Sant Kirpal Singh's last public talk January 28, 1964 in Washington, D.C on His Second World Tour
In a few words:
Man is the highest in all creation, and the highest aim that is before us in the man-body, as has been given out by all Masters who came in the past – is to know God.
To know God, we must know ourselves first. God cannot be known by the outgoing faculties, nor intellect, nor by the vital airs. It is the soul alone that can know God. But our soul is under the control of mind, and mind is under the control of the outgoing faculties. Our attention, which is the expression of our soul, is diffused into the world through the outgoing faculties and is identified with them, so much so that we have forgotten ourselves.
As I told you, it is the soul alone that can know God. Like knows the like. Soul is a conscious entity; God is all consciousness. So the first thing is that we should know ourselves. All Masters, whenever they came, they gave out the same thing: Know thyself.
How can we know ourselves? By liberating ourselves from the clutches of mind and the outgoing faculties; or, you might say, by analysing ourselves from mind and matter; or, still further, you might say, by rising above body-consciousness. When you know yourself, you will see that that very God whom you find (within) is already there.
The man-body is a wonderful house that we live in. We are living in this man-body, and we are also controlled in the man-body on account of some higher Power overhead: otherwise, we could run away – out of this body. There are so many apertures in this wonderful house we live in, but we are controlled: we cannot go out of it. Our breathing goes out, but cannot remain outside; some Power is bringing it back into the body. That Power which controls us in the body, that very Power controls all the universe. That is what is called God-Power: it has been given so many different names by various Masters. When God, Wordless or Nameless, came into being, it was called Name, Shabda, Word. That God-into-Expression Power is the cause of all creation.
You reside in this man-body, and so does He Whom you are after. For which purpose (to find Him) you have joined various schools of thought or religions. He also resides within you: "The Kingdom of God is within you." If you would like to find (Him) or enter there (this Kingdom), you will have to enter into the laboratory of your body. You might be seeking outside for years and years; you might be observing so many rites and rituals, which are performed at the level of the outgoing faculties; and yet, you cannot find a clue of that. Guru Nanak says, "So long as you do not know yourself, you are in a grand delusion."
It is a pity, we are the indweller of the man-body, and that very Power that we have to find is also already there: a fish living in the water inquires where water is.
In the scriptures, you will find a description of the findings of what the Masters found had in their lives when they came in contact with the God-Power. Reading the scriptures can flare up an interest in you to know Him and to have those very same experiences that the Masters had in their lives and recorded in the scriptures. But there the scope (of the scriptures) ends.
What do the scriptures say? "God is within you; the body is the temple of God." All Masters say that: in their own words, of course. So, if God is within you, you must try to find Him where He is. If you try to find Him in outward things or outward places, you will not find Him. We have regard for all scriptures, for they give beautiful, fine records of the experiences that the Masters had in their lives. We have respect for all places of holy worship, because they made models of the human body: dome-shaped, like the head are Hindu temples; cross-shaped, or nose-shaped are churches. Within them are the symbols representing God: God is Light and God is Music of the Spheres. So these two symbols are kept in the temples and churches to show that suchlike Light of God is shining within you and suchlike Music of the Spheres, or Voice of God, is reverberating within you: it can be heard. You can have a contact with them when you rise above senses, above body-consciousness. It is a matter of practical self-analysis.
That was what is meant when the scriptures say, "Learn to die so that you may begin to live." This is what is meant when Saint Paul said, "I die daily." This is what is meant by, "To be born anew." This is what is meant when it is said, "The Kingdom of God cannot be had by observation; it is within you."
Whoever has to solve the mystery of life, naturally this is the greatest day of his life when this question cannot be stamped out; we must find a solution, sooner or later. There is food for the hungry and water for the thirsty; where fire burns, oxygen comes to help. Demand and supply is the law of nature. God sees: "My child is after Me." He makes some arrangement to bring you in contact who has known himself and who knows God: who sees God as I see you, and you see me. And he tells you how to control these outgoing faculties.
