From the book "Spiritual Elixier" written by Sant Kirpal Singh
Q. How does one determine a ‘great Master’?
Sant Kirpal Singh: Swami Ji Maharaj in Sar Bachan has answered this question very beautifully. He exhorts that as and when you hear about a Saint or Master, just go to Him and in deep humility and reverence sit near Him. Just look into His eyes and forehead like a child with deep receptivity. You will feel an upward pull of the soul and Divine radiation from His eyes and forehead. Besides, if you have any questions in your heart, these will be answered automatically by His discourse without your effort. Over and above all the testing criterion for the perfect Master is to have the conscious contact of holy Naam within, the lowest links of which in the form of Divine Light and holy Sound Current must be had on initiation. Again He should be competent to afford guidance for His initiates in the astral plane and must protect the soul at the time of their physical death.
Q. What is a Sant or Master?
Sant Kirpal Singh: A Sant or Master in the Saints’ terminology is one who goes to Sach Khand or the fifth plane and comes back at will, and who can give you experience of contact with Word or Naam.
A Mahatma is a word in the vernacular to convey a highly evolved soul. These words are, however, not properly used these days and an ordinary person of small degree of piousness may be termed a sant or master. But you need not worry about words.
Q. What is the history of the Masters?
Sant Kirpal Singh: Masters have been coming at all times. The Surat Shabd science was, however, enunciated in times of Sant Kabir and Guru Nanak and thereafter by other Masters.
Q. Is it possible to succeed on this path alone?
Sant Kirpal Singh: No. To succeed on this inner path, we must find one who has explored it to its utmost limits. A living Master is an indispensable need, and an indispensable means to the attaining of self-realization. On the purely physical level, He serves as a living example of a perfect life. He tells us of our true home and the way that leads to it. On the spiritual side He gives us details of the inner path, its intricacies and difficulties, provides His attention, with an actual experience of withdrawal from the body and of the inner Light and Sound, and guides us through the more difficult parts of our inner journey until we reach our goal.
Q. Recently I had a vivid dream wherein both Baba Sawan Singh Ji and Yourself appeared sitting side by side looking at me. Why did a negative dream ensue?
Sant Kirpal Singh: The appearance of Master or His Master’s form in your dream state was rather for your personal conviction and reassurance that you are under the Divine protection of the gracious Master Power. Any negative apparition will fade away before the repetition of the five names.
Q. There are many self-styled masters. How may one know a true Master?
Sant Kirpal Singh: A true Master is dedicated to bring souls back to the true home of their Father. A true Master gives more than mere theory. He gives experience to His disciple. He shows the way to God, which is within. God and Master are within. This question usually besets every true seeker after God. In my boyhood, I had the same doubts and questioning before me. I did not dare to go to any Master for fear of encountering an imperfect master and then my whole life would be one of frustration. So I earnestly prayed to God for guidance. My prayer was heard. A true Master began to appear to me in my meditations, about seven years before I came to Him physically, whom I recognized to be the same great Master Sawan Singh. Your question remains – how to recognize a true Master? Outwardly we should see that He has no selfish motives. He should be living on His own hard-earned money. He should not be fond of outward pomp and show. He will live a simple life. His thoughts will be pure.
His true qualifications will lie in his ability to give the initiate some first-hand experience by opening the inner eye to see the Light of God and inner ear to hear the voice of God, the Sound principle. The extent of this experience will be according to the background of the initiate and his receptivity.
After initiation the only rules for judging for one’s self is one’s own inner ascent to the spiritual planes whereby one can see for himself, and meet all Masters; past or present, wherever they are, in the upper or lower planes.
Those who contact the Master inside and talk to Him know.
Q. In ‘Spiritual Gems’-p. 318: Talking of Mahapursha (Supreme Lord) brings ecstasy to the soul. His sayings and works are of the quality of heavenly nectar. What are these works? What are His sayings? Are they the Master?
Sant Kirpal Singh: Yes, the living Master is a Mahapursha, the Great Force or Power Transcendental. Being one with All-Consciousness He constitutes the human pole from where the God-into-Expression Power works in the world. Every act and every word of the Mahapursha proceeds from a higher spiritual level, and is charged with the spiritual life overflowing, which act as a balm to the lacerated hearts, give ecstasy to the soul, and attracts them to rise into the beyond. He does nothing on His own except as He is moved by the holy spirit.
Commissioned, as He is from above, with the sacred duty of guiding the seekers after truth to the true home of His heavenly Father, He comes into the world to work for spiritual regeneration. This indeed is His greatest work and whatever else He does is ancillary to this Divine mission on the earth plane, and as such is holy and helps the embodied souls in diverse ways in the spiritual advancement.
Q. How does a Master differ from an ordinary spiritual teacher?
Sant Kirpal Singh: The Master Saint is outwardly a human being like any one of us, but through blessings and intense spiritual discipline, He has risen into cosmic-awareness and super-cosmic-awareness. He has become one with God and is a Conscious Co-worker of His Divine Plan. He is a living embodiment of God’s love and does nothing of himself. He is not tormented by any self-interest, but works for the pure benefit of suffering humanity.
