August 1, 1970
Published in Sant Bani Magazine, October 1981
Published in Sant Bani Magazine, June 1989
Reprinted from the August 1970 Sat Sandesh Magazine.
Today, I am not placing anything new before you, but the age-old truth which has come to the world for centuries past. Whenever Masters came, they brought the same truth. They come with a Light and they give this Light to everyone who so desires it, in fact they not only bring the Light but they are the Light themselves . . . the Children of Light. For how long? For as long as they walk on the surface of the earth. However, that Light never dies, but is ever permanent, and when one bulb “fuses” another is put in its place. When the second fuses, the third is lighted, and so on. This Light or power is that which we call God or Guru, and it is ever permanent.
When the Masters come they bring Light into the world which is in deep darkness. By giving a little Light, the darkness is dispelled. Unfortunately, there is no right understanding, for the mists of delusion are disseminated so densely that one hand cannot find the other, though it be attached to the same body! The Masters have always said very frankly, We bring no new thing, but that which has existed from the beginning — right understanding. What is right understanding? In a simple manner of speaking it is a matter of common sense, a case of knowing who one actually is. Have you ever given any thought to it?
Man has acquired great knowledge — has given birth to intellectual giants. Highly informative lectures have been given, and the number of books available for reading is innumerable. Much has been learned about the physical form, and with the help of the intellect many new discoveries have been made in various fields. The world can be encircled in a matter of hours, rendering it somewhat like a small town; the moon has been landed upon, and now the heretofore hidden knowledge of the moon is gradually being opened up to mankind. Is it not ironic and regrettable that with all this knowledge, we yet know nothing of who we truly are? Through systematically feeding the body we have become physically strong and we are intellectually strong because we have fed all kinds of knowledge into the mind, but what food have we given to the soul?
When a man is born, is he at that time a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist or Jain etc.? He is just a human being — a member of mankind. Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, said, “The true religion of man is only one.” The outer and inner construction of the physical form are the same. God has not sent man with a brand of a certain religion on him, but rather He sent him into the religion of Mankind, and the different labels have been attached afterwards by man himself.
When the world was created, there were no religions existing. For instance Sikhism came into existence after Guru Nanak, when later the tenth Guru organized the followers into a fold, and established the Khalsa. Fifteen hundred years years back there was no Muslim, and two thousand years ago there were no Christians. If we trace back as far as five thousand years we would find no Buddhists or Jains — all were made in the course of time, after the great saviors who came to guide the child humanity.
Though God has given all men equal rights relating to the birth process and physical composition, as yet man is ignorant to what he actually is. We have all got a body, but we are not the body — we are connected to it — we are the indweller. All is well while the two companions dwell together, but when one leaves, the other turns to dust. The companion of the physical form remains alive in this world only for as long as we, the soul, are with it, but when we are separated — No one keeps it, even for half an hour; they send it out of the house. When a person dies, everyone is anxious to quickly prepare the body and send it away. So the Masters teach us that we are actually conscious soul, and the body is glorified only for as long as that conscious soul dwells in it.
The physical form is a wonderful house in which we live. It has nine outlets — eyes, nostrils, ears, mouth, genital and excretory orifices, but the indweller cannot leave through any of them. Some Power has tied it within the body and it is imprisoned. When that very Power is withdrawn, the indweller also has to leave the body. That same Power is controlling millions of worlds throughout creation which abide in perfect rhythm and do not clash with one another. There are stars which can be seen on their orbits only after five thousand years. That Power is called Naam, or Word, and when it withdraws, dissolution occurs, and in due course of the Divine Plan, grand dissolution. Guru Nanak Sahib says, “Naam is the controller of everything; he whose destiny is great will achieve it.”
The ultimate Lord is nameless, but He expressed Himself, and that expression is called Naam which is permeated through each atom — there is no place without it. If we search into this human form we will find the knowledge of it. It is a profound subject worthy of deep thought. To make anything one requires tools and machinery of some kind, but what tools are in the womb of the mother to create the child’s eyes, ears, nose, hands and feet etc? Have you ever given any thought to this? There is some power which is in control, is there not? It is this Power which we must know — the Sustainer of all life, both within the womb and without.