All outgoing faculties can be made to stand still if you control your attention. This is what the Masters have always given out: Surat Yoga – the way of attention, of controlling the attention. They give you an experience of how to withdraw, how to analyse yourself, how to rise above body-consciousness and how to be reborn: "Except ye be reborn, ye cannot enter the Kingdom of God." It is a matter of pure self-analysis.
How can you rise above body-consciousness? If you can rise above it by your own efforts, you are welcome to do it. If you cannot, you can seek the help of someone who goes up and has the competency to raise your soul, to liberate your soul, from the clutches of mind and the outgoing faculties, someone who is able to give you an experience of opening the inner eye to see the Light of God and opening the inner ear to hear the Voice of God. Call him by any name you like. He is a man like you in his outward appearance; but inside he is developed in that way. He has analysed his soul from mind and the outgoing faculties; he rises above body-consciousness daily. That was what is meant when the scriptures say, "Learn to die so that you may begin to live." This is what is meant when Saint Paul said, "I die daily." This is what is meant by, "To be born anew." This is what is meant when it is said, "The Kingdom of God cannot be had by observation; it is within you."
In worldly subjects, we do need the help of someone who is an expert in them. If you need someone to guide you and help you in these subjects that have to do only with the outgoing faculties, why wouldn't you need that help in the subject that starts when you rise above the body and the outgoing faculties? It is a matter of common sense. If you can do it alone, well and good. A blind man needs two eyes to see. So we need someone: "The Son knows the Father and others to whom the Son reveals Him." And that Sonship continues.This is what is before us, and for that purpose we have joined various schools of thought. You will find that whoever can withdraw from outside is not attached outside. Whoever is attached outside or is given up to outward pleasures and lives a sensuous way of living, such a man is not fit.
There are five passions connected with the outgoing faculties, but two of them are the most dangerous: The first is lust. The second is anger. All are dangerous, but these are the most dangerous. And even between these two, the first is more dangerous. Kabir says, "I forgive all sins; but not those who are given up to an unchaste life." These are his words.
Naturally the question arises: what can be said about those who are married? All scriptures tell us what marriage means. It means taking a companion in life to be with you in weal or woe on this earthly sojourn; and to help each other to know God, which is the highest aim before us. One duty may be that of begetting children; but it is not one hundred per cent of our duties. About such a marriage, Saint Paul said, "Husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the church." They should have chaste lives. One duty, as I told you, is begetting children. When you have one or two children, all right; set your example and make their lives sublime.
The first thing needed is a life of continence. The rishis called having a life of continence observing brahmcharya. "Brahmcharya means control of all the organs of sense." It does not mean mere control of animal passions. If a man controls only one organ and allows all others to have free play, he is bound to find his effort fruitless. To hear suggestive stories with the ears, to see suggestive sights with your eyes, to taste stimulating food with your tongue, to touch exciting things with the hands, and then expect to control the only remaining organ, is just like putting your hand in fire and expecting that it will not burn."* (* Quoted from Mahatma Gandhi; see Self-Restraint vs. Self-Indulgence, p. 92.)
You will find perhaps that the palate is the chief of all. Brahmcharya means: the word charya means "the course of conduct"; and Brahm means "God." So brahmcharya means to have a conduct of life adapted to the search for God. It is, therefore, the control of all the senses; and it will become easy to anyone who controls his passions, his palate. Diet has very much to do with our lives. Whatever sort of food you eat, you get that very same effect. If a dog is kept on mere vegetables, he will be very amiable. If you keep him on meat, he will be howling and growling. Any diet that flares up passions, we have to eliminate.
Diet flares up passions, I tell you. Maulana Rumi says, "It is not love that arises out of eating bread; but love is of the soul, of charity." Love attached with the physical body is called lust. You will find that animals observe brahmcharya more than men. When any animal gets sick, the first thing he does is not eat. There is also a time for their mating; and man has no special time. It is a pitiable state, I would say. That is why we are not born for eating; but eating is made for us, so that this body may be maintained. This body is the golden opportunity that we have: maintain it; keep it as long as you can. What for? Not for eating; but eating is made for you to maintain it, so that you may know God.
