March 1, 1970
Published in Sant Bani Magazine, May-June 2005
People whose eyes have been opened by the realization of the Truth, view the world differently from others. Realized men often form the question “What is this world?” God said, “From One I will become many”; so it is all His manifestation, from inert matter to consciousness. You may take water from a stream, freeze it and it becomes ice, but both are the same substance from the same stream. So from inert matter up to consciousness is all His manifestation. The whole world is the temple of God, and there is no place where He is not. This is how all realized souls regard the creation. Why is it that we cannot look at the world as they do? Because the curtain of ignorance divides us from this knowledge. Someone has written that although the fish lives in the sea or river, and her life-giving substance is water, yet she constantly asks, “Where is water?” Living in water, yet dying of thirst — it is ironic.
It is said that with one ray of Light the whole world was created. When God said, “I want to manifest myself,” there was Light. It can be likened to a potter who makes small and large pots, perhaps even an elephant or a horse, or cup, or pitcher — but the same potter is making all the articles, and with the same clay. So this is our condition in the world. Because people are unaware of and have no contact with reality, the world is full of unrest and trouble.
The Masters say that with the same Light the whole world was created, so who is good and who is bad? The physical body is a miniature Brahmand (consists of the three divisions of creation — physical, astral and causal), or you can say it is a tiny world in itself. It is said that he who searches within this miniature Brahmand will find the Truth. Both the body and the world, which is a bigger Brahmand, are made of matter. Each individual is consciousness, or has his own personal consciousness. Outer temples, mosques, churches, were made in the image of man — dome shaped like the head, or forehead-shaped (mosques) or nose-shaped (churches) and in all religious places the Holy Light is represented in one way or another. If the same Light is lit in all holy places, then what is the difference between the various forms of worship?
All outer images were made to help people to understand the Truth: that the Light is shining within man. It is the life of the soul, this Light. The body which we carry around is the temple of God. “In companionship, within the same house, both brothers are dwelling; but they do not converse with each other.” These two brothers are living together: the soul and God. What a great misfortune! They live together but do not talk to each other. The reason? He, who has to realize the other, is tossing about outwardly from place to place. He does not know that he has to withdraw and rise above the senses to realize who he is. If he did that, he would see who is sitting beside him. The men who became realized all have said that the body is a living temple of God. The outer temples are made by the hand of man.
When I was in London during my world tour, I gave a talk pointing out that all Masters have said that God does not reside in temples made with stone. One Christian minister, a Reverend Stubbs, stood up and said, “You have thrown an atom bomb on all our churchianity!” We have made the churches, mosques and temples with our own hands, but the true temple of God — the physical form — was made by God Himself. The indweller of this true temple is frequenting the man-made temples — is it not a sorry state? We ourselves made the copies and put the Light there. They are copies of our own temple, within which the Light is burning day and night. Sometimes thousands of true temples are sacrificed for the sake of one imitation. It is not so? If one holy building is defamed or insulted by any other religion, thousands die because of it.
All outer places of worship are for those whose eye is not open. Nevertheless, from our heart we should have respect for them. Why? Because we sit there in remembrance of God, for which purpose they were made. When a child is in the womb of the mother, what machinery makes his eyes, nose, ears, hands, and feet, etc. It is some unseen Power of which man knows nothing. That Power is the One who abides in the temple which He Himself has made. This human temple comes to man through great good fortune or destiny, but is not valued enough. Forgive me if I use such words, but we consider it to be merely a sackful of waste matter. But beautiful palaces also have latrines. So the body has its own municipality which takes out the filth every morning. But we are living in it, and our life-giver — God — is also living there. We should even kiss this body with reverence, in acknowledgment that it is truly the temple of God. That is why Masters have indicated to “tap inside.”
When we look at the human form it seems just five or six feet of physical body, but inside is a very big world. The whole of Brahmand is residing within; go inside and see. Maulana Rumi Sahib says, “Oh man, close the doors of your shop. Open the inner shop, then will the work be done.” All Masters say similar things in their various languages. “I searched for the hidden inner path, but only through the Master was the secret revealed.”
What is a Gurumukh? He who has searched inside the human form. That is what is written in the Gurubani (words of the Gurus). Even if outwardly the wisdom of the whole world has been sifted mentally and intellectually with the help of the senses, but yet the inner search has not been made, then the real thing cannot be attained. The Masters, after withdrawing from outside, traveled inside by leaving the body and transcending above it — above the physical, astral and causal planes. Those who have transcended all this have reached their true home. Whatever they saw and heard has been recorded in the holy scriptures. Whatever they saw inside, you should also go in and see; and then you will be able to describe your experiences. Whosoever saw such wonders all said the same things. Now do you understand this?