We are all children of the same Lord. When the Life-Giver is one and the same, though He may be known by different names, then where does the question arise of fighting each other? This is a great lesson repeatedly forgotten by mankind throughout the ages and the Masters continue to come to remind us. Hundreds of lovers, but the Beloved is the same. Caste and religion are different, but the work is the same. We also have, Everyone glories in his own Friend; the target is one but the arrows are many. This is the supreme mystery of life, which we must unravel. The Masters have realized it, and so have those who came into contact with them. In the desire to keep a particular Master’s teachings alive that more and more people may realize the Truth, so the religious formation was founded. So long as the self-realized persons were here to fulfill those teachings, the formations prospered successfully, but on their departure stagnation and deterioration slowly reduced the performance of them to mere forms and rituals.
Who can realize God? He cannot be realized through the mind, intellect or senses, or through pranas involving the breathing process. He can only be realized through the soul, and as long as the soul has not realized itself, it cannot realize God. For this very reason, all rishis, munis, Mahatmas and Masters who ever came to the world up to the present, no matter to which country or religion they belonged, stressed the same injunction — O Man, know thyself! Even if by theory, through using the intellect, we have come to believe that we are the soul and we have got a body, is this a truly scientific knowledge through actual self-analysis? Have we succeeded in rising above the senses, at will? When a true Master comes to the world he gives the seekers a demonstration in full consciousness, how to rise above the body consciousness and still further above the senses and mind — not from the level of the intellect, but practically. This can only be experienced through the help, and the mercy, of a self-realized and God-realized man. Until this happens, our soul remains in its deplorable condition — surrounded by the mind and the senses so much so that it is just the image of the body and the world. It has completely forgotten itself and the Life-Sustainer, and has forgotten its way back to the knowledge of all this. God dwells with us in the same body, but the tragedy is we do not talk to each other.
He whose soul is strong will find that his heart, mind and physical body remain in good working order, because the body and the intellect derive their strength from the soul, so upon the spiritual health depends the life of mind and body, both. The Master feeds the soul with the Bread of Life. This is the basis of right understanding. They say Our true friend is he, by seeing whom all wrong understanding ceases. This type of Master is found very rarely, and if one is fortunate enough to meet one, the worldly attractions diminish — all narrow mindedness fades away.
When Guru Nanak Sahib and Kabir Sahib came, the two castes of Muslim and Hindu were strongly opposed. There was like a shroud of dense darkness over India. Guru Nanak once described the condition by saying that the Moon of Truth had been eclipsed by a black night. The princes had become butchers, and all honorable conduct had taken wings and flown. What teaching did he give out? He said, “We are neither Hindu nor Muslim — Allah and Ram are the breath of this body,” meaning that there is only one Power and we are the devotees of that — call it Allah or Ram — and that Power is the very breath of our life. Hindus and Muslims were made by us. Kabir Sahib voiced this in a similar way, We are neither Hindu nor Muslim — think of us both as one. Whether we do puja or namaz, both are for Him.
A Muslim maulvi or priest once challenged Guru Nanak by saying, “If you think that the Hindus and Muslims are one and the same, then come and read namaz with us!” Guru Nanak readily agreed, and accompanied him to the mosque. The Maulvi Sahib performed the namaz, and the Kazi Sahib’ and all others followed him, but Guru Nanak did not do so. He was afterwards asked why he had not prayed with the others, and he said, “With whom should I have prayed?” He was reminded that the Maulvi Sahib had been performing, but Guru Nanak replied, “But he was not really doing so; his mind was on his calf at his house and he was worried that it may fall into the well.” The Maulvi Sahib was shocked into silence, but the Kazi Sahib promptly asked, “Why did you not pray with me?” Guru Nanak turned to him and smiled — “You? — you were buying horses in Kabul!” With fear and shame they whispered, “Who are you?” Guru Nanak said, “If I say I am a Hindu, you will kill me, and Muslim I am not!” By this he meant that they would judge him by his outer Hindu appearance, and not by his soul — and that he was not their idea of what a Muslim should be.