Similarly, all other organs of desire are required to be controlled. All Masters have laid great stress on that very subject. These two things are specially important. What does it all mean? All these five senses (passions) practically mean the same thing; they hinge only on desire. To be desireless is to cut off, to exterminate, the very root of other things.
There are five senses or the outgoing faculties, but two of them are the most dangerous: The first is lust. The second is anger. All these five senses (passions) practically mean the same thing; they hinge only on desire. So to be desireless is to cut off, to exterminate, the very root of other things.
Many Masters have come and said this. Lord Buddha said, "Be desireless." The tenth Guru (Guru Gobind Singh) also said, in his own language, "Be desireless." When you have no desire, there is no question of anger. What is anger? When you want to do something or have something and someone appears to be standing in the way – directly or indirectly – that impediment to the achievement of your desire causes anger.
When there is anger, what happens? You cannot speak slowly. Take the example of a little rivulet or ordinary canal flowing strongly in a narrow channel. When there is no impediment in the way, it goes on smoothly. But if you put a big stone in it, the water retards and strikes against the stone, and two things happen: one, there is froth and foam, from the striking; and the other, there is noise. Similarly, those who become angry cannot speak slowly, and there is foam in their mouths. Then when there is any wish: "Oh, I must have it; there is no reason why I should not have it." He puts in all efforts at having it; he makes parties, and this and that. When he achieves it, he does not want to leave it; he is attached. This is called attachment. And then he enjoys it.
So all five senses (passions) hinge on the one thing: desire. Out of these, as I told you, two are the most important, or the strongest ones controlling us in the body. All Masters have been saying like that.
Everybody say, "Chastity is life" – here we lack very much – and "Sexuality is death." Those who are not married should observe strict chastity. Those who are married should regulate their lives according to what the scriptures say. And what they say, I have just laid out before you. The Mohammedan and almost every scripture says the same thing. So, "The abandonment of sensual desires draws the soul towards heaven." The more you control this, the nearer you are to God; because on this very power depends the health of mind and body both: your intellect, your brain, your physical body. They say that what you eat forms chyle; from chyle, blood is formed; from blood, fat is formed; from fat comes the bones; from bones, the pith in them; and from the pith, this thing is formed – how valuable a thing it is! As I told you, animals observe chastity more than men: men have no special mating time. All Masters laid down: "Any unchaste look, thought or act, and all profanity of speech is declared to be unpardonable." We don't pay attention to these things. "A perfect man must be pure in every word and in every action in his own life. The Holy Spirit comes to him from the day he becomes pure." You know the utmost necessity of being pure in thought. That is why Christ said, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" – not others.
All Masters have been laying stress on this. Shankaracharya in the Hindu religion said, "When a man follows the way of the body, true wisdom is not born within him." When you are attached to the sensuous way of living, where is the divinity? Similarly, "Lust and temptations are like the sharks in the river of life." Sharks – they eat up the man! Kabir says, "Lust and anger eat away the body, just as aqua regia, when put on gold, dissolves it." "As the dawning of the day comes simultaneously with the passing of the night, so the dawning of true knowledge follows simultaneously with the dawning of control over the self." Do you see how important it is, and how we have let these things loose?
All Masters, whether they came in one religion or the other, have been very particular about this point. And nowadays, how dangerous it is! Young men and women – I don't know whether you will take it ill or not; I have pity for the state of affairs we are having nowadays – are let loose, going like anything: wild animals, running here and there. Marriage is a sacrament; it is not a contract. As I told you, Saint Paul said, "Husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the church." This is the main thing. "He who is affected by passions cannot obtain liberation." This is what Shankaracharya said. Not one, but each religion says so. We belong to one religion or the other; but we don't follow its teaching. "Fascination with the body is a great debt for him who is seeking liberation." I am quoting you these things from the scriptures. These aren't my words. They are there in whichever religion you belong to. Chinese philosophy tells us, "To be guileless and pure: this is the way to nourish the spirit. When lust and desires are deep, the springs of the heavenly are shallow." What more do you want them to tell you? What are we doing? These things are given great stress, but we people don't care. That's the pity. Buddha says, "I proclaim the annihilation of lust. I teach the doing away with lust. Nirvana means the subsiding of all human passions. When inner fires of lust are extinguished, then one enters into the Nirvana. This is the lesson of lessons."
