A talk given by Sant Kirpal Singh at Fountain Street Baptist Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan, October 29, 1963
Dear brothers and sisters,
I may introduce myself to you. I am a man like you. Of course, I had the good fortune to sit at the feet of my Master, at whose feet I learned about the mystery of life, which is the basic principle of all religion – how to solve it. I will lay before you the same, which has been given out by almost all Masters Who came in the past.
Masters have been coming, and when They left the scene, there were formations just to propagate Their teachings to the humanity at large. I won't touch the outer aspects of the various religions that came into being, after They visited the earth. But you'll find that Their teachings are with us in the form of scriptures.
Scriptures are old past Masters speaking through books. They are a fine record of the experiences They had with God and with Their own Self first: what things helped Them on the Way and what stood in Their progress. They left all that in the form of scriptures for our guidance.
So, we are fortunate in the twentieth century that all Masters Who have come so far – Their valuable teachings, Their fine records of Their experiences that They had – are with us today. Had we come before Guru Nanak, say 500 years back, we would not have had the findings that He had with God. If we go back, say 1500 years, the teachings of Prophet Mohammed would not have been with us. And further back, about 2000 years back, you will find the teachings of Christ would not have been with us. Still further back, beyond 5000 years, the teachings of the Buddha would not have been with us. So we are fortunate in this century that we have all the golden treasures of Their findings in the realm of spirituality: knowing God and knowing first one's own self, because it is the self that can know the over-self – what we are, who we are.
I will take this up only from the esoteric side of the teachings. There have been many Masters Who came in the past, if you have to go through Them. So each religion has two aspects: one is the outer, and the other is the inner one. Outer forms – reading of various scriptures, saying of prayers in a certain way, performing rites and rituals – they apparently differ in practice, but the purpose is the same. Of course, you will find the differences due to the various customs – different customs prevailing in those countries, and the climatic influences as well.
To read scriptures is the first thing in each religion. What they are, as I told you, they are fine records of the teachings of the Masters – that They gave out – past Masters speaking through books. By reading them and having the true import of them, you will find that They are a guidance for us – those who wish to know God and to know one's self. But even to have the right interpretation thereof, we need Somebody Who knows the Way. What the Masters saw or had experiences of in Their lives, They are giving that. Whenever They said anything, They meant only one thing at a time, you see. So, to have the right interpretation thereof, we need Somebody Who knows the Way or treads on the Way. He has, to some extent, the same experiences that They gave out. There Their scope ends. They are worth tons in gold and emeralds, you see, for those who are seeking.
Then, further, comes the saying of prayers and the performance of various rites and rituals; their main purpose is to develop love and devotion for God. These are good actions, but the purpose of knowing God is a little bit different, you see.
So, knowing God will arise only to our own self when we are liberated from the mind and outgoing faculties, you see. So I will take up and put before you only the findings of the Masters Who came in the past from the esoteric point of view.
For all Masters agree that there is a Maker of this universe. It did not just come about by itself. The Maker Himself is unchangeable, but the world created is constantly undergoing change. The reason for this is God is all consciousness, made of one Substance and, as such, That cannot be decomposed; so That is eternal, unchangeable permanence. And the creation-world that He made, He made of atoms, and atoms are changing, you see. The world is made of matter. Matter is made of elements, and elements are made of atoms; so, naturally that will decompose some day.
The world is made of matter which is changing, and on the same principle, God made man, with the same privileges to everybody. Man has a body – a physical body – and is an embodied soul – it is spirit in man. So, we are also conscious entities, made of one substance; as such, we are also eternal. But the body is made of matter – likewise as the world is made, so that it will decompose someday.
The manbody is considered to be the highest in all creation. The macrocosm is in the microcosm of the manbody. In the macrocosm, we have got three planes: physical, astral, and causal. God has given us bodies to work through these planes. The manbody is the wonderful house we live in. God gave us bodies to work through these planes so that we may be able, whenever we wish, to traverse in those planes, and even go beyond. But pity it is that we do not know beyond this physical body.
