Excerpt from a lecture by Sant Kirpal Singh, issued in SSE, March 1972
The Satsang held here is not the monopoly of any special religion or sect. It is the basic teaching of all religions. Coming into the human birth, man is a social being and must have some social body to live in. There are more than seven hundred different faiths and sects, and if anyone feels that all outer religious symbols and customs should be the same, it is not possible, mainly due to climatic differences and social rites.
Someone once sought to trap Christ by questioning Him about paying taxes, but He requested that a coin of the local currency be brought forth. Showing them the coin, He asked them whose image and name was inscribed upon it, and they said, "Caesar's." So Christ replied, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's."
So, whatever labels are stuck on your physical form, allow them to remain and keep your own faith, language, symbols, and customs. The soul, how-ever, is of the same essence as God; and we are all His children. The soul, therefore, belongs to God – give it to Him!
Principally, two things are taught here: one is that the soul must realize God, and the other is that before realizing the truth, man must come to know himself in truth. The words of the sacred scriptures were uttered by those who had realized the truth, in whose names the religions were formed. All have said that the human's highest aim is to realize the Lord, the accomplishment of which is only possible while in the human form. So, to have the human form is a great blessing, and everyone should take up this noble aim with strong purpose of heart.
All the different faiths were formed after the advent of some great soul, and whoever met those souls and received their grace, realized the truth and tasted the nectar of the Lord. At the time of these great souls leaving the world, the schools and colleges or religions were made to keep their teachings fresh and active. These are the badges which we now wear. While the God-realized souls were here the people were benefited; but after they had left, due to want of practical people and the start of paid preaching, the schools of thought which were founded with noble purpose, began to stagnate – and then deterioration set in. But, Master-souls continue to come to revive the truth. We are all worshippers of the same Lord, and all are His children. Kabir says, "Soul is of the same essence as that of God." God may have thousands of names by which He is remembered; but we, as mankind, are alone. "The caste of man should be accepted as one." Were we not all born in the same way? Outwardly and inwardly all men have been made similarly, although, of course, we were not the physical form. We have got a physical form. So, from all the eight million four hundred thousand species of beings, the human being is the emperor; and the greatness of that human form lies in the fact that within it God can be realized.
"Receiving this human form, it is thy turn to meet God." What an unspeakable blessing! The time has come to realize Him at last. It is thy turn to meet God. It is also said, "All these actions will not really help you." So having been born in the human form, is there anything else to do? Remember this: that your life's pattern is due to the give and take from past lives' actions. These things should be finished up, and you should return to your true home. So, how should we use this human life? Keep the Sadhu's company and repeat only the Naam. Who is the Sadhu? Though God is in every being, and the Sadhu is born like us, yet there is a special greatness in Him.
"My Lord is in each being – no place is without Him, but I sacrifice myself for that form in which He is manifested."
God manifests Himself in this world – in the form of the Sadhu. He is in all, but He is not apparent in all. So, the manifested God-in-man is very necessary – one who can withdraw our attention from external and mundane things and raise it above the senses, and then rejoin us back to God who already resides within us.
"Rejoin me back to God – anyone!" Is anything else required to become reunited with the Lord? Sadachar (righteous living) is most essential. The mind that is running amuck in bad outer influences must be brought to heel; only then can any real progress be achieved. Our greatest obstacle is that the soul is under the mind's control, and mind, in turn, is under the senses' control. So, release from this bondage is hastened by living righteously. When they asked Zoroaster what the qualifications were for returning to God, He replied, "Righteousness." They then asked Him what righteousness consisted of, and He said, "Good thoughts, good words, and good deeds." Like the Masters, we should think of the good in all people, and have concern for the upliftment of all. "O Nanak, the Naam perpetuate – through Thy grace the whole world benefits." Guru Nanak prayed, "Peace be unto all the world, under Thy will, o Lord!" So, Masters in every age have taught the same teachings including that one should lead one's life in a pure and chaste manner. Bloodstained clothes are impure; where then is the peace in squeezing human blood? No one feels like keeping bloodstained clothes and considers them impure; but what about the people who squeeze the very blood of others for their own selfish gain? How can there possibly be peace in their hearts? The world is stuck fast in untrue things. "O Nanak, to take God's name, purify your heart!" We have also, "When the mind is dirty, everything is dirty. Washing the body does not cleanse the mind." Also, "This world forgets all in the depths of illusion – very few unravel the mystery." People are going along in a great forgetfulness. Live in your own religion, but lead a pure and chaste life, for this is necessary to realize the Lord.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
The physical form is also part of the illusion, and another name for illusion is forgetfulness. Where did it all start? It started when we came into the body, for though we were the indweller, we became the very image of the body itself and forgot our true nature. The machinery of the body works only because we are in it; but unfortunately we are slaves to the senses, and so in such condition have become tainted with all the world's worst influences. "This illusion started from the body which we got coloured with vice. Such a dirty gown is not liked by God; how can I go to His lap wearing such as this?" A woman who has only dirty clothes would not like to enter her lord's house.
