By Sant Kirpal Singh from the book "The night is a jungle" – chapter 12
Any place where one can enjoy the intoxication of God has its own value, be it temple, church, mosque, or any other religious edifice. However, it stands to reason that the very best place to seek God and enjoy His presence is wherever His reflection can be seen. The stone-constructed places of worship were all made in the remembrance of God, but it is not possible to see the reflection of the Lord in any of them. That can be found in the human form only – a certain human form wherein God has manifested Himself. Such a personality is just like God walking on earth. Those accomplished in religious lore, tied up in rituals and customs, will usually advise against seeking God in the human form; but the earnest investigator should consider carefully just what benefit can be derived from a living Guru.
If we take the temple or the mosque, for an example, we find the former dome-shaped like the human head, and the latter forehead-shaped, both after the model of man-body, and with great respect are the prayers done therein. These are given the highest importance, while the true temple or mosque of the man-body is ignored; we never go in there. The Truth lies forgotten within us, and we are left with outer things as consolation. To make a model of the man-body is very easy, but we are constantly adding cover upon cover over the true Light of God within our being, and to stop doing this is extremely difficult indeed.
My Master used to give an example of the true wife who, disregarding the good or bad remarks that the world may have for her character, will keep her attention constantly upon her husband alone, knowing that she is true to herself and to him. So we should go toward God with that single goal in mind and never worry about what is said by others. Travel with unceasing attention in the Lord, for you are His and He is yours.
The target was always one and the same for all religions, but what happened? Hafiz Sahib explains that, We were on our way to meet the Lord, but in between our attention was arrested. Religious and customary rites have taken our attention from the true purpose of our journey, and as long as the mystery of life is not unravelled, we may spend our whole life searching among outer things; but the Truth will never be revealed. Who are we, and what connection do we have with the physical form? In what way are we related to God? Before these questions can be answered, that eye must be opened through which, by actually seeing, the Truth will be revealed. A Muslim Maulvi Sahib exhorts us:
Why do you scatter your attention in intellectual pursuits?
Whatever path you walk, become submerged therein;
Deaf and mute to all else.
With full concentration proceed toward your goal;
Take a headlong plunge!
Weighing and doubting will only stop your progress.
Further on he says, I am in Him. This happens only at that grand meeting when two become one – when He alone is there, He whose reflection we are. When the curtain of separation is drawn aside, there will be no parting and no meeting. There will be no yearning. Christ told us that I and my Father are one. Guru Arjan Sahib says, Father and Son have the same colour. When the soul reaches this awakened condition the wandering, searching, and sorrowful separation will cease. A true Guru is not separate from God; therein lies His greatness. By losing Himself He has become the very image of God, and he who loses himself in the Guru becomes the same as the Guru – a Gurumukh (or mouthpiece of the Guru).
St. Paul mentioned this stage by saying . . . yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. Our Muslim prophet continues:
The place inside is so filled with my Beloved,
That there is no room for me; only He is there.
In You, am I; look in my eyes and see the oneness.
If you do not see, am I to be blamed?
Even the thought "I am not there" does not occur. Within the eyes of an illumined soul pulsates the power to drag you like a magnet into the Beyond. This was the original reason for doing arti (a Hindu rite, with lighted candles).
At one Satsang, I was sitting beside Hazur – He sometimes made me sit beside Him, just as a father would – and I said that there was an age in the past when the Guru would wash His big toe in water and give this to the disciples to drink, for there was great charging in it. During the time of the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, He gave Amrit (nectar) made from sweetened water, on drinking which they were infused with life; again due to the charging. Then in the days of Tulsi Sahib and Swamiji Maharaj, it became customary for arti to be done, sitting in front of the Guru, eyes level with eyes; but that age also passed. In the time of Hazur, my Master, the custom was to touch the Guru's feet. Now that is finished and it remains only to look into the eyes of the Master and be absorbed into His radiance, as eyes are the windows of the soul. The purpose of all these gestures was for the disciples to derive the benefit of the charging from the Guru's radiation, but when the Gurus leave, just the empty action remains.
The highest of the senses is the eyes. Nose, ears, mouth, etc., are on a lower level. When the two eyes meet at the practical point above the nose, they become single and the inner path is opened, through which we become familiar with the Beyond. When the four eyes meet and become one, there is no separateness and no question of duality. From eye to eye the treasure is given. From eye to eye one gets an intoxication, and the physical body becomes insignificant – as nought. Even the thought of it does not remain. Criticism, ridicule, and unpleasant worldly affairs ride harmlessly over one's head. This is the knowledge of Oneness.
Hafiz Sahib has said that the words uttered by the Saints are for those who are ready to receive them. This is their last connection with the world, for their hearts have become pure, and they have the right understanding. They are ready, therefore, to realize the Lord. The immature will continue with the outer practices, for their time has not yet come. Though Truth is in each being, yet it must be rekindled by the Guru through the eyes, for the charging involved in the process cannot be done through forms and formularies. This charging is an intoxication never forgotten by the person throughout his whole life. There are those who think that the Guru's succession can be accomplished on legal papers; but how is that possible or even feasible?
There is only one thing to understand – how to remove the separating curtain between "me" and "You."
Get the true bhakti from the Guru; then only can He invade the mind.
