When a true Master accepts a disciple, that person's status changes.
He becomes an "accepted" soul, under the care of the Master. We all live in the human form, but a really true human being is very rare. One who has compassionate feelings for others, who is the very image of love - so much so as to be filled with nothing else - can be called a true human being. Such a being has the power to radiate this love to the whole world.
God is love but we have not seen Him. However, we can see the personification of Him manifested in some true human being, who is the Power of God working on earth in a human pole. That person is love personified. Many kinds of strength have a certain power, but how can one gain a portion of that power? A strong man's physical strength is a part of him; he seems to be one with it, but by witnessing the extent of its power, one can get a feeling of what strength is like. So Masters give some indication of what God is, that can be observed; and that radiation of Power can be transmitted to others.
They proclaim, "There is God - we have seen Him." Guru Nanak says, "Nanak's Emperor is clearly seen." Christ told His followers to "Behold the Lord." He gave no further explanation. From Kabir Sahib we have, "Kabir says my doubts were removed when I saw the All-pervading Lord." Many Masters have made similar statements. And where is that Lord? The thing is, where is He not? The whole of Creation is His - "With one Word, millions of rivers were created." His thought was, "I am one and wish to be many." So the God-into-Expression Power came forth from Him, and the whole Creation came into being. "All the world we see is the image of God; The image of God is before us." All the holy scriptures tell us this, that God is everywhere; but the Masters say, "We have seen Him."
After our getting this human form, the greatest aim before us should be to realize God. The scriptures all cry out "God, God, God" in different languages and in various ways, but when the Masters come, they prove beyond all doubt that God exists, and they bear witness to having seen Him. "No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him." Who are these Sons or children of God? They are those in whom He is manifested. They are the Word, made flesh. "In the Guru, He Himself manifests and distributes the Shabd." In desperation the true seeker cries out, "Anyone, who will connect me to God!" Through the advent of such a Master soul, the people can gain actual connection with the existence of God - otherwise they live in doubt, though they may strive to realize Him through books or through any of the practices. Some say that God does exist and He vibrates in every being. Some say that God is Light and He illuminates the entire Creation - there is no place where He is not. But the question remains: Has anyone seen Him? If even one man has seen the Lord, there is hope indeed that others may have the same experience. This type of privileged person is sent to the world by the Lord Himself, and he may come in any race, any country, with the sole purpose of guiding the child humanity to bring it to the Father.
Why does God manifest Himself in the human pole? Because man's teacher must be a man, for men can only be taught the truth by one in the same form. Apart from the work of returning the lost souls to their Source through joining them back to God, the Masters have no other purpose in the world. They have no social interest, no political pursuits; their attention is centered on spiritual matters. All other events are side issues. Man has got a body, he has got intellect and a soul - or rather, he has not got a soul, he "is" a soul. That which we call the soul is an all-conscious entity. You may develop the body and the intellect, but as you are the soul itself, then develop spiritually also. With very little effort one can become a tower of physical strength or an intellectual giant capable of discovering amazing new inventions. It is well to feed the body and the intellect; but what food have we given to the all- conscious soul?
We go on believing God to be all-wisdom, all-light, all-life, all-love, but where is He? To try to clarify the problem, He has been given various names - to help the people to understand. We should respect all those names which represent the Lord. "I surrender myself joyfully to all Thy names." But it is not a question of names; it is the Named with whom we are concerned. We must grasp that which all the names signify. When a true Master comes, he shows us that One thing which the whole world worships by different names. He does not say, "God is all-Light." He says, "This is the Light - His reflection." He explains that although it is true there is no place without this Light, yet it must first be seen in this body, the very temple of God.
How is it that a Master can see the Lord and we cannot? Because in us the mind is blocking our sight. We have four phases - chit, manas, buddhi, and ahankar, i.e., subconscious, mind, intellect, and ego - and we cannot see the Lord until all these are stilled. Although the atmosphere is seething with animate life, yet a man of ordinary intelligence will hesitate to believe this, for he cannot see that life with the naked eye. The Masters say that one should definitely not believe unless one has seen for one's self. "As long as I do not see with my own eyes, I cannot believe even the Guru's words." If a man makes a statement, he should be prepared to prove it. Whoever declares there are certain microbes in the air, he should be able to show them to others; and through the aid of the microscope, as you know, this has been made possible. Those tiny microscopic beings have always been there, and yet seeing is believing.