“He who sees, describes that very thing in the very same way.” In India, the realized souls expressed themselves in Sanskrit. They have given the same description: that inside, there is a very big sun in Brahmand in which the Sound is vibrating. The hidden teaching of this was given by Ingris Rishi to the son of Devki, Lord Krishna. The Masters who came in Persia gave the same information in Persian. In Punjab, the Gurus who came said the same things in their language. “A contact with the ringing radiance of God within will develop love of God in Thee.” Paltu Sahib came and Said, “There is an inverted well in the gagan (seat of the soul), where the Lamp burns without wick or oil, and from the light of the Lamp a Sound is reverberating. Only he who goes into Gian Samadhi (rises above body consciousness) can hear it.” That Lamp is alight for all the twenty-four hours in each day, and from it a Sound vibrates. Who can hear that Sound? Go into deep meditation and then hear it. He who sees, knows the same thing. The truth is that this body is a temple of God — and the whole world is a temple of God. It is a statement from those who searched into the inner regions.
Do you know that no temple has been erected here in Sawan Ashram? Can you see any temple, mosque, church or other sacred building here? There is none — and why? Because this is a place called Ruhani Satsang (spiritual gathering). Beneath us is the ground and above, the skies; this is our temple of God. That is all. And then, this body we have got — there is no “ism” attached to it. I congratulate all the “isms” or religions which have helped man in discovering the real Truth lying hidden in the body — but what is the world doing today? Instead of trying to search out the Truth within, as we are told to do, we have started fighting amongst ourselves in the very name of religion — killing each other!
So, self-realized people always advocate to go within and realize oneself. To do this, one just has to have the curtain of darkness drawn away. How is that done? He who has already withdrawn that curtain will do so for others too. He who has not done so — how can he help others? If the doubt has not been removed from the heart one will always own a difference between a Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian, Buddhist, Jain or Turk. These are all labels which we have stuck on ourselves. It is an important thing to fully understand. Here, in the Ashram, there are no “isms” — but the Life of all “isms” is here! Whatever talks are given, the facts are presented in their true colors.
So, remain in your own religions and become true Hindus, true Muslims, true Sikhs, true Christians. How? By realizing it inside you. A house without a lighted lamp has no charm. If there is no lamp burning in a church or mosque, the place seems deserted. So this body’s true beauty can be apparent only when the Light is within it. “Beautiful is the man-body in which the Lord is manifest.” That soul’s physical form is very beautiful in which God has appeared. A married woman’s face becomes radiant when she is sitting beside her husband. This is a worldly example. The beauty of the body lasts but a few days, for it is attractive only when we, the soul, are in it. But this attractiveness is not apparent if the Light has not been ignited within. A mansion can have no grandeur without a light shining out. Would it not appear deserted?
We have got labels on us, but are we not just human beings? Withdraw from outside, for the outer things attract us only so long as we attach ourselves to them. This is because our soul is Sat, chit and anand mai: ever-existent, all wisdom and eternal bliss. As long as it is attached to something it goes on enjoying satisfaction, but when it voluntarily withdraws, or that particular thing is taken away, it becomes unhappy. If only it would concentrate itself! Waves of bliss would then start to come out of it. But if it becomes one with God — then what?
Oceans of happiness are already resounding within us, but at present we are tossing about, searching outwardly, in the holy books or in temples and places of pilgrimage, and in various outer activities. We make outer copies, ring bells, light lamps — but for what purpose? The purpose is that He should manifest Himself to us.
“To visit artificial temples and mosques is but a tragedy that will bestow untold misery upon the indweller of the true temple.” We install some image of God in a temple and start worshiping it. It is an attempt to fashion God in stone. In Mecca there is the Hajurool Asved, in remembrance of Hazrat Ibrahim. These are copies or images installed in remembrance, and we should therefore have respect for them, but what is better? Realized souls say, “Never say that mosque is better than temple; better is that wherein shineth the Light of God.” They tell us not to consider the Kaaba better than the physical form, or the mosque better than the temple or vice versa. Where the Lord’s Light is burning is the best place of all, though that form may have a black, white, blue or yellow label on it. He might be a Hindu, Sikh or Muslim, for in all faiths Masters have come. The question is, how and when to see it? When we withdraw from outer attractions. One might spend one’s whole life searching outwardly, but will not get it. Guru Amar Das Ji spent seventy years in search of God, traveling to holy places with full attention and devotion. In the end, what happened? In his own words he tells us, “I got exhausted in my search, in performing outer rituals, etc.”
