A reminder of what we are reading and reflecting on. First there is the sleeping soul. Like a seed in winter. Then the nerve of the soul starts moving in its longing. Reaching up and reaching out. This is spring. However, by default, the soul gets kidnapped by false identity (ego, haumai, ahankar,) and therefore trapped in Maya’s trance of hypnosis. It is the summer. The journey continues into the (sometimes painfully) awakening soul who is coming to an understanding, turning inwards and making significant life changes. Reflected in the autumn changes. Eventually there follows the awakened soul in communion with the Divine. Offering and enjoying the praises of God, through any of the many names. Gathering the harvest. Finally, By God’s Grace, there is the sense of completion and fulfillment as the soul merges it’s light in union with the Divine all pervading light, like the drop of water in the ocean. The light has been found in the dark of winter.
The 12 month description of the soul’s orbit on earth shows how it is not just a straight linear path. But in fact a journey of falling back and stepping forward in various ways. According to one’s personal karma,right effort, right understanding and God’s will and Grace.
Following the Guru’s poetic and musical communication of the soul’s passage serves us to pass through the climatic changes of our life. And not to give up hope, even when all seems hopeless.
Now is the description of the souls journey in the month of Bhaadon. It suggests that even after turning inwards through meditation, there are still some serious difficulties to face. the doubt that has been secretly held in the heart comes to the surface and is exposed and all the (mental) noises and gnawing thoughts that distract and disturb one are very active at this stage. One reason this happens is because there is still the residual consequences of past karma/actions to be faced. Even in the inner shade of Truth the soul-bride feels the pull of the attachment to the world of duality. This also feeds, and feeds on, the confusion of doubt within her heart. If this doubt takes over then there shall be cause to regret. However the conscious soul realises that no amount of external ornamentation or decoration brings any comfort or solace; they are of no use.
As the (bodies) fields and lakes are overflowing with water of life it would seem to be a time to celebrate. Yet she reflects on the day when the body shall perish/die and she will become a ghost
In the dark of night (death) the rain is not celebrated but rather found to be disturbing. and the loud calls of the frogs and peacocks are heard – like the noise of mental activity.
Death’s messenger seizes the soul and does not share its secret. (For example that it is merely the gateway to freedom. And that the soul decides its own destiny.)
like the rainbird, the soul cries out ‘Beloved, Beloved’ while the snakes (of desire and attachment) are biting at her feet. And mosquitoes bite and sting (like thoughts that attack and irritate). In such circumstance there is no peace.
”wrings her hands, her body writhes in pain, and she turns from black to (ghostly) white.”
And this is karma. We harvest the fruit of what we have planted by our own actions.
in deeply understanding this the Soul realises the need for guidance, support and sanctuary. So she turns to the Guru for direction. The Guru in turn directs the consciousness to God. And the boat of God’s feet is found though the holy word of the Shabad; which is the Guru.
Photo Credit: The Sikh Foundation Sikh Fine Art Calendar