This is the most important thing and the most ignored. I tell you, when we were quite young and our brothers and sisters were born, we used to ask out of curiosity where they came from. And we were told that "the midwife has left it here." Such innocent lives we had! Our parents had such chaste lives that children did not know where children came from. But now, small boys know. Why? They see you. How can you expect that not to happen?
This subject is the most important and the most ignored; everything follows this. May I quote you history? History shows that when Napoleon, whose name was dreaded throughout the whole of Europe, was caught at Waterloo, he had fallen down in this way the night before. Indian history shows that Prithvi Raj had repulsed all invaders. But the day after he had fallen down in this way, he was caught. Your own experiences show that when you go in for that, the following day you are not happy; your spirits are down; your eyes are sunken.
Excuse me, I have just taken up this subject because some friend of mine was asking about it today; there was an article in the papers on this very subject. They are recommending all these things, whereas these are deadly against the highest principles of spirituality.
So, as I told you, control of the organs of sense is of the first importance: that is to have a life of continence. Lust assails us – how? Through the eyes. Do you want to save yourself? Don't look into the eyes of others.
Anger is flared up through the ears. How can you control it? Leave the place. The more you hear, the more your anger is flared up; and you won't talk slowly. You will go on talking like anything – loudly; and what will be the result? There will be foam in your mouth, and you will not be able to speak.
Attachment comes through the skin. There are centers in the body. When you are attached to anyone – to your son or daughter – you hug him, here [to your heart]. These are centers in the body.
So man-body is the highest in all creation, and we have it! If only we could withdraw! What is the best way to control it? Just control your attention, withdraw it from outside and bring it up to the seat of the soul, which is at the back of the eyes. This is the best way. When you have full control, this can be had by regular practice, I would say. Practice makes a man. You use your eyes and you may not see; with your ears you may not hear. When? When your attention is controlled.
I tell you, Prophet Mohammed said about these two things, "If you control two organs – the one between the two lips and the other between the two thighs – I am responsible for your liberation at the court of God." Tulsidas said the same thing, "If you are truthful, have humility and are chaste, if you consider others as mothers, sisters and daughters, except for your wife" and that also, only for a while; wives are not machines, mind that. Excuse me; I am a bit very clear today. They are not for that purpose. That is only one duty, not one hundred percent of our duties. – "I am responsible for you at the court of God." And Kabir said, "I will forgive all sins; not him who is unchaste." We have no chastity left anywhere, that's a pity. These are the basic things that are flared up; others follow.
To achieve God is just to have a pure heart. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." You are always thinking, mind that. Simply sit down and listen to what others are saying. Either they will be speaking of lusty things – excuse me – or with animosity. What does this do? Any thought, I tell you, any intention that considers someone to be retarding us, to be putting an impediment in our way, turns into anger. That's all. So we must have a life of contentment. This is a necessity, all Masters say. All scriptures tell us to love God and to love all humanity; God resides in every heart. For that an ethical life is a stepping stone to spirituality.
Although there are others, these are the two main things. Here we fail very much. You fail with the tongue if you have no control over your eating or what you are saying. Think twice before you speak. "Will this word I am uttering carry an effect?" If there is any controversy, quietly follow what the other one is saying. If you are angry, mind that, never say anything. Keep quiet.
These are the ways to save yourself from these. But the highest aim is another thing. If you have love for God, and God resides in every heart, and we are of the same essence as that of God, then naturally we will have love for all and have no hatred. When you love anyone, you won't harm him, you won't usurp his rights, you won't tell lies. All things follow.So God is love, and love is the way back to God. For the way of love, it is necessary for you to have a life of continence.