The time does come when we have to leave the body. Our body works so long as we are in the body, and we are in the body so long as some Power is controlling us in the body. The man body is the wonderful house we live in – we have got nine apertures of two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, mouth, and other genital organs, but we cannot run away out of it. Breathing goes out – some Power is controlling it back into the body. Surgeons perform operations that last for hours on the stomach, etc., but still with our bellies cut, we cannot run away out of the body. There is some Power that is controlling us in the body. When that Power is withdrawn, we have to leave the body.
Similarly, that controlling Power is controlling all creation. So we have to know that controlling Power, which is called by the word "God" and various other names as given by the Masters.
So manbody is considered to be the highest in all creation, because in the manbody alone we have the capacity and privilege to realize God. All Masters' findings are like that. The Mohammedans called it the "noblest of all creation;" the Hindus called it as the "form divine;" and the Sikhs tell us that man is the "highest of all creation," and the Christ referred to it as "the temple of the Living God." You will find in the Bible, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? .... Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, Which is within you?" As the Spirit of God, the Supreme Power dwells in us, what are we but the Spirit of God? As we are the Spirit of God, then why search ye for a so-called "Life- Principle"? As we are the Spirit of God, and as the Spirit of God is eternal, why think we that we can die and become extinct?
So all ancient Masters taught that man is eternal in his own right, which stems from the Spirit of God, which is the Holy Ghost in man's body. You will find that all Masters, whenever They came, gave out the same thing. It is laid down in the Upanishads that when the bodies were set up, the souls of the Rishis came up and entered in the man body – They selected that as the highest of all creation. Similarly, in the Mohammedan scriptures it is laid down when the manbody was set up, God ordered the angels to bow down before the manbody. So, you will find that man is the highest in all creation. Now, you will find man has different aspects: it has the physical body, it has intellect, and it is embodied soul. You see, this is the finding of all Masters Who came in the past, and They say, "Develop all around."
We have developed physically; we have developed intellectually in a very wonderful way; we have found so many new inventions, which are very astonishing; we can go around the world in an hour or so; we can fly from one end of the world to the other end in hours. We are now trying to reach the moon, but with all these interim advancements, physical and intellectual, we are not happy. The reason why? The third side which is its own self – that we have forgotten: it is spirit in man.
All Masters Who came drew our attention toward the fact: "Well, look here your body is more than all possessions and raiments. Your life is still more valuable than the body. We have done so much about the body and possessions, but what have we done about or own selves?"
In a accident, suppose a house is on fire. All possessions are burned away, you escape safe, and you say, "Thank God, I am saved!" So the body is more valuable than all possessions. God forbid, if one breaks his leg or arm; but still he says, "Thank God, I am saved!" So life is more valuable than the body, too.
When we have done so much about our physical body and outer possessions – and so much – but what have we done about our own selves, you see? We know little or nothing about our own self. This is the side which is not cared for. We have pinned ourself to the outward shell of the body, but we have done nothing about the kernel therein: we are the indweller of the body. We are only carrying on the body for a certain period, which is the golden opportunity given to us to know God and to know one's self first.
So you will find all Masters gave that you must know yourself first, as self-knowledge precedes God-knowledge. The old Greeks had to say the same thing, Gnothi Seauton, "Know thyself!" The Upanishads say so, "Know thyself" And the Bible says, "Be still, and know that you are that." So I mean to say there are findings of all Masters in all religions; and They have given out the same parallel thoughts, which are the same everywhere.
So, God is to be realized. Now the highest aim before us is to know God. All scriptures say so. But to know God, we have to know ourself. How to know ourself?. By self analysis – by rising above body-consciousness. This physical body which is shaken off at the time of death – if we learn now how to leave the body, we will know we are not this body – we are the indweller of the body. We have got the astral body to work through the astral planes, and the causal body to work through the causal planes. If we just rise above all these, we know that "The Father is working through me, and I am in the Father." "I and my Father are One." This is what all Masters say. And Guru Nanak says, "Until you know yourself, you are in a grand delusion." We can come out of this delusion only if we can analyze ourselves from the body at will.