Forgive me, but these outer temples are like dolls or playthings. Little girls learn about housekeeping, marriage and many other things by playing, but when they grow up and marry, do they still play with dolls? So, the Masters say in very clear words that we are tired of playing with toys — now we wish to see the true countenance of our Beloved. That is all. Kabir says, “All my doubts vanished when I saw the Truth myself.” Nanak says, “Nanak’s Emperor is seen clearly.” They all say that it can be seen. Christ said, “Behold, the Lord.” For example, in what way can one fully realize what strength is? It can be demonstrated by a wrestler doing his exercises. Similarly, if one sits near a realized soul with full, concentrated attention, one will gain assurance that there is a Power. Otherwise, one is uncertain, though one may have read thousand or even millions of holy books.
There was a Swami named Ram Tirath, who visited America. Once, he was sitting in samadhi (a state of controlled attention). He used to do his own kind of yoga. An atheist lady was quietly sitting there, waiting to meet him, but Ram Tirath did not getup for a long time. There is a radiation which comes from enlightened souls, and when the Swami opened his eyes, the lady joyfully told him, “I am an atheist no more.” So to be near the physical form of a Master does give some assurance that there is God. Or one can have the same assurance by seeing within. But remember this, that a wrestler is not made in one day. A strong man revels in his strength, and a weaker man wonders how he got it.
When I was in Lahore, I used to go to the Ravi River at night. In those days there was a certain man named Gunga who became famous all over India as a wrestler. Gunga means dumb, and he was dumb, hence the name; but he was a great wrestler. It was winter, so the days and nights were very cold. His father used to strip him naked except for a brief loincloth, and would turn him out of the house and lock the door. All night the boy would do his exercises. No one had ever seen him exercising, but when he became famous everyone knew him as a wrestler, and wherever he went the people would say, “There goes Gunga, the wrestler.” Just like this, my brothers, Mahatmas are not made in one day. Rome was not built in a day. Man is in the make. If anyone wants to be a wrestler, after two or three days of practice his body will ache all over, but if he starts nursing his aches, how will he succeed? For success perseverance is required.
In the Gurubani it is written that purity of thoughts and perseverance are needed. Do you want to become something worthwhile or don’t you? Hearing such words, an interest is awakened, but the work cannot be accomplished in one day. A child, learning to read, reads a few lines and promptly forgets them. He must read them again and again, but after much struggling with learning, he one day may be able to write a book. Every Saint has his past, and every sinner a future. The people who are like us today can become something tomorrow. For this, true guidance is required from one who has seen, not anyone else. The second requirement is implicit obedience to one’s Guru. The Master’s words are not just words alone, but are the Master himself! Added to this, perseverance is necessary.
Just to hear some talk about God, one’s mouth can start watering. A Mahatma, seeing the world with its mountains, earth and sky, gets intoxicated. Now how did he become what he is, and how can we become that? There is hope for everyone. We should find some God-realized person who has seen, and can make us see. Then every day we can increase the inner experience. Today, if a man gets even a little intoxication he thinks he has become a very big Mahatma (great soul). So remember — the destination is very far — very, very far. Many big rishis and munis (renunciates who sit on thorns, etc.) started on the path to God. They were always saying, “neti neti” meaning, “this is not it, this is not it — there must be something else.” It is said that for generations philosophy has been tried and probed, but God’s Word remains where it always was. So does it remain unspoken as it always was unspoken. Guru Nanak has written that the people of the world have exhausted themselves explaining about God, but they have never reached the end of it! It is something like knowing what one ray of the sun is, and the intellect will not allow that there is anything beyond that. First, we should know this small temple of ours, the physical form. This in itself will give us some awakening as to what the greater form is — the Brahmand.