The outer forms and rituals are all right, but are superficial,like monograms to show which school a child is attending. Obviously, only that school is praiseworthy from which many children graduate, having achieved the purpose of their studies. So, they asked Guru Nanak once again, “Tell us, who are you?” He replied, “If you want to know the truth, Nanak is a puppet made of five elements, in which the invisible plays — which is me.” This means that the body is made up of five elements, and that invisible Power is playing within that body — people called that Nanak. When he went to Baghdad, Guru Nanak made a statement, that, “I have renounced all religions.” People asked him, “Then, what is your belief?” He said, “Love God, and as He is in every human being, love everybody.” This is the true teaching given by all realized souls.
We have political troubles, countries are fighting against each other, and there is only one solution to this miserable problem, and that is to find out who we really are. It is a common-sense matter, and no philosophy is required to understand that the unity already exists as man body, soul and the same power we worship — but we have forgotten it, that is all. It is a subject of practical self-analysis, during which the consciousness has to be separated from the matter. In the past, the furtherance of this teaching has always been the free work of self-realized souls, but in this day and age it is a world of paid preachers and material motives. If we go back in history we find people like Maharaja Ranjit Singh who was ordered by his priest, Akali Phula Singh, in the Holy Temple, to “Go back, you have committed a sin — you are not fit to enter.” He was a king, but he obeyed implicitly — can any priest today order any man at all, and hope for obedience? No, because each is concerned with his own selfish motives. Kabir Sahib said, Everything is forgotten when the stomach is in question,meaning that all principles are cast aside in consideration of earning for the stomach. He also said, Some have used the holy scriptures and some have used donkeys (or any beast of burden) (to earn their living).
O brother, when you get the human form, it is your turn to meet God. No actions will avail you — keep the company of a Saint and repeat only the Holy Naam. It is with great good fortune that you have got this human form, and it is thy turn to meet God. In the Rig Veda, this human form is called Brahmpuri — the place where God can be realized. It is also called the real Ayodyapuri of six centers and nine doors, where Ram resides. While living in this human form, the most important work we have is to realize God. All other species of creation live a life of the senses only — they have no free will. Due to the element of akash tatwa within man, he has an awakened-ness with which he can differentiate the truth from untruth, and is thereby able to adopt the truth and make use of the untruth or illusion. We have all had this form for various numbers of years, but how far have we progressed in reaching our aim? We must give careful attention to those things which will help us.
We are advised to keep the company of a perfect Master, and repeat only the Naam. Who is a perfect Master? Guru Arjan Sahib has written pages upon pages in describing a perfect Master. A Master is a human being, born like all of us, but there is also a great difference, for he has freed his soul from the mind and senses, and according to his own will he can work through the senses. He is in constant contact with God — he sees Him as I am seeing you and you are seeing me. The Master has taken the human form, and, There is no difference between God and the Master, the Word made flesh. Master is not a name given to those who wear a particular mode of dress, but to one who is God-realized. And what does a God-realized soul give? Through the company of a Master you get the empyreal gift. He gives the connection with God Himself — he introduces you to the Holy Naam. One may have traveled to many places of pilgrimage, have sung the praises of the Lord constantly, but if one has never seen Him, of what value is all that?
Guru Amar Das Ji Sahib, who spent seventy years searching for the Truth, said, “How can a man whose inner eye is not open, open the eyes of others?” Without seeing Him, singing God’s praises is just like a blind man declaring that the light of the sun is very strong. God’s form is Light itself, but man has not seen it. He is a true worshipper, who first sees it and then sings the praises of the Lord. When seen, and praises are sung, then the songs will bear fruit. And he who sees can make others see, for, No man knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal Him. Those who have seen Him have reached His lap. In the very last stanza of the Guru Granth Sahib, it is written, O God, may I be able to see Thee. It is an appeal to the Lord to reveal Himself. Think with a cool head — if you have got somewhere, then my congratulations are with you, otherwise go and seek someone’s assistance.
Today, we have an abundance of holy scriptures by many Masters, so it is of the utmost importance that one should seek carefully and seriously for a true Master who is God-realized inner eye is open and who can open the eyes of others that they may see the effulgent Light of God. It is that God, that very Light which is working in all humanity which opens the inner eye, but which is shining in all fulness in the perfect Master. In the Sikh religion there is a prayer — To meet a Gurumukh — to keep a Master’s company drenched in the color of Naam — O Lord, it is the most beloved meeting, in which Thy Name comes out of the heart. Guru Nanak prays in this way, Nanak, thy servant, prays only for this happiness — that Thou wouldst bring me to a Saint. What is a Saint? My Beloved is very awakened, and (without saying so) he is known as a Saint. He is manifested God in man. Nothing is bereft of Him. Full of joy, I prostrate myself before the one in whom He has manifested Himself.