We say it is my body; it is my coat; it is my hat. Of the latter two, "we can take it off." But can we take off our own bodies, too? It is only at the time of death that we have to leave the body. If now we know how to leave off the body, you see, then the matter will be cleared – there will be no fear of death.
So Masters say, "If you know God – because He is the controlling Power keeping us in the body – the nearest approach to It, if at all you can find Him, It is within you." What have the people been trying to do so far? They have tried to find Him by going to the mountains and the secluded places, into forests and other places of pilgrimage. Well, God resides everywhere – there is no place where God is not. He is pervading all creation. The whole world is the true temple of God and, in a miniature scale, the manbody is the true temple of God. That very controlling Power that keeps all creation under Its control, That is also keeping us in the body. So the nearest approach for That is just to invert within – just to enter the temple of the manbody.
So the macrocosm is in the microcosm of the manbody. If we are to find out, we will have to enter into the man body to find Him, because there you have got the nearest, direct approach. When you know Him, you can see Him all-everywhere.
We seek Him through the scriptures. Scriptures, as I told you, can create in us an interest to know God. But the God which we have to know is already the very controlling Power within our own self. We reside in this body, and that controlling Power – which is called by different names – also resides in the body. If at all, two brothers are living in the manbody – soul and God – but the soul cannot see God. That is a pity. Masters have referred to it as such, "The soul and God are lying in the same bed," but our soul is under the control of the mind, the mind is under the control of the outgoing faculties, and our outgoing faculties are so much so identified with the outward things that we have forgotten our own selves. So, for that purpose, we have to "tap inside" as Emerson puts it – or "peep inside."
So we can withdraw even within one's self. We can realize God when we will reach the third eye or the "single eye", or rise above the senses. This is realized by first withdrawing all the consciousness from the body up to the eye centre, by being taken up by means of the God-in action-Power, which is called WORD or Naam – which is already the controlling Power within your own self.
So, you will find Him where? For that personal purpose, all Masters said, "You must be reborn!" When Christ came, He said, "Except you be reborn – be born again – you cannot enter the Kingdom of God." The Kingdom of God is where? The Kingdom of God cannot be had by observation – it is within you. You can find a clue of it when you enter the laboratory of the manbody and rise above the senses. So unless you come up there...
This is in the word that Christ gave out: Nicodemus was a ruler of the place. He said, "Master, how can I unmold? How can I re- enter the womb of the mother, and be reborn?" (chuckle). When Masters say something, They mean something. That is not a birth of the flesh, but birth of the Spirit. "Flesh is born of the flesh, and Spirit of the Spirit." Then, again, He emphasized, "You must be reborn!" So this very thing exists in other Masters' sayings in the East, too, that say, "You must be twice born." One is the physical birth; the other – the next birth – is just rising above body- consciousness into the beyond. So such like teachings we find common in all. And further, They say, "Learn to die so that you may begin to live."
What is death? Saint Plutarch says, "Soul experiences when we leave the body, the same way as one who is initiated into the mysteries of the beyond. So, at the time of death, you must have watched somebody dying – the soul withdraws from beneath and just withdraws at the back of the eyes, and the eyes are upturned, then soul leaves the body. So whatever we do, at the time of death the soul has to rise above body-consciousness – above the senses – come at the back of the eyes which is the seat of the soul in the body.
Just as a light bulb in a room has one place, and from there light is radiated through the whole room, similarly the "bulb" of the soul is at the back of the eyes, and from there it enlivens the whole body.
What the Masters meant – "Learn to die so that you may begin to live," if you know how to rise above body-consciousness, then you will have an everlasting life. This is what all other Masters in the East said. Guru Nanak said, "learn to die a hundred times a day, at will." Is it possible? Saint Paul said, "I die daily."