So when an enlightened person says, "There is God, and He is Light, and He resides in each and every being, and He is our Life-sustainer," then you will know that he is truly enlightened if he can show you this very same Light within you. We close our eyes and insist that there is nothing there, but he who can see something can show it to others. "In the company of the Saint, the Lord was seen within; Then the Name of God was sweeter." In this way Simran (the repetition of God's Names) becomes accurate, and the sweeter becomes our worship. You can remember this: when you begin to savor some delightful sweetness in the Name of the Lord, you will know that it is the first step to your permanent spiritual marriage.
If we take His Name by force, there will be no Nectar, for only that can be enjoyed which can actually be tasted. "Without seeing, without the turmoil of the search, how can one gain by mere repetition?" Empty words are full of nothing; but if, for example, we have once tasted a sweet mango, then at the briefest mention of the word the sweetness of the fruit will come to mind. And so it will be, if a certain someone gives you a taste of the Nectar of the Lord. Then, you can call Him by any name you like; each will be as sweet as the other.
The Guru gives a contact with that permeating Power of God. "Through the Guru's blessing, God takes up residence within us; Someone may get the true fruit." If, through some enlightened soul the Lord becomes apparent to you, then you will begin to enjoy the intoxication of God. Without any doubt you will know that God is there. The rishis, munis, mahatmas, all the sages who have come, have said that there is the Power of God in the world; even atheists have agreed to this and say, "O mighty atom!" However, the difference is that, on the one hand, God's praises are sung by one who sees Him; and on the other, His praises are sung through books or by hearsay only. One who sees the Lord will be able to give a demonstration; and he is usually called a Sadhu, Sant, Mahatma, Guru, etc. The very meaning of the word Guru is to bring light in the darkness - "the dispeller of the darkness." Naturally he will also be qualified to give the right interpretation of the scriptures, which otherwise are explained in various ways by different persons.
We are all born as human beings, with the same God-given privileges. Where does God reside? In the house He Himself has made in the womb of the mother, but the key of this house is given to the Guru. How can we get the key? "To whom takes the Guru's words, in truth will He open up the secret." The Guru then reveals the mystery of life. The true Master has ever been in existence. They came in the past, even now the world is not without them, and they will come in the future. After all, each and every one is God's child, and He extends His unshakable constant law of demand and supply. Wherever a fire is lit, oxygen will come to help its blaze. When the people, through outer impressions, become suffocated in their own narrow-mindedness and see only that in which they are wrapped, forgetting themselves and their innate royal nature, then the Master comes to revive them, to awaken them from slumber, and to pour life-giving water upon the arid desert.
"Awake, awake, while you slumber the play is running to its end." A greater part of life has already been exhausted, very little is left - maybe ten, twenty, thirty years. Have you realized the Lord? Those who came in contact with a Master unraveled the mystery and made their lives brilliantly successful. But when Masters leave the world, schools or colleges are formed which we call religions to keep their teachings alive. Furthermore, each school was labeled separately, and so we now have Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Christianity, Buddhism, and various others. Does the Lord Himself brand each being with a certain religious mark when sending him into the world? In the Lord's eyes, all are just His children, but man has segregated himself from his fellow beings. While the Living Master remained on earth, many received the benefit of his presence; but when he left, the loss of his life-giving radiation resulted in stagnation and deterioration of the schools of thought. The same good old custom corrupts itself, and then the Master must come again to reawaken the souls. "Oh brothers, you are living in forgetfulness - we are all one as Man." We all have this golden opportunity to make the most of our human life. Everyone has the same chance; so we should get the realization now, or again we shall have to go through the never-ending cycle. All Masters emphasize that now is thy turn to meet God - "Now you have this form, it is thy turn to meet God; All outer work is valueless; gain the company of some Sadhu and repeat only the Naam." Keep the company of him who is Word made flesh, in whom God is manifested; for he will give you a demonstration of Spirituality which can be increased day by day.
Outer teachings, which we call apra vidya, are helpful, but one should not accept them blindly. Investigate the reasons why certain rites are performed - why the lamps are lighted and bells are rung, and so on. If you continue your inquiries until you find some real information, your time will be well spent. To blindly perform rituals may yield a little peace of mind, but they offer nothing valid. No matter what we do, unless we increase in awakenedness it will amount to little. Learn to differentiate. Inherit the Truth and make the best use of the untruth. Go to one who is fully awake, Who has full powers of differentiation. You may call him by any name; some say Guru, or Sant, or Mahapurush, or Satpurush. Although all are men, yet Mahapurush is one who is awakened - a true man. Satpurush is he who becomes one with the Truth itself. We are all purush or conscious beings, and we are all fortunate to have been given the human form; it is a grand opportunity to realize the Lord.