When you have completely surrendered yourself to the Guru, no questions or doubts remain. Everything becomes serene, calm, quiet, and the awakenedness springs forth. Life comes from life – there is no other way of realizing the Truth. Those who see the Truth in all its Reality say, "This is a very curious image, this human form!" They are not the human form, but are something else. Bhai Nandlal Ji, who was a very devoted disciple of Guru Gobind Singh Ji says, For one hair of my beloved Satguru, I will sacrifice both worlds (this and the next). Only he who can see even some small reflection of the Truth can make such a statement.
For Muslims, a living Master is considered to be heresy, and when Amir Khusro was initiated by his Guru, the people criticized him, calling him a heathen. Khusro was unshaken and remarked, "Yes, I am a devotee of a living form, but what has this to do with the world and its opinions?" When you become someone's, become His very image. To incur the pleasure of a complete Master is to incur the pleasure of God. Swamiji Maharaj says, If the Guru is pleased, then God is pleased. But the Guru should be a Guru and not just so-called. Of what value is the pleasure of him who is under the influence of his mind and his senses? People often get a bitter experience and then blame the whole of Gurudom, but those who are fortunate to have their inner eye developed even a little, see an inner reflection of the Truth.
Even one enlivening glance from You, O Guru, is enough to infuse me with Life.
If He turns His eyes from us, both our worldly and spiritual existences will finish. Once this happens, it is most difficult to regain His attention, for no one knows what action will be pleasing to Him.
Perfect Masters do not allow vanity, self-importance, and self-praising to remain in Their followers, but gradually weed them out. Bulleh Shah, who belonged to a high caste, took Initiation from Sai Inayat Shah Sahib. One day, the Master sent some of His followers to Bulleh Shah's home, telling them to sing and dance outside his house. They did this, calling out, "Oh, Bulleh Shah, we are your gurubhais (brothers under the same Master); so come out and meet us." Now, singing and dancing in the streets is considered to be unseemly behaviour, that of very low-caste people, and when Bulleh Shah was told that his brother disciples had come, he said, "No, I do not know them – they are nothing to do with me."
When the disciples returned to the Master, He told them, "It does not matter, from today I will not water that plant." Remember, that the Guru gives nourishment to the disciples through His attention, even if they are thousands of miles away. A Satguru looks after His disciple with His own life impulse. Only a few days ago a disciple in the West wrote to me: "When I sit for meditation, and even for some time afterwards, there is a sweet fragrance." I explained that this was a direct result of the thought-waves which are received when one is receptive to the Master. Receptivity is very necessary. If a radio set is not tuned properly, there will be no sound. It is most difficult to please a Guru: He is above offerings of money, property, and worldly goods. You cannot have His pleasure by demand either. His pleasure may be gained through respectful attention, obedience to His wishes, devotion, and selfless service to humanity. If the disciple does not wish to live like this, then what can be achieved without the Guru's mercy? I remember once in Lahore, my Master called me and said, "Kirpal Singh, I have planted the saplings, you have to give them water." I replied, "Hazur, however much water You send through this hose-pipe, will be given." To be careless about our attitude and actions in respect to our Guru is very dangerous.
Bulleh Shah's inner enjoyment was stopped from that moment, and by the Guru's orders he was also not allowed to enter the Master's court. In those days, Shah Inayat permitted His followers to express the holy hymns in song and dance before Him, and appeared to show His pleasure at such occasions. There was a certain prostitute who was very talented in her execution of the holy songs, and she would attend Him regularly each week. For Bulleh Shah, it was as if both worlds, inner and outer, had sunken into deep and silent gloom – such was his condition without the glance and thought-transference of his Master. So in desperation, and greatly anxious to regain his Master's favour, he went to the prostitute and begged her to give him any amount of work in return for which he wished only that she teach him how to sing; with the hope of giving the Master some enjoyment. For instance, if a Master approves of selfless service and helping the poor, then His disciples should do that; for to become His true loved ones, they should develop the Master's own habits within themselves. Merely pretending to do His will has no effect, for He knows and sees everything.
So Bulleh Shah studied the art of singing and dancing for nine months, and one evening he said to his teacher, "Tonight, let me go and sing for the Master instead of you.' She agreed, giving him her clothes to wear, and with quickening heart he hurried off to the Master's house. His songs even now are heart-rending to the reader, filled with great sadness as he describes his separation from the Master. He who knows everything can recognize a person by what he is, not by what he is wearing; and when Bulleh Shah sang with so much pain and feeling, the Master could not help Himself, and, rushing from His seat, wrapped Bulleh Shah in His arms. Now many who were watching this began to wonder that such a great Master would embrace a prostitute; so Shah Inayat said, "Listen, brother Bulleh, take off this finery that the people's doubts may be removed."
How can you recapture the Master's pleasure when He is displeased with you? And then, when He restores this blessing, what do you gain? This hymn of Guru Arjan Sahib will disclose some knowledge on the subject:
I fall at His feet to gain His favour.
Oh, meet a Satguru who is God Himself!
There is no one else like Him.
If the Guru is pleased, then so is God, for God has manifested Himself in the Guru. Satguru is the very image of Truth, the ruling Power, for His will governs everything and there is no one comparable to Him in this world or the next.
I have searched all Brahmand;
But not found One like my Guru.