The question was put to Prophet Mohammed, "Is it a death which will lead us to the grave?" The Prophet said, "No, it is not a death that will lead you to the grave, but it is a death which will lead you from the darkness into the light." Similarly all Masters say this is what is meant, as I told you, we have first to withdraw from outside within, to "tap inside," to enter the laboratory of the man body, and then you have to rise above the senses and to the back of the eyes, which is the seat of the soul in the body. So this is realized by first withdrawing all the consciousness – our attention – from outside within. By entering within the manbody, we have to rise above the level of the eyes, which is the seat of the soul in the body. This is what is meant by, "Learn to die so that you may begin to live." Prophet Mohammed said, "Oh man, you have got the manbody – you are fortunate. Go, learn to leave the body at will, and know God!"
God is already there, but we do not know because our mind is under the control of the outgoing faculties, you see. And the outgoing faculties are engrossed in the outward things so much so that we have forgotten ourselves. So, the first thing is just to withdraw from outside. So the main obstruction to God-realization is our own mind, which is fond of pleasures – a child for parents, friends, and playmates; as man for wife and children, then for wealth, property, power, and prestige. He goes on seeking one pleasure after another, thus chasing a mirage.
So you will find that we just have to analyze ourselves from the mind and outgoing faculties. That we can do when we first withdraw from outside, enter the temple of the manbody, and then rise above the senses, you see. This is what is called "to die daily." This is what is called, "You must be born anew." This is what is meant by the Masters, "You must be twice born." So these are the common findings of all Masters.
So, the soul is dominated by the mind, and the latter is ruled by the senses. Man is tied down by the mind. So this is the first difficulty that stands in the way. If we learn how to control the mind, then the other step that we will take that will reach the home of our Father.
So what did the Masters say? "We must be pure of mind, you see? Those who are given up to the outward sensuous life, they cannot withdraw from outside. They are dragged on like anything. What does the mind want? Mind is after pleasures, and the outward pleasures can be divided into two parts: one, mind is dragged away outside by beautiful sceneries; and the other by very sweet tunes or songs, you might say. So, unless this mind gets some superior higher form of pleasure within, it won't leave the outside. So God has made the arrangement that all glory and beauty lie within you. Simply for That, you have to invert and rise above body-consciousness. For that reason, if you come across such people, you must have some elementary steps of a normal life. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." This has been give out by almost all Masters when They came. We must have a normal, temperate life. We are born – these senses are for our use – we were not made for the senses. Now, these senses drag us out like anything through the outgoing faculties, and the outgoing faculties are five in number. Sight is working through the eyes. Similarly, audition is working through the ears; smell is working through the nose; taste is working through the tongue; and touch is working through the skin. So these outgoing faculties always keep us engaged outside. If we control these, you see, we can invert.
The first thing is to know how to enter. There are nine doors in the manbody, as I told you before. There is also a tenth door, you see, which is within the body, but very few people really know about it, that is at the back of the eyes, and Masters have referred to that.
If you sit at the feet of Somebody, He will tell you how to withdraw from outside, how to close the outward doors of the body, how to invert first, and how to rise above body-consciousness, or senses. Then, what will happen? You will come in contact with the God-in-action-Power. I told you that unless the mind gets something superior, it won't leave the outer pleasures.
So that God is wordless – when It came into expression, or into action – That is called WORD. That is called by other Masters as NAAM, or NAME, or SHABDA. Some told, "In It there are two aspects: one is Light, and the other is Sound." You will find in the Bible that "In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with God, and the WORD was God. The same was in the beginning with God and all things were made by Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was in the world. It is said, "Forever, Oh Lord thy WORD is settled in Heaven." By the WORD of the LORD were the heavens made. And that is the upholding Power upholding all things by the WORD of His Power. So That is eternal, as "the grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but the WORD of God shall stand forever." It is not the monosyllable "word" but It is that Power-in-action, which is controlling all creation that is expressed by the word, Word, in the Bible. And others have expressed It by the word, Naam, or Shabda, or the Mohammedans put It as Kalma.
Naam is the Power responsible for all creation. And the Mohammedan literature tells us that Kalma is the Cause of all creation. As Zoroaster puts it, that Sarosha is the Cause of all creation.
