- This is the conclusion of "O mind, listen for once". Sant Kirpal Singh is commenting on a hymn of Swami Ji Maharaj, in which the soul appeals to the mind for help in achieving its true purpose.
The mind replies thus to the soul: "The taste of these I cannot leave."
The mind says, "O soul, whatever you say is true, but I am powerless before these desires and cannot leave them, even though I want to." Can we not see our own condition in this? Many times the mind does agree and wants to join our aspirations, but it helplessly wanders away again into the outer attractions. The steps are forward, but the mind goes backward. It is too much identified with lower things, so all learning, writings, all outer knowledge is cast aside – nothing remains when a wave of passion seizes him – Guru, religion, sacred scriptures, all are as nought. So the mind says, "I do want to separate myself from these senses, but I cannot, so what shall I do?"
- What shall I do, how can I obey? At the senses' mercy, I cannot leave them.
"The senses insist on dragging me everywhere – how can I get free? Tell me what to do." The senses are extremely powerful. Sometimes it is the sense of sight which will drag you, sometimes you hear something and all control is gone; the other senses also play their part. So one's mind is pulled around helplessly. Guru Arjan says, "The Guru has made me controller; I am mistress of the house." This house is the physical form, and we can be queen in that house, for the Guru teaches such a marvellous method that enables us to gain control. Also, Ten maidservants were given under my orders. The ten senses become one's maidservants who obey orders. These days our condition is so degenerate that lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego are driving us farther and farther away from the Truth. Just look at the degradation in man! If a person could stand aside from it all and see the situation as it really is, one would be appalled and lament the folly of oneself and mankind as a whole.
Swami Ji also says, "Your home is above illusion, my loved ones; You have tied yourselves to this earthly house." We were once indwellers of that true and everlasting place, but we got caught in the net of clay and water. Guru Nanak says, "You (the Lord) dwell in the true home; I am lost in this form of matter." God resides in Truth, and we are deteriorating in this illusory existence. Spirituality is not merely waving a banner and shouting some slogan; neither does it lie in outer practice or in certain apparel and appearance. Spirituality means to withdraw from sense enjoyments and become connected to the Naam. You might do it today, or tomorrow, any time in this life, or not until some other life – but you must do this work yourself, no priest or minister can do it for you. Only a spiritual Master's attention can help you.
- By force and exertion of will I lost everything; now I have no strength.
The mind describes how he has often exerted his strength, almost wrestler– like, and said, "I will not do this!" But again and again he was tempted and overcome by the senses. We all make strong resolutions, but when it comes to keeping them we fall down. Swami Ji is quite openly revealing our own condition – these are our very own cries of anguish, and the promises we make to change tomorrow – that tomorrow which is in the Negative Power's hands, and never comes. Everyone is in the same boat and crying out the same cry; so look within yourselves and see what you are doing with your precious lives. Why not start the good work now? The mind is very wise, it is no insignificant thing. Like a magistrate, his thoughts are wise and he observes that with all his efforts there is still no freedom, only defeat. Some people are dragged in passion, some are roasted alive in the fire of attachment, some are caught in the nets of ego and pride, stiffly and proudly strutting their way through life. The whole world is in this terrible condition.
- I want to leave all enjoyments; just seeing them I am helpless.
There is so much attraction in the outer enjoyments that the mind ignores its wisdom and is rendered too helpless to fight. When a cat sees a mouse, it cannot resist it. So what happens? We say, "let us enjoy now and face whatever the consequences when they come." We are usually aware of our follies to some extent, but too late.
- The past I repent, and will always repent; but at the next chance, like a thief I repeat.
We are sorrowful over our actions, but have no resistance and repeat our mistakes. It is the lament of man over those things which have caught and kept him prisoner in the world. It may be he knows his condition; he reads, he thinks, he attends Satsang, he makes resolutions, but always falls back into the old habits again and again. This is why I have advised keeping a daily spiritual diary. It is a method of self-introspection which I have introduced after much deep thought on the subject. If you would only keep it ... even send it to me blank! How many months would you go on sending it blank? The benefit of this is a moral upliftment – this is a very sweet way of explaining it.