A person can speak only of whatever level he has reached. The worldly will think on a worldly level, but they who have reached Brahmand and beyond say that even in Brahmand there is no one to equal the Guru. He is Truth itself, and He is also the pole at which the Truth is manifested.
When two hearts take joy in the same thing, most decidedly they will love each other. If one likes to serve the poor and do meditation, the other should do the same, and without any effort love will grow between them. Maulana Rumi has said, He who approaches you, approaches God; and he who departs from you, goes away from God. Uttering empty words will be futile, for saying one thing and doing something else may hoodwink the world, but no one can deceive the Guru.
My Master used to say that the Guru Power is all-awareness and if a soul is not fit, he will not be given the inner road. There should be nothing left of the mind or senses. Guru Arjan Sahib, whose hymn I am now taking, was tested very severely by his Guru. The Masters test the disciples again and again to see how much the disciple can sacrifice, how much loving devotion he has, and to what extent he still remains under the influence of mind. He who sacrifices everything for the sake of his Guru has achieved all.
During the strife-worn days of Guru Gobind Singh, a certain man named Nabi Khan Ali Khan was killed, and someone went to inform his wife of her husband's death. On hearing the news, her first words were, "Is my Guru all right?" For a true disciple, the Master is more beloved than any other relationship, for it is one of the soul with God. Naturally the child who heeds his father's slightest wish will enjoy his pleasure. Whoever insists on his own ideas and does not want to obey, doubtless he will also get the Master's love, but the inner key will not be entrusted to him.
I will now tell you how Guru Arjan won his Master's pleasure. It happened that one of the relatives of Guru Ram Das Ji (Guru Arjan's Master) was getting married in Lahore, but the Guru Himself was in Amritsar at the time. So He sent for His eldest son, Prithi Chand, and told him to go to Lahore and spend about fifteen days there, over the wedding. When these highly enlightened Personalities come, They are always surrounded by people who either want Their money, or wish to be Their successors. In reply to his Father's orders, Prithi Chand protested, "If I go there, who will look after everything here?" He was afraid that his Father would give the succession to Guru Arjan, who was most beloved of the Master, and so he refused to obey. The other son of Guru Ram Das was Maha Dev who was usually in a spiritually intoxicated state; so the Guru sent for Arjan Sahib and told him to attend the wedding instead of Prithi Chand, and then instructed him, "Do not return here until I send for you."
Guru Arjan took the Master's orders without question and left for Lahore. A person of lesser spiritual strength would have ignored the orders and declared that out of love for the Master they had to return; but for Guru Arjan, his Master's orders were of supreme importance, making a barrier between the Master and himself which he would never think of surpassing. Remember, he who obeys orders will achieve success in his goal. Many days passed and there was no word; so Guru Arjan Sahib wrote these words and sent them to the Master:
My mind is desiring Thy darshan;
Like the Chatrak bird in anguish,
The thirst remains unquenched – there is no peace;
I am living like that without the Beloved's darshan.
He sent these words to his Master by a man, but the man gave the note to the Master's son, Prithi Chand, and therefore it never reached the Master's hands. What a dying man does not do in desperation! He wrote another letter. From Lahore to Amritsar is only thirty miles, but he could not go there because of his Master's orders. Remember, he who breaks the wall of the Guru's orders will never realize the inner knowledge. He may get a little inner experience and help, but he will never become perfect. So in the second letter he wrote:
Glory be to that place where You reside;
Your face is so beautiful,
Seeing this, the inner Sound easily vibrates.
This letter also got into Prithi Chand's hands and again there was no reply. He then sent a third letter, which he marked with a number "3." In this he wrote:
The separation of minutes was likened to an age;
O Beloved, when will that time be when I may see You?
I cannot sleep, and the nights cannot pass without One who is my Lord.
When this letter arrived, fortunately Prithi Chand was not there at the time and the Guru Sahib received it. Though the Masters know everything, They do not disclose what They know, but allow things to come out openly of their own accord on the material level. Forgive me, but we frequently consider our Guru to be less than a man. The Guru Sahib called Prithi Chand and asked him about the two previous letters, but Prithi Chand replied, "Maharaj, do you think that I am a thief?." The Master gave him a hard look, and turning to another man said, "Go and look in the pockets of his clothes." He then sent for Guru Arjan Sahib, and when he arrived, told him, "You wrote me three letters, and whoever will complete that poem will be my successor." When a test comes, a simple thing becomes difficult. I remember that I also sometimes wrote poems to my Master – through separation the thoughts would come, and the poems were written. Some rivals started copying me, but always there is a difference between wine and water. Guru Arjan wrote the fourth stanza thus:
With great destiny I met Him;
The Ever-Permanent Lord was found in the house;
I desire only to serve, and never be separated for a moment:
I am Thy servant, O Lord.
This shows the kind of respect the disciple should have for his Master. I once wrote to my Master and requested Him to give me the ability to love, but only that kind of love which does not transcend the limits of respect. The Master was in Dalhousie when He received it, and after reading the letter He placed it on His heart and said with such humility, "I really appreciate such-like love." A devoted one's poem is written to gain his Master's pleasure. Guru Arjan Sahib was one of those rare devotees who truly achieved this, and at the end of this hymn he indicates what is gained by it.