Apra Vidya is a term which categorizes the outer practices: repetition of names, austerities, prayers, devotional rituals and customs, pilgrimage, alms and donations, scripture study, songs of praise, etc. - they are all connected with the mind and the senses. We will gain reward from these good actions, but in doing them one's doership remains, and as long as we regard ourselves as the doers, we shall continue to revolve around this interminable cycle of birth and death. While the ego remains, both good and bad actions are binding; as Lord Krishna said, ... "like gold and iron shackles."
What is the basic cause of all this? Desire. The tenth Guru says that one should be desireless. Lord Buddha said the same. If there is no disturbance in a pool of water, one can see one's reflection in its limpid surface. But the I-hood cannot be cast aside until one sees that some higher power is doing everything. Such knowledge reveals one to be but a mere puppet in the hand of God. "Whatever words come from God are given out in knowledge." We also have, "Nanak speaks only of that which He is ordered." And so the cure is: Become the seer and see the Lord at work in everything.
Para Vidya is to connect the soul with the Truth. "Ego and attachment are consumed by the fire of Shabd; Gurumukh gets the everlasting Light." This Shabd can only be received from the Guru. There is Ashabd, which is the Wordless God, but when He expressed Himself, that expression is called Shabd or Word. "Through the Shabd, creation came into being, and through the Shabd, dissolution occurs." Creation, dissolution, and again creation - it all happens by the power of the Shabd. And where is the Shabd? "Shabd is the earth, Shabd is the sky; Through the Shabd the Light came; Creation came after the Shabd; O Nanak, the Shabd is in every being." Shabd is also known as Naam; so we have: "Naam is the Nectar of Life, it is the Name of God, and in this body does it reside." When can you see it? "When the senses are controlled, the mind is at a standstill and intellect is calm - then the soul perceives in crystal clearness." It is the first stage of realizing the Lord. Self-knowledge precedes God-knowledge; so when one knows who one is, by rising above the senses, one then realizes why it is said that "self-knowledge is God-knowledge."
Great is Man; we are all micro-gods, but unfortunately we have forgotten our lofty heritage by remaining under the influence of mind and senses, and identifying ourselves with the body and the outside world. To secure release from this illusory state, it would be useless to seek assistance from one who is also stuck fast in illusion; we must find someone who has become free; one who sees the whole of existence in true perspective. "Only when he is dragged out, can man be released." Think of an over- burdened donkey who gets stuck in the mud or quicksand; with such a load, it is impossible for him to get free. His merciful rescuer will first unload him, and then drag him out. So we should remember that on our heads rest the karmic loads of age upon age, and as long as that burden is not lifted and our attention pulled upward, we will not see the Truth.
Anyone can call himself a Sant or Guru; in name only this is very easy. But to be such a personage in reality - why just thinking about the tremendous responsibility he carries, the soul shivers in fright! Be grateful to the Maker who gave you this human birth, wherein you can realize Him. It is thy turn to meet Him, through the silence of the heart - through rising above all faculties. If a true personality resides in the world, can one meet him? Christ once asked his disciples, "Whom do men say that I am?" And they told him that some said he was John the Baptist, others said Elijah, and others said he was one of the prophets. Jesus then said, "But whom say ye that I am?" And Simon Peter answered him, saying, "Thou art the Christ." So it is a question of opening the inner eye. A true Mahatma may seem as an atheist to some people, and to others like God Himself. Those whose inner eye is not open are really atheists in the true sense of the word. Such people have ever persecuted the Masters. Just see, how they thrust a crown of thorns on Christ's brow. Guru Nanak was forbidden to enter the city of Kasur, for they accused him of corrupting the minds of the people. Paltu Sahib was burned alive, and Guru Arjan was made to sit on a red-hot plate. Shamas Tabrez, a Muslim Saint, was skinned alive. Mansur al-Hallaj was put on the stake. Then when these great souls leave, people start worshiping the places they frequented. "While living, the Fathers were scorned; after death, They are worshiped."
"So, God's Song is the company of the Sadhu; This is the highest karma." The outer sacred songs can be sung anywhere by any person, but the true Song of God can only be sung in the company of a Saint. "When you transcend the five elements, you contact the five-sounded Shabd." Of all the karmas we have got accounted against our names, this is the highest reward. "Nanak says he receives this gift as dues from past lives." If God showers His mercy, we get the most valuable gift.
