You have to be aware of this, it is stillness. Keep focusing on this awareness.” Little did I know that after almost 3 years of His departure from His physical form would this golden nugget of wisdom make sense to me and I would understand it.

The mirage I had then was that a Spiritual Master is only the physical body, this is a massive illusion. The teachings are of an eternal nature and so is the presence of the Master. It is now that I truly appreciate everything that has been taught to me. I am still learning, discovering and in fact, I am more eager to learn than I probably was in my teens. Spirituality has no end in terms of literature but in the end it is your own experience that matters. Use the literature to inspire you, refuse to let it be a concept.

A few weeks ago, I had my second spiritual awakening, the sight towards enlightenment is also on the horizon. All gratitude goes to my Spiritual Master.

 

 

Emotions through Poetry

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The one thing about being a writer is that even if you have moved on from something, you will be dragged back into that headspace. You always have to give an experience to the reader or the listener and to do this you have to give them the emotions that you had during the time.

As I look to start writing my poetry book based on my memories, experiences with Baba ji, my Beloved Spiritual Master, I know I have to go back in time and feel the exact pain that I felt then and still deal with the feelings I have now. This is the way I write my poetry and therefore, it is not necessarily that what I write is about how I feel right now but it can be about a feeling I had 5 years ago or 5 days ago.

This is going to be tough and it will get tougher while I write what I feel and how I felt, how emotional each experience, memory holds and it is in this space that I have to gather spiritual stability, to maintain that witness within me and let everything flow naturally.

We all face challenges and this book is one of them. I decided today that this book will be the last book of the trilogy, of which two books have been released already. It marks the end of the Master-Disciple relationship of Rahul and Hardev. Baba ji will always be my Beloved and it is Him that I seek all wisdom from. I want to see Him in everything and find that all ways are His beautiful ways.

Each day is tough in dealing with this loss and it never gets easy. What helps is the love and care that you get at home. I let out a lot of what I feel through writing and being in the present moment but what is experienced will always be empty and silent eventually. This emptiness will have His fullness and this silence will have His harmony. At the moment, I may be getting signs of it but He never lets any of His disciples down. All I have to do is be in synchronicity with Him.

My tears have been flowing as I remember how much He gave to me and what He gave can never be repaid for several more lifetimes but I have to repay it in this lifetime. This means I have to work several times harder to reach the goal that He gave us – which was to be enlightened, divine beings.

I will start writing tonight and all I wish for is that you all give me your good wishes and blessings.

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