Q. I have been informed several times that a Master always knows His initiates on sight. I overheard You ask several if they were initiates while you were here in Los Angeles. Was I misinformed? I was and still am disturbed about this. Could you explain? I know there is a logical answer of some kind, but what?
Sant Kirpal Singh: Master can know everything about the person meeting Him. Yet He behaves in such manner that the others may not feel embarrassed with such an attitude, and tries to meet the humans on their own level. He sees us just as we can see what is there in a glass bottle – pickle or jam, but in His sheer graciousness tries to hide the facts, lest these actions are considered as transgressions in the ethical code. An initiate of the competent living Master carries the radiant form of the Master at the eye focus, which can be detected and seen by the living Master.
Q. To what extent do the teachings of sages of lower order help the sincere students of Sant Mat so as to hasten the day when we meet the radiant Master within and be guided by Him thereafter?
Sant Kirpal Singh: The teachings of all the Masters, may be of lower order or higher order, are helpful to the initiates provided the latter do not indulge in controversial discussions. Like an intelligent swan (whose beak is blessed with the rare boon of separating milk from water) the disciple should accept goodness from wherever it may be available. The charming radiant form of the Master manifests itself in due course by attaining proficiency in the Divine principles of holy Shabd – the Sound Current and the Divine Lights, which are His astral forms. The faithful and disciplined initiates receive guidance at every step after the radiant form of the Master is manifested within. The inner receptivity of the disciple develops wonderfully by regular, faithful and accurate meditations. Ever since initiation, the gracious Master Power becomes the constant and nearest companion of the disciple for escorting the soul on to the true home of the Father, with the aid of holy Naam.
Q. How is Christ Power transferred from one Master to another?
Sant Kirpal Singh: It is transferred through the eyes. As a matter of fact the chosen human pole on whom the Master Power is to work for the liberation and guidance of humanity is determined much earlier. There are living testimonies in this behalf that the dear ones who have never heard about Sant Mat and living in far flung countries had visions of the Master much ahead of Him taking the role of the living Master. It is the Divine form which works for the guidance of the humanity. They are chosen by God Power or Christ Power and not voted by public, or transferred through written documents.
Q. Are all the masters great?
Sant Kirpal Singh: Kabir Sahib says that he adores all Masters but the one who is Word Personified is to be held in the highest esteem.
Q. Are the God and God Man (Master) considered one and the same?
Sant Kirpal Singh: Yes, it is so, but there are very few who can develop this much receptivity and understand this rare phenomenon. The physical plane is a realm of duality where illusion prevails most and only spiritually illumined may testify to such a statement for their own personal conviction as given by some of them; i.e. ‘I and my Father are one’ and ‘Father and son have taken the same colours’ etc.
Q. Do Masters welcome sinners?
Sant Kirpal Singh: Yes, soul is of the same essence as that of God and Master looks on all as embodied souls. So all are dear to Him. He wishes them to reach to the true home of their Father. A repentant sinner coming with a sincere heart is acceptable to Him. We are all sinners and we come to Him to be cleansed.
Q. How do we obtain true knowledge of God?
Sant Kirpal Singh: The knowledge of God is a definite and a complete science on itself – unchanged since life began on earth. It is only rarely that one may come across this science. It is God-made and not man-made. It has always remained an unrecorded science unwritten and unspoken. There is one God, and there is only one way to Him. The elementary steps in this direction may be different. This knowledge has both a theoretical and a practical aspect. The theory is quite simple. The Power of Almighty God works on a selected human pole who becomes His mouthpiece or His Messiah, to impart His knowledge to those who long for Him and want to be with Him. God is Love, our souls are also endowed with love and the way to God is through loving devotion. One has to withdraw his soul-current from the physical body and enter His kingdom through the guidance and help of a practical Master or Saint, who is Love Personified, and can transcend the body and the higher planes. There is a practical side of the science of the soul. The Master Saint is able to give first-hand experience at the very first sitting to almost all seekers, however small that experience may be (according to one’s receptivity) to have an inner vision and contact with the inner Sound or the voice of God, that is Word, the Sound principle. This ever-existent inner voice, the primal manifestation of the God-head then becomes the guide of man in the interior of his self. It is the Master in His radiant form that accompanies the pilgrim soul and guides him or her at each step on the way. The Master meets and talks and guides the disciple on the way up. Contacting a practical Master is, therefore, a must for those wishing to be on the way to God.
Telepathy is transference of thought, and thoughts emanate from the mind, and mind has therefore to be stilled; eyes have to be closed from all external views and the ears likewise from all outer sounds. The soul currents of the body have to be withdrawn and collected at one centre, the seat of the soul in the body, and this is done according to the instructions given at the time of initiation.
