In this short verse, Rumi focuses on a great difficulty for those seeking spiritual union with God. Each of us desires to be loved and to share the love. However, as we trade the path we come to understand — through repeated trials, pain, and heartbreak — that those we love the most so deeply absorb our attention that it seems we can’t focus on much else.
The ‘scorpion pit’ that Rumi refers to isn’t necessarily a place of biting stings, wounded hearts and agony. Our desires are endless and ever changing. So too, can the deep abiding love we yearn for, in a mate or from our own families, absorb us.When we experience loss, however, and what we desire is beyond
When we experience loss, however, and what we desire is beyond our reach, our hearts ache — the pain seems overwhelming. Every waking moment is pure misery. Sometimes, however, it’s a misery we don’t want to part with because that misery itself is attached to the person we love. In these moments of pain, there seems to be no end, no relief in sight.
In Quest for Light, letter 231, Maharaj Charan Singh replies to a disciple, who apparently experienced such heartbreak The perspective he offers is a spiritual banquet; most ﬁlling, though perhaps difficult to digest, given our all too human ideas on romantic and familial love.
It begins thus: You should realize that this very attachment is the cause of all your present misery. All unhappiness in life is the result of our attachment to people and things of this world. Where there is no attachment there is no misery.
This is a profound statement. All of the misery we experience throughout our lifetime is rooted in one thing, attachment. The letter continues: It may be an attachment to some person, place, or thing, or to any unfulﬁlled desire. The greater our attachment to these people or things, the greater the misery in the end. It is for this reason that we are advised by the Saints to detach ourselves as much as possible from the people and things of this world and attach our self to the Voice of the Lord within. The greater our attachment to this Divine Melody, the more we become detached from that which holds us back and keeps us bound here.
Naturally, this begs the question, “What of our families, and those we love? Are we to simply run away from our earthly ties and responsibilities? Are we not to love, to fully experience the joy of relationships that mean so much to us?” The Master continues: This does not mean that we have to give up family life and become a recluse. We have to live in the world and yet not be of it. We should always remember that we are merely actors playing a part on the stage of life assigned to us by the Lord. We should accept this part, play it to the best of our ability, and when it is over, forget about it. The actor does not feel happy or unhappy in the part he is playing because he knows it is only a ‘part’. Our real life awaits as beyond; everything here is unreal, as it is not eternal.
This advice from the Master sheds light on the words uttered by Jesus Christ, which might seem harsh, at first blush: Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. As if this were not perplexing enough, Christ continues: And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me. And he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me is not worthy of me. He that ﬁndeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall ﬁnd it. — Matthew 10:34-39
Maharaj Charan Singh explains in Light on Saint Matthew: Our own relations, the members of our household are our foes because they keep us so much absorbed in their own love and aﬂection that they have even made us forget the Lord. They have become an obstruction in our main purpose for coming to this World…
He also goes on to offer profound insight into Christ’s assertion that those who wouldn’t take up their cross to follow him were not worthy of him. It should be noted that these words, uttered by Christ, took place early in his ministry, well before his crucifixion. Commenting on these verses from “Light on Saint Matthew”, Master further says. “Our forehead is like this.” The narrator explains: “Here the Master showed how a horizontal line across the eyebrows and a vertical line from the forehead down the bridge of the nose form a “cross,” with the intersection at the eye center.” Master then comments, “So you see, we have to withdraw back to this point.”This is the same message he continues to expound in “Quest for Light”. He advises the heartbroken disciple to pick up her cross in this way:
This is the same message he continues to expound in “Quest for Light”. He advises the heartbroken disciple to pick up her cross in this way: You have tried human love. Now try the love of Lord and sec how He treats you. If you had developed even half as much love for the Lord as you have for this man, what bliss you would have received!
That sounds like a natural point at which to end the letter. But, Master has other potent, healing advice: Do not yield so much to emotions. Control them, regain your poise and try to lead a normal life. Remember, that we all have a destiny which we have brought with us and nothing can change it. We are reaping what we sowed, and no amount of crying or lamenting will make any difference except to make us still more miserable. Learn to live within the Will of the Lord. Our present life is the result of our own actions in the past and we cannot blame anyone for it. If we surrender ourself to His Will. He also comes to our rescue and gives us strength and courage to ﬁght the battle against our own mind and to face life with patience.
The Master has already explained that all of our misery is derived from our attachments; to people, places, and things. He has given reassurance that we can acquire the strength to rise above temporary heartbreaks, caused by our attachments.
He implores the disciple: Turn this deep love toward the Lord. Attend to your meditation and thus develop love and devotion for Him and see how He rewards you. After all, this life and all that we see is of very little value. It is all a dream and a bad one.Real life awaits us beyond and we should utilize our life here in making some preparation far that there, at least, we should ﬁnd happiness and bliss.
Real life awaits us beyond and we should utilize our life here in making some preparation far that there, at least, we should ﬁnd happiness and bliss. Bhajan and Simran will give you that mental peace which you so badly need now. When we have a problem in life we should do our best to try to solve it and then leave the results to our destiny, cheerfully accepting what it offers.He then concludes with a loving statement that holds his promise for each of us, every day of our lives.
He then concludes with a loving statement that holds his promise for each of us, every day of our lives. I have said so much in order to help you in your present state of mental anguish. If you accept my advice you will acquire much peace of mind. This letter is truly a ‘love letter’. The Master does not beguile his disciple with ‘touchy-feel-good-ism.’ Nor does he attempt to assuage the vivid heartbreak of his disciple with the ‘I’m okay-you’re okay-we’re all okay’ message of pop psychology. His compassion is rooted in ﬁrmness and humility.
This letter is truly a ‘love letter’. The Master does not beguile his disciple with ‘touchy-feel-good-ism.’ Nor does he attempt to assuage the vivid heartbreak of his disciple with the ‘I’m okay-you’re okay-we’re all okay’ message of pop psychology. His compassion is rooted in ﬁrmness and humility. He patiently takes all who read the letter to a level where we get the ‘big picture’.
We are all here for a short time. If left unchecked our attachments takes us down a road where continued heartbreak will be the sole outcome. Temporary, earthly attachments will keep us from the real “object of our desire”, if we allow them to absorb us. Instead, the love of our life is waiting to absorb us into his love, which will never die.