What can other people know of the condition of one’s heart? If the enigma of the mystery of life enters the heart, the person knows no peace until it has been solved.

Sant Kirpal Singh

Love and devotion

Excerpt from a talk held by Sant Kirpal Singh at Vancouver on 8 November, 1972


Dear brothers and sisters,
manbody is considered to be the most golden opportunity that we have got. All scriptures have spoken very highly about it. And in the scriptures, who are speaking? The Masters of the past. They say it is a golden opportunity. Why? Because we can know God in this manbody alone and in no other body. Fortunately we have got the manbody. We are all sitting here, some twenty-, forty-, fifty-, sixty-, seventy-year old people. We have to consider calmly whether we have really known God. If so, we are fortunate, most fortunate. We have joined for that purpose in the various schools of thought and we are bearing their labels – some of Hinduism, some of Christianity, some of Sikhism or some other isms. That shows, we have joined those schools of thought, the main purpose, however,  was or is even now to know God. And to know God we must know ourselves.

As I explained to you last night, there are teachers and teachers, and also the word Master is there. Master – what is specially meant by Master? A Master is one in whom God is manifest. He is the Word made flesh that dwelled amongst us.

The highest aim in manbody is to know God, and to know God we must know our self first, because God cannot be known by the outgoing faculties, by the mind or intellect. It is the soul, the conscious entity, which is of the same essence as that of God; when the soul knows Him, only then we will be able to know God. So the first question arises how to know oneself as all Masters of the East and West gave out.

Great philosophers like Latin philosophers, or Greek philosophers, or others of the East, they all said the same thing: "Man know thyself." But to know oneself is not at the level of feelings, and is not drawing inferences. They are both subject to error. Seeing is above all. So knowing oneself means: we are conscious entities, but we are now identified with mind and outgoing faculties so much so that we have forgotten our self, and we cannot differentiate our self, discriminate our self from the body and the outgoing faculties. So it is a practical question, how to rise above body-consciousness to know oneself and to know God. The word "religion" means: "re" means back, "ligare" means to bind – first know our self and then bind our self to the oversoul – God. So a Master or spiritual teacher is one who is adept in that science, who knows Himself, who knows God, who is aware of God all around Him, within Him, and below Him, and above Him, and can make others go the inner way up to have some experience of their self by raising them above body-consciousness. He gives them a contact with the God-into-expression Power, which is called Word, the outer aspects of which are light and sound. God is light and God is sound principle, music of the spheres.

Masters do give something to start with. Of course, that depends on the background of each man, some are ready, some are more ready, some have got their background also. And those of us who start afresh now, they are more sincere, more regular.

Masters give to all alike the same teaching, the same explanation: how to rise above body-consciousness, how to open the inner eye. Some capital is given at the very first start, some more – others less. These are the teachings that can be given by the word of mouth, but two thirds (can be had) by receptivity.

Unless you have got veneration and devotion for the Master, unless you become receptive (and take the words) heart to heart, you cannot have the two thirds of the teaching which are still waiting. Devotion or love is the one which can afford us the receptivity. In love and devotion, you see, all duality is gone. It is like a sword. What sword? An outer sword when struck on anything, that divides that into two parts. But love is such a sword which, when it is struck into two hearts, it makes two into one. "I and my Father are one." Love and devotion means to have the whole attention on the one who has given you some capital, always to be with veneration to that one. It is a wonderful capital which nobody can give on earth. It is God's grace working through the Master that gives (and makes available) some capital (which is) within you already. (When you have got it) you can testify that it is so. You have not to wait for that for years, or till the end of the world – the Masters give us the demonstration, something to start with.

Again I would say, it is one third by word of mouth (that we may have). So receptivity is to be developed to have two thirds of the remaining teaching by heart, by receptivity.

Christ referred to it very clearly: "I am the vine, thou are the branches. As long as the branches are imbedded in the vine, they bear abundance of fruit. Those branches, which are cut off from the vine, they bear no fruit." You read in the Bible like that. What does it mean? When you are fully devoted, there remains no gap between you and the Master, God in Him, and you get the other two thirds of the teaching that He can give but which cannot be given by the word of mouth alone. So to do practice (to meditate) without love and devotion, does not carry any substantial effect.

Some painters from a foreign country appeared before the king of that place and said, "We know a wonderful art of painting. If you would allow us to work for your presentation, we will show it." The king agreed, and one wall of a big hall was allotted to them, "All right, you go on with your painting on that wall." Some painters of this country also came up: "Well king, we also know this art, will you permit us also to show our skill?" Now, one curtain was put in the middle of the hall. On the one side those began to work, who had come from the foreign country, and the others from the home-country began to do their painting on the opposite wall, but behind the curtain. After some time the king came to inspect their work. He saw that those who had come from outside were painting flowers and this and that. When he looked at the other side, to the painters of his own country, he saw that the wall was white, there was no painting on it. When the arranged time was over, the foreigners reported, "Our painting is ready for inspection, will you kindly come and see?" The king went and saw that the painting was very beautiful. Then the painters of the other side asked, "Would you kindly visit our wall, too?"At heart he knew that they had done nothing, he had been watching them. But when the curtain was taken off, to the great astonishment of the king he saw that the painting was the same as that on the opposite side. On the picture that had been done by hand, there were still little sparks and irregularities, but even those were not on the reflection on the other side. The king asked them, "What have you done?" – "Sir, we have done nothing." – "How did you know, what the others were painting?" When two men are working at such a competition, naturally one would not like to show his art to the other. But strange enough, the same painting, which they had made on the one wall, was on the other wall, and even clearer. Again he asked them, "What have you done?" – "Sir, we have done nothing, we have just been rubbing the wall all the time, so much so that it could reflect what is opposite." So it is with the Master and the disciple: when nothing remains between the Master and the disciple, they are one. This reflection is only had by receptivity. When nothing remains between you and the Master, then that receptivity develops. You even forget your own existence, you see. "I am crucified in Christ", this is something, "Fana-fil-Sheikh" in Persian words.