The Master does not insert anything from outside, for God is already within — he only withdraws the outgoing attention that it may see the Truth. With the eye of his mercy he gives you a way up, above the body and mind, and opens your inner eye. To enjoy the company of such a personage is called Satsang. Live in any place, belong to any religion, but keep the company of one who is illumined. Listen carefully to what Brahmanand, a past Master, says:
Today, sakhi, let us sit in Satsang, and sing the praises of God
We are all “sakhies” you see, One man — the rest are females (God, and all souls). He says, O sakhi, we will all sit together at a Satsang and sing the praises of the Lord. A real Satsang is to have the company of the Truth. God is Truth. When the soul releases itself from the mind and senses and connects itself with the Truth and in fact becomes one with the Truth, that can truly be called Satsang. If we have yet to reach that stage, then the company of a person who is one with the Truth and can connect us to the Truth, is also called Satsang. Guru Arjan Sahib says, He who has realized the True Lord — his name is Satguru. A disciple who keeps his company can truly sing the Lord’s praises. Salvation is achieved through such company. Why? If you meet a Satguru, he will open your inner eye, that you may see the Truth. Again he says, Only a Satguru can make a Satsangat, and Through the complete Master, a Satsang is made. It is unfortunate that most people labor under misunderstanding of the word, and think that a Satsang is any kind of talk, whether intellectual, or on the scriptures, or on the various forms of yoga.
In this Iron Age the way of salvation for all living creatures lies only through the Naam. Guru Nanak stresses the point — Now that the Iron Age has come, sow the seed of Naam, sow the seed of Naam. There is no other way — do not waste your time in illusion. No matter what caste or religion you belong to, true freedom can only be attained through the Holy Naam, or Word. What is the Naam? for God is nameless and absolute. The tenth Guru of the Sikhs says, I bow down to He who has no name. However, when God wished to become from one to many, He expressed Himself, and that God-into-Expression Power is called the Naam.
O mind, repeat the one Name — that treasure which the Satguru has given.
The Naam is that expressed Power, and he who is that manifested Power can give you an experience of it. It is the form of the Truth, the Master, which gives you this experience in all consciousness, and it is the only way for all souls in this age — there is no other way. He who came in contact with the Naam went to his true home; O Nanak, his countenance was radiant, and through him, many were released. One can get a connection with the Naam, with a very good karmic background and the overflowing Grace of God. How does one know that one has got the Naam? Nanak says, then only the eternal bliss pervades through that “house” where the Music of the Spheres is heard. Again he says, Through the Naam, the Light seen is brighter than millions of suns. There are two aspects of Naam — one is Light, the other, Sound — and to see and hear them is to truly experience the Naam. Repeating the holy charged words given by the Master (Simran) is the first step, for through these words we can reach to the source of them.
Ram, Ram, everyone says — but by saying the word Ram, one does not become Ram (God).
If the immanent Ram is manifested within with the grace of the Satguru, the uttering of the word “Ram” would bear fruit. You can say Ram, Allah, God or any name expressing God, but unless you come in contact with the God Power which these words denote, how can you enjoy Him? With due consideration, good or bad actions will bring reward or punishment, as you are the doer, and until you are able to both see and know that He is the Doer and not you, the cycle of births and deaths will continue. There are many known as Mahatmas or Masters, who teach the various practices at the level of the outgoing faculties, mind and intellect, but these do not elevate one above the senses, and so one’s coming and going in the world cannot be eliminated. How can he light the lamps of others, whose own lamp is not already lighted? How many Masters are there who are really competent to perform this spiritual operation?
Guru Ram Das Sahib says that you can burn a huge pile of wood to ashes with a tiny spark of fire. Correspondingly, a little Light from a Master can burn to ashes all one’s sins from past births. Naam purifies the impure. It is said, If the hands, feet and body are covered in mud, water will wash it away; if the clothes are full of filth, wash them with soap; if the mind is sinful, only the color of Naam can wash it clean. This does not mean with words, but with the practical connection to Naam, given by that Guru who is the Word made flesh in whom God has manifested Himself.