This is, I think, the last talk I can give you. I have been referring to these things in my talks and enjoining you to maintain your diaries. Perhaps you have been thinking that I was talking to someone else. This is the stony ground on which you can raise your building of spirituality; otherwise, you are raising your building on sand, mind that. I think that the best I know and have found, I have given you. Man's highest aim is to know God, and we should eliminate whatever retarding factors there are. Whatever are helping factors, we should adopt in our lives.
Whoever has to solve the mystery of life, naturally this is the greatest day of his life when this question cannot be stamped out; we must find a solution, sooner or later. There is food for the hungry and water for the thirsty; where fire burns, oxygen comes to help. Demand and supply is the law of nature. God sees: "My child is after Me." He makes some arrangement to bring you in contact who has known himself and who knows God: who sees God as I see you and you see me. And he tells you how to control these outgoing faculties.
All outgoing faculties can be made to stand still if you control your attention. This is what the Masters have always given out: Surat Yoga - the way of attention, of controlling the attention. They give you an experience of how to withdraw, how to analyze yourself, how to rise above body-consciousness and how to be reborn: "Except ye be reborn, ye cannot enter the Kingdom of God." It is a matter of pure self-analysis.
Blessed you are. With the grace of God you have been put on the way. Christ said to his disciples: "Blessed are ye who see things that the old prophets and righteous men could not see. Blessed are ye who hear things that the old prophets and righteous could not hear." So you could see and you could hear (got the experience of Light and sound by the initiation). Is it not a great blessing of God? Go on further. Just have self-introspection of your life like a strict judge, like a hard taskmaster. Don't spare yourself. And go on with your meditations; weed out all imperfections; send your diaries at regular intervals. Have love for all; love God; love resides in every heart. Those who do not love, cannot know God.
These are, I think the best things I could give you in a few words. Tomorrow, the last day, I will be physically leaving you. Please keep it in your hearts and live up to it. The more you live (up to it), the more you will feel blessedness within you.
Remain in any religion you like. Religions are our schools of thought, to know God.
I thank you all for all the cooperation and help extended by you – not in words, but in thoughts and deeds. You have been helping the cause of God: in other words, you have been helping your own Selves and helping me, too. My best wishes are always with you, and the God-Power is with you. He can never leave you. He will be extending all feasible help and protection.
I will be glad to hear from you about your spiritual progress at regular intervals, say, quarterly. Give what you want in brief. Long yarns won't do. Suppose you write a letter of eight pages-sometimes people write ten or twelve pages. So what do I do? The short letters I reply to first. That is what I have to do. So write short, to the point, what you want.
That Power is within you; it will compensate you straight off. How you feel and any difficulty you have in your meditations – your diary shows everything. If there is anything special, you can put it (down). That will help, you see.
Love one another, for the sake of God and God in Master, that's all. I wish you all my best wishes and love. Tomorrow I will be leaving at about, I think, ten or eleven o'clock.
Comment: Master has been a source of great blessing. Even if Master goes away, He has left so much.
Sant Kirpal Singh: It won't be lost if you simply turn your face to it. It is always fresh. Remain in contact. God will help you.
Comment: He'll be coming back again, if all goes well.
Sant Kirpal Singh: It is all in the hands of God.
Comment: We want to thank all those who started Satsang in the United States; without them, we wouldn't be here.
Sant Kirpal Singh: Do you know how much love I have for them? Look here, if you people have any anger, send it to me. Don't throw it here. Anything that is not good, throw in the wastepaper basket: consider it sent on to me. Love one another; that will help you. Be cordial and friendly when you see each other. When two disciples meet, intoxication comes up in the sweet remembrance of God and the Master. I am very glad .... do you love me? …
All these nothings we should forgive and forget. These little daily dyings should be set aside. This is all, I think that will earn my pleasure.... All are on the same way, and how can the Father leave the children? That's all right. Thank you so much, each one of you.