I will now explain a hymn of Guru Amar Das, but before doing so I would mention that when I take a hymn during Satsang and proceed to explain it, people open their eyes wide and question in their minds, “What hymn is this?” Even explaining a hymn from the Guru Granth Sahib seems like a new thing to them. Some years ago, I went to my home in Sayyad Kasran. There were some Akalis there (one section of the Sikh religion) and they were somewhat fanatical. I held a Satsang, taking a hymn from the Gurubani. “I am attached to things that I see. How can I find thee, O’ Lord?” All through, they were looking at me and wondering where the hymn came from. The hymns themselves are very clear but we never search for the true meaning in them. These holy words contain valuable jewels. Have you ever given any real thought to them? Parrot-like we go on reading them, without understanding anything. One day a Christian gentleman met me, and he said, “Christ is the Light of the world.” I asked him, “Have you studied the Bible thoroughly? For it is written therein, “I am the Light of the world, as long as I am in the world.”
A little knowledge is dangerous. First see what is in your own home, the physical house. Go into the folds of the holy books and see what is given there. The same knowledge that I am giving you is given therein, but for the need of a self-realized man we do not understand what is written. Guru Amar Das Ji says “With the Guru’s blessing, just see that this body you carry is the temple of God.” He says that this body you are taking around is the temple of God. And when will you be able to see it as such? When the Guru blesses you with that sight. This temple was made by God’s own hand. He is residing in there as well as us. All through life, He never leaves this body, but when at the end He leaves, we also have to leave the body. Then the body is taken to the cremation ground.
This body is a temple of God, which has been given with a great blessing. We worship the images of it outwardly. This is all right, and we should show respect to those places where people sit in remembrance of God. But He, God, resides in this body and not in the temples made by man. Those were made in remembrance only. The true Light shines in the human form. Is an image better than the true form? I would say that the true form is infinitely better. With great love, Guru Amar Das Ji has written that with the Guru’s blessing you can see Him inside you. What is a Guru? Forgive me, but these days you can pick up a stone and find a guru underneath it. One finds so many gurus (teachers) that it is really hard to find a single disciple anywhere! These days if a man studies any kind of outer attainment, he starts thinking that the man who taught him is a Guru. Brothers, a true Guru is one who takes away the curtain of ignorance and reveals the Light within. The exact meaning of the word is: dispeller of darkness.
What is a Guru’s work? “The Guru has put the collyrium (an age-old medication for the eyes) of knowledge in my eyes, dispelling the darkness of ignorance and filling my whole being with Light.” He says that the Guru puts the collyrium of knowledge into our eyes. It is an example. Our inner eye cannot be opened until we withdraw from outer things, leave the senses, and concentrate behind the eyes, where the soul goes at the time of death. The God-realized man takes our scattered attention from outside and brings it to a point behind the eyes. Then that Light, that radiance, bursts forth.
Then, he describes the Guru: “He who makes me hear the Sound, the Music of the Spheres, he is my Guru Dev (True Master).” He is a Guru who makes one hear the strains of the perpetual celestial music. So now go and find a Guru like that. Again, he says, “Repeat that Word, by which the Light of millions of suns appears and the Song of the Lord’s Name is heard.” It means that by repetition of the Naam, the Light of millions of suns shines forth within you. The Song of the Lord’s Name comes through the Sound Principle. It is a Path of Light, or Sruti Marg, Light and Sound Principle, Noor and Kalam-i-Kadim. All mean one and the same thing. You can call it Truth clothed in Light, Music of all Harmonies. These are but different names of the one thing which is already existing.
God’s expression has two aspects, Light and Sound. He who has the power to withdraw you from the outer things and give you a little demonstration of the Truth inside, he is the Guru. Search the world and see how many Gurus like that you can find. Guru Amar Das Ji could not find such a Guru in his seventy years of searching. All outer practices have their own value.. If you do good you will be rewarded. This is a preparation of the ground, but one’s birth and rebirth will not finish this way. It is said, “The Saint has given me capital.” Capital is that which the Guru gives at the start, and which must be increased daily, through meditation. After his long search, how did Guru Amar Das meet his Guru? In his own words, he says, “I met my Satguru without any effort of mine.”