Just as we cannot say what God is, so is it impossible to describe the Guru. He has a physical form, but He is not the physical form; if He were, what could He give us? If the whole earth became thin paper and the seas turned into ink and all the trees were made into pens, were we to cover the paper with praises to the Lord we would never succeed in describing His glory. I used to study in a Christian school, and always had an inquisitive nature. I knew that we said, "Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj," for in India we attach many respectful terms to the names of Masters and certain respected people, and had noticed that the Christians called their great Saint merely Jesus. So I went to a Christian bishop and questioned him: "Why do you not put a prefix to Christ's name, when even the most insignificant common man is at least referred to as Mr. Somebody?" The bishop said, and I call still distinctly remember his reply, "We consider Christ the son of God, and as we cannot glorify God, so we cannot extol Christ. If we start prefixing His name, we will make Him smaller, not greater."
Another Master says, You are the Emperor above all,' how can You be praised? Without doubt, there is none equal to the Guru. He who starts seeing another as equal to his Master, His soul becomes an adulteress. Truly, the Light is in everyone, but not manifested as in the Guru. When two great souls meet and see the God in each other, that is something different again – something qualified. I remember one incident in Lahore in a house called Pari Mahal (Fairy Palace), where at the time Maharishi Shivbrat Lal Ji was staying on a short visit to Lahore. He was the successor to Rai Saligram Ji, who was one of the chief disciples of Swami Ji. When my Master was told of his presence in Lahore, He went to see him, and I accompanied the Master. It was a very strange sight that I saw. My Master, Who was always the very depth of humility, was trying to touch his feet, but he wanted to touch Hazur's feet.
His sweetness is above all others;
Above the sweetness of mother and father.
For a child who plays in his mother's lap, she is the sweetest of all beings to him. The true devotee who plays in his Master's lap will place that relationship above all others.
Sisters, brothers, and all my friends are very close to me;
But there is none like You in this world.
To the child who plays in his father's lap with no other thought than to try and please him, the father will give whatever he wants. When all other relationships are broken and the Guru is the only one in existence, then you have succeeded in your work. On this path, mere words have no value: you must obey His every command. Make your life pure and chaste; do service unto others; be careful of evil words. Love everyone, as God is in every being. When you serve others, you are serving Him.
By Thy orders, Sawan (the rainy season) came;
And I ploughed the furrow of Truth.
The rain comes in the form of the Guru, like a refreshing coolness upon the parched earth. My Hazur's name was Sawan. Like a rain of mercy, They come by God's orders, and we should take full benefit by clearing up the land of our whole being with Satsang, where all the dirt and filth is thrown out. We scatter our thoughts abroad; but at Satsang we can withdraw toward the Truth. All Masters encourage this. Christ says, For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. There will be strong charging there, even if they are thousands of miles from the Master's physical form. Guru Gobind Singh says, Where five disciples sit together, there God will be. How can any good come from a gathering filled with criticisms and disagreements?
This Satsang was started with my Guru's orders; so throw away your laziness and lethargy, and become pure. In Satsang the flow of mercy is pouring into you; so get the fullest benefit from it. Weed out all imperfections, one by one; that is why I have told you to keep a diary. When the soil is weeded, it is ready for the seed to be sown, then the true growth can begin. If small pebbles and rocks are not removed, the seed may sprout, but will not bear fruit.
In great aspiration, the seed of Naam was sown;
I pray each second for mercy, that it may bear fruit.
This seed of Naam, once sown, cannot be set aside by any power. That seed will bear fruit sooner or later. But without the water of Satsang, how can the seed be expected to sprout green and fresh in all its beauty? Once sown, it will not die, but in unprepared soil it will not fructify. He who does not do his mediation in this life will have to come again. As this seed cannot sprout in any other form, he will be given the concession of not retrogressing below the human birth. But why not complete your mission now? He who is unlearned in life cannot become learned merely by going through that change which is called death. No one should be under the misunderstanding that, having received the connection with the Holy Naam, he has got salvation. He will get salvation, but in how many lives?
When I met the Guru, I knew He was the only one;
My heart can never accept another.
Once the disciple has recognized his Guru, he can understand only his Guru's teachings and none other. Hanuman (Lord Rama's greatest devotee) was once asked what day it was, and he replied, "O Ram." On being asked what month it was, he said, "O Ram." He was so immersed in the sweet remembrance of his Beloved that he could think of nothing else. Wherever he looked, he saw Ram, and every person he spoke to was Ram. It is really worth having a Guru if you are receptive like this.
All the transitory objects have dropped away
Since I got the company of the Saint.
At the feet of a true Guru there are no factions, political fights, or religious wranglings. The Master simply places a man-problem before you. He tells us that when He met His Guru, there was nothing else in life. He is one, and yet He is not one – this also is a mystery. He who knows and becomes one with Him, becomes the Doer and the Giver. We are devotees of the Light; it matters not in which pole it is expressed: all are one and the same. He whose eye is open can see the beautiful play of God's expression.
Each man has been allotted the task;
But success depends on Thy will.
The Satsang is started by His orders, and He makes the work a success. Hazur used to tell us that when Baba Jaimal Singh Ji gave him orders to start the Spiritual Work, Hazur went to Baba Garib Das and Chacha Pratap Singh Ji, who both told Him, "If we give initiation the soul might not get salvation; but if You give it, that soul will surely have salvation." When my Master gave me orders to do the work, I asked Him to whom I should go for such assurance; and then added that I would do the work as ordered, but that He should give the protection. Hazur assured me that it would be so. With His support I started the Satsang; it is not mine but His, and He will take everyone across. Whatever blessing He extends is being given out. All credit goes to Him.