All Masters, even the Muslim fakirs, have given the same teaching, and here is no exception; the stress is on righteous living and the realization of the Lord – that is all. It is the very basic teaching which has been in existence from the very beginning of time. Man has forgotten it and its method, and so the Masters keep coming to revive the same truth. Remember, all human beings are one; there are no high and no low people. High and low status in material life is merely karmic reaction from past lives. All men are one, and all souls are one. Mankind is one, but we stick labels on ourselves which say Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, and so on. The real purpose of these labels was basically – to become a man – a true human being. But we became a Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian, a Buddhist, etc. in name only. Who are you really? Just simply a man. No, you are not a man even; you are the indweller of this human form which is the true image of a man, the highest in all eight million four hundred thousand species of creation. Even the gods worship this human form and long to inherit it. Why? Because it is the most precious time and opportunity when we can return to our true home.
"Whoever made this body gave the key to the Guru."
The maker of the house put a lock on it and gave the key to the Guru for safekeeping. God made the house, and He Himself resides therein. Unfortunately, we have forgotten this knowledge and we go on building places of worship in the image of the God-made temple – the human form. Within these models, we place the symbols of the Lord (light and sound) in the outer forms of bells, candles, etc. Man has become so enchanted with these models through the ages that it never occurs to him that he is himself living in the true temple. God does not reside in temples made with stone. When I mentioned this during a talk in England, a certain bishop stood up and said, "You have thrown an atom bomb on all our churchianity." What a natural temple is this form, with the earth under foot and the sky overhead! And yet people are so attached to outer temples, forms, and formulas. Is any outer temple purer than others? If so, then where do the others stand? If the same symbols of light and sound are kept in them all, then which is the best? In truth, the best place is that in which He Himself is sitting – and that is within this physical body.
"This body is the temple of God, in which the light of truth is effulgent."
When the same light is lit in all holy places, where does the question of difference and disagreement arise? The trouble is that we have forgotten the human being's true aim and have thrown God out of His own home which He built Himself, and have made Him sit outside. Further than this, if one corner of any of these models is defaced, then hundreds of the true temples are unhesitatingly sacrificed for the sake of that inanimate image. Can you see how significant this is?
There is no particular religion here, but we have respect for all religions, for the true aim of all religions is the realization of God. If God is to be realized, then make your life righteous. Guru Arjan Sahib collected the words of many Masters and combined them in a single volume which is known as the Guru Granth Sahib. So, God sends the Master when He is needed. In the Koran Sharif, it is written, "He has sent them to each country." They come and remove the illusion from life. Five hundred years ago, when Hinduism and Islam, the two most prominent religions in India, were at variance and fighting each other in a great forgetfulness, Kabir Sahib and Guru Nanak Sahib came as contemporaries to remove the ignorance in men. Great antagonism existed between religions at that time. Due to the work of the World Fellowship of Religions, this narrow-mindedness has been considerably reduced. Now, at least they are happy to sit together. However, they are still adamant – the Hindus desire all Hindus in the world to become one, and the Muslims desire all Muslims in the world to become one – and so on. They want to build huge pillars within their own frameworks; so how long will the tolerance last? And, how can there be true integration? The real integration at the common level of man happens when Masters spread the truth. Why then should not all men in the world become one?
The meaning behind Manav Kendra – Man Centre – is to revive the original unity which already exists but is hidden by superficial differences. We are first man, and then may be referred to by various other titles. You can see by a parallel study of religions that when the Masters, the true men, came, they were born into various religions and are not, therefore, a monopoly of any one religion. Basically, they are all one and the same, for when God wished to become from one to many, there was a vibration, and out of this vibration came the two aspects of light and sound. So, God is light and God is sound (music of the spheres) – no matter which name He is given. When Masters come, they are the human positive pole in which the Lord resides in full manifestation – they are manifested God-in-man. It is unfortunate that mankind, with the exception of the very few true seekers of God, has stuck fast in the fascination of the copies and has completely forgotten the original.