The child who has true yearning in him will gain the grace of God, who is residing in each being. When God sees that the child is full of anguish and is anxious to meet Him, He makes the arrangement so that the child reaches the right source in one way or another. Guru Amar Das used to do the outer practices before he met his Guru. Bare foot he went on many pilgrimages in company with his friends. After meeting his Master, he knew what was more beneficial, so he stopped traveling as if he had reached his destination. When his friends once again set out for a pilgrimages, he pondered over a way to make them understand the truth. So finally, when they were leaving, he said to them, “Brothers, kindly do something for me. Take this tumbi (a wild fruit, sweet on the outside, but very bitter in the center) and wherever you take a holy bath, please give this tumbi a bath also.” They agreed and left, leaving him behind. After all, when a man gets what he has been searching for, he wanders no more. When his friends returned, he asked them if they had given the tumbi a holy bath, and they replied that they had given it many baths. So Guru Amar Das cut open the fruit, filled the halves with water, and told his friends to drink. They drank, remarking that it was very bitter. He asked them, “How is it possible that after so many holy dips, it is still bitter?” To further encourage their understanding he went on to tell them that when the mind is full of filth, it cannot be washed clean by merely bathing the physical form; that the world is an illusion and only very few unravel its mystery.
You can stay in any religion, but if you are not living an ethical life, it will not benefit you. Full congratulations can be given to that religion through which one’s third eye was opened to see the Truth. This can only happen when one sits beside a God-realized man. It matters not what caste he is, or what part of the world he comes from. Mira Bai was a princess, and went to Ravi Das who was a poor cobbler. He was a cobbler, but a completely God-realized soul. King Bhagail Singh went to Kabir Sahib, who was a simple weaver. The Muslim Saint, Mirza Taki, and other Muslims, went to Tulsi Sahib, a Hindu. We have made the caste systems, not God. You can liken it to a school; but only that school deserves praise where a large number of students graduate. A true Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian, etc., is one who rises above body-consciousness and sees the Light of God. The degree of M.A. is one and the same in all colleges.
So brothers, this is the common ground, where you are sitting today (Sawan Ashram). After a great length of time, sitting at the feet of my Master, I at last understood the parallel study of religions. You should also study these things and make the best use of them. Remain in your own religions and keep the same rituals. You do not have to change anything. With a great blessing you have got the human form in which God is also residing. Realize Him. Sit beside a Master who goes inside. Tap inside. He will give you a small way up. Otherwise your whole life will be spent doing outer observances through the senses, and the cycle of birth and death will never finish. As long as you do not know in truth that He is the doer and not you, you will not achieve anything.
“When I saw Him, I sang; and through singing I got the fruit,” When one’s condition becomes like this with the Guru’s blessing the realization will come. He will withdraw you from outer things and connect you with the Light and Sound already existing within the human form. He will make it audible and visible. Through daily practices you will be able to increase the experience. Christ told the people that the Son knows the Father, and others to whom the Son may reveal Him. “By the Guru’s grace you can see that this body you carry around is the temple of God. Many have searched for this temple, but found it by contacting the Naam Power within.” That God is nameless and formless. When He said, “from one I will become many,” He expressed Himself forth, and that Power is known an Naam (Name) or Word. “Through the Naam, the whole world was created” and “By the Naam, the Khand and Brahmand appeared.” You may call it Naam, Shabd, or Word, but that Power is the same. This expression of Naam is God’s own Power. It is the God into expression Power. It is looking after everything, controlling everything. If it withdraws from the physical body, we have to leave. Guru Nanak says, “Nanak’s Naam is in control of all; only with God’s grace can it be realized.” That Power has tied us to the body, and only by its support are we going along in life. “What can a poor puppet do but the Will of the Great Giver?” The wooden doll does not know what is holding her up. That very Power, Shabd or Naam, is upholding billions and billions of Khands and Brahmands. With what perfect symmetry and motion is it upholding all this! When that Power withdraws, dissolution or grand dissolution occurs.
We must know that Power. We are not separate from it, and it is not separate from us, but the question remains — where is it? When one becomes conscious of oneself, then one can know a little of this Truth. These days the attention is constantly attracted by worldly objects. I am seeing you, and you are seeing me, but we cannot see behind us. By turning our head and eyes we can see what is happening behind. So, when we withdraw from outside we will see what is happening inside. That is why all Masters have advised to “know thyself.”
“Everyone has searched for God’s temple.” All the words spoken outside are based on inner sounds. Just take the word Guru, for example. This Guru-Shabd is mentioned in the holy scriptures (Eastern). Any word given by a God-realized man is highly charged. You may know of various words, like Ram or Allah, etc. (names of God), but if they were given by a God-realized man they would have strong charging. “Oh my mind, to become one with the Shabd will drench me in its everlasting color.” Here, color means Divine intoxication. If our soul gets joined back to the Shabd, we will also start getting intoxicated. Nanak says, “The intoxication of Naam upon Nanak is such that he is inebriated day and night.”