Now I will take one hymn; listen carefully and try to understand. When the whole of the Bhagavad Gita was revealed to Arjuna, Lord Krishna asked him, "Have you listened to all this? If so, how much have you truly understood?" And then to fully understand is also not enough; one must go on to realization. He who is fully realized is a Satguru or Satpurush - he is the Word made flesh that St. John spoke of. Christ himself said, "Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life." People have forgotten the true meaning of these words: that "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us." He was the Bread and Water of Life. You dear ones who have come from faraway lands - I have great love for you in my heart. We have come here to learn the Truth; and whatever comes forth, I speak. The God Power or Christ Power under whose care you are taken is in you and shall never leave you; that remains forever.
This is a hymn of Guru Amar Das Ji, and he is saying that there is no greater good fortune than the opportunity to serve a Satguru. What is a Satguru? "He who knows the Sat Purursh is a Satguru; His company brings salvation; O Nanak, sing the praises of God." Complete freedom is gained through keeping the company of one who has come to know the Lord Himself. "Seeing the Satguru and taking his initiation, he gained the inner knowledge in full awareness." What is initiation? It means to bring out in full revelation that which is hidden. "The Satguru is the image of Truth." He has released his Soul from the mind and senses and has become the mouthpiece of God. He who is asleep cannot awaken another. Everyone is sleeping at the level of mind and senses; all are lost in illusion and need the help of One Who is free. How many people remember God for His sake alone? We want Him to fulfill our worldly desires, or we hope for happiness in the afterlife. He resides in each being, and when He sees that a child cannot live without Him, then He makes the meeting with the Satguru possible - He in Whom He has Himself manifested. There should be no guile in the heart - one should have a the desire to serve and sincere humility - then, "The Guru himself will come and meet him." The Guru appears when the disciple is ready, and greatly fortunate are those who have contacted God within during their lifetime.
What does service to Satguru mean? Mere lip service saying, "Ram, Ram," or merely putting one's head on His feet is no service. It is a mockery. But he who takes his Guru as the ever-present Power of God within him, lives in awe of that and knows that Power has constant observation over all his thought and action, will he ever sin? Furthermore, he will hold heartfelt respect for his Satguru's words - "Satguru's words - words ARE the Satguru." This kind of devoted service will achieve salvation. Christ says, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." It is the Satguru's wish that we make our lives pure and good: we should never squeeze the blood of other beings or cheat our fellow out of his share. Man should be of use to man. Truly speaking, a real man is one whose life is a service to others. If you love God, is not God everywhere? We are all brothers and sisters in God. How can you say you love the Master and hate your brother? The cure to many problems of this world is a sweet tongue imbued with humility. Even if you follow the Satguru, yet have not served Him, you will not get the full bereft of His company. "If you obey the Satguru one hundred percent, then you will realize what God is."
God is man minus desire. Man is God plus desire. If one can become desireless through the silence of the heart, that very silence will sprout forth into love. The same silence will become vocal. Many are fortunate enough to come to a Master, but they serve him half heartedly - with five, ten, or twenty percent sincerity. You will rarely find one who serves one hundred percent. After seventy or more years searching, Guru Amar Das received the priceless gift at the feet of Guru Angad, who removed the veil of illusion from his eyes and revealed the Truth unto him. "He who is true, know him to be the Truth."
The Lord is ever-existent. Truth, Naam and Shabd are the same thing; but you can say there are two meanings: Naam is the Truth itself, and Naam is also the Name we call Him. Regardless of the number of names given to Him; nevertheless, He is One. "Repeat, O mind, but one Name." So Naam Power is One, for God is actually nameless, but when He came into expression, that expression was called Naam or Name. "By the Naam, Khand and Brahmand are controlled." But we have no awareness of that Naam without the spiritual operation performed by the Satguru. Naam is controlling not only each soul in each body, but the whole vastness of Creation. It is known as Naam; it is also known as Shabd, the Word, Kalma, Sarosha, Nad, and other terms, but regardless, it remains the same Power. And He is the True Name to whom all these names were given. A God-realized person can rejoin you to that True Name, and then for twenty-four hours a day, you can be with that God Power. "Let anyone join me back to God!"
Guru Amar Das said, when finally he arrived at his Guru's feet, "I got very tired earning these karmas; But then the Satguru came without my effort." If we come to a Satguru, we should do our very best to serve Him - do something toward earning this rare gift He gives. He gives us the food for our soul, but we do not eat it. What are we doing with this precious gift? Joyfully we take it, but what do we do with it?