So I mean to say that all Masters Who came in the past, They gave out that unless we have contact with that God-Power or God-in-action- Power, or which is called the "Christ-power" or "Guru-Power," which is controlling all creation and controlling us in the body, by coming first within the body and then rising above the senses, you will have a glimpse of that God-in-action-Power, which is the Light and Sound principle.
"The light of the body is the eye; if thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But when thine eye be evil, thy body is full of darkness." To have that glimpse of God – a true Christian is one who sees the Light of God. This very definition has been given by Masters in other religions, too. A true Sikh is One Who sees the Light of God. Of course, that is given in the different languages of the Masters when They came. And Prophet Mohammed says, "Who rises above the body-consciousness, he sees the Light of God, he is a true Mohammedan." You find the same definition is given to be a true Christian, to be a true Sikh, to be a true Mohammedan, and the like. You will find in the Bible, "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." In the East, too, in all the religions of the Masters, I am giving you only the findings from the various Masters Who came in the past. All believed in the WORD, NAAM, SHABDA, SAROSHA, UDGIT, KALMA, QALAM-i-QADIM – these are the different names given by Them to the same principle that is working. So when we come in contact with That by rising above body-consciousness, That is the Power that leads us to the place from where that power came into action – to the absolute God, or the Wordless state of God.
All agree that there are two ways back: one is of the Light, the other of the Sound-principle. So Jyoti Marg and Sruti Marg are the ways back to God. How can you have it? When you rise above body-consciousness. So for that purpose, you will find we have to come to the back of the eyes. You will find in Matthew, "Enter ye in at the strait Gate: for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in thereat: because strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life; and few there be that find it." Again, in St. Luke, it is given, "Strive to enter in at the strait gate; for many I say unto you, will seek to enter in, but shall not be able to find it. The very words you find, "Oh blind man, there is a tenth door within you through which you can rise above body-consciousness and enter into the Kingdom of God. How ignorant you are!" Similarly, all other Masters say the same thing – all of these expressions, "Learn to die so that you may begin to live;" "Just be reborn;" and Maulana Rumi says, "Except you rise above the senses, you cannot know anything of the beyond."
So, this is the fate awaiting each one of us; we have to leave the body someday – what is called at "the time of death." The last enemy that we have to conquer is death. How to conquer death? Simply, how to leave the body at will, as we leave the body at the time of death.
For that purpose, you will find that for those who have this question of the mystery of life at heart, and that desire is very strong, that God – Who is the very controlling Power within us – sees, "My child is seeking for Me. He wants to solve this mystery of life." What does He do? Well, He brings him in contact with somewhere where he can learn the mystery of life: how to leave the body at will, transcend into the beyond, and traverse into the beyond.
So for that, first comes there is no salvation without linking the Naam or Word or God-in-action-Power, which is controlling us in the body, by rising above the senses.
The body is the temple of God, and the whole creation is the temple of God. When we just enter this laboratory of the man body and rise above the senses, we have a glimpse of That – a first-hand experience of the Light and Sound principle of God.
So for that, salvation is needed and linking with the Naam or Word or God-in-action-Power – which we can have. It is already within us, but we have to know how to invert – first, how to withdraw from outside within the laboratory of the manbody, and then how to rise above body-consciousness – the mind, which is leading us through the outgoing faculties to the outward enjoyments, how to invert, how to control that thing.
The first thing comes the grace of God. The second, such a person at Whose pole that God is manifest or One Who has solved the mystery of life: how to rise above body-consciousness, Who, Himself, is competent to leave the body at will into the beyond, and sees the Light of God face to face, and is also competent to help others to rise above body-consciousness – to open the inner eye to see the Light of God, and also to open the inner ears to hear the Voice of God.
You will find in the Revelations it is given, "Thunder and harpers were harping" – that is the reference given of the Sound-principle and all other Masters say the same thing. That is the way back to Absolute God, from where this WORD or God-in-action, God came into action, you see.
So salvation arises by coming in contact with that God-in-action-Power, which will lead us and which has two aspects – one of Light, the other of the Sound-principle.
