May 1, 1974

Published in Sant Bani Magazine, November 1993

This talk was given in English by Sant Kirpal Singh Ji at Manav Kendra, Dehra Dun, to a mixed sangat of western and eastern disciples after the daily evening meditation sitting, March 28, 1974, just prior to the remembrance bhandara of Baba Sawan Singh Ji, held every year on April 2 (hence the reference to the “good canopy”). The Master’s post-meditation remarks have also been included.

How many of you have seen the Master’s Form? Hands up! Mmm . . . six . . . and those who have seen strong red sunlight?


Count correctly, please.

Eight, Master — aath.

Oh, you know Hindi — that’s good. Now, those who have seen ordinary red light or purple light?

Athara — eighteen.

Eighteen; good. Now strong moonlight, please.


Those who have seen ordinary white light or white clouds, please.


Those who have seen golden light or pale light, please.


Those who have seen blue sky or stars, hands up, please.


Those who have seen the big star or moon.


Now the big star or moon bursting.

Only one.

Only one? I am counting three, you are counting one. You have got glasses? [laughter] Now, those who saw only flashes of light — any kind.


Some of you are going — tonight, or tomorrow, I think.

Tomorrow, Master.

Tomorrow? All right; go jolly, that’s all I can say. Remain in contact. God bless you all. Any questions? — You have got a good canopy now. Yes please?

Master, sometimes the Sound is not coming from the right side, but is only in my head. On what shall I concentrate?

The Sound which comes from above — that’s all right.

But it doesn’t came from above; it is only in the head. Not from the right, and not from above.

And not from the left?

No, Master, not from the left.

Then that’s all right; it will drag you up. That is the Sound which will drag you upwards.

And on what should I concentrate, in that case?

On whatever you hear in the head — here. Do not think of the flesh or bones of the body at all, then you will know where to concentrate. If you are aware of the flesh and bones of the head, or ears or nose, or hands, then naturally your concentration will wander. There is only the right side, the left side, and above. There are no more questions? All right . . .

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FROM THE TIME of man’s birth, his eyes and ears being open, he is drawn by the impressions which come through them. From the very onset, we have been receiving these impressions from outside to such an extent that we have formed a superficial way of living which is not what we truly are, but is only a collection of the impressions received from outside. We are so much absorbed in these outer impressions, we fail to see that which we should be seeing — and that is? In Christ’s words: Take heed therefore that the light which is within thee be not darkness.

In the mother’s womb the child is maintained by two things: Light and Sound. If, after birth, he begins to cry, simply show him a lighted lamp or ring a small bell and he becomes quiet. As he continues through life, man is no longer aware of the inner Light and Sound, but is solely absorbed in receiving impressions from outside of himself: scenery, etc., through the eyes, and voices, etc., through the ears — the two chief faculties for receiving outer impressions. Living a superficial existence, we have forgotten ourselves, the inner Light, and the inner Sound. Through all our outgoing faculties, the five dacoits or bandits are attacking: lust, anger, greed, ego and attachment. Lust attacks us through the eyes or the touch, anger through the ears, and the more you hear the more anger you bolster up. Attachment comes when you cling to the environment around you. As a result, of all those born on earth. Kabir Sahib says, We have seen no man happy on earth. You may be a millionaire; even then you are a prey to the five dacoits. King or pauper, the worldly man, the cynic — all are victims, through the outgoing faculties. Do you follow this? No man can save you from them; no brother, father, or other, for all are in the same plight as you. We are so much intoxicated with our condition that we cannot even think of anything else; we are quite pleased with ourselves.

The basic factor or crucial point in all this is the attention-our awareness. If one’s attention is with the ears, one hears; and if it is with the eyes, one sees; and so on. The more you are attracted by things outside, the more you are involved; you cannot be saved from these onslaughts. You may perform any number of penances or practices; but as they are all at the level of mind and intellect, they all relate to the five outgoing faculties. As you are already leading this superficial life, and are fully identified with it, how can you rise above it? There is but one way out, and that is to come to the feet of some competent Master. The Master is also a man like you, born in the same way; he has two eyes, two hands two feet; but the big difference is that he has solved the mystery of life: he has rent the veil of ignorance.