God resides in each being. It is the true Sound, the true Name - the single spoken Word. Those who are one with it overflow with its intoxication; so just as the flowers bloom in the spring, so anyone whose soul gets connection to the Naam will blossom forth with new life. "When you meet the Satguru, you sell the mind." If you take the medicine he offers, your life will blossom into fullness; there will be peace and love.
After His long search, Guru Amar Das gives some indication of his feeling by saying, "Oh forgetful mind, why so sorrowful?" After so many years of waiting, there should be no regrets for that, but only gratitude in the heart that at last the search is over. The whole world is full of gurus - if you pick up a stone, most probably you'll find a guru underneath; but we must remember that a true Guru is met only by those upon whom the Lord bestows His mercy and grace.
Only by a taste of the higher contact can the mind become content forever. It will leave the lesser worldly tastes - "Oh friend (mind), leave the tastes of this vast arena of lower desires; Drink the Nectar of Naam." It is the very Bread of Life - "Without tasting this Nectar, life is wasted, bereft of happiness." And how does one find this Nectar? "Pride, force, or strength of intellect availeth nothing; Only serve the Sadhu." You will get nothing by giving orders, offering cash, or trying to force the issue; you can only receive by true service to the Master, the manifested God in man - the Word, made flesh.
In the Gurbani, it is written, "The Guru's pleasure is like a permanent springtime." When we receive his gift, it is like an everlasting breath of spring to the yearning soul, which then revels in the spiritual sustenance. There are two kinds of devotion: one at the sense-level, and the devotion of the Gurumukh. "Take the Lord's Name through the Guru's word." The I-hood is banished by the latter, not by the former, because "In the Gurumukh's bhakti, the Sound is easily audible." You cannot become absorbed into anything until all is stilled; for that the Naam is necessary. "In the heart, the Light is apparent when you are absorbed." That Light, which is already within you, then bursts forth into brilliance. And into what should we become absorbed? "That intoxication of God's Naam, through the Guru's teaching."
That Naam will take you back to God; Light and Sound are the way back to God. It is sometimes called mysticism, and it is also called the Surat Shabd Yoga; but it is a natural practice which either child or venerable adult can equally do. Other practices are far too lengthy for this age. In Patanjali's yoga, for instance, one must transcend through six centers, one by one, before one can catch the Sound. So it is a wonderful concession that God has given in this age, that He has made it possible for anyone at any age to walk the Spiritual Path. In the olden days, a man had to spend many years at the Guru's feet before he would be given anything - in these days, who can do this? The Guru must now first give something, and then the disciple learns to purify his life. You will be able to observe that the more the Kali Yuga (Negative Age) increases its force, the more grace does the Guru bestow - to save any soul.
He has right understanding; he has full awareness of the oneness of all life. He remains unaffected through each passing phase, while the ripples on the surface of the ocean of life come and go. He works endlessly, tirelessly in this field of action - yet is above the effects of action. The meaning of the words neh-karma is to do the actions, yet remain actionless, so those who cannot see the true facts cannot become neh-karma. Only by seeing the action of the Lord in everything can one attain this state. "He is neh-karma who is connected with the Shabd." No matter how we emphasize that we are not the doer, yet there is always something inside that says we are.
No matter what practices are done, the darkness will remain; but in the Shabd there is Light, in the Shabd there is Sound. If a person is not connected, how will he see and hear? So only by meeting the Satguru and receiving His blessing can this darkness be dispelled. As long as the soul does not rejoin the Lord, it will have to continue coming and re-coming to the world of action.
He who follows this advice will lose all his attachments; his boat will be in the water, but the water will not be in his boat! He will live in the world, and yet out of it. He will see that the Power of God, you may call it the flowing pen of God, is writing out the destinies, according to the karmas: birth, death, poverty, riches, sickness, health, and so on. Such a soul has become God-intoxicated. His earthly family members go through birth and death, yet he experiences no exultation or sorrow. He who is truly connected to the Shabd gains these virtues without effort - he becomes the very abode of all virtues.
Life and death are automatically governed by God's own laws. For instance, a person has to live within the laws of his country of residence. If I must visit America, I must live according to its laws while I am there. Those who come to stay in India must do likewise. So whosoever comes to this world, the Divine Law is: As you sow, so shall you reap.