The outer intoxication is that which one experiences in the morning and by evening one is sober. Its effect wears off. If one drinks in the evening the effect has gone by morning. But inner intoxication is the food of the soul. Though the soul itself is also intoxication, it is merely a drop of the ocean of All-Intoxication; when it becomes one with the waves of that ocean it becomes full of supreme bliss. “Oh man, oh soul, the pleasures you enjoy last only while your attention is there, but once you withdraw, the pleasures fade away.” So if you want the true intoxication which will never wear off, you have to become one with God.
“True devotion, the true temple of God, are only true if the Music of the Spheres is heard.” They say that this body is the real temple of God. The temples made by man are just temples. What is true devotion? Where the Sound Principle, God’s music, is heard. To become one with that Sound is true devotion. Devotion is also called love, but when the soul gets intoxicated from the inner Sun, that is called devotion. Where can you find this? Only in the temple of God — not outside. It is already there. One only has to withdraw inside, by withdrawing the attention from outer things.
What is the criterion for knowing that this is It? “When you hear the Sound, which is indescribable and unknowable, then you will have reached true devotion.” Where will it take you? To where it started from. Absolute God thought, “From one I will become many.” This is the way back to Absolute God. For whom is this teaching? All mankind. A Muslim fakir says, “Shame on ye that are so identified with the prison of the physical form, that ye listen not to the holy Voice of God.” It means that it is very sad that you are so physically bound to your body that you do not listen to the pure Voice of the Lord which is coming from within you. “I hear a voice within me calling, ‘Oh Shamas Tabrez, return thee to the Kingdom of God.’ Every moment a voice is coming to my soul inside this physical form and it is saying, ‘Oh, Shamas Tabrez, come back to my home.'” That Voice is continuously vibrating. On this subject, Bhai Nandlal Ji has said in the Persian language, “The Sound of the bell is ringing. Hurry up and pack your things, and let us go home to that place from whence the Sound is coming.” This is the Voice of God calling us. It is also said that this body is the temple of God in which the gem of knowledge appears. The gem of knowledge is that Sound which reverberates, and whosoever enters inside will find it. “Everything is in this house. Nothing is outside.” Whosoever searches outwardly will lose himself in illusion.
Kabir says, “The thing is in one place and the search is being made somewhere else. You will find it when you take with you he who knows.” If you come across a person who has the knowledge of the Beyond, he will say, “Come,” and will join you back, through his attention. “If you take the Knower with you, he will easily give you the Truth. That which takes millions of births will happen in one second.” For many lives, and the present one also, man has been in search of God; wandering in the outer environments. If he had gone inside, he would have had the realization. For this process, a Mahatma (great soul) who goes inside himself, is needed to put us on the way up. Then with daily practice one’s condition should become one of confidence. “When a True Master comes, all doubts vanish.” Whenever he wants, he can work in the body or he can go into the sukhsham — into the Beyond. So the true temple of God is the physical form, in which the jewel of knowledge shines. Knowledge is not gained just by reading and writing. Knowledge comes through experience.
To see the inner Light and hear the inner Sound is real knowledge. “Manmukhs (worldly people) ask, “How can the man-body be the temple of God?'” Those people who are under the influence of the mind and are doing outer practices say, “How can the man-body be the temple of God? This is a sack of filth — who can say it is the house of God?” They are never convinced about it. Once, I heard of a great mahatma, who had many followers, so I went to see him.. Someone introduced me, and he started giving a lecture. “Who says that in the beyond you can realize God? The body is full of filth, urine, blood, etc. How can there be anything inside? If you want to see the sun you must look outside.” So you must understand that there are also mahatmas of this type. In the Gurubani it is written that this kind of mahatma is manmukh. What is a manmukh? “He who does not understand the Holy Shabd can be termed a manmukh. The fear of the Guru is not in his heart.”