Guru Nanak Sahib and Kabir Sahib were contemporaries, and Kabir Sahib said, "We are not Hindus, nor are we Muslims, but think of us as one!" Guru Nanak said, "We are not Hindus, nor are we Muslims, Allah and Ram are the very breath of our bodies." Every being has God within him, but it is a question of getting the (inner) eye opened to be able to see Him.
"By the grace of the Guru, see that God's temple is within you!"
When the inner eye is open, this can be clearly seen. Like two brothers, the soul and God live in close proximity; but the soul is always absorbed in outer things – if it would only withdraw from outside, it would meet the Lord. The Masters, then, come to take the souls out of forgetfulness.
"Consider Him the highest, in whom the Lord has manifested."
Ravi Das was a great enlightened Saint, who came just after Kabir Sahib; but people told Him, "Oh, You are just a cobbler." Well, did God make the castes or did man? The caste system was based on men's material trades and occupations, so what has this to do with realizing God through spirituality? Did anyone's father ever buy Him? Was He ever inherited? He belongs to that soul which truly yearns for Him. Why are these facts being stressed? Because the world is going more and more into a deeper forgetfulness. Real integration can only be enjoyed at the level of man. What is the difference between one man and another? Why the thirst for another's blood? Why are men constantly at each other's throats? It is all because men wear different labels. You can confirm this from the history books. So, this ground is common for all; it is called Ruhani Satsang, which means simply a spiritual gathering – no more, no less. It was Hazur's wish that a foundation be formed, which is common for all religions, for all are blessed. So, keep your own label, your own language, your own customs; but become pure and chaste and realize the Lord.
"It (the third eye) is in the body, but one cannot even think of it – cursed be such a life; o Tulsi, the whole world suffers from cataracts."
When one is taken up in an aeroplane, everything below looks like one big whole and nothing is separate. It is something like this to rise above the body. The Masters see everyone as embodied souls or as pure soul – conscious entities. They do not say, "O Christian, O Muslim, etc., listen to us," but say, "O man, ensouled body, listen!" A true Master's teachings are for all, regardless of religion, custom, caste, or nationality. Social bodies, customs, and rites are only the first steps; but due to the variance in these, there appears to be some difference in the subject and it is forgotten that the purpose and the outcome remains one and the same.
Kabir Sahib says that all are human beings and this is the time to understand these noble things and awaken out of the slothfulness.
"Awake beloved, why sleep? The night has passed, why lose the day also?"
This is the time to wake up – to become more conscious. Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and remember that your soul belongs to God.
"First Allah's light was created, then life came into being."
Kabir Sahib explains how the world was made. In all holy scriptures you will find recorded that there was first the light. In the Upanishads it is written, "First there was the sun of Maha Brahmand, and in it the sound was vibrating." The secret teaching of this was given to Devki's son (Lord Krishna) by Ingris Rishi. So first, when the Lord expressed Himself, there was light and then came the sound. This God-in-expression Power is also called Naam and Shabd. Through the Naam, Khand and Brahmand came into being. God is light therefore – light and sound are phases of His very own expression. So, at the level of the human being, a glimpse of God can be got only through His expression.
"With one light the world came into being – who is high and who is low?"
When men mine the earth, it yields gold ore mixed with mud, but when it is cleared, only the valuable metal remains. God plus desire is man, and man minus desire is God. The soul is an entity of the Great Godhead; therefore, all the powers of God are in the soul – but on a smaller scale. When God said, "From one I wish to be many. ...", with one thought, millions of rivers were created. So, God created the world with but a single thought; and if we gain the knowledge in truth of who we are, and withdraw from outer attractions, and awaken within ourselves, could we not create one small town at least? Great is man – and when Masters gain realization and become the mouthpiece of God, they shake the whole world.
Archimedes of Syracuse sought to find the centre of gravity, with which knowledge he considered he would shake the whole world. He never came to realize that the centre of gravity lies in man. When the Master comes, that centre is awakened in millions of human beings; and through this awakening, right understanding begins. There is no need for any philosophy – these are straight facts. How many persons can we find in history who have become Master-souls up to now? One can easily count the few.