The Master says, “I am not the body -I am the driving force of the human body, of the machinery of the human body. There is a higher power controlling me, and I am conscious of that.” There is nothing and no one in this world that can save us from the onslaughts of the five deadly enemies; no worldly authority or ruling power can help, for everyone is in the same plight. For example, you may go to meet someone who lives in a bungalow, but he has five dogs guarding the place (people do keep dogs to avoid being attacked by thieves, etc.). Now you want to go inside and meet the man within, but the dogs will not allow you to enter. One will bite your leg, another will tear your clothes; if you offer them something to eat or money even, yet they will not allow you to go into the bungalow. There is but one way out, and that is to call the one that you want to meet; and when that voice reaches him, he will come out and the dogs will disappear.

When you have met the Master, he has two ways of saving you from the onslaughts of the five dacoits. One is his gracious glance, for as long as you sit attentive and absorbed in the Master, no harm can come to you: you are safeguarded by his radiation. The reason for this is that all outgoing faculties derive their strength from the soul-the outer expression of which is called the attention. When you have learned how to control the attention by the soul’s radiation gathered from all over the body and concentrated at the seat of the soul behind the eyes — then you become attentive. When the attention is attentive for a little while, the outgoing faculties do not work; therefore you cannot be affected by any attacks from outside.

His other way of saving you is the very science that this teaches, for as long as you are above the eyes, all the faculties are below. There are two parts of man-one here, and one in the Beyond. While you are receiving impressions from outside yourself, you are subject to the onslaughts: but he gives you a way up. When a man dies, his eyes are upturned, toward the seat of the soul in the body. The Master demonstrates this for you at initiation, for a while. While you are concentrated at that seat, you see Light, which is the outward expression of the God-into-Expression Power, and that has two aspects: Light and Sound. By daily practice of controlling your attention, you will find you can work through any particular faculty you wish: it will be at your command.

What is happening at present? We are being dragged like anything by the outgoing faculties, which are in turn being dragged by the outer enjoyments and attractions. How then can the Master be met while these five dogs are surrounding you? He will hear the true cry or urge from the heart. Where is He? He is already within you, controlling you in the body, and the body is truly the temple of God. When that true cry reaches the Lord, He makes the arrangements to bring you in contact with someone in whom He is working, and through whom you may have the great concession, the privilege, you can say. No one else can help you in this subject-no relative, no friend, no king or queen or millionaire. It only happens when God condescends; and when He condescends there is pity; and then He brings you in contact with the one in whom He is working. This is the best way, the most competent way, and the Master is met through the grace of God. That grace descends on whom? On whomsoever cries out from his heart of hearts. Some people have got some background, and that is all right, but they do not know what to do further. Such a person needs further guidance; God’s grace must descend, to bring him in contact with someone who will take him further.

The Master is a man like you, eating and walking like you-earning his livelihood too. If you want to cut down a tree it is better if you first cut off the branches, and then the trunk afterwards. Your trunk will be cut only when the ego is not there, and that happens only when you are a conscious co-worker of the Divine plan and you see that He is the Doer and not you. The Master gives you a contact with the Cod-into-Expression Power, the Word, the Naam, the Kalma, the Shabd; and the two aspects of that are Light and Sound. The more you come into contact with that, the more you will see that He is the Doer. This is achieved when you become a Gurumukh and sit face to face with the Master. To meet the Master means something that most people do not understand. There is seeing the Master; people saw Christ also. Those very people who placed a crown of thorns upon his head and nailed him to the cross also saw Christ. Many people saw Guru Nanak, but he was persecuted and banned from a certain town called Kasur, being accused of bewildering the people and spoiling their lives. Some Masters were put to the stake, others were stripped of their skin, or burnt alive, by the very people who saw them. But seeing a Master means something far deeper than just seeing, There is seeing, and in Punjabi there is a word called bhetna, which means when two souls meet together-through the eyes. The eyes are the windows of the soul, and when one is absorbed through the eyes the power working in the higher soul has a radiation which helps one to rise into the beyond. This is what is meant by meeting a Master.

There are three criteria which show that you have met the Master; I will tell you. First, one is put on the way, but that is not the only thing. There are three criteria to judge whether you are following the Master. If you daily put in time for meditation and rise above body consciousness, above the level of all your faculties, to enjoy the higher bliss of the God-into-Expression Power or Light and Sound, to the extent that the outer bliss has less and less fascination, you will lose your outer attachment. What is that? That means, if someone dies, perhaps your friend, you do not feel it; or if someone is born you are not unduly overjoyed. These are all results of give and take — reactions of the past — and when you are not affected by them it shows a way of living; it shows that you have met the Master.