When I went to the West, many people were helped and I told them that the credit for the blessing went to my Master. Forgive me, but so many seekers for Truth have spent their whole lives struggling to find it – and did not receive even a glimpse of Light. Here, everyone gets Light. It is another matter if after receiving the gift they refuse to keep up the practice and thereby lose it; but at initiation, almost all get something, do they not? Those who obey instructions increase their progress daily – one hundred per cent. Who is there to place his hand on his heart and declare such assurance? Ashtavakra gave this knowledge to King Janak, and even today people are still repeating His name. How great is the mercy of the Master Who gives such an invaluable boon! The age has changed, and so have conditions. If today this experience was not given so easily, no one would come on this path.
In the West many sects have sprung up, which deal with suggestion, hypnotism, mesmerism, and other doctrines, which are not Spirituality. Spirituality is purely a matter of self-analysis, knowing oneself and knowing God – the demonstration of which is given at the time of initiation. Many are doubtful of this science in the beginning, but I tell them to see with their own eyes, for there is no greater proof. In the past, the subject was very vague, for Masters agreed to give the experience only after long years of study, when one was fully prepared. Today, it can be seen immediately what Spirituality is. What a magnificent blessing!
Eat, drink, and be merry;
Brothers, this is the Guru's court,
He is doling out this gift!
You should eat, drink, and enjoy for you are getting this gift free – there are no charges. Even if you spend all your life in penance, you will not get this thing in that way. Only one man was to be found in King Janak's age Who was God-realized; that was Ashtavakra. Today, can you find thousands? In the past there were few, and even now there are few; but the world is not without Them. Make the most of the good fortune, for blessed are they who have received this rare gift.
I have become the lord of this physical form
And have tied up the five devils.
Masters have no ego; They always acknowledge in humility that everything is achieved with the Guru's grace. Why shouldn't he gain full control over his mind and senses, who has all love for his Guru alone. He says he has become lord of the house, and has captured the five thieves, viz, lust, anger, greed, attachment, and ego. Who can make such a statement? Only with the Guru's strength can anyone declare so boldly.
O Satguru, when I came to Thy feet
These five strange aliens came under my control;
He was pleased, and I was blessed with His grace;
Now they cannot revolt or raise their heads.
The five senses of action and knowledge are foreign to our nature; they must be overpowered and placed under our orders, instead of vice versa. When that happens, they have no courage to stand and defy us, and they will not disobey. Can anyone affirm such a staggering achievement? People say that Saints and Mahatmas do not assert Themselves, but They do speak directly. If They did not give the information of what to get and how to get it, where would we begin to seek for the Truth? They tell us that there is such a wonderful nectar inside that will intoxicate the soul. They Themselves are intoxicated; Their mind and senses are completely controlled. Their eyes are open but They do not see; Their ears are open but They do not hear, if They choose not to. They are the controllers of all the senses. With whose power is this achieved? With the grace of Their respective Gurus! When one gets the Naam's inner nectar, all worldly intoxicants seem ridiculous, and when the seed of Naam sprouts, all outer things become meaningless. All glory and beauty lies within you. You will forget outer things with their false attraction. The five devils will come under perfect control, and will have no courage to jeer at you; there is so much nectar within that even they become intoxicated!
O Satguru, again and again I glorify Thee;
With each breath I think of Thee!
There was a certain intoxicated lover of Bheek Sahib, who constantly repeated, "O Bheek, O Bheek" for he saw God clearly in his Guru. His contemporaries condemned him as an atheist, and passed judgement for his execution; but they could not execute him without the king's authorization; so they brought him before the king. It is possible that this king was Akbar the Great, who was renowned for his keen sense of justice. When the king looked at the accused man, he said, "I feel he is an intoxicated holy man," and he asked him, "Who is your God?" The man replied, "Bheek." The king then asked, "What is your religion?" and he said, "Bheek." At this, the king ordered that he should be released. His accusers protested that he would run away, but the king said, "It does not matter." He then looked keenly at the holy man and told him, "For a long time we have been without rain, and if it does not come soon, there will be famine in the land. So could you please ask your Bheek to send the rain?" The man replied, "Oh yes, I will ask Him to send the rain." Only complete faith in the Guru could display such calm confidence. He who has not experienced the true inner connection with his Guru will not have such strong faith, for faith is built on knowledge. When the holy man turned to leave, the king asked him when he would return, and he answered, "On the third day I will return." The very next day, there was such a heavy downpour of rain that the whole countryside was flooded, and on the third day the holy man returned to the king's palace. The king smiled at him and said, "Your Guru was very gracious to us in sending the much-needed rain. I am giving you these precious gifts – please place them before your Bheek Sahib as my thankful offering." The devotee got very indignant saying, "These perishable things for my Guru? Most decidedly not!" Such people care nothing for the world and its possessions.
You have brought Life to this derelict house (body);
I could sacrifice myself in gratitude.