Firstly, it is very difficult to meet a True Master, and secondly if one does not meet one, naturally one cannot obey him. Such people say, “How can this body be a temple of God?” Eat, drink and be merry is their motto. Dear people, this human form is a true temple, wherein God resides. Withdraw yourselves from outer things and realize Him. You can only do this while you have a human life. “Now you have got this man-body, it is the time to meet God. All the outward actions will not help you. Keep the company of a Sadhu, and repeat the Holy Naam.” Keep the company of a Sadhu. What is a Sadhu? One in whom God has manifested Himself, and who can make God appear within others. “In the company of a Sadhu, you will receive that which is Imperishable.” What is that thing which is imperishable? He, God Himself, who is already within you. In the Jap Ji Sahib, which is read daily by the Sikhs, it is written, “There is a priceless jewel within you; you will realize it if you obey the Guru’s teachings.” In the Koran of our Muslim brothers it is written in Persian, “I am a hidden treasure, hidden deep within you.”
If you knew there was some treasure hidden somewhere, wouldn’t you like to dig it out? If a thief came across an unguarded house with no one to see his actions, do you think he would sleep in the night? So many say that God is within us, but even then sleep without caring. Why don’t they dig out the Truth? Even if one meets someone who can help to bring out this Truth, and some understanding is given, even then one does not care to do the digging. How unfortunate is he! What can we call such an unfortunate person? If he were not conscious of the thing, it would be a different matter, but if someone has shown a little of that treasure inside, and even then one ignores it, then what is to be done? The usual excuse given is, “I have no time,” is it not? Do you want someone else to dig out the treasure for you?
This is not restricted to any particular faith; anyone can do it. All the outer rituals are good, and if one does something good one will be rewarded, but the coming and going in the world will not stop. This thing is an inner science, getting which you will also get salvation. Even if one returns, it will not be as a prisoner but rather as a doctor sent back to help the rest of humanity. “The true temple of the man-body was made by God, and is maintained by His Will.” All creation is in God’s control, just as a powerhouse controls all other machinery. He who is in charge of the powerhouse will tell you that not a single piece of machinery can move without his orders. Those working under him say, “Be careful not to disobey his orders, otherwise a limb might get chopped off in the machinery.” His wishes are like standing orders and cannot be erased. So God is called by the names Shabd or Naam or Word. That which we term the Controlling Power is His wish or order, or you can call it the will of God. “Through the Shabd all happiness is acquired, and through love the True Naam.” Soul is a part of God, just as it is a part of the Shabd. When the soul becomes one with God, it becomes full of bliss. “If ye long for eternal happiness, surrender thyself to God.” Go under the protection of that Power which is perpetually vibrating. The soul is a conscious entity, and God is All-Consciousness. If you want everlasting happiness, be connected with the ever-permeating rays of the All-Consciousness. Such happiness will never end. These teachings are not for a selected few, but for all men.
This secret path cannot be trod without a Guru. When we leave the body at death, the body’s identifications which we considered to be so important remain with the body. When you leave, who are you? Just a soul. You will go to a place in accordance with the seeds you have sown, not by what religion you are, but by just what you are. If one is fortunate to find a great man who is a living temple of God, and who can reveal the Light within, what will this great man do? “The Master will lift you above the realm of duality, saving you from judgment in the court of the Lord of Death.” An enlightened soul with his attention takes you above the senses and connects you with the Truth. Once you have risen above the poisons of the senses and have become the one who sees, then what can Dharm Rai, the Lord of Death, do?
This quotation was from the Gurubani — that book has a place in every Sikh home — but the same thing has been said by all past Masters. In the Persian language it is the same. If you open the Sanskrit books, you will find the same teaching there. However, the common man does not understand Sanskrit, which requires the study of a special grammar. When Masters come, they speak the simple language of the common man, so that everyone may understand. The latest holy book is the Guru Granth Sahib. Forgive me, but for understanding that also, dictionaries are now being compiled. With each age, everything changes. This Guru Granth Sahib was written in the simple Punjabi language, very clearly and in such a way that by reading it one gets some intoxication. “Those who commune with the Truth are freed from all worldly sufferings.” “True One is the Truth, Oh Nanak.” The Truth is also known as Shabd and Naam. It is both describable and indescribable. It is said that he whose soul becomes one with the Truth, or Naam, transcends matter, and the rest get drowned in it, going around the cycle of births and deaths. In a certain section of the Hindu religion, when a person is dying they quickly light a lamp and put it in his hand. They say, “Do it quickly or he will die before he gets salvation.”