During the time of the ten Sikh Gurus, a man came to the Master and asked him, “Can you show me one of your followers whom you consider to be on the way?” The Master agreed, and gave the man a chit [letter], and the man went off to the town where the follower, by the name of Bhikari, was living. He showed Bhikari the letter from the Master, and was in turn welcomed and invited to stay. Bhikari was busy at that time, preparing a bier and other items that are used in the funeral rites. The visitor asked about them, and Bhikari replied, “Oh, they will come in use.” After a few days the marriage of Bhikari’s son was celebrated with very jolly arrangements, and throughout all the festivities Bhikari was completely calm and quiet; unaffected by it all. The marriage was performed, and they were bringing the bride home; but on the way the bridegroom developed a colic and died. When they arrived at the house with the dead body of the boy, Bhikari brought out those very things which he had already prepared, still with a calm, quiet and unaffected manner. The visitor, observing all this, said, “Look here, this is strange; you must have known your son would die — why else would you prepare all these things? — but knowing it, why did you arrange his wedding?” Bhikari replied, “Yes. I did know of my son’s approaching death, and made everything ready beforehand; but I could not change that which had to happen.”

Do you follow this? When you find God you develop an attitude of mind. Judge for yourselves — simply meeting the Master will not do. He has given you a contact — to rise above the body consciousness daily. Take up the cross daily. Christ implied that those who did not take up the cross daily were not his disciples. All Masters say this. At least one tenth of one’s time should be given, although we have made a concession of two house.

Now there is a second criterion. Things happen in life; sometimes one is rich, sometimes poor, sometimes one is bankrupt and one pays, sometimes one has a golden or silver spoon in the mouth. They are all enjoyments and should make no difference because you are not attached to them. This indicates the second criterion. If you are sick, you are not worried or upset. Outer things do not pinch you, for you are air conditioned. They air condition rooms, do they not, to help you to get away from the heat? So nothing affects you.

The third criterion is this: if for instance a bomb fell and there was danger of your losing your life, you would say, “all right, let’s go” without any worry or attachment — quite jolly about it. Now see where you stand: for these are the criteria which show that you have met a Master. If you leave everything to the Master, he takes care of all your affairs. It happened to me when my daughter died. It was night, and I had to go and give a talk somewhere-a duty given to me by my Master. So I told someone, “Please get everything prepared according to the custom.” The custom was to throw the body into one of the sacred rivers The person replied, “All right, you leave everything to me and I will carry out all that is necessary.”

My son once fell ill, and the doctor announced that his condition was so dangerous that within three days he would probably die, and so I should take leave from my work and sit beside his bed day and night for he might pass away at any moment. Of course I took the leave, but it happened that one of the three days was a Sunday: and it was my duty, as ordered by my Master, to give a talk at the Satsang at Amritsar. Faced with this I said, “All right, we are all in the Master’s lap, we cannot control life and death, it is all in His hands.” I left home and went to Amritsar to give the talk. After the Satsang, it was about noon time and, as the Master lived in Beas, just about twenty miles away, I thought, Well, let us have a glimpse of the Master. The day was bright with sunshine and I reached the Dera at Beas about 2 p.m. When I entered the Master’s house he was upstairs, and though I gave no intimation of my arrival, he sent a man down saying, “Call him.” The Master was lying on his bed, but he sat up and asked me, “What about your son?” I told him what the doctor had said, and that I had followed his advice and taken leave from my office work to sit beside his bed. When Hazur asked me for further information I told him that I had done my Sunday duty at the Satsang, for all life and death was in the Master’s hands; and that I had left the Satsang and come straight to Beas for his darshan. The Master sat very quiet, with his head in his hands. I spoke to him: “Hazur, whoever has even a single thought of you for a moment is released of all his worries, and yet you are sitting like this. How can that be?” He replied, “Well, Kirpal Singh, you have thrown all your burden on me.” Do you follow this? If we leave everything to the Master, we are saved.

You may have seen men from a certain section of the Sikh faith — they wear very big turbans covered with hoops of metal. Well, one such member of this sect was once ordered to climb a tree. He was carrying all his belongings with him, for they have no permanent place of residence, and he promptly started climbing the tree clutching all his belongings to him. A bystander was observing this, and asked him, “Dear friend, you have to climb the tree, but you are coming down again; why not leave your belongings here?” The Sikh replied, “When I get to the top, how do I know that I will not get another order to go on from there? So I must be prepared.”