Without the Saint’s company, Jnana (knowledge) is not attained;
Without the knowledge, you cannot get salvation.
This is not academic knowledge, acquired through the intellect and senses — it is the knowledge of realizing in full consciousness. Guru’s knowledge is obtained through the inner eye, which takes away the dark veil of ignorance. The Guru’s knowledge is something like a spiritual medicine which when put into the eyes, removes the dark veil and enables one to see the Light. If the soul does not leave the senses and withdraw from the outgoing faculties, the inner eye cannot be opened, so the Master, by directing his attention reveals the hidden Light of God in others. Another name for that Light is Jnana — Knowledge.
The priceless jewel of the Song of God’s Name is in the Master’s keeping;
He will reveal it unto whosoever takes his word as Truth — the Truth itself.
The true knowledge is inaccessible without a perfect Master. Other teachings can be expounded with a little training, but they will not lead to complete emancipation from birth and death. The I-hood will go only when one becomes the conscious co-worker of the Divine Plan, and thereby sees clearly that He is doing everything.
All practices performed at the level of intellect and senses are good actions and bring reward, but there is no deliverance through them. One may light the candle and ring the bell, but these are only feeble imitations of the inner practice.
Each one has the spark of awakened-ness within;
Recognize it, and do the everlasting concentration.
The everlasting Naam has an incomparable sweetness, but you cannot taste it while under the influence of the senses. This message is for all mankind, regardless of religion or way of life, and all men should make the effort to realize it.
Brahmanand says, the Guru removes all doubts, by showing us the Truth within the body;
Listen to the Guru’s Knowledge with which you can cross the river of life.
You have listened to all that I have said, but is there really a Light within? If you do not see it, you cannot really believe it. When you are the one who sees, all your doubts will be removed, so having received the great blessing of a human form, now go in search of a true Master and entreat him to carry you across the ocean of life.
Guru Ram Das Ji prays:
O Lord, show me a Master who is a philosopher’s stone;
Who can make me a philosopher’s stone also.
I was not even a good metal, but all rust;
Meeting my Guru, he changed me, Not into a philosopher’s stone, but into himself.
Understand the vast difference
Between a philosopher’s stone and a Master;
The former turns iron into gold —
The latter makes one like himself.
Heaven, hell and heaven, are the desires of all;
Daily they live in this hope.
The true disciples of God do not even ask for salvation;
They desire only a glimpse of the Lord.
No king wants his son to be merely a minister, but rather that he should become a king. A Master desires that his disciple should become as he is himself. People either want the happiness of heaven or the Beyond — or else the worldly pleasures. Daily we pray to God for the sake of children, daily needs, dead relatives, law suits etc., beseeching the favors of this world or the next. We have to decide what is our true desire. If we really want God, then most assuredly we will get Him, for whatever we sincerely desire He fulfills from His vast abundance of everything. The merciful Father has ordered that the child will get whatever he desires. In the Koran it is said, Whatever a man wants from Me, most definitely I will give.So brothers, ask the question of your heart. The heart, tongue and mind — all three — should desire the same thing. The arrow which is drawn deep in the bow will go straight to the target.
If the Life-Giver, residing in the human temple, sees that his child is in torment of yearning for a glimpse of Him, He makes it possible for the child to be brought to that human pole in which He has manifested Himself. Who are these most fortunate children? Those who have no guile or cunning, but desire to serve; are humble and have love in their hearts for all. When He sees a child like this, then — When Thou camest, the Guru appeared. Otherwise, how can a blind man search out one with sight? We, the blind, lost in our blindness, how can we walk as the Guru desires? Why are we the blindest of the blind? Because the poison of illusion has submerged us in its foulness, and he who has taken poison is not clear in mind, nor in heart. How can such a person walk in the Guru’s footsteps?