This in brief is what is called spirituality, the proper type of meditation, the science of Para Vidya, which has come down from ancient times and is known today as Sant Mat.
Q. From ‘My Submission’-page 34: ‘Spiritual Life with the help of the Master leads one to ‘the Almighty in a short time.’ Will you please explain ‘short time’ as to one’s personal life?
Sant Kirpal Singh: The term ‘short time’ as used here is a relative term. All outer practices, the performance of rites and rituals, the chanting of psalms and hymns, the telling of beads, the observance of fasts and festivals, the keeping of vigils and doing yogic activities, going on pilgrimages are meant for preparation of the ground and are good actions. Lord Krishna says:
Good and bad actions are both binding just as chains, may be made of gold or iron, are equally binding.
Those lead you astray from the path of God which is purely an inner practical process of self-analysis, consisting in untying the consciousness from the body and the mind and tying it with the saving life-lines within which take one straight to the kingdom of God. It is only an adept in this esoteric knowledge (or the knowledge of the beyond) and commissioned from above who can do this job and no one else can. Master has the competency to pull your soul into its seat in the body and then transcend into the beyond in short time by giving a practical sitting. In Matt. 11:27 we have:
None knows the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.
Q. Is Master the true embodiment of all encompassing love, to pour it upon anyone of His choosing, to open up the depths within to anyone He sees spiritually fit to receive this tremendous blessing?
Sant Kirpal Singh: Yes. The Master is all in all in this respect. He is a law unto Himself and can bestow His Divine blessings on any one of His own choice. But the start should not be considered as the end. It is a life long struggle and the strenuous effort of the disciple, which he or she is required to undergo for the growth of his or her inner spiritual illumination, has to be taken care of. As a matter of fact ever since the disciple is granted the sacred boon of holy initiation, he or she is granted a complete visa for entering into the inner realms up to the true home of the Father. But there are very few who labour much and lead the life as enjoined by the Master and can progress within. Please refer to The Jap Ji stanza 33 in this behalf where it has been explained at length.
Q. If I need guidance from the Master and am not able to go up within and contact Him and get a definite answer but yet I pray to him, how will I know whether what I have decided to do is true guidance or merely my own mind acting?
Sant Kirpal Singh: The initiate who contacts the Master within of which the genuineness is tested by the repetition of the charged names given to him, can have direct reply which will stand true. Until then an initiate in all his affairs – mundane or spiritual – should attend to them carefully and do the best he can; with serene detachment and self-abnegation, attaching no importance to the rewards whatsoever and leave the rest to the Master Power working overhead.
Q. Why do the great Masters on earth always take the form of a man?
Sant Kirpal Singh: The Masters claim that there is only one male gender amongst the souls, and He generally manifests on the chosen human pole of the living Master. It is a Divine law which cannot be questioned by the mortals.
Q. We are told our husband (or wife) is under the protective care of the Master. Does this protection last after the disciple dies? Will the one left behind (a non-initiate) here still be under the Master Power?
A. The sacred loving bonds existing between the partners in life do invoke Divine Grace of the Master and accordingly the dear ones left behind do in some measures enjoy gracious protection of the Master Power.
Q. Now that we have come down to earth from our heavenly home, do we have definite promise that we can remain there after going up with a Master?
Sant Kirpal Singh: Yes, there is a definite promise from the living Master, supported by the statements of past Masters, that the souls merging with the Father within, are not to be reincarnated when blessed with the rare boon of holy initiation of Naam. The seed karma being the basis of future birth of the initiates is burnt in the fire of holy Naam. Guru Nanak Sahib has proclaimed in Granth Sahib, that having been blessed with the rare boon of holy Naam, the accounts of the disciple are torn, and he or she has nothing to do with dharam raj – the judge, appointed by negative power for administering justice to the souls, after the termination of their earthly lives. They can be sent to the earth to fetch back the souls to God, but not like prisoner to reap the fruit of their actions.
Q. When the living Master is called away from this incarnation, will it be possible for us to contact Him, thus preventing a period of loss or frustration?
Sant Kirpal Singh: The radiant form of the Master can be met within by regular and faithful meditations, even if the living Master leaves the physical plane. It is the God Power, Christ Power, or Guru Power working at the chosen human pole, which continues extending feasible grace and protection and does not leave the initiates till the end of the world. The initiate however has to derive the bene- fit from the living Master for outer guidance wherever necessary.
Q: Why does a disciple see and feel a close affinity with Master Sawan Singh although Master died before this disciple heard of the living Master, or was initiated by Master Kirpal Singh? Why would a disciple feel closer to Master Sawan Singh than to his own Master?
Sant Kirpal Singh: It is based on past links and affiliations with the holy path and shows that this initiate was granted initiation by Master Sawan Singh Ji but could not progress much and has been placed in such congenial environments, where he could come under the competent guidance of the living Master. The same Master Power continues working on the chosen human pole of the living Master and the dear ones are led to Him in good time. There are several instances of this type here and abroad.