Gratitude is a very rare virtue. Because of friends and relatives, we even risk our Guru's displeasure; and this is due to lack of gratitude and faith. We sometimes consider the Guru to be less able than an ordinary man. With this type of outlook what can we hope to achieve in progress? The worldly things are more beloved; Guru and God are accepted casually for whatever can be derived through Them materially. The attitude is one of tolerant duty, with respects paid in a condescending manner. Man always thinks he is the greatest of all, but if he really became great he would not be in this blind egoistic state.
I am in perpetual dhyan (contemplation) with my Beloved;
The fruit comes to him whose attention pierces through the veil.
If you completely surrender unto Him, then nature itself will be at your beck and call, and all your desires will be fulfilled. Guru Amar Das Ji says, "O mind, you once desired a thousand things, but did not get one; Now see, that each thought will be fulfilled."
All the work has been resolved, and the mind's hunger satisfied;
What else can I desire from You but You?
All else is misery upon misery.
Give the Naam, which renders all fulfilled
And takes away the hunger of the mind;
I have abandoned everything and am a true servant of the Lord.
He who surrenders to the Lord lives without worries, doing the work sincerely and truthfully, and leaving all else to the Guru.
That Naam – giver of all happiness – has been tied to me.
Naam is the Sustainer of all things. He who has Naam has got everything. During one of my visits to America, an intimate meeting was arranged with a group of scientists. One man asked many questions and obviously strongly doubted the subject of Spirituality. After some discussion, I asked him if science had succeeded in creating even one ounce of consciousness. He said, "No." I then explained to him that the pursuit of science must necessarily remain in the domain of matter, whereas all the teachings and knowledge of the Saints lie in the domain of consciousness. There were a number of disciples present at this meeting, and they were of the opinion that this gentleman would not turn up on the morrow, which was chosen for the initiation program. But he was the first to arrive, and he got the most experience. So this is a path of awareness – the path of perfect Masters, and you may accept it as Their mercy, or due to Their greatness, that They have made such a difficult achievement into a child's play. Were it not for this fact, the seeker would require a great background of past lives and then many years of study in preparation for this path. So Guru Arjan Sahib advises us to eat, drink, and enjoy what we have got for this is the precious time and the rain may not fall forever.
I am the most content of all;
The Guru has established the Shabd within me.
He is encouraging us to have some longing for a thing of which we have no conception of the value. All the wealth is lying in the disciple's Father's home – and for whom is it but His own child? The most obedient child will naturally receive the most. Whatever the Guru has got, He considers not His own; and the more He gives freely, the greater the flow. Eat, drink, and enjoy to the fullest, while you have the opportunity.
Satguru, the Lord, placed His hand on my head and manifested God within me.
His greatness is proven when He actually shows the way, even without the physical gesture of placing the hand on the head. By His grace alone do we rise above body consciousness and see the Light within. He is the Giver – comparable to none other.
I have opened a true dharamshala*
And have gathered the true seekers there.
*In India, a common place of rest for travelers, erected in the name of righteousness.
A blind man cannot seek one with sight, but one who can see can gather the blind together. Christ told us of the sheep He had to find and take care of. Man is helpless with merely his own efforts to assist him. Sincere seekers will find that all will be arranged and made possible without them doing anything. Even before I arrived in America, there were people who knew nothing about me who were seeing the Master's form and also Baba Sawan Singh Ji within. When they saw me physically they told me that they had been seeing me within for months, and some for a year or more. Brothers, it is all His work, not mine.
During my first world tour, on the way back to India I agreed to pay an unarranged impromptu visit to Germany. Someone who was accompanying me remarked, "But how will those people recognize you, for they have never seen you? In the other countries at least the program was prepared. Even if they recognize you by your clothes, how will you know them?" I replied, "He Who is sending me there will make all the arrangements – why should I worry? He will Himself arrange all to receive me." When the plane landed in Germany there was a small crowd awaiting me, and each person had a rose in his hand. I said, "You see, there is my reception." They came running toward us, asking about the luggage and telling us that the cars were ready and waiting. So He Himself does His own work. The commission comes from the Lord and He works through whomsoever He chooses, be it one or thousands.
I wash His feet and fan Him;
Again and again I express my thankfulness for finding Him.
A true Guru never says He is a Guru, but in all humility will serve whoever goes to Him, for He comes to serve humanity and to give something to the world. When He comes, the entire world gets the benefit of His Light.
I got Naam, dan (alms) and ashnan (bath).
The Guru gives us the Naam, which you should know is the Sustainer of the entire Creation. Contact with Naam, the Nectar of the Lord, creates true love in us, and as love knows only giving, the disciple himself becomes a giver. He is born to serve and give himself to the world. While he has the physical form he will give, give, and give. When the physical form is no longer there, who can ask from him and who will come to take? He starts to give everything: physically, materially, and eventually he gives the mind. Having become the controller of the mind, he serves humanity with unending joy.
Nanak with the Naam rises in continual heights of glory;
Peace be unto all the world, under Thy Will, O Lord!
The Master serves all humanity with His good will; physically, mentally, and even outwardly in all manner of ways, making use of whatever outer knowledge He has acquired in His lifetime to help the people to understand the Truth.
The bath that the Guru gives in the holy waters of Naam will purify the mind and senses from all evil. These three things – Naam, dan, and ashnan – are gained by sitting at His feet. Unfortunately, people think that by ashnan (bath) is meant an outer bath to clean the body. Though it behooves man to keep the temple of the Lord clean, the inner cleanliness is vitally more important – and that is the work of the Naam.