For an example, there is the story of a small child who was playing alone in a room, when he fell and hurt himself. Full of fright, he tried to hold the wall and rise, but fell again. He clutched at the tablecloth, and then at a chair, which tumbled over and again he fell. In helpless despair he cried,”O mother!” His mother was in the kitchen boiling the milk, but when she heard the desperate cry she ran out, picked him up and comforted him, returning with him to the kitchen. By this time, the milk had boiled over and more than half of it was lost. Seeing this, the child asked, “Mother, do you love me very much?” The mother told him that indeed she did. In his simple way of thinking the child considered that it was very easy to make his mother run to him, by just calling her, and after a few days he tried to get his mother’s attention by shouting, “Mother, oh mother,” but she did not come. Disappointed, he went into the kitchen and asked her, “Mother, what are you doing?” She said, “I am cooking lentils” (a very inexpensive food). He was amazed and said, “That day you left the milk to boil over and today you are only cooking lentils, and you did not come to me — have you stopped loving me?” She replied, “No, my child, but that day there was pain in your voice.” So, ask your heart what it wants, and if you really want God, He will come. He does not reside beyond the skies, but within your own self — He is your Life-Sustainer.
Now the question arises, how can we increase this desire, or give birth to it, if it is not yet awakened? By keeping company with he who has what you want. If you wish to be a wrestler, keep the company of a wrestler, or if you are interested in learning, then keep the company of a learned person. The radiation absorbed whilst in the company of a Saint will bring untold benefit. Keep your own customs, and stay in your own religion — there is no need to change one’s outer way of life, appearance or language. Hazrat Mussa was once going through a forest, when he came across a shepherd boy, deeply absorbed in his prayer to the Lord. He was saying, “O Lord, if you were a child I would give you milk from the sheep — if you were feeling cold, I would make woolen clothes for you, and if you had lice in your hair I would remove them!” It was all his sincere expression of love from his heart. On hearing it, Hazrat Mussa became very angry and shouted, “You heathen, what are you saying? Your words are heresy — does God ever drink milk?” The poor child who had uttered the words out of great love, sobbed miserably, “Forgive me, forgive me.” He was so shocked and unhappy that in this condition his attention withdrew, and he saw God within who said, “Fear not, I will drink your milk and wear your clothes.” The Lord also appeared to Hazrat Mussa and told him, “I had sent you to join the souls back to me, and not to break away those who love me.” If the heart is pure and the desire is strong you might worship a stone idol or anything else, but God will hear your sincere prayer, and will Himself bring you to that person in whom He is manifested.
Maya (illusion) and attachment surround everything;
The stain of them is indelible.
Illusion is another name for forgetfulness, and we forgot ourselves the day we were born into this world. No matter how clever you are, you will get stained if shut in a room full of soot!Our eyes are open and the outer impressions are being absorbed unwittingly — everyone is on a material, physical plane, and all men think and view from that level. How is it possible for a human being to remain unaffected by forgetfulness? One Muslim fakir expressed it this way — O God, you have made us sit on a narrow plank on a fast-flowing river, saying, “Be careful, do not get your clothes wet!” How is that possible? Our eyes, ears and all the doors of the senses are wide open to absorb everything — it seems like a hopeless situation — appears impossible that we can be saved. But there is a solution.
My Beloved’s people are without stain and are free;
Like a duck whose wings do not get wet.
The Lord’s true disciples live in the world but do not accept its influence — they control the attention. As they choose, they use their senses or ignore them, living in the world but remaining aloof from it. Like the lotus flower lives in water but is untouched by it; like the duck who stays dry in the water. Through the attention and Sound you can swim beyond the ocean of life, praise be to the Naam, O Nanak. The attention when connected to God or Naam from within, will not be influenced by the world and its affairs. When you have come to know yourself — have become the controller — you will control whichever sense you choose, i.e., with eyes open you will not see and with open ears you will not hear. It is but natural that he who reaches this stage will be unaffected by small worldly matters. It is true that his boat is in the water, but the water is not in his boat!
The sandalwood tree is surrounded by deadly serpents —
How can one approach it?
Cut a way through with the blade of the Guru’s knowledge;
Cutting the poison aside, to drink the nectar.
Illusion is snake-like, even by habits. When small snakes leave the eggs, they are eaten up by the mother — very few escape. Illusion is like a snake which is enwrapped around the world; whoever feeds it, is eaten up by it. It is said that a Gurumukh who, sitting beside a God-realized person has become the mouthpiece of him, whose eye is open that he can see God in each soul and all souls in God, is the only one who can get out of the illusion. So, to cut oneself free, one requires the Sword of Knowledge.