Man has sunk deep into this great forgetfulness, and that is why the Masters all say, "Man, know thyself!" In the Greek philosophers' term, "Gnothi Seauton, o man, know who you are!" And, in Latin," Nosce te ipsum." Does anyone of us truly know who he is? We know only that we are Jones, Smith, Brown, or we are Christian, Muslim, Hindu, etc. Man is first a man, then he is a conscious entity, a soul, the indweller of the human body. At the real or natural level, then, we are all one.
When I went to the West, I told them the same thing: that unity in men is already existent, but is simply forgotten. All my talks were given free, whereas usually some money is paid by the people attending the talks there – sometimes through collections during the talk or through tickets purchased before the talk. When I had the collection basket removed, someone asked me if I did not want some money for myself, and I said, "No." At the very first talk in the U.S.A., a man wanted to donate five thousand dollars. When I asked him why, he said that I had given a very wonderful talk and he wanted to subscribe to the work. I told him that it is a gift of God; and as all gifts of nature are free, it should be given free.
Are any rights reserved for a Master's words? There are no rights reserved on the words uttered by a true Master. When the people saw that all my talks were truly given free, they could not understand what I was after. I explained that this body is the temple of God – we have forgotten this – I have come to revive that memory; so each one should return to nature and know what they truly are. Many do say that they are soul – a conscious entity – indweller of the human form, but have they come to prove it and thereby know it in truth? This is my watch; I can place it here. These are my spectacles; I can take them off and put them here. I can take off my clothes whenever I wish to. But, can I become separate from my body? Can I take the body off? It is a question of how to rise above by self-analysis; and who can give a demonstration of this scientific method?
"By the Guru's grace, you come to know yourself."
Only then can it happen, and not before. When you know yourself, then like knows like, and God-realization is the next step. So, God cannot be known by the senses, intellect, or pranas – only soul can experience the Lord, and this can happen only after it has come to know itself. So, Kabir Sahib says that the whole world came into being with one light; who is high, therefore, and who is low? He resides in each being, and every soul is a part of Him; but unfortunately the world is sinking deeper into illusion, and right understanding is rare.
"He is our true friend, meeting whom the misapprehension is removed."
If you search the wide world, you would find very few fully awakened persons. Through right understanding we realize we are all one. "One Father, and we are all children of that One". Kabir Sahib also says, "Remove this conflict, o Lord: Is the holy place better, or the Lord's devotee who sanctified it?" Wherever a true devotee sits, that place becomes a pilgrimage. How is it then that the holy place can be more important than the Lord's true devotee? The Urdu primary textbook that was used in schools forty or fifty years ago mentioned, "He who made the earth, He who made the sky, let us glorify Him!" The earth below and the sky above – this is the greatest temple of God, and in miniature it is the human form. "This body you see is the image of God; God is seen within it." He can be seen when that latent eye is opened.
"With the Guru's blessing, see God's light within you. Also, listen to the Master's true words: He speaks of what He sees. And, what is the Master's work? Master is He who makes all sit together." Certain leaders of religion encourage only certain people to sit together in God's name; but a true Master will gather all people around Him, regardless of their religion, caste, or race. With all this right understanding, what develops? Right thought, and furthermore, right speech; and out of that, right actions will follow.
"With one light, the whole world came into being. Who is high and who is low?"
It is an example of the right understanding that Masters bring. And, when right understanding comes to all men, there will then be peace in the world. If, then, a person is dying of hunger somewhere, there will be someone to share his food. There is food for the hungry and water for the thirsty. A person who will sacrifice for others will not accept sacrifice from others.
At the first conference of the World Fellowship of Religions, the subject of non-violence was on the agenda. One Muslim brother stood up and said, "We do not believe in this non-violence." There followed a lengthy discussion with much agitation, for all other religions and sects had accepted this principle without question. I then stood up and said to the man, "Brother, it is an acknowledged thing that where love is, to sacrifice in love is accepted; but to take a sacrifice is forbidden, for love knows service and sacrifice – even to give one's life is correct, for the good of others." He said, "Well, on that point, I agree." So I said, "Well, the objection is now ruled out, because one should not take anyone's life for one's own selfish gain." So, this is the principle we should keep before us, for it is a cure for all the ills of unhappiness. "O Nanak, the whole world is unhappy." Why? Because we have forgotten our true selves and our true "caste" – and we have forgotten the Sustainer of all life.