As Kabir said: "In the words of the people we appear to be two. But it is those who have not met any Master. Those who have a Master see their Master within every man." This is, what is meant by Christ, when he said: "I am the vine, thou are the branches. As long as you remain embedded in me, you bear forth fruit." When man develops this devotion, this receptivity, he becomes two in one and one in two.

Shamaz Tabrez tells us: "O Master, let me become the body and You my soul. You be in me and I may be in You, so that people need not say that I am other than You are, I am the same as You are." So this is called Gurbhakti, the devotion to the Master. This is developed only if you have love for the Master, then nothing remains between Him and you. Love unifies. As I just gave you the example, that love is like a sword, which, if struck within two hearts, makes them one. So love and devotion are most necessary.

Koran says: "Love is such a fire which consumes everything, except the Beloved for whom you have got that love." This is the way of love, without which you cannot have the full teaching and the demonstration that the Master wants to give to a disciple. You remember, there is a prayer: "O God, I am grateful to You, for You have kept this secret from the worldly wise and given it to the babes, to those who are innocent."

May I quote an example of that: Guru Ram Das, whose name was Jeta Ji then, was the disciple of Guru Amar Das. Generally, when a Master leaves the body, there are so many people anxious to be Master after them. Not one – many! In the mind of minds everybody wants to become a Master. He acts and poses in so many ways so that he may draw the attention of the Master on him. But Master sees the heart, not your acting and posing. So what did Guru Amar Das do? He asked all those who came to Him: "All right, build these platforms here, so many feet wide, so many long, so many feet deep." (In India such platforms are used as cooking places in the open air.) They started to do so.

Generally people do obey the word of the Master, in the beginning at least. So they started raising platforms. When they were ready, He said, "This earth is not good, you see. Demolish it and bring earth from there, that's good earth." Again they started raising the platforms. When they were ready again, they were examined by the Master. He said, "Well, these are not good, demolish them and make them new." Again they made new platforms and again, when they were ready, He came up: "O, this place is not good, go over there, raise platforms there." What happened? By and by (all stopped working), those who appeared very much devoted to the Master. Generally we take the Master as one of our own self, you see. Take Him even as your father, as one elder man, who knows better on the way. You, however, abide by the orders which are given by the Master and mould them according to your own mind. (So it happened at that time) and the result was that many people started to work. Seventy times these platforms were raised and demolished again. All left, except one man, whose name was Jeta Ji, who became the next Master. People went to him and said, "Well, look here, the Master is old. What is the sense of demolishing the platforms and then raising them again?" He wept and said, "Look here, Master is the one who is omniscient, who knows everything. If I were to be ordered to go on with this work all through my life, that's all I want." So what was the Master's thinking? He wanted to see how much colour of the mind, how much ego His disciple had already lost, how far he had succeeded in self-surrender and devotion. What did He do? He gave him His own place. He became the fourth Master. You follow me? This is meant by the word love and devotion.

So you like themselves, you see. Any king would not like his son to be a minister. He would like each of his sons to become king, is it not? That is why I tell you, you see, you become ambassadors of truth. But it will happen only, if you have got love and devotion. By that only you will be able to develop receptivity and you will get everything, the whole gift of the Master within you, without earning for it. That is a pure gift from God. And who is giving that? Who is selected by God. It is not by voting like a man can become a president, or a priest, or a prime minister, you see. Every Saint has his past and every sinner a future. So all Masters – their selfless service, their love and devotion entitled them for that job, they are chosen by God, you see, to carry on that work.

So love and devotion is the keynote to success in the spiritual way. Even in the outer subjects, too. When you are totally given up to the teacher, he loves you, he gives all secrets of the heart to you. Love and devotion is the beginning, and also in the middle (it is love and devotion), till ultimately you absorb yourself in God. So those who have been put on the way, got something to start with. You should first keep the commandments, hundred per cent. So you have been given the water of life and the bread of life, that's the food of the soul. When the soul becomes strong – a strong heart will carry away even a broken carriage.

So please, try to have the other two thirds of the teaching, which will be had by developing receptivity and by being embedded in the Master, as Christ gave it in the parable (with the vine and the branches). So if a man all the time remembers, by thinking so much of Him, he becomes as He is. As you think, so you become. This is the key to all success, to further development, and to becoming one with God.