One of the clearest criteria that can be observed in a true Master is that He is always sacrificing Himself for the sake of others. He knows how to give and give only, not to take. He is a giver, not a beggar. If the Guru starts taking, then what will we give? He has no thought of business, but gives this priceless jewel as a free gift of Nature. In many countries they take up collections to pay the lecturers and the expenses of arrangements, etc. When I was travelling in America I gave free talks without charges, collections, or need of buying tickets. One day while I was giving a talk on "God and Man," a man stood up; he was a Russian and offered five thousand dollars to me. I told him, "Look here, I have not come to collect dollars. What I have gained at the feet of my Master is a free gift of Nature, and must therefore be given freely." The people were at first surprised, and then overjoyed at this. Through this very principle the praises of true Masters are being sung all over the world. I am receiving invitations from America, Europe, the Far East, Australasia, the Middle East, and Africa, and they state how they have heard of the gift which is being given to all. Dear brothers, who am I to give It? – The Giver is giving It, with His grace, and with the grace of all the great past Masters, for Whom, forgive me, we have not enough respect, I am sorry to say.
All are being freed, O Nanak,
On the boat of Truth.
Day and night there is awakening in the world;
All listen with open ears to praises sung in Thy Name.
When the Master comes the world begins to awake, and hearing His words they wonder, "What is this new thing which is entering our very being?" During my tours abroad, many talks were given in churches. They rarely allow outsiders to speak in the church, yet they welcomed me for they said that these teachings are as given in the Bible. One minister went as far as to say, "I have been in charge of a Presbyterian church for forty years, but today for the first time I have understood what the Bible is telling me." He came and bowed to me in front of everyone with tears in his eyes. I want to point out that all glory and praise be to those past Masters Who have given us these teachings.
Now orders have come from the Gracious One
Through which all pain and misery will vanish.
They are at peace,
For through the Naam They gained true humility.
Initiation into the Holy Naam is a panacea for all ills, and the repetition of Naam brings peace and true humility. He who sees the Truth in all its glory will be full of humility. St. Augustine says there are three ways of realizing God: the first way is humility, the second humility, and the third humility. In the courts of the Masters, humility reigns supreme, for true humbleness is the adornment of a true Saint. They are Ruler and Controller of this great power, and yet They never show pride or vanity, giving small indications of what They are and yet saying, "It is His grace."
The Amrit is drizzling down;
His words are those of the Lord Himself.
Remember, that water collects on the lower levels. When the cup of humility is ready, then the inner Amrit will fill it to the brim. Some people say doubtfully, "How can you say these things are true?" The Masters explain that whatever words come from the true Master's mouth are words from God Himself.
In full faith I rely on You;
You Yourself will do everything for me.
All is the Lord's work – what is it to me if the world blossoms or perishes? My work is but to be a tool in Your hand, to do what You will. With Your mercy alone is the world gaining any benefit. With Your wealth the world is prosperous. A time like this may never come again – we are encouraged to eat, drink, and enjoy the blessings pouring out from the Lord.
Your devotees have but one desire, and that is You.
A true Gurumukh will have desire for God alone – so much so that "he" should become "Thee" and "Thee" should become "me," and no one should say there is any difference. Hafiz Sahib says:
I should become You and You should become me;
I am the body and You should be the Life;
That no one may say that I am one thing and You are something else.
There is some slight difference in the wording, but both Masters have given exactly the same meaning.
O Giver of peace, reveal Thyself to me;
Clasp me to Thy breast;
Allow that I may never be separated even for a second.
It is the true disciple's constant wish that he may never be separated from his Guru. It is a great blessing to have a living Master, and even greater blessing to be near Him. The bath taken from His glance of mercy is a flow of Truth which cleanses deep through the being. The devoted disciple sheds tears at the very memory of this. He who sees Him outside and inside both gets some consolation during separation; however, he also cries out of love, for there is nothing more beloved for him than his Master. The yearning of the heart pours out of the eyes, and there are no words to describe this condition.
I searched in the world, above the world, below the world;
But could not find one like You.
How can there be another like the Satguru? Only a Satguru can be the same as a Satguru. Do you know the story of Sukhdev, son of Maharishi Ved Vyas? When Sukhdev wanted a perfect Guru, his father told him that King Janak was the enlightened soul of that age. After that, Sukhdev went to King Janak's kingdom several times but always returned without having seen the king, for he had the doubt in his heart that this king enjoys the pleasures of palace life with all his queens, etc.; how can he possibly give any enlightenment? Now Narad Muni, a powerful devotee of Lord Shiva, saw that this man was losing all his progress with each doubt he had about King Janak, the Great Soul. To save what little he had left, Narad Muni turned himself into a very old man, filled a basket full of mud, and began to pour the mud into a fast-flowing river, just as Sukhdev was passing by on his way once again to King Janak's kingdom. He saw the old man and asked him what he was doing. The old man replied, "I am building a dam." Sukhdev laughed and said, "Have you no sense, you fool? Can you build a dam by just pouring mud into fast-flowing water? First, put some foundation of wood or rocks, and then put the mud." The old man replied, "I might be a fool, but I have wasted only one day. The biggest fool is Sukhdev who has finished nine of his merits of progress, and the tenth and last he is about to destroy by again doubting a Perfect Master."