With time, methods change. In olden days, clothes were washed by thrashing them against rocks, and nowadays we have got to the stage of dry cleaning, without the use of water. Masters have used many ways through the ages, trying to induce an awareness in men of their way of life. Those who are not following this Science correctly never keep diaries. The first thing the Negative Power does when he wants to keep control over a soul is to stop them doing bhajan and simran. The individual finds that there is always something to lure him away from his meditation. This is his first method, and secondly he slips that question into the mind: "Why go to the Guru or the Satsang? What is the use of it?" Satsang is the very place where a turning point can be effected and an awareness of wrongdoing and wrong living is achieved, so he will try to persuade us not to go there. If you have the strength to ignore him, he will then suggest that you just go and bow down and then leave. He will place all kinds of doubts in the mind, and instead of the fullest benefit from the Satsang, the person returns home with nothing but dissatisfaction or the bad effects of gossiping and backbiting from other wavering individuals. These are two very powerful weapons that the Negative Power is constantly wielding.
How can I rise to the gaggan, my beloved? I am like an over-spirited horse.
The mind says, "You want me to rise to the seat of the soul (gaggan), but how can I in this present condition? The sense enjoyments are always luring me on, and I gallop at full speed after them, like a spirited horse beyond control. I cannot sit still for a minute, so what to do?" The poor heart has laid bare its pathetic helplessness, and now Swami Ji reveals the solution:
- To you I now speak these words: Go to the Satguru, and plead to Him.
Only through rising above the body and entering the gaggan lies the true happiness, but this is not in the mind's power, so he says we should go to the Satguru and plead to Him to take us out of here – "He has the love, and we are prisoners – He also has come as a prisoner, just for our sakes – He put on this bag of filth, this human form, just to release us. O Satguru, if you do not help us, then who can?" He who has left the house and is standing on the roof can catch hold of another's hand and drag him up. The powerful Guru drags the soul out. By giving a boost, the complete Master gives an experience of rising above body consciousness. We need this help, otherwise how would we rise above by ourselves? We get an inner contact and a taste of the Nectar of Naam which, by devoting more time in meditation, becomes the Maha Ras – Greater Nectar which withdraws one completely from the outer attractions.
So with Naam, the mind can be controlled. And to receive connection with Naam, one must go to the Satguru. A Muslim prophet says that this mind can never be killed unless one comes under the shadow of a Pir (Master). The attention can be stilled in the company of a Sadhu (Master); Then the stillness of mind is realized. Even the scriptures cannot be fully understood without the Master's company, for with stillness of mind all things are seen in true perception – unconfused. True understanding does not come when sitting at home and thinking. The Master's company is something like an ocean's breakwater, which when the waves dash against it, breaks the impact of their force so that they become less boisterous. In that very same water, one can swim without danger. The Master's company has a charging, a wonderful stillness. In the company of the Saint, the Lord seems near. This is the result of the radiation which permeates and surrounds the Master. So in Satsang we become aware of the Truth for a while, even at our first visit; but we again wander away. So the mind tells us the solution for these difficulties: "If you want to control me, take the Nectar of Naam. I cannot leave the enjoyments, for just by seeing some attraction I become helpless and a recklessness is born in me; heedless of everything, I say let me do it now and never mind the consequences; so let us go to the Satguru and plead with Him to take us out of this predicament."
- Let us place ourselves at His feet, you and me; through that Satsang we will gain something.
The mind is now willing to leave all its cleverness and appeal to the Satguru. Satsang is the name we give to the company of an awakened soul. A Satguru makes a Satsang. The company of learned people or the reading of books may be most interesting, but it is not a Satsang. There has to be one present who has risen above mind and senses and who has become truly awakened. A Muslim Saint says, The whole world is asleep, and brother, you also are asleep with it. How can a sleeping man awaken another who is also asleep?
At Satsang there is great charging, but you must be connected to it; it is no good just sitting there. Furthermore, your attention should be on the Master alone; even if you are thousands of miles from him physically, you can still enjoy Satsang. Naturally, there is more benefit in being completely attentive when near his physical presence, for you will get a direct charging; but no matter where you are you will still have help, if you are receptive. Some people ask, what is the actual effect of Satsang? Well, if you tie a wild horse to a stake, he will naturally make a run for it, but when he reaches the end of the tether he will be brought up with a jerk. He may try to run away several times, but will always be pulled up by the tether. Satsang has some effect like this on the mind, and after repeating a few times the inclination to run away grows less, until it eventually learns to still itself. Satsang also cleanses the bad smells which come from the habits of lust, anger, greed, etc., that is, if the person is receptive. He becomes something different.