When a Guru initiates a disciple on this path, he will not leave him until he has taken him to the lap of Sat Purush, God in His True Form. After that the Sat Purush will take him to Alakh, Agam and Anami, states of imperceptible, inconceivable and nameless God. A Guru’s duty is very exacting. Even to hear the word Guru, the soul shivers but people nowadays want to become Gurus very quickly and very easily like an enjoyment you might say. In truth, a Guru is God Himself. In whichever pole God has manifested Himself, that pole is known as Sadhu, Sant or Mahatma, or Master. He never says,”I am the doer,” but always refers to the will of God.
The bani of the Guru, a Sound which gives perpetual bliss, can only be heard by the grace of the Guru.” The bani of the Guru and the Gurubani are two different things. Gurubani — Guru’s word — is what we read. Bani is the name of the Naam or Word, of which it is said that in the four yugas or ages, the Sound is vibrating continuously, and with the blessing of the Guru, Sound is made audible to the disciple. All the holy scriptures started from some enlightened soul. Before each Master came, each book was not in existence. So only a self-realized man can interpret them. The correct meanings cannot be understood on an intellectual level, for men who have not seen will give many different interpretations.
“Those who communed with the Naam became rid of all dross, to merge with the Lord in a state of pristine purity.” Those whose soul gets connection with Naam become pure. Only then can they merge into the Godhead. Naam liberates the soul from the lower self. Only he who is clean and pure can reach the lap of God. Who else can go? “The true temple of the body is God’s shop where the priceless treasure of Naam is sold, which only a Gurumukh can get.” He says that in the shop of God you can buy the True Naam, Naam Power, which is inside it. But only he who becomes a Gurumukh can buy it. This is not a story for the manmukh. A Gurumukh is he who becomes one with the Guru, through the eyes of the Guru. Otherwise, how can he become a Gurumukh? We have a habit of saying that this or that person is a very big Gurumukh, but it is not a matter of saying.
“In the temple of God, the mind drags us downward, away from the Truth.” It is because of the mind that we cannot partake of that which is inside us. It drags us down like a weight of iron. In turn the senses are dragging the mind, and the pleasures of the world are dragging the senses. If the attention withdraws from outer environments, leaves the senses and calms the mind, then only does it realize that it is soul. Have you understood this? Our mind is the barrier between soul and God. This lesson is not for any particular person our country.
“A contact with the philosopher’s stone turns iron into gold.” It is necessary for the iron to come into contact with the magic stone, to turn it into gold. The big difference between this touchstone and a Guru is that the touchstone will turn iron into gold, but the contact with a true Guru can make one a Guru. In the company of the Master your mind will come to a standstill, because he himself has controlled his mind. From where does this mind take its power? From the soul. You will become very valuable if you can also control your mind and become one with your Guru.
“The lowly became high through God’s grace, and through His grace the sinking stone was made to swim across.” Only God’s grace made this sinking stone swim across, so there is hope for everybody. There is a great wealth to be gained through Gurubhakti — devotion to the Guru. You have to earn your reward through using whatever he gives you to start with. So the first step should be through Gurubhakti. “One whole lifetime of Gurubhakti is required, and in the next life you will get Naam. The third birth brings salvation, and the fourth reaches you to your True Home.” If you do Gurubhakti in one birth, in the next you will get Naam, the third will bring salvation, and in the fourth you will arrive in Sach Khand, your true home. All these stages can be had even in one span of man-body, with the grace of the Guru. All Masters have sung the praises of Gurubhakti. Maulana Rumi says, “Maulana Rumi would not have become Maulana Rumi if he hadn’t given himself as a slave to Shaman Tabrez.” Guru Nanak says, “Nanak, become a Gurumukh if you want to earn the Truth.”
I have laid before you a hymn from the Gurubani. Many of you have read it many times, but was it ever with full attention? If you will open up the meaning you will see the truth in it. One hymn is enough; it is not necessary to read more. If you have a true heart, God Himself will help you by leading you to a True Master, in whom He has manifested Himself. He will give you something to start with; to help you on your way in this birth and even afterwards. If you meet such a personality but do not obey his commands, then what can I say?
Stay in your religions. This wealth of Naam is already in you. God is residing in this physical form, which can rightly be called the Temple of God. Keep this temple carefully, with purity and cleanliness. That form is beautiful in which God has manifested Himself. If you cover a heap of garbage with silk, will any fragrance of perfume come out of it. Clean up the mind through self-introspection and daily meditation. The more frequently one enjoys the Divine contact with the holy Naam, the more beautiful will one become inside. As the inner beauty develops, the fragrant radiance from within will shine forth, making a temple truly fit for God to dwell in.
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