This encounter with Narad Muni shocked Sukhdev to his senses, and he went straight to King Janak's palace. He stood near the stables and sent a man to tell the King that "Sukhdev has arrived." The King said, "Tell him to wait there until I call him." In strict obedience to the Master's orders, Sukhdev stood on the same spot, first for a whole day, and then all the next day. Sometime on the third day he was called into the palace. Having stood obediently in one place for so long, he had become covered in horses' dung up to his waist, for the grooms had been shovelling it into the comer where he stood. So he took a bath and changed his clothes, and then presented himself to the King. As he came near the King, he saw that He was reclining on a couch, with one foot resting on a red-hot iron plate. The other leg was being massaged with cool sandalwood paste by some of His beautiful queens. It was very revealing to Sukhdev, and as he gazed in amazement, a man came running into the court and cried, "Your Majesty, the city is on fire!" The King said, "It is God's will," and did not move an inch. After some time another man entered the court and said, "Your Majesty, the palace is on fire now, and the flames are coming toward this room." The King replied, "It is God's will."
When Sukhdev saw the flames and felt the heat, he picked up his stick and small bundle of belongings and prepared to rush out, but the King caught hold of him, saying, "You are a fine kind of world-renouncer! My whole city has burned away, the flames have consumed my palace, and I merely said it was all God's will; but you in your panic are trying to save a stick and a bundle of clothes!" He then talked to Sukhdev for a long time telling him, "You are a Brahmin and full of ego about it. You are also very proud of being the son of Ved Vyas." Doctors operate to remove morbid matter, and in this way King Janak was removing the doubts and faults in the mind of Sukhdev. When Sukhdev Swami returned home after his initiation, his father asked him, "What is the Guru like?" Sukhdev replied, "In brightness He is like the sun, although the sun has got heat and He has not. He has got the coolness of the moon, though the moon has shadows on it and my Guru has no shadow." A Guru is a Guru. The stories of the Great Masters are for people whose eyes are open. Otherwise... for instance, Guru Nanak Sahib was not permitted to enter the city of Kasur because the people, blinded by lack of understanding, declared He was an atheist and a bad influence. Wherever the Truth works in full power, the negative power will also work in full force against it. He does not want his prisoners to escape his clutches; but regardless, the Satguru goes on distributing the wealth without concern.
When I was small, about twelve or thirteen, I remember clearly that one day I read the life of Ramanuja (I was very fond of reading biographies). Now when Ramanuja was initiated by his Guru, he immediately went and stood on a platform and collected a huge crowd around him. He shouted to them, "Today I have been initiated by my Guru and I am going to tell you all about it." Some of the people were shocked and warned him, "Are you mad? You will go straight to hell for disobeying your Guru!" I was deeply impressed by his answer. He said, "I alone will go to hell, but so many of you will get salvation!" Reading this, I vowed that if ever I got any spiritual wealth, I would give and give without hesitation. My Master saw that I was a spendthrift, and that's why He gave me the work. It is all His grace. One of the initiates, an English lady, once met a Christian friar and she asked him, "Have you ever seen the Inner Light?" He replied, "Yes after nineteen years of hard penance on Mount Sinai, on one occasion I saw some cloudy Light, but very dim." She said, "Why, I see bright Light daily."
What value can we place on such a treasure as Naam? We do not seem to know how to respect It even. We get this Precious Thing and, having no value for It, do not keep It carefully. It is gained too easily and freely. The Western people have more respect for It. My first Western tour was for four or five months only, and in this short time there was a grand awakening all over the Western hemisphere. There was a genuine surge of seeking for Truth, and when they got It, there was more respect for what they had been given. In India we take it for granted. Christ said, Take heed therefore that the Light which is in you be not darkness. Introspect your deeds daily with the help of the spiritual diary – and do not allow anything to cause you to forgo your meditation. If you live like this, there will never be darkness within. Tragically, we do not care – we have no time for the most important work. If you had to die today, what would you do? Do not live in the illusion of thinking or believing that after death you will get something. If you have not made spiritual progress in this life, you will not be a spiritual person merely by going through the death-change. Believe in the salvation of Life. Do, and see for yourself. If you do nothing, then how can your condition be helped?
Each place is permeated with You;
O Nanak, only true bhakti will make this apparent.
The name of Prahlad is well known in the history of true devotees. He was ordered to wrap his arms around a red-hot iron column to test his faith in what he believed. Even the large crowd present at the time murmured, "Oh God" as he approached the column. But what did God do, to preserve the faith of young Prince Prahlad? The prince saw a small ant running up the fiery column, and with joy in his heart he leaned forward and clasped his arms around it. The column immediately split open and out of it stepped the Avatar, Narsing. I am illustrating that God is everywhere, but only those whose eye is open can see His glory in all things. True devotees have got His sustaining protection; standing in the midst of thousands, they can be pillars of strength and faith. In the West, many intellectual people came to hear my talks, and not for one moment did I ever stop and wonder how they would receive my words; with great power I would emphasize the teachings. It is all His Grace, and He Himself prepares everything. The trouble is that we forget that He is the Doer, and not "I", and we do not keep our face turned toward Him. Rather we go on finding fault with Him, and are full of doubts. Like this, how will we grasp the help offered to us?