Why do Masters come and what is their work? They release the soul from mind and senses and connect it with Naam. They come only for this purpose, though they go through many difficulties and work hard. People abuse them and call them atheists, but they are not concerned and carry on with the work. Eventually the mind realizes that to go to such a soul is the only remedy. Leaving body consciousness is the first step; if the soul does not go on further and achieve Trigun-atit (above the three regions), it will not get the permanent peace. Go to the Satguru and obey him. The words of a complete Master, I tie on my heart. Tie his words close to you – they should not enter from one ear and leave from the other – tie them securely in your heart.
- When the Satguru showers His mercy every moment He protects me.
If you go to someone for protection with a sincere heart, putting all your hopes in him after all the disappointment and defeat, he has to accept and protect you on principle. He is not concerned that you may be a great sinner; he sees only that you are a soul at the mercy of the mind and senses. His work is to release this soul and release also the mind from the sense enjoyments, and to give the Nectar of Naam through which the life can be turned into success. He does not care if people consider him good or bad, or if one has faith in him or not, yet he will never leave those who are under his care. Christ said, I shall never leave thee nor forsake thee until the end of the world. Hazur used to say that when the Satguru gives initiation he does not rest until he has taken the disciple to the lap of Sat Naam or Sat Purush. You may leave him, and put your attention elsewhere, but he does not forsake you.
So brothers, obey my direction, do your meditation even if it be a little, and increase whatever experience you have been given. See into each action of your daily life, and keep a diary. Do not leave off your bhajan and simran. There is a remedy for mistakes, but there is no remedy for disobeying, and the road is long for such people. Those who have Naam will definitely reach God, but it will be a long journey for whosoever disobeys the instructions. You have to do it, whether in one birth, two, or four, so why not now? Remember that the disciple who always has his face turned toward the Guru, draws the Guru's attention. If you keep someone in your heart, you will reside in theirs. The tortoise lays her eggs in the sand and yet herself remains in the water; but her attention is always directed to the eggs. It does not matter if the disciple is in a different place than the Master, when the Master directs his attention the disciple should be receptive; that is all that is necessary. If there is receptivity in both hearts, then? Kabir Sahib says that even if the disciple is separated from the Guru by seven oceans, still they can be one through the attention. Turn your face, and direct your attention to him.
A man once wrote to me that the Satguru was closer to him than anything else, and whether it is early morning or night, he comes and sits beside him, talking to him and giving such amazing talks containing information with very deep meanings. The man said that he had written down twenty such talks from the inner Master. Now, surely the Guru must be something other than just a physical form! He does have a physical form, but he is not imprisoned therein. He comes as a doctor for those who are captured by mind, senses, and worldly attraction. Outwardly there may be no apparent difference between him and us, yet he is certainly not a prisoner as we are. If you think of him as merely a man, what will you receive? At the most, he will make a good man of you. If you think he has no higher spiritual powers, then how will he give you spiritual help?
Make a wave of receptivity from heart to heart – this is the way to realize the Lord. Become even a little receptive and the Master in you will restrain you when you are in danger of going wrong. As a mother cares for her child, the Satguru cares a million times more. Even a gambler with the worst of habits will be loved and cared for by his mother; she will never allow him to starve. Having received the protection of a God-realized man, do you think he would ever forget you? Keep your face turned toward him, and even with the outer eyes observe how much help you get.
- I cannot rise of my own strength; unless the Guru will release me from bondage.
The mind has not the strength to rise above this jungle; he must have assistance from the greater power of the Guru – a complete Master, who will break all fetters. Life after life, one is a slave to the world, and after death one will again come to the world. Heaven and hell, again and again birth.
Hearing all this, the soul was overjoyed: "Let us quickly go and get our fetters cut."
It is naturally a great day for the soul when mind at last is willing to cooperate, and once that awareness is there, without delay it wants to be at the feet of the Satguru.
It instinctively knows that He is the very life of all life who will release it from the miseries and strife. Whenever the mind has clear understanding and is inclined toward God, then quickly sit down for meditation – do not wait for tomorrow, do not wait even a few hours, or his mood will change and again he will cheat you out of the benefit. No matter what you are doing, when mind and soul are one, sit in meditation at once. Who knows what will happen in the next minute? Such an ideal mood is rare and valuable; there should be no delaying to take advantage.
- Both entered into the protection of Satsang; they drank again and again the overflowing Nectar of Naam.