The aim of WFR (World Fellowship of Religions) has been achieved, its work is done. Now what new responsibilities are before us? After India's freedom had been gained, Gandhi Ji said, "Now break up the Congress, for it has finished its work." That is why I say that the WFR's work is completed as it brought all religions together, and much of the narrow-mindedness and bigotry has subsided. But, there is one danger arising that if all Hindus in the world become one, and all Muslims in the world become one, and all Buddhists, etc., they would just be erecting huge pillars – and they would still be separate from each other; so how can there be true integration? The answer to all mankind's vast problems today is that all human beings should become one. God is everyone's God. At the mere thought of this, such peace descends! High, low, right, and wrong are all forgotten in this realization. So, Kabir Sahib is explaining that when one becomes the Lord's true devotee, all high and low is forgotten.
God is love, and the soul, being a drop of that ocean of all-consciousness, is also the image or reflection of that great love. As the soul's basic nature is love, so that love should have gone to God; but instead it was scattered out to the world. People fight and kill each other for the sake of love for the outer labels and formations. How can man then be happy in this world?
"He is happy who is sustained by the Naam."
Kabir Sahib says, "I have not seen anyone in the human form who is happy." And, when someone asked Tulsi Sahib if any happy person existed, He said that the whole world was unhappy, some physically, some mentally, some because of mind's ramifications. In one way or another, all are miserable. When they pressed Him for further information, Tulsi Sahib said, "Happy is the devotee of a true Sant."
"Do not forget yourself in the world's illusion, brother; Maker and made, made in the Maker, He is pervading all!"
God is in each being, and we are all in Him, like fish in an ever-existent ocean. He and we are not separate – it is a great mistake to think of oneself as separate from God. A brahmin (of the highest caste) once came to Kabir Sahib and arrogantly remarked, "I am a brahmin, and we brahmins have come straight from the mouth of God." Sometimes the Masters speak very frankly, and this time Kabir Sahib said, "O brahmin, you were born of a brahmini (female gender of brahmin); why did you not come in some different way?" There is no place without God, and it is the height of illusion to consider that His creation is separate from Him. The whole world is His image, if man could only see it. With the Guru's blessing, we can see Him. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna said, "Whoever sees me in all, all creation in me, he is my beloved."
The clay is the same, formed into different shapes by the potter; all the same, they are clay with the conscious entity residing therein. A potter molds the clay into differently shaped vessels, but the clay remains the same for all. With the same clay, he can make a water pitcher, an elephant, a house, a boy, or a girl. Our physical forms are made of the same matter, but He has given them different appearances; and yet, within that clay lies hidden the same conscious entity – the soul. The whole world is made of the same matter, which is constantly changing, just as the atoms of the physical form are ever-changing – at the same rate. When two things change at the same rate, they appear to be stationary. This is another part of the grand illusion.
"There is one true One in all, and by His action, everything happens."
This body is like a wonderful house in which we are living. The Upanishads ask, "Who is the great craftsman who made this body with numerous outlets of eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, and two lower down, and yet the indweller of it cannot run out of them?" The breath goes out of the body but does not stay out, for some Power is drawing it back into the body again. The human form is certainly a wonderful house, and it remains glorious so long as we live in it – we, the soul. But yet, we are like prisoners in it, for some Life Sustainer is controlling us in it, and that Life Sustainer we must come to know. God and the soul both live within each other's company, but sadly the soul is roaming around, lost in outer things and does not talk with the Lord.
"He who becomes conscious of the divine plan is the true man".
In the true sense, the "Lord's man" is one who becomes a conscious co-worker of the divine plan. How does he recognize the Lord's commands? By the Guru's blessing, he unravels himself. Also, through the Guru's blessing he recognizes His commands by dying while living. At the time of death the soul withdraws from outer environments and leaves the body. If this can be done while living, when the soul rises up, she sees that Power at work and retains the knowledge consciously. Unless that happens, one cannot truly know the Lord's commands. When he knows His commands in truth, he becomes a man in the true sense of the word.
