Part 2 - Interference with meditation on God’s Name
Bhai Sukhdev Singh: “Bhai Sahib Ji, what are the things which interfere with the path of bhagti (meditation on God’s Name)?” I replied:-
Firstly, Gursikhs must have complete faith in the Guru. When doing simran, a Gursikh should regard the Guru as ever present with him.
“My Guru is always with me, near at hand. Meditating, meditating in remembrance on Him, I cherish Him forever.” (SGGS P. 394)
A Gursikh’s mental make-up should be so disciplined that he or she should remain even tempered (unaffected) by pain or happiness. Simran should be done with such conviction as if it is being recited to Guru Ji, Who is sitting right in front of the Gursikh. Some Gursikhs take Amrit but fail the first test set by Guru Ji. If they experience any sorrow they start complaining to Guru Ji. They do not have total faith in Guru Ji. Any good or bad life experience should be regarded as the Will (Hukam) of the Guru. The Will of Guru Ji should be accepted in total faith and gratefully. Pray to Guru Ji:-
“Satguru Ji, please spare us any trials (tests); we are not strong and may waver. Give us the strength to accept Bhana (Your Will)”
Simran erases all bad deeds of past lives and this life. When they have been totally eradicated, one starts enjoying a state of bliss in simran (due to a clear conscience through repentance, humility and sewa). As Guru Ji says:-
“But when the intellect is stained and polluted by sin, it can only be cleansed by the Love of the Name.” (SGGS p. 4)
It is only through simran that dirt of sins is washed away from the mind.
“The mind of the faithless cynic is like a crazy elephant. It wanders around the forest, distracted by attachment to Maya (see Glossary).” (SGGS p. 415)
Guru Ji says, that caught in the vicious cycle of maaya (worldly attachment and craving for more - see Glossary), the mind is charging around like a mad elephant. It is important to control this mind. It is also important to take Khanday Baatay da Amrit (Ambrosial Water (Amrit) of the double edged sword (khanda) and the iron bowl (bata) and accept the Guru’s Hukam (Will and Order). One should follow the orders of the Panj Piaray given during the Amrit Sanchaar ceremony, to get up early in the morning and to recite the Five Banis (see Glossary). The Amrit vela starts at 1.00 o’ clock in the early morning. At first, sleep will trouble the devotee; the cure for that is to sprinkle the eyes with cold water, or do simran aloud. It takes some years to overcome the problem of sleep. It took me 15 to 20 years.
Secondly, the mind will wander while doing simran. When some thoughts begin to trouble the mind then start a loud chant of “Waheguru, Waheguru” to bring the mind back to simran. When Naam resides in the swas (each life breath), then thought concentration is achieved. The tongue also stops and nothing is heard by the ears. The soul is enjoying the bliss of Naam (The God’s Being or Holy Presence). The body becomes light. Much simran is needed to reach this stage.
It took me 15 to 20 years to reach this stage. That is my experience. Some Gursikhs expect this stage immediately on taking Amrit. Many unusual experiences are felt when doing simran, but it takes a long time to start enjoying the true bliss of Naam (feeling at one with the Divine Being).
Thirdly, the five evil influences, lust (uncontrolled sexual desire), anger, greed, attachment and self-centred conceit (ego) trouble the mind. Lust troubles most. It poses a great challenge and it is very difficult to free oneself from this basic human instinct. I too have suffered from it for many years. At times my mind became very unsteady and troubled me. I would keep thinking, “I do simran, I get up early in the morning, but why do these thoughts and dreams trouble me so. Sometimes, I became depressed and would begin to doubt this path of bhagti (meditation on and devotion for Waheguru’s Naam); in great distress, I would pray to Waheguru Ji to free me from the bad dreams. When I became very distressed then a, achint Shaheed Singh (appearance of a martyr Singh outside my thoughts) would console and encourage me and ask me to rise for Naam simran. Then I would take heart again and felt the presence of Satguru with me. I have noticed that these days almost everyone is caught up in maaya’s (see Glossary) net in the form of female attraction. Whatever true wealth (of Naam) they save, is looted by the Five bandits (the Five evils mentioned above). The spiritual credit of Naam simran - the true wealth - is lost.