So you will find all Masters or great Men Who came in the past, They gave references to That. Socrates heard within him a peculiar Sound, which pulled him irresistibly into higher spiritual regions. And Plato refers to it as the "Music of the Spheres." Pythagoras also talked of the SHABDA or the WORD, for He described God as "Supreme Music of the nature of harmonies." God, to Him, was "Absolute Truth clothed in light." Now in reference to Zoroaster, He sang in loving faith of the greatness of the God of Light and taught the people to do so. They keep a fire burning all the time in Their temples. They worship the "Unstruck Fire" and the SAROSHA.
I am quoting all these things – the Vedas and other things called the USHA, the SAVITRA, UDGIT, and INAGRAM. Though they are different words, the teachings are the same. They have solved the mystery of life, and They found these things which are controlling all creation and our manbody. If you know what to learn that way, you will find that's the only way back to God within each one of us.
Now the question remains one, that is what? There are ways and ways to withdraw from outside and rise above the senses. There are harder ways – man-made ways – and there is the God-made way. Man-made ways are time-consuming, hazardous, and we are hereditarily not fit for those these days – which involve breathings and other things – that is the longer course, because in that, we just have to control breathing inside by doing Kumbhak and then rise above the body to catch that Sound-principle and Light of God when they rise above the sixth chakra, or the ganglion at the back of the eyes. But the natural way does not involve all that arduous way – even a child can see the Light of God.
Only one impetus – the One is a man like us, to all intents and purposes, but He has developed in that Way that He can rise above body-consciousness – and when He comes in contact with God, He becomes the mouthpiece of God, you see. The God in Him – which is manifest – That has the Power to raise other souls from the bondage of mind and matter, and They can give a lift the very first day – to rise above, to open our inner eye to see the Light of God, and to hear the Voice of God.
In the scriptures we find that our eyes are sealed and our ears are sealed. I am not referring to, or giving particular references. This is the digest given by almost all the Masters. Unless those seals are broken, we cannot see the Light of God and we cannot hear the Voice of God. You will find that Christ once said to His disciples, "Blessed thou art because you see things which the old prophets and the righteous men could not see; blessed you are, you are fortunate because you hear things which the old prophets and righteous men could not hear." So, these are some references given in all scriptures of the Masters – which just pertain directly to our own self.
Well, this is the inner way up – or what is called spirituality – or the way back to God, or the Path of the Masters. It does not mean that you should ignore your physical side, or the intellectual side. Simply, you have to spare an hour or two – after you get some contact – some experience of how to rise above body-consciousness. If you can do it yourself, blessed you are. If you cannot, naturally you will have to come to Somebody Who has the competency to give you a lift, and you will have the same experience and you testify your own self that you see It.
All scriptures say so: "God is Light" – "God is Sound-principle," as I have given you references from various Masters. When Lao-Tze came, He called It the "Tao." So I mean to say that those Who came gave the same way back to God. And these Masters Who had solved this mystery of life became the mouthpiece of God. They always say, "I am the Way; .... I am the Light." Those who go to Them, have the Light.
So, first comes the grace of God. Second that of the such like Person, Man body, at Whose pole that He has realized God, you see. He has the competency to help others also to rise above to that level that comes the next one, Who is competent to raise you to come in contact with the WORD-Power or God-in-action-Power, which is Light and Sound-principle. And third, comes the giving of that experience – to have something to start with.
To give lectures, after a little training, you can do. To say to others how to perform rites and rituals, say prayers, that also requires some training, after which you can do it. But to rise above body consciousness and how to open the inner eye to see the Light of God, that requires Someone Who has that competency through the grace of God.
So the third thing is when you come to such a Person, He raises your soul above the mind and matter, and you have the experience – something to start with.
Suppose a man comes to you and gives a very wonderful talk on business principles – really appreciative and very informative. But to those people to whom he is giving the talk, they have no money to start with. What will your lecture do? If you can give them some capital to start with, then your lecture will carry some beneficial effect.
Similarly, when you have something to start with – some experience of Light, some experience of the Sound or the Voice of God – then you can develop it. That is the beginning, you see – where the world philosophies end, there religion starts. The ABC's start from there that fills "many mansions in the House of our Father."
