June 12, 1997 – Focus on your Isht


Maharaj is speaking to someone who has asked him how one should meditate. Maharaj says,

There has always been one method of meditation: to focus on your Isht – your favourite representative of God. Otherwise you cannot concentrate your mind.

 God is of course formless. Guru Gobind Singh says, “The disciple is to concentrate on the feet of God.” But feet belong to human beings. Therefore, “Focus your mind on the figure of the Guru.” 

What then is the Guru? Take Guru Nanak, or whomever you most love, and make an image of him in your mind and focus on it. It is up to us which aspect to focus on. If Guru Gobind Singh is your isht, you could focus on his truth, his enlightened wisdom, his skill with weapons, his horse-riding. He is all of those. 

When we start concentrating on our isht, our scattered mind will begin to concentrate. Catch hold of the mind and direct it again and again toward the Guru. 

As we focus on our Isht, his thought is born in us. Guru Gobind Singh laughed as he lost his family. He considered it all the ephemeral world.

If we are trying to concentrate on a mantra, our mind wanders. But when surat and shabd–concentration and mantra—unite, great enlightenment will appear. When you really pay attention to reciting a mantra such as “Ram,” the mind immediately stands still there. Otherwise the mind keeps playing, but with this practice, we understand that whatever He does is okay. 

Bhagat Kabir said, “My disease of worldly thought has ended, and my mind has become clear as the Ganga. My personality disappeared, and the Voice called, ‘Kabir, Kabir, great and blessed Kabir!’ I thought, ‘Kabir is the name of a sinner, but Ram and Kabir have become one. My personality has disappeared and there is only Yours.’” Make such a spiritual practice, and you will become a God-realized being. 

God tells the Guru what to do and what to speak, daily. “The Guru is the student, the student is the Guru. They give the same message.” His personality is no longer separate. 

If people criticize you for putting up an image of your Isht, understand that they are in darkness. God has always existed, but without the Guru we wouldn’t know what great peace there is in God; we would not know that we need not despair when a person passes on. 

Guru Gobind Singh looked like a person. Guru Granth Sahib was written by people who had hands and feet. But they spoke with enlightened wisdom. Jesus came as the son of Mary. He walked and talked and ate like a person. God has chosen them, but they came in human forms. 

An ordinary person cannot be a Guru. “Guru is Light, a mountain of ice.” The Light is one within them all. It is your choice whether to concentrate on Guru Nanak or Guru Gobind Singh. They are not different. There is just a slight difference in their bodily form, but no difference in the Guru’s enlightened wisdom.  

Always adopt the Guru’s thought, his enlightened wisdom. He knows the path. First give your thought to him, and then he will give you his.