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Chapter 7: The Mines of Meditation

He wants to lead you on the path. He wants to guide you in what you should do and what you should not, but you do not have the required emptiness within you. Your own tumult and noise is so much that you cannot hear his voice. Every day you find signs of his grace, his compassion. Right now you get no signs. You are living on your own supports, and is your own support worth the name? No sooner does your life begin to become authentic than you begin to live by him. Then life takes on a new momentum, a new dimension.

Nanak says that the test begins only after having reached:

Only before the Lord is each one tested;
Each is ranked by His glance.
There the raw is sifted from the ripe.
Nanak says One who is raw will dissolve away.

Each is examined to determine whether he is ripe or raw. What is meant by ripe and raw? He who disintegrates before God is raw; he who remains integrated before him is ripe. Make this your touchstone: whatever you do, ask yourself, “Will I feel right to produce this act before God, or will I be afraid to show him?” If you are afraid and want to hide, do not do it, for nothing can be hidden from him. He can see you through and through. Nothing is hidden or can be hidden from that mirror.

Before doing any act weigh in your mind whether you can bring it before him, just as a goldsmith tests the gold before he does anything with it. If it passes that test do it with an easy mind. If there is fear or doubt, don’t do it!

Then you will ripen. The potter fires his pots. The raw ones dissolve in the rain; the fired ones hold the water. You go to the market and buy a water jug for two paise. You sound it in several places to be sure it is strong. The sound of a well baked, strong pot is very different.

So too, as you ripen, the music of your life begins to change so that you can hear the internal sound. You will get hints and signs of this internal music. Its indications are: you become more peaceful, you are happier, you find yourself filled with joy. A profound contentment envelops you from all sides and you feel grateful, for no apparent reason. Bliss dances softly in you.

Sahajobai was a well known mystic. She said, “There are no clouds and yet it rains.” You are happy, cheerful, every hair on your body smiles, every pore overflows with joy - all for no reason. No treasure has been discovered and yet the heart is weighed down with gratitude. These are the signs.

As you begin to ripen more and more, as you get more and more established, the rain-water will fill you. His bliss is pouring, the showers fall every moment, but you are still raw; therefore you melt in it. Because you aren’t ready, God’s bounty becomes a curse for you. The moment you mature, the moment you are established, the moment you ripen, then what seemed a curse before is clearly seen as a blessing in disguise.