Such criteria show that we follow a Master. Merely seeing a Master is not enough. If you listen to his words, that will only give you one third of the knowledge: his commandments. The other two thirds are received through receptivity, and for that you have to develop devotion. These are hints or tips I am giving you; judge for yourselves. People may speak very highly of you, or me, or anybody else, but you should see for yourself where you stand. It is a great achievement to be free from the dangers and onslaughts of the dacoits of lust, anger, greed, ego and attachment. Taking your food, your thoughts will be elsewhere, and you will not taste the sweetness of it, to such an extent that at times you will not know how much you

are eating. People judge you from these things I am pointing out. They cannot know how far you have progressed inwardly — to the first plane, the second, or third, or fourth, or fifth; they can only judge you from outward things, as I have explained. Take note every day how far you have proceeded. Your progress to date may be good — I am glad — but it is not sufficient. The real ABC of the matter stems from the things I have just been explaining: your living should show that you have met the Master.

See things clearly, and you will not be led away at heart. Often when I used to meet my Master, there were objections: “Oh, he has gone in to the Master again” — so much opposition. It is but natural. If you put duck’s eggs among the hens, after the hen has sat on them for some time the little birds will all be born — some chickens and some ducks. When all go near the edge of a pond, the little ducks will plunge in, for they have a natural affinity to water; but the hens and chickens will stand on the edge, crying, “Oh dear, you will drown, drown, drown!”

I was the first man in my village to be initiated, and it started some trouble. I was called to the temple there and I tried to explain to them, finally saying, “All right, there is a difference; why not take a few men, say four or five, and we will go and talk together heart to heart — you may choose the most learned men.” A number of people took a vow to kill me as a result; they fixed a meeting place, choosing the time at ten o’clock at night, with the purpose of killing me as I walked through the village to the appointed place. But when the hour came and I walked to the meeting place, they did meet me on the way, but had no courage to attack me. Some months after this incident, the ringleader of this plot came to Lahore and I met him one day in the street. I at once invited him to my home, telling him, “Come, dear friend, have your food with me today.” When we reached my house, he sat down and cried. Naturally I asked him what was wrong, and he replied, “You knew I was the one who led that plot to kill you, and yet you have welcomed me to your home.” He was quite overcome. This is the kind of attitude one can have toward life. You will remember that Christ said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Such criteria will show people that you have met the Master: even when things go wrong and everyone is against you, glaring at you with hatred, yet within yourself you will be calm and quiet and unaffected by it all. If, on the other hand, you are praised with all honor and grace, even then you will remain quiet and unaffected — not puffed up with pride. Others judge you by these things, and you may also judge yourself.

We are all children of God, brothers and sisters in God. We were all born the same way, with equal privileges, and He Whom we worship is one and the same Lord, though He is called by different names. Some of us sit on a chair like ministers, and some of us are standing to attend, to carry out orders. Such positions are given according to the reactions of our past, and when one really understands this, he remains unaffected by praise or criticism. One receives honor or hatred in the same calm and quiet manner. There is no other way to judge. The more you advance, the more such criteria will take their place in you, without the necessity of praying or demanding for them. Guru Nanak tells us that if one continues hearing the Sound Principle, all virtues find their abode in one. All virtue will find its abode in you. He also gives an example of grass which when cut is laid down in a certain place preparatory to having the seed removed. That place has a special name, and all the grass is taken there for the removal of the seed. So it is something like that, and if you continue contacting the Light and Sound all virtues will find their abode in you — of themselves.

You may ask why it is necessary to keep diaries. Because, we are just on the way. In past ages, the people had to sit at the Master’s feet for many years before they received anything. You must have heard of King Ibrahim Adham, who left his crown and kingdom to become a disciple of Kabir Sahib. He lived with Kabir for three or four years, during which time he displayed a calm and quiet manner, acted in full obedience to all orders, never objected to anything, ate and wore whatever he was given, sat wherever he was told. Loi, who was the housemaid there, one day asked Kabir Sahib, “Well, he has been here so long now, can you not give him something?” But Kabir replied, “He is not yet ready.” Loi was surprised and asked what more signs of readiness could there be, when the king was showing implicit obedience and so forth. Kabir said, “All right, when he leaves the house tomorrow morning, throw a basketful of the household refuse on his head, and listen to what he says.” Loi did this, and the king cried, “Oh, had this happened in Bokhara (his kingdom), someone would have paid for this!” He was a king, you see, and that kingship was still in his head. Loi reported the incident to Kabir who merely said, “I told you he was not ready.” It is a good illustration to show us that outer form and action mean nothing, and one cannot judge by a person’s actions outwardly; it is a matter of heart, in our very makeup, and how that develops.

