It is said that the world is Maya, that everything we experience in the physical plane of existence is illusory. What is reality then? Can we experience that Higher Reality? Spiritually speaking, when we are in the realm of Universal Consciousness, or call it God Consciousness, then we experience the Higher Reality.
Souls are at different levels of their development in their ascension towards the ultimate goal of salvation. As such, there are souls who incarnate in the world from a higher level of ‘beingness’ who are closer to that final destination. They bring awareness to those who are not awake to the greater profoundness of existence on the level of Universal Consciousness. They are enlightened beings, Satgurus. And those who are graced by their presence are called seekers. In the company of the Satguru, the seeker can experience the vastness of consciousness at a level which draws them closer to God. Every opportunity one obtains to be in the company of Saints and Sages benefit the seeker in his path towards liberation. The time that we spend in going after our worldly affairs can only benefit us to satisfy our physical needs.
The experience of beauty is found in all of God’s manifestations. Even the most chaotic scene is still experienced as the beauty of God’s manifestation. The divine presence exists in life as in death, in sunshine as in storms, in abundance as in famine, in droughts as in floods… Every experience is characterized by love because God’s consciousness is all-pervading. This realization is only possible when we are graced by a Satguru. Satguru Kabir Saheb says:
“Satguru Milaa Jo Jaaniye, Gyaan Ujaalaa Hoy;
Bharam Kaa Bhandaa Todi Kari, Rahe Niraalaa Hoy.” The brilliance of true spiritual knowledge sparks when we one is graced by a Satguru. The illusory veil of the world is lifted, and the truth about one’s real Self is realized.
(see transliteration and pronunciation guide here)
Great emphasis is given to satsangs, being in the company of Saintly people, in the Kabir Panth faith. The Satguru is the one to enlighten us. He teaches us from his own experience as he comes from that higher level of ‘beingness’, and thus He transforms us to see God’s manifestation from a divine perspective. He acknowledges only good and beauty in the world. His positive thoughts transform those who come into contact with Him. He does not engage in conflicts or wars. Any encounters with such souls are blessings. We have to be ever grateful to be in the presence of such saintly people.
Being in the presence of saintly people also allows us to reflect on our true identity. We are so often preoccupied by the identities we carry in the world that we do not realise who we really are. As long as the ‘I’ of our physical existence will overpower our actions, we will not be able to do the right things. Satguru Kabir Saheb says:
“Man Jo Sumire Raam Ko, Raam Base Ghat Aahi;
Ab Man Raamhi Huwe Rahaa, Sheesh Navaaoun Kaathi.”
(see transliteration and pronunciation guide here)
The Eternal (Raam) resides in the heart; if we acknowledge the presence of God in our heart, we know that we are divine. When we are engrossed in God by acknowledging God’s presence I our hearts, then the ‘I’ we call ourselves is of no value any more. So, when one remembers God all the time, not only does he acknowledge God’s presence within him, but also sees God’s presence in everyone in the world.
King Janak was once approached by a young gentleman in his royal court. The young man, having heard that King Janak was an accomplished person, he asked the King what he should do to be able to see God. The King asked his guards to put him in prison right away. Not understanding what was happening, the young man spent a week in prison. He endured hardships and sufferings. After a week, the King offered him his throne for three days. During these three days, he could not manage anything. Ministers came for advice, poor people came begging, etc. He had no idea what to do. After the three days the King asked him which he liked better; the prison or the throne. He said that both were equally bad, both were prisons. Then the King told him to go away and come back after 12 years. He went away, and during the 12 years he became very rich and prosperous. When he came back after 12 years, the King asked him who he was. He said he was the rich and powerful Kalyaan (the happy one). The King told him to go away for another 3 years. This time he lost all his money, belongings and became very, very poor. When he came back to the king after the 3 years, he was again asked who he was. He lamented that he was the miserable Kalyaan. The King again asked him to go away for another three years. Not understanding what was happening, he went away and came back after 3 years. This time before going in front of the King, he was reflecting on what he would answer should the King asked him who he was. The guards advised him to tell the King that he did not know who he was, and so, he did exactly that. At that point, the King gazed into his eyes. There and then the young man lost consciousness of his body, of the whole world, of everything, and he became the conscious of his own self as the infinite consciousness of God.
Only when we are able to dissociate ourselves from our physical existence can we realise who we really are. Then we realise God’s presence within us.