When mind and soul sit together in harmony at the feet of a true Master, both drink the Water of Life. When the Master gives a sitting and the mind is willing to go with the soul, both taste the Nectar. Drink a cup, and become intoxicated. Guru Nanak says, O Nanak, the intoxication of Naam inebriates day and night. So this is the secret, if you want to taste that Divine Nectar of the Naam: make the mind your friend and companion and get some work out of him, for he is a lover of enjoyment and in the Naam is great sweetness, tasting which all other tastes become insipid.
This Science is not for any particular religion; it is purely the solution to a man–problem. Anyone, no matter to which religion they belong, may have the benefit of this solution which has been described so beautifully in this hymn. If you start today what has been recommended, you will be on the way to success and to achieving the true happiness which is everlasting. There is no need to regard your situation as hopeless – There is hope for everybody. No matter how bad or low or cruel a man is, yet there is hope for him, for the Satguru is a true washerman, who purifies by washing away the dirt of the senses. Just do what he says – do not be a manmukh (mouthpiece of the mind), but become a Gurumukh (mouthpiece of the Guru).
By merely looking at a Master you will not get salvation; remember that. Just by seeing the Guru, salvation does not come; While you do not love the Satguru's words. Do whatever the Master says: follow his advice, obey him and become receptive to him, for the soul gains strength through receptivity. The work which may seem impossible just now will become easy. All sins are burned away in the company of a true Master, and from a true Master you can receive the precious gift of Naam. The Satguru is so powerful that not only the disciple gets benefit, but those who love the disciple will also gain his protection. This has been proved by historic spiritual records.
In my own life there is an instance of a cousin of mine who fell seriously ill and her father, my uncle, wrote and asked me if I would go and see her. He wrote that I should lose no time as her condition was extremely dangerous. In those days I was in Lahore, and had come under the grace and protection of Hazur Baba Sawan Singh Ji. As I received the letter, that very night I left Lahore by train and arrived the next day at my cousin's village, at about 1 or 2 p.m. I was then told what had happened the night before: At the time I was leaving Lahore, my sick cousin said to her father, "He has come, and there is an elderly man with him." She then described how I went away after telling the elderly man that this was the patient. She said to her father, "Don't let Bhapa Ji (elder brother) go." The father replied, "But he is not here." She said, "Yes, he came with this man, but now he is going." From that very moment her condition started to change for the better, and when I reached there she was much improved and asked me why I had left after coming to see her the night before. I explained that I had not come then, and that whosoever had to come had come. She recovered completely from her sickness, and I asked her one day, "If I show you that elderly man, will you recognize him?" She said, "Yes, of course." So when Hazur was in Rawalpindi for some two months' program I took her there. We were standing on the verandah of Lala Raja Ram Ji's house when I saw Hazur coming in the distance. I said, "Look there, who is that coming?" She cried, "Why, it is the same man who came with you that night to see me." So wherever there is affinity, that law of affinity will work. If your affinity has been developed, you will get protection; just see what great blessing can be received from the Satguru. It is another criterion of true Masters, and wherever the true Master is, you will find thousands of such instances. They do not make a show of miracles, but miracles in varying degrees are a frequent occurrence with each disciple. There must be reasons for the high praise of Masters which is found in the holy scriptures and records! – although this does not include of course the so-called acting, posing type of "master" of which the world has an abundance these days.
- Both together rise above the gaggan and become intoxicated with Nectar of the Shabd.
Go into And (the astral plane) and then Brahmand (the causal plane) and catch the higher Sound from there. Taste that Nectar, and then go even higher to catch a higher Sound and then taste that Nectar. In the huge domain of Maha Kal (the Greater Negative Power) there is Sound upon Sound vibrating. When you reach Maha Kal, the mind remains there, for he cannot go beyond that. From there, the soul goes on alone to its true home after personifying itself.
- Radha Soami bestowed His mercy upon them; they were showered with diamonds, pearls and rubies.
The word Radha Soami has been used here to mean the Lord Himself. Sometimes it is used for the Guru, from which human pole the Lord speaks out. We should have respect for all names given to the Lord. When the Lord showers His mercy, the Satguru's compassionate eye falls upon the soul and both the soul and the mind start rising above. In that glance, there is upliftment beyond any price; you could not buy it with millions. And yet, the fortunate receive it free of charge. It is a matter of receptivity and devotion.
- Radha Soami showered such grace through which I conquered the bowl of negativity.