The time-factor is necessary. If that is done then after that, the last but not the least, is the effort of the disciple. So, the effort of the disciple lies in what? As Christ said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." Then He said, if you want to know God, what should you do? "Let my words abide in you, and you abide in me." The first part is, I think, quite understandable: "Let my words abide in you." But how can "you abide" in Him? That's the point.
If you remember somebody, the reaction will be there in whom you are having the sweet remembrance. So that way, when you remember somebody, there's a natural reaction – he will remember you. So there will be receptivity – As you think, so you become – you will have the Bread of Life, you see.
Who are these Masters? "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us." That Word of Shabda-Power just manifests in Somebody, and that Power is competent – the God in Him is competent to raise other souls to that level: to give a contact with Himself. No son of man can do it, only the God manifest in Somebody.
God resides in every heart, but in some it is manifest – in others, it is not yet manifest. Our souls are under the bondage of mind and matter. If it is analyzed or liberated, to rise above it, then you come in contact with That. That becomes the mouthpiece of God, and that God-Power in Him is able to give you that aspect.
So, first of all, the grace of God is required. "Ask, and It shall be given unto you." If you have a real desire to know God, God will meet you, sure and certain. It is He Who makes some arrangement to bring you in contact with somewhere where you can have this experience – this rising above body-consciousness – just to be reborn anew or "die daily." Open the inner eye to see the Light of God and this is what is taught by all Masters Who came in the past.
The reading of the scriptures can create in us an interest to know God, but cannot lead us to that goal. That – about which the scriptures speak – is already within you. The manbody is the true temple of God, and outwardly you will find that all places of holy worship are made after the image of the manbody. All of the Hindu temples you will find are dome-shaped like the head. The churches are like cross shape or nose-shape. Mohammedan mosques are like forehead shape. In all of them, you will find there the symbol of Light and the symbol of the Sound-principle, to show that suchlike Light and suchlike Sound is reverberating already within your body.
So far as there are practical Masters you meet, They give you an access into the laboratory of the man body – open the inner eye to see the Light of God.
In Matthew you will find that if a candle is lit, the whole room is lighted, you see. Similarly, that Light which is within you – when It is seen, the whole body is full of Light. So these are some of the teachings of the Masters Who came in the past – all so far. Christ referred to That, Zoroaster also referred to That, Pythagoras referred to That, the Vedas and the Upanishads also refer to That. All other Masters Who came – They are all as one on this subject: the way back to God. So, the teachings of the East are the same and most of them, you say, "They came from the East." That has been the central place, and they have emanated from there.
So, we are not to change our religions for that purpose. You have taken the first step and to remain in some religion is a blessing. You must remain there, but you have taken the first step. If you leave it, there will be corruption, or you will have to raise other religions. So remain where you are, and learn this way as a matter of practical self-analysis – like the anatomy of the body for the medical line. This is the anatomy of the soul from the mind, matter, and the outgoing faculties – practical self-analysis.
Whenever Masters have come, They have been giving these same teachings, as ever. So, this has been the teachings of all Masters who came in the past – the esoteric side – which directly concerns our own self.
When the Masters come, They do not tell us to leave the world and go to a wilderness. No, develop all around. As I told you before, we have developed physically enough. We have developed intellectually more than enough – and our own intellect has gone against us. We have invented hydrogen bombs and neutron bombs. We fear that at any moment – if a war starts – the world will end. Is there any hope for safety or for peace? We have our physical and intellectual advancements, but with all that we are not happy – we are in even more danger.
So, the other side – the third side, the spiritual side – is the only hope left. Whenever the Masters come, They look to all humanity as Their family. We are carrying the badges of the different religions. They don't look from the badges we are carrying, but They look from the level of the man – all mankind is one-or from the level of the embodied souls. Souls are of the same essence as that of God. We are worshippers of the same God.
So for that purpose, there was one grand conference was held in India at Delhi in 1957, where over 250 delegates were invited. They came from different religions and from different countries, and there was a gathering of over 200,000 people.
