“A disciple should not ask for anything other than Lord Himself from Him” — this is an often quoted viewpoint in most spiritual discourses that preach bhakti marg and surat shabd yog. Loving Him for His sake seems impossible to achieve for me. My remembrances of Him are sporadic and short-lived. When free I sometime ask myself: what is it that makes me remember Him? Digging deeper, my mind finds only selfish desires to be the reasons that make me remember the Lord. Whenever I think of Him it is always for asking, begging — regardless of whether I’m asking for an earthly object or some higher spiritual blessings. Even if I try to ask Him from Him my asking is fake, this I always know in my heart. It is fake because such longing for Him arises out of my occasional disenchantment with existence on this plane or curiosity of what lies beyond. It is almost always a rebound from the world that pushes me towards Him and never my own conscious desire to be with Him. In this desire to be with Him too there is my selfishness because it is me who is looking/hoping for some Joy that they say comes from being with Him. There is always this sense of me and Him as separate entities. Anything I try to do to remember Him seems driven purely by my selfish desires. Remembering Him truly for His sake is impossible unless and until something happens to me that makes me Him. Then there will be no me, it will be He remembering Himself. May be eliminating me is the way to remember Him truly for His sake. Ah … that’s why they say get rid of your self to be with Him.
यही तो है हमदम, वो साथी, वो दिलबर, वो यार
मोहब्बत का दरिया अजूबा निराला, जो तैरा वो पाया कभी न किनारा
In the common usage of this word it refers to something done by one person or a group for another. Service may be sold or be rendered out of love and gratitude. Professionals like architects, dentists, tailors and so on sell their services. I would call it a service out of love when a mother nurses her child. An obedient son making sure that his parents are comfortable and in peace is also, in my view, a service that the son does out of love for his parents. In the Eastern philosophy there is a mention of service to the master that a disciple does out of his love for the master. I’d call someone performing the service of second kind as virtuous whereas someone performing the first would be called a skilled person. The kind of wealth earned by performing each type of service is also different.
There are some subtle differences in the way the practitioners of these two kinds of services usually perform them.
An architect for instance makes sure that the design of the home that he does makes the client happy. Architect’s own personal preferences about a home take the back seat. A tailor’s personal preferences about dressing takes a back seat when he stitches the client’s clothes — the client has to feel happy and satisfied about the dress. Client first is their mantra.
It is not exactly the same when one performs the "out of love" type of service — the idea of putting the happiness of the served one before one’s own desires is often lost. Often the serving won’t even be aware that his own desires to prove something or to fulfil some selfish motive out of it are coming in the way.
Just relaxing in the back seat when someone else who is experienced and is trustworthy is at the wheel is so much fun I realized last Sunday while returning from Lucknow after hearing the Murshid‘s satsang. Lucknow to Kanpur highway is quite good. The weather during the day time was very pleasant this weekend. I rolled the windows down and feeling of the air on my face while fields turned yellow and green alongside the road gave an amazing experience. I went about 20 years back in time in my thoughts remembering the ride with dad on his motorcycle from Bains to my grand parents’ home in HP. Ever since I gained dad’s trust in my driving skills, back at home it is almost always I who is at the wheel whenever the family travels by car and I always miss the relaxing comfort of being in the back seat.
My mind starts to draw spiritual parallels from this changing experiences in the journey. Such is the impact of hearing Him which stays with you for some time that you always try to look at things with spiritual lenses :). Journey was enjoyable and fun because I gave up control to someone who knew the way and was experienced and trusted driver. Most of the way was smooth, but in the rough stretch of the journey too my driver sailed smooth as I relaxed in the back seat. And he didn’t honk even a single time*!! Unbelievable in Kanpur!
My weekend was blessed!
* I said thanks to the driver after he brought me home and that is when he told me: “साब कार का होर्न खराब था, नहीं तो थोडा जल्दी पहुंचा देता!” 🙂
Life’s not easy — mind doesn’t let it be so. Mind wants to forgive itself of any wrong thoughts or deeds, but for others doing the same things it is not a feeble bit forgiving! It takes repeated persuasion to tell it that what it thinks is not rational. But by remembering the ultimate goal and murshid‘s words it slowly calms down and takes a more forgiving view.
Last night I watched the Christopher Nolan’s 2010 Inception. A compelling film around the idea of butterfly dream of Master Chuang Tzu. The film left me thinking for a while … I sort of went into my own “thinking dream”. I take so many things for granted in life. Many things I don’t think deep enough about. While both were in the realm of a dream, a very interesting thing Cobb asks to Ariadne: “..do you remember exactly how did you come here“. In “real” life too how many of us can trace back our memory of how we ended up where we are today? We see the child grow right from after the birth, but the child may not remember the starting years. Like in the film, we “find ourselves” right in the middle of the “dream” and continue from there until we die. Death is another think that I didn’t think much about until before the last week of August 2010.
There’s always a constant chatter going on in my mind – lately it is mostly the analytcal criticism of myself and others. Even this post is the byproduct such a mind-chatter. True serenity lies in the stillness of mind which of course is the chief endeavor of each satsangi. Living according to Sant Mat principles is not easy. Each step and thought needs to be scrutinized. I sometimes feel like not doing or thinking anything at all- just keep my indulgence in thoughts and activities to a bare minimal. But then one or the other environmental factors and my worldly attachments push me into the whirlpool of thoughts and actions which I know are useless but still have to be done. At times this urge to stay inert causes a feeling of guilt of running away from my worldly duties. Then I really wish if I could be a robot – no clutter of emotions and thoughts. I think environment in terms of our associations with people (family, friends and co-workers etc.) is extreemely imporant and is deterimental to one’s well being both worldly and spiritual.
Looking at the above lines I’m realizing that these are simple facts I’ve heard and read many times but it sinks in only with experience.