In the Sikh religion, a Sikh is a disciple; and an ideal or perfect disciple is called a Khalsa, which means "the pure one". We may bear the Sikh label and wear the outer symbols of Sikhism, but if we have not become a Khalsa – then? The whole foundation of Sikhism was formed so that Sikhs should become Khalsas – and the Khalsa, what is He? "When the full effulgent light is lighted within, then know He is the Khalsa." And, what status is He then given? "Khalsa is my true form, in the Khalsa do I reside; Khalsa is my brave Satguru." He is a type of personality who will never leave those under His care. "Now, then, up to the end will He remain. Such a person my mind desires." A Hindu lights the lamp and rings the bell, but he who lights the inner light is a true Hindu. And, (who is) a true Muslim? He who sees the Noor of Khuda, the light of God, and hears the Kalam-i-Khadim, the inner sound. A true Christian is he who sees the light of God and hears the Word, the Word of God. Those who have reached this stage are all one in Him.
"The inconceivable Lord cannot be seen, but the Guru told us of His great sweetness."
While man remains at the sense-level, he cannot see the Ultimate Lord. When you are as high as He, then will you know the high One. There appears to be nothing in the clear air, but actually there are minute beings existing in the atmosphere which cannot be seen with the gross physical eye. Either the eyes should become as fine as those minute beings, or the microbes should become as gross as the human eyesight to make them visible. With the aid of a microscope, they can be magnified seven hundred times to prove that the atmosphere is, indeed, filled with tiny microbes. So, Kabir Sahib is explaining that if one desires to see the inconceivable Lord, one must rise to that level.
Kabir says, "My doubts were removed when I saw the ever-existent Lord of all creation." Only a Master can really witness that God does exist, for the Masters say clearly, "We have seen Him." "In the company of the Sant, the Lord is seen within." Their words are very clearly stated. How does the Master help one to see the Lord? "By meeting the Satguru, that (inner) eye sees, and within this dwelling (the body) he realizes the truth." And, what do they say about mankind in general? Forgive me, but it is a very sweeping remark: "The whole world is blind; if there were but one or two, I could make them understand." Kabir Sahib made this statement, for wherever He looked, He saw only spiritually blind people. In the language of the Saints, who is blind? "He is not blind who has no physical eyes; o Nanak, blind is he who has not seen the Lord within". Whosoever's inner eye is closed is blind. And, who opens that eye? "By meeting the Satguru, the eye sees." He whose eye is open can open the eyes of others, and He whose lamp is burning can light the lamps of others. Kabir Sahib says He saw the Lord in this physical temple; so why can we not see Him also? Because the mind stands in between. Still the mind and then you will see! One Muslim fakir puts it very plainly and says that if one puts a foot on the mind and controls it, then the next step will be at the Lord's door. On the occasion of my Golden Jubilee celebrations, they requested me to give some good advice in a very few words, so I said, "Be good, do good, and be one." It is a complete principle to live by.
Guru Arjan Sahib gives the best cure for all ills. Mahatmas are very wide awake person, they see where the shoe pinches. They know of all the difficulties, and they also know the cure for them: "Sit together my brothers, and remove all differences with love". It is the first thing to learn, for: "The value of sitting together cannot be described, o Nanak, it is far beyond words." This is the only way that differences can be removed, for true understanding can come when everyone sits together on one level. We are all men after all, brothers, and when sitting together the natural thought will come up: "I wish to treat others as I would wish to be treated by them." It is a simple but potent criterion. Be of help to others, and they will help you. Unless people sit together, there always exists the thought that one is high, another is low, and so on. Forget all this! We are all men, and as souls we are all His children. He is the great Life Sustainer and all are His devotees. The duality must be removed if men are to live in peace with each other. What difference is there anyway? We are all born the same way; there are truly no high and no low people. However, it is a difficult subject for those living in illusion in this world, for even when all sit together, they end up by each erecting their own social group's pillars. When the Masters come, they solve this very clearly and simply. They say, "Who are you?" You are man, a conscious entity, soul. You are controlled by that Power which resides within you, which is the Life Sustainer, call it whatever name you like, or put any label upon it, the fact remains the same.
"In the company of the Gurmukh, sit together in God's name."
We can all sit in His name, for we do all believe in some higher Power. We can call that Power the mighty atom if you like, but when can we have right understanding of it? Either at the time of death, or when we can rise above the body while living. There was once an atheist who put a notice on the wall of his room: "God is nowhere." At the time of his death a small child entered his room and read the notice. Aloud he read, "G-o-d God i-s is n-o-w now h-e-r-e here." The dying man called from inside the house, "Yes child, God is now here." When he was dying on his bed, he became conscious of that controlling Power.