The next conference was held at Calcutta in 1960. A similar gathering of the people was there and, also, the delegates of other religions. Now I, as the President of the World Fellowship of Religions, am going around in the West to have more delegates from all religions and from all countries, so that the next conference, which is to be held by the end of 1964, all will come together, sit together, understand each other. The purpose is not to blend all religions into one, but to remain in their own religions and just understand one another. Now, pity it is, for want of this true knowledge of the others' religions, we – in zealousness – consider that we alone have got the truth, when the same things have been given by other Masters, of course, in Their own languages which were prevalent at the time. Well, we have respect for all of Them, because the Truth is One. Those who knew the Truth gave out the Truth – from time to time. To err is human, and then – again – another Somebody came up to just awaken the children of God towards God.
So, the first work, as I told you, is just to bring all children of God together – and not only bring them together, but also have them remain in their own religions and follow their teachings already existing in their own scriptures – to know God. As I have told you some parallel thoughts from various religions are the same. So we will find that we are all brothers and sisters in God.
For that purpose, Baron von Blomberg the co-President of the World Fellowship of Religions, has been with me. We have travelled in Europe in almost all of the countries there. We met the religious heads, the social heads, and the political heads. These things were put before them. Well, that is the only hope left now – these heads are the driving force of the masses – so if their angle of vision is changed, you will see there can be hope for peace in the world.
We found a great response all through Europe. I met people from the Vatican, too, and had a long talk with them. I had the good fortune to meet Pope Paul, too. Now they are considering having a conference of the non-Christian religions-just to sit together and understand each other.
I even met the political heads – Prime Minister de Valera in Ireland, prime ministers, mayors, and other social heads. Here in the United States I had the opportunity also to meet Mr. McCormick, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, for a talk of more than half an hour with him.
And I told them (the political heads), "You see, so many children of God have been placed under your care by God, to be looked after. All the rulers of the countries, that is a privilege given by God to them. If one ruler cannot properly look after the children of God – who are given under their care – the others should help each other. Live, and let others live. If they need any help, that may be given. In that way, there can be no wars – no millions of people killed, as happened in the past two great World Wars."
And that has appealed to them, and there was a great response to that. That is the purpose of the World Fellowship of Religions – just to understand each other. When we understand each other, we are already one – as a man, we are one; as a soul, we are one; as a worshipper of the same God called by so many names, we are the same.
One great thing that is before us is that, even those belonging to religions have a name or belief in God, but – as they have no experience of God – most of these people are going adrift into atheism. Each man, while belonging to his own religion, must be true to his own religion, and in the esoteric side – as I just put before you – we are all one. The highest aim of joining any religion is to know God. Those teachings exist there already, but, on account of ignorance, we have forgotten. So, this is what my tour is meant for, and I am going around, and with the grace of God, we are having a great response everywhere.
This is what I have found by the parallel study of religions and as the President of the World Fellowship of Religions: we are already one – unity is already there – we have forgotten.
The religions were made just to enable us to realize that unity that already exists, but, unfortunately, over zealousness is just going to separate man from man – by considering that only one religion has the truth and no other. Well, Masters have come in all religions, and They gave out the same thing. We have respect for all Masters Who came in the past.
With these words, I thank you all for your patient hearing. If you calmly consider this, you can see how far these things can help us. Thank you so much.
All Masters Who came in the past told us that we are all children of the same God – we are all brothers and sisters in-God. Unless our self expands to cover all creation, there can be no real happiness and bliss. So the highest prayer of the Masters has been, as Guru Nanak and all others put it:
Peace be unto all the world over Oh God, under Thy Will.
Let this prayer go out from the very depths of our hearts, for God hears all that. If this prayer goes out from every heart, I think that is a very strong Power. What we now think – that peace is impossible – will become possible because prayer can do work wonderfully where all the human efforts fail – and we have failed badly so far, with all our advancements.
Oh God, the whole world is aflame. All matters have passed out of our hands. It is only Thy grace and help that can save us from all this grand conflagration which is awaiting us.
In a one or two minute silence, pray to God – I hope God will help.
May Thy grace fall on all of us.