To achieve a state of mind where we remember Waheguru all the time, we have been given the gift of naam japna. In this way we are able to be in touch with Him, feel His presence in our hearts, and then there is no feeling of separation.
Basant Kaur: But what if someone keeps repeating His name like a parrot?
Himmat Singh: (Smiling) My dear, it's a living, breathing person who is doing naam japna, not a lifeless machine. When a person does something sincerely, it has a definite effect on his or her thinking. When we do naam japna with a clear aim that it should become simran, which in turn should become love for Waheguru, our intentions will bear fruit. However, if someone recites naam for a show, then that is another matter!
Basant Kaur: Oh! why do I get so confused? Why doesn't love for Waheguru fill my heart?
Himmat Singh: There could be a good reason for this. There is a strong belief among people that Waheguru is an autocratic and strict judge, who must be feared. How can then one have a loving relationship with him?
But the Guru has given us an entirely different picture of Waheguru as:
-Nirbhau (without fear)
-Nirvair (without enemity)
All these donate loving and caring qualities.
Thus when we see Him as Aapay Preet Prem Parmesur (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ang 1330), (God puts His love in man and blesses him with His grace.) it becomes easy to love Him. We lose our diffidence, our sense of awkwardness when approaching Him, and begin to feel the closeness, which was being denied to us by our own fear and doubts.
Basant Kaur: Why do we feel shy or awkward with Waheguru? I am not clear on this.
Himmat Singh: In our heart of hearts we are only too aware of our weakness and wrong-doings. As long as we believe that Waheguru will judge us and find us wanting, we hesitate to pray to Him, because we feel that He will not love us.
I'll explain this in another way. Once the cub of lioness became sick, and no remedy worked. Someone told her to pray to the Almighty, but she was hesitant. 'How can I pray for His mercy when I have killed countless of His creatures?' she thought. Similar thinking makes us feel ashamed to face our Lord. We have to realize that He is an all-pervading power, whose inherent nature is goodness and love. We are troubled and unhappy because of our own actions, but when we go near Him, we feel the comfort of His love. Then it becomes easy to pray to Him, to recite naam, to sing His praises and be grateful for all His blessings. (Himmat Singh paused, smiled and asked) How do you feel now?
Basant Kaur: Wonderful! I have enjoyed every word you've spoken.
Himmat Singh: So, by accepting Him as the source of love we have taken the first step. Once we begin to feel love for Him, His presence remains in our hearts, night and day. It feels as if we have come connected to Him, and through this connection, His love and comfort is flowing into us.
This idea is beautifully depicted in the bani of Sri Guru Amardas, Anand Sahib, in which he says:
Ey mann meireiya tu sada raho har naaleiy
Har naal raho tu mann meireiy dookh sabh visaarnaa
Angikaar oh kareiy tera kaaraj sabh sawaarna|
Sabhna galla samrath suami so kyon manoh visaareiy
Kahaiy Nanak mann mereiy sada raho har naaleiy
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ang 917)
(O my heart, always remain close to the Almighty. Remain close to the Lord, my heart ,because in that way all suffering is forgotten. Once He owns you, He will take care of all your problems. He, the Creator, controls everything. Then why should one not remember Him? Says Nanak, urging his heart to always remain close to the Lord.)
As a friend looks after and cares for a friend, so the Almighty cares for those who love Him. He does this by giving them the gifts of His love and joy.
Another benefit of closeness with the Lord is that slowly all other relationships lose their hold. One is no longer at the mercy of emotional involvement with others, which was creating a barrier between the Lord and oneself.
This does not mean that we cut ourselves off from all relationships, but accept them as Waheguruji's hukam (Lord's will) and carry on doing our duty. This state is of true vairaag (detachment) and it removes the need to take sanyas and go into the jungles. The path of spirituality, which was dry and full of dangers in the past, has thus become a comfortable highway making our journey pleasant and full of joy.
Basant Kaur: You have made these abstract ideas so simple to understand :
-Waheguru is love.
-Each being is part of Him, and thus carries the spark of divine love in his heart.
-But we have turned this love towards the materialistic world. Thus, we have become completely engrossed in worldly possessions.
-This is leading us away from the beloved Creator.
Now, if some change can be wrought in our nature, so that we can free ourselves from the hold of this world and turn towards the Lord, then we can achieve the right destination.
Only when we begin to believe that this world is His Creation and all that is happening is according to His will, which we must accept cheerfully, then, and only then, can we really be close to him. This is the meaning of Hukam Rajaee Chalna (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ang 1) (His will in born in us, ingrained, though follow.) Am I correct?
Himmat Singh: Absolutely! My dear, some people are born with a consciousness of Waheguru's presence and are thus automatically attracted to a life of satsang. Some see the Creator in the myriad beauties of Nature. Then there are others who go through some personal trauma and turn towards this path. Sikhs, who recite Gurbani and try to understand it, lead their lives in His presence.
The type of company one keeps plays a big role. With a bad companion, one sinks into a life of evil, and with a God-loving friend, one is drawn to the spiritual life.
Everyone is aware that this world and its attractions are not lasting. Those we love are taken away from us by death. The possessions we collect and cherish are destroyed or stolen. At such moments we suffer the pangs of loss, and then comes the desire for peace and lasting happiness- a blessed cure for all ills. This, we find in satsang.
We pray for:
Gurmukh da mail
Sadh da sang
(O' God! Grant us the company of the true devotee and the society of the elevated one.)
For it is in their company that we learn to focus on love on Waheguru
Gura ik deih bujhayee
Sabhna jiya ka ik dataa
So main visar naa jayee
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ang 2)
(This the Guru, my teacher taught, there is One protector and provider of all creation; forget Him not.)
After a while Basant Kaur said, "I am feeling at peace now and I want this feeling to continue. It would help if we could have satsang at home for some days."
Himmat Singh: Yes, this is a good idea. We can have akhand path of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. I'll go and make the arrangements.
Messages were sent to all relatives and friends and the next day path began after praying for the well-being and safe return of those who were being held captive in distant Kabul. One after the other, five akhand paths were completed and during those days Bhai Himmat Singh's home became a paradise of spiritual joy.
(to be continued...)