While growing up, we have been taught and have heard that we should live a life of virtue, that we should speak only the truth, practice non-violence, and so on. We have also heard that ‘if a person is to know the Divine, they must first give up all desires’. However, this is a case of easier said than done. For, to give up desires is akin to asking a person to learn how to swim without dipping their toes in the water. The person is left bewildered and becomes passive. Yet, inaction, like sitting on the sand by the water’s edge, cannot produce the desired result. For, one must necessarily take some action to learn how to swim.
Similarly, the ability to sacrifice or give up all desire is near impossible. Desires do not die away. Whilst they can be ‘suppressed’ externally, desires continue to dwell inside one’s mind and heart. Saints have said that the only way to successfully rise above one’s desires is through heartfelt prayers to the Divine. One who can ‘experience’ God or be in the presence of the Divine will find that their desires become silent or perish. Just as drinking water quenches thirst, being in the presence of the Divine removes all desire.
Therefore, until we can come face to face with the Divine, it will be near impossible to win over our desires. Despite making every effort to do so, it will be extremely difficult for us to get over various worldly desires. Many well educated and knowledgeable people have succumbed to worldly desires despite their best efforts to become free of such bondage. Hence it is imperative for one to reach for a Guru, the Divine in human form; to help release oneself from the bondage of desires.
It has been said that the only way to free oneself from innermost desires is through connecting with a fellow human who has attained oneness with God, in other words, God in human form, also known as Satguru. This world is so very subtle and elusive that our mind cannot settle within it unless helped to do so by Guru. Therefore, if we are to protect ourselves from the bondage of thoughts and desires, we need to seek a true Guru. For, with a Guru, it is possible to rise above various desires and become closer to God – “Yoga can settle inner strife and desires” (Yogashya chitta vritty nirodhah).
To achieve a state of mind where there are no thoughts to disturb the tranquility of one’s Inner Self during a wakeful state, one must be in the proximity of Guru or the Soul. It is just like lighting a candlestick. To start with, there is weight and substance, but as it burns, only light is left. We can say that the candlestick was full of light (initially hidden) that perished in the glow of light. Similarly, as we sit and meditate upon the divine Light of God or Guru, we can also become one with the Spirit of God. Like the candlestick that becomes one with the light until there is nothing left but the presence of God.
Lower order substances slowly perish and become lighter. Just as the earth dissolves in water, which then merges with fire that rises to the sky. The sky is said to merge within our minds and mind into intellect, which then merges with ego (“I”) and finally perishes into the Soul.
The meditation process taught by Guru Maharaj can take us to a state where you merge with the Soul, where it is possible to ‘experience’ God. Until you achieve true proximity with God, you are unable to ‘realise’ your true self. It is said: “Those who merge their soul and become one with God, will also gain knowledge of their true self and be one with the Soul”.
Therefore, we should follow the meditation upon light shown to us by Guru Maharaj. By constant practice, a time will definitely come when we can achieve true knowledge of our own ‘self’ and become free of the bondages in this world.
Written by Pandit Mihilal Ji. Translated and adapted from Sadhan (a monthly publication of Ramashram Satsang Mathura) edition June 2020 Pg (9) Pravachan Parag by Arvind Kumar.