By Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj
If we analyze ourselves, we find that our soul is encrusted with a layer of impurities caused by countless thoughts, words, and deeds we commit throughout our lives. Enlightened souls have been teaching humanity how to alter negative habits so that the soul can attain the state of purity of thought and equanimity to achieve success in the spiritual quest. They themselves have freed themselves from the clutches of mind, matter, and illusion. They know their way through the treacherous seas and can offer us guidance on how we too can safely reach our journey’s end.
To reunite with God, our soul needs to be free from all that is not spiritual, all that is not consciousness, all that is not love. The gateway to spiritual realms is open to only those who have purity of their soul. In this world, we need the right qualifications to enter college or to hold a certain job. Similarly, God has certain requirements for soul to re-enter His domain. The basic prerequisite is to have cleanliness of the soul, with not even a speck of impurities. With aeons of negative impressions covering us, how can we ever hope to be cleansed?
The time we spend in meditation and in developing ethical virtues is within the realm of our free choice.
If we spend time in meditation, we are protecting our soul from the stains of any new karmas, the accumulation of all our thoughts, words and deeds, for which we are held accountable.
It is important that we understand how the pursuit of meditation and ethical living are stepping stones to God’s kingdom.
The process of meditation on the inner Light and Sound helps to purify our soul. In this process, we focus our attention at the third or single eye located between and behind the two eyebrows. We sit in a relaxed and comfortable pose in which we can sit the longest. During this time we withdraw our attention temporarily from the world, our body and our thoughts. Our mind must be stilled in order to see the inner manifestations of God.
In meditation, we have to deal with the mind, whose job is to keep us tied to the outer world. It will try to produce one thought after another. Mind is a powerful agent that loves to become engrossed in the world’s attractions. As long as our soul is identified with the mind it will also be dragged to the worldly temptations. The force of the mind is one of the greatest hindrances on our path back to God. It will keep us in accumulating more and more karma to our already full storehouse.
There are three kinds of karma that we accumulate. There is sanchit or storehouse karma. These are karmas that we accumulated in our previous lives. Then there is the pralabdh or fate karma. This is the portion of our sanchit or storehouse karmas allotted to us for the current life. Finally, there is kriyaman or daily karma. These are the new karmas that we make in our current life. At the end of our life, the kriyaman karmas form part of our storehouse karma. Looking at these three types of karma, we can see why our storehouse is full and how difficult it is to extricate ourselves from their influence upon us.
The more we come in contact with the inner Light, the more our soul is cleansed of these karmas. It will become purer and purer until it is fit to re-enter the spiritual realms of purity.
Many think that good deeds can bring about our return journey to God. Few realize that even good deeds are adding to our storehouse of karmas. Whether we do good or bad ones, we are still performing actions for which we have to receive either a reward or a punishment. Lord Krishna has said that both good and bad deeds are like chains of gold or of iron that keep us tied to the world. But the time spent in meditation and remembrance of God does not create new karmas or tie us to the world. It is an action which will help speed our voyage back to the Lord.