There is a huge pile of wood, and in one second a small spark can turn it to ashes;
Great are the sins committed by man — apply the spark that the Master gives.
Some people perform the outer symbolic ritual of setting afloat upon some holy river a small boat made of leaves and filled with flowers, in which a small wick is lighted. To be able to swim safely across the ocean of life, the inner Holy Light is imperative. Who can give that Light? He who is Light itself — the permanent effulgence of Naam — and this is the criterion of a true Master. Others are lecturers, propagandists, etc., and there are many of them — but true Masters are very rare. If one is given an experience of the Light, naturally it will bring hope for further enlightenment.
A true Master is he in whom the Naam vibrates,
Who joins others back to Him;
The Master’s people who are touched by he who sees God, will also see.
Iron, which is covered by mud, cannot be drawn by a magnet, but if you clean it, though the magnet be some distance away it will draw the iron unto itself. When only He remains, and even the thought of your own body is gone, then you will be drenched in His color. It is only necessary to withdraw your attention from outer things. A self-realized man is the controller of his attention; he can draw your soul upward. Bhai Nandlal Ji says, One glance from Thee is enough to fill my life with Life. There may be ten, one hundred or five hundred present for the sitting, but with a little attention from a perfect Master all will experience their attention being withdrawn upward above the body consciousness and their inner eyes opened to see the Light of God. The Master has presented me with a sample. This sample is an experience of the soul — one only needs to turn one’s face toward him, no matter if one is physically thousands of miles away.
When cotton is full of tangles — how can it be spun into thread?
No good will come from this — spend no time on such.
Those who are far away from God are like cotton full of tangles. Without thread there is no cloth, so beware of those people in whom He has not manifested Himself, for they will fill you with further doubts. Though one may be already seeing a little truth, but through association with such people doubt will come and one will begin to wonder about it. Kabir Sahib says, Run away from these people. If you desire some company, find a good and truthful person — otherwise keep aloof and lead a lone life. Each person’s company has a very big influence, and in the company of he whose attention is wandering, one will go further adrift. The company of he who is the controller of his attention will bring an exceptional stillness.
Those who accompany the Master vibrate with the goodness of him,
Meeting such a Master in whom God is vibrating.
The company of a person who has become Truth itself has a purity — an uplifting impulse, for he is permeated with God and so you will also become permeated. His is the very best kind of company to have. Kabir Sahib says, In one day, have his darshan many times; if you cannot, then twice a day, and if not that then twice a week, or once a week — if not, in fifteen days, or once a month. If you are without his darshan for a year, your connection with him will become weak. Such strong stress of importance did Kabir Sahib lay upon the company of the Master. It once happened that a man who had been in Africa for six or seven years came to Baba Sawan Singh Ji. I was present that day and he said to the Master, “Maharaj, Kabir Sahib has said that if a disciple does not have his Master’s darshan for a year, his connection breaks.” Baba Sawan Singh Ji replied, “It was Kabir Sahib who said that, not I.” O brothers, if a single glance from a God-realized person falls on anyone, that connection can never be broken. Your face should be turned toward him, that’s all — near or far it makes no difference, you will get the benefit in the same way — just become receptive to it. Kabir says, “If the Master is overseas, and the disciple this side of the seas — direct the Surat (attention) to him.” You will derive the benefit by receptivity. When you can hear what is being spoken and see who is speaking through a television set, why can you not have benefit through receptivity?
My Hazur used to give the example of the calf which comes from the fields to drink his mother’s milk, and the ticks which are clinging to the udder of the cow night and day do not get this nectar, but only suck the blood. There is a valuable jewel within, but only with the Master’s mercy can it be reached. You only need the Master’s single, purposeful glance, to have a glimpse of that jewel — he will never tell you to do this or that and then you will get something. From the first sitting the Master will start your experience, and then tell you to go ahead from there. This is the token or mark by which you can recognize his competency. He who vanquishes the dark veil to reveal the Light within — a true experience of the Beyond — is called a Sadhu, Sant, Mahatma or Master. His company is called Satsang.
God is the highest of the highest — beyond all time and space. Can we, who are engrossed in the outgoing faculties, mind and intellect, approach Him? It is through the grace of God manifested in man alone who can lift your soul into Him and make you perfect.
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 Known as Moses.