So, sit together in God's name. Why? Because it is common for all His devotees, no matter what the religion is. There is also another common level, the level of man. Just see how the single cry from a crow can call hundreds of crows together in the matter of a few seconds. Why can we not react like this? Just as men. But, in whose company? Only in the company of an awakened soul can all souls become awakened. That awakened soul can give the right understanding; not only that, but He will give a demonstration during which the truth can be clearly seen. Surely, is this not the best cure for all the world's misery and lack of peace?
"Adopt this path, o brother, night and day repeat the Gurmukh-Naam, so there will be no pain at the finish."
There is (the outer) Naam, and there is the Gurmukh-Naam (the inner Word). The first is a word repeated at the level of mind and senses; all the world's worship is at this level. It is called apara vidya, or outer knowledge. Repetition of God's name, austerities, rites, rituals, reading of scriptures, pilgrimage, fasting, alms, etc., all are apara vidya. They are good actions, no doubt, and they bring the fruits of reward, but one cannot be free from the wheel of births and deaths through these things.
The other kind of Naam is one had through a Gurmukh or Master. One can become a mouthpiece of the Guru – the God, in Him. But, is there any way of knowing whether one has come to the true Gurmukh? "The light is lighted within, and one becomes absorbed." The true Gurmukh will reveal the light of God within you, for when He gives a meditation sitting, He removes the curtain of darkness, and the light sprouts forth within. This is the Gurmukh's blessing. The Sant gave me the capital. When the light is fully lighted within, one can see that same light in others, too. This is the Gurmukh's bhakti (devotion) and Naam is the panacea for all ills. Naam has two phases: one is light and the other is sound. "Gurmukh's bhakti is that through which the sound becomes audible."
Go and search until you can find the One who will reveal light within and make the sound audible. Each and every being has this same light within, and all conflict will leave by communion with this inner light.
"Play the game of Chaupar of the world as karm and dharm, and remain in contact with Sat (truth)."
Karm is man's work, and dharm is the work of society. So, after going all around the world's play of Chaupar with righteous actions, reach the true home from which there is no return.
"Control all desire (Kama), anger, greed, attachment. This play is loved by the Lord."
Lust attacks through the eyes, anger through the ears. Attachment comes through embracing. Rise above all these, and you will gain connection with the truth.
"Arise before sunrise and take a bath. Spend the nights in sweet remembrance of God."
When you sit for meditation, be wide awake. If you sleep in remembrance of God, the very thought will be circulating in your blood stream, and when you awaken, you will rise in His sweet remembrance. They say that if one's early morning hours are wasted in sleep, one dies before living.
"My Satguru takes me across all troubles, with happiness and ease I reach home."
While performing all the necessary worldly duties, yet take the help of a Sat Saroop – someone who has realized the truth. He will rectify all the wrongs in your life and put you on the right track. Inner obstacles are more dangerous than the outer ones, but He will safely take you across all that. "Taking the Guru as Protector and living His commands", Kabir says, "that kind of devotee has no fear in all three worlds." God Himself plays, and He Himself sees; God Himself creates the play. It is all His will. But why? This, He alone knows.
"O Nanak, one who follows in the wake of a Gurmukh returns to his true home."
When one leaves this life's play, one should leave winning. Become a Gurmukh, He who is one with the Guru. And, what is the Guru? "He manifests Himself in the Guru and distributes the Shabd." He is the Word-made-flesh. He is manifested God-in-man. God-in-man or man-in-God. He gives advice at the physical and intellectual levels and He feeds the soul with the bread of life. Food to the body means to eat and drink, and food for the intellect means to read, write, and think but the soul's food is consciousness. So, the very bread of life is gained through connection with the all-consciousness. He whose soul is strong can drag many "broken-down vehicles". Where is this food available? It already exists within every human being on this earth. It is the very sustainer of all life; but to be aware of it, the soul must withdraw itself from attachments and outer attractions. Upon the spiritual health depends the life of mind and body both, and the cure for all ills is right understanding. So, seek the company of an awakened person, a Gurmukh; otherwise: "When the blind lead the blind, both fall into the ditch."