The Lord, sitting at the human pole, makes it possible for the soul to overcome all negativeness. In the Gurbani it is asked, What is the Negative Power? – I can kick it out or remove it altogether and replace it. The records containing the words of the great Masters have an authoritative truth in them, for only the Masters (or anyone else on whom they may shower grace) see the true state of affairs. The Negative Power has no standing, unless with the approval of the Positive; but we are misguided, foolish people who sometimes allow ourselves to be drawn away from the true Guru – forgive me, but this happens. No matter what difficulties come, no matter what your condition may be, never leave hold of the Guru's hand – for your own sake.
You will have intoxication and upliftment in the company of him at whose human form the Lord Himself is working. It is a natural law that you will go to that stage which your Master has reached. This true intoxication can only be enjoyed in company with the Truth, not from books, etc. – though you may read your whole life through. There is a certain stillness in that company, and everything becomes clarified, for the waves of radiation issuing forth from that pole have a clarifying quality. Therefore all doubts regarding the Lord – what He is, what He is not – are removed. Just being near to a Master gives one a feeling that God is within one's reach. If one lives with full attention within the close surrounding of a Master, the Negative Power and illusion cannot affect you.
Swami Ji Maharaj has also said that the soul transcends that place where Negative and illusion go on beating their breasts. In other words, they cry out to see the soul escaping from their clutches. This escape can only happen with the grace of a Samrath Purush – a complete Master. Otherwise, who has the power to leave the senses' enjoyments, even though one thousand kinds of knowledgeable meditation be done?
Dadu Sahib has said that a true Sadhu is he who does not stretch out his hand to gold and women. One must rise above all enjoyments and not be ruled by greed and lust, for while one remains under their influence no real progress can be made. The quicker we withdraw, the quicker will be our progress; even daily promotion can be achieved. Not only will one see the Truth with the inner eye, but will discern easily and openly the true situation in outer life. Those who have already realized the Truth did not themselves drop straight from Heaven – so it is the hereditary right of each human being to realize himself and realize God.
Those who have already come to the feet of a true Master are greatly blessed indeed. There may be one, two, or more in the world; the more the better, naturally. History tells of occasions when there have been more than two at one time, and quite often two at once. Do not get into confusion: go to any Master, but just be sure that he is a true Master. What is the criterion for this? He must take you above the body consciousness for a while, open your inner eye, and give you an experience. Go to whoever gives this way up. You may call him by any name you like – Guru, Sadhu, Mahatma, Master, or anything else. When they asked Hazur what to call him, he said, "Call me brother, or think of me as a teacher, or equal to your father, but live according to my advice; and when you reach the higher regions and see there the glory of the Guru, you may say what is in your heart."
We often suffer from the mistake of sitting on the outside, discussing the opinions of others about the Master, but how can anyone have faith if they have not seen his true form? Real faith comes when you leave your body and go into the higher realms of Light and see that Power working there, and see clearly also that same Power working in this world.
There is a village near Buland Shaher in U.P. and in that village a certain Satsangi had a farm. (This happened some years back.) This Satsangi had grown a very nice crop of watermelons, and eventually they were ready for gathering. The farmer and his workers had intended to gather them in one day, but due to the large crop the sunset hour approached before they could collect all the melons, so they planned to continue the next morning. When one worker suggested guarding the fruit in the night, the Satsangi said, "Do not worry, the Guru is overhead, so you may rest and be ready for the work tomorrow."
While they slept, a band of thieves came in the night to steal the fruit. They had started gathering the melons when one thief looked up and saw a Sikh coming toward him, brandishing a stick. He turned to call out to his confederates, but then he saw an amazing sight: each thief was being chased by a Sikh, and each Sikh had identically the same appearance! These Sikhs gave them all a good beating and drove them off the land. The next day when the Satsangi went into his fields he saw many watermelons gathered and left on the ground, and he could not understand why, if someone had gathered them, they had not taken them away.
After a week or so, that very band of thieves came to the Satsangi farmer and begged him for forgiveness. They told him all that had happened, and said that since that night each one of them had suffered so much with pain and high fever which would not leave them, that they had come to plead for his forgiveness. The farmer said, "I am nothing that I can forgive you, but my Guru is a complete Master." At this they entreated him to take them to the Guru, at which he agreed and brought them here to Sawan Ashram.
So the purpose of this story is that we should always keep our face toward the Guru, that is all. That Guru-Power is not the physical body, but it resides in that physical form. Greatly blessed are those that have come to the feet of a true Master, and through his mercy have received the contact with Naam. This hymn came from one of the true Masters – how openly they describe the facts! It is most necessary to understand properly, and having understood, to then inherit that very thing. Even a single hymn is enough, if you live up to it.