A few more years went by, and one day Kabir Sahib said to Loi, “He is now ready.” Loi was astounded, and said, “But he is no different; he shows the same obedience and humility.” So Kabir told her, “This time take the night soil waste in a pitcher, and as he leaves the house in the morning, pour it on his head.” She did this, and the king cried, “O God, I am still worse than that!”

The goal is still ahead, please; never think you are self-sufficient. You may be head of some department, or a co-worker among others, or anything else; but regardless of your position you must have veneration for all around you and under you. Never feel offended. Everything is due to God’s grace, you see, and as a reaction of the past we are given different responsibilities here on earth, but we should never feel the weight of them. The true attitude to life will come when you truly meet the Master.

When on tour outside India, I gave these things in a nutshell; but here there is more time and we can have a heart to heart talk. I wish all of you progress, so that on your return people may easily see and judge that you have been with the Master. You are not the same person, each one of you; you are changed. If you have not changed, people will ask themselves, “Is there anything in this science?” The medicine given to you is a panacea for all the ills of every day, but you have not progressed if you have not kept the commandments and have also not developed receptivity to the Master. As I have told you, one third of the teachings are given by word of mouth, and they are for your obedience; and the other two thirds are given by receptivity, for which devotion is necessary. Others will judge you by this, and you can judge for yourselves also.

The more you progress while in the body, the more blessed will you be. On leaving the body, you will be whatever you have achieved while in the body, here and now. By merely leaving the body at death you cannot become a Saint, overnight or in a flash just like that. You are in the make. Guru Amar Das tells us, I was once like you, but now I have risen above with the grace of God. Remember, with the grace of God descending through someone. If I pick up my watch, my fingers may be holding it, but really it is I holding the watch — through the fingers. Similarly, God works in the Godman — the grace of God descends, through the Godman — and if this happens, one is no longer that which one was before. What were we before? Drowned in the poisons of the outgoing faculties — like anything — but have now risen above them, by the grace of God.

You are meant to be ambassadors; all your future depends on this-you are the budding hopes of the coming generation. Every Saint wants his followers to become Saints. Every king wants to see his son a king, not merely a minister, the more you work for it, the more you will progress. For instance, you may put in two hours normally, but two hours are a must; and when you come here you put in more time, and progress. I am giving you these sweet sugar pills when you leave, and if you want to oblige me, then take one sugar pill for every hour of meditation you put in over and above the two hours which are a must. Then I will be obliged to you — for two reasons. I am pleased to see you progressing on the way; also my labors will be crowned with success, and I will enjoy too. When children gain the first division in their examinations, is the teacher not pleased? And those who pass, they are honored too.

This is why I always impress upon everyone: please, this is your work; only you can do it for yourself-you and you alone. No one else can do this work for you. The Guru is a help, the way up, a protection; he is everything to the disciple, just as a child entrusts everything to its mother, to learn to stand and walk and run; but we must be receptive. This is most important. First, if you love him, you must keep his commandments; that is one third of the education. And for the other two thirds: develop. Develop devotion and receptivity.

I was so pleased to have you all here at this time, at the plea of the Conference which was held at the level of the human body. I think this was the first conference of its kind since King Ashoka — centuries ago. Many conferences have been held at the level of religions, but at the level of man it was a great revolution — to which those who were here will bear witness — to tell you a great truth.

I wish you all to continue and progress. This is your own special private work; all other things are but a question of paying off your debts, as a son or as a father, or a daughter, or mother or brother. Do these things lovingly, because you have been united by the flowing pen of God, which writes according to the reactions of the past. We should enact that part which god has given us, and pay off our debts. And then? We must go back home. You are leaving us; all right; I wish you all progress. But see where you stand, and if you do progress, I will be overjoyed.

When they gave me a medal — the Order of St. John — I was called to Pandit Nehru who was Prime Minister of India at the time, and he told me, “It is an honor to my country.” When you progress, it is an honor to me, you see. To do something worthwhile is an honor to your Master. People will ask, “Who is your teacher?” just as an academically learned man is asked, “Who has taught you?” Is this not so? I repeat, in my heart of hearts I wish you progress while the time is imperative and the golden opportunity of the human body is yours — make the best use of it. How calm and quiet it is. All right; go; and God bless you.

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