The Gurumukh is: "He Who is one with the Guru." And the Guru? He is the Word, made flesh. "He manifests Himself in the Guru and distributes the Shabd." He is not separate from the Shabd; He joins others to it. But a worshiper of the mind and senses - the manmukh - continuously falls. What can be said of the rishis and munis of the past who perhaps fell only once or twice, when we stumble at each step we take? Whoever lives under the influence of the mind and senses will fall. You can compare it to the embers of a fire which, although they seem dead and are covered with ashes, yet will flare into life again with a little breeze. But if water is poured on the fire - then? This is what happens to the Gurumukh.
Once Guru Arjan sent one of His disciples to stay with another disciple in Gujarat, an Indian state near Bombay. (My Master also sent people to me sometimes, saying, "Go brother, stay near him for eight or ten days.") So Guru Arjan gave this disciple a letter of introduction in which was written, "Keep the bearer of this letter with you for a few days." At the time he arrived and presented the letter, his host was busy preparing a funeral bier; so he asked him, "What is this for?" The host replied, "Oh, it will be useful." After a few days a marriage was arranged for the host's son, and after the ceremony at the bride's house they were returning home when the son collapsed and died. When they brought the body into the house, the father went to his workroom and brought out the bier he had made. In amazement, the visiting disciple said, "When you knew that your son was going to die, why did you allow him to marry?" The host replied, "It is the give and take of the karmas." The disciple considered carefully and realized that when the man had been making the bier, he had shown no sorrow; and when his son was married, he had shown no rejoicing. Who then was he? He was a Gurumukh, the mouthpiece of the Guru. Guru is the mouthpiece of God, and he who respects the Guru's every word will assuredly gain salvation. But a Guru like this is found only through great destiny. Now He tells of the manmukh:
The manmukh has no knowledge of the ever-existent God; but if you ever come to know what a Guru is, then there is nothing left to learn. The Guru teaches this with love, with persuasion - after all, they are His children! If a child is covered with filth, he cannot kill it. Under the influence of the mind, the manmukh has little understanding; he does not obey the Guru, he does not live for the Guru's pleasure, but he is concerned with his own will. The reason? He has little or no connection with the Shabd. When a person gets the connection, he should keep it intact and not break it; only then will all the virtues come, without effort. The precious attribute of true humility will grow in his heart. Just listening to the Shabd is a treasure of all virtues.
We never stop to consider that the Guru is forever with us; he sees all our actions. We are under the impression that he knows not what we do; so we do whatever we feel like doing. We even tell lies in front of him. If we could only know him for what he truly is! "Guru is the Power; Guru is the Shabd." There is no difference between Shabd and Guru, but we hold no value for him. He will never say, "I am the Guru," but always says that the Power of the Lord is working in him, and that is the Guru. Sometimes we stand before him and say, "No, Maharaj, that way is not right; it should be done this way." It is a pitiable state of affairs.
Yam Raj, the Lord of Death, is so strong that no one can overpower him; but the Guru's Shabd is all-powerful and so those who are connected to the Guru have full protection, and He cannot approach them. This shows something of the greatness of the Shabd. And yet Yam Raj was made by the same God Power. Why did the Lord make him? - for His own work. But it has been seen that if a Satsangi who has the real connection with Naam, in whom the Naam has manifested (has appeared), sits at the deathbed of any person, even a non- initiate, while he remains there, the Lord of Death will not come to claim that soul.
So who is concerned with the Lord of Death? Those who do bad actions and those who do good actions, for his duty is to reward the righteous and punish the wicked; but He respects and fears those in contact with the Naam, even though his own appointment is from God Himself. He is something like an appointed judge who declares, "In view of the facts before me, I order that you shall be hanged until dead."
He will go on punishing and rewarding until the people's karmas are finished - good or bad. But he who becomes the seer is free from this powerful Lord. So, is it not a great fortune to meet a Satguru? But unfortunate we are when we take His initiation and then do not obey him. Even then the Guru's blessing is such that no matter how disobedient a child is, yet it will never come under the rule of Yam Raj again. What a concession this is! "When the soul realizes, the records of Dharam Raj (another name for the Lord of Death) are burnt." The back records of the individual are transferred from the Negative Power into the hands of the Positive Power - the Guru. Kabir Sahib says, "O Kabir, may I meet thousands of sinners, yet never one without a Guru." All are sinners, yet to keep the company of those who have the Guru's blessing is far better, for the Naam will finish up the sins. This is another indication of the value of Naam. So we should now begin to earn it: become the controller of who we are and what we are, and with this all fear of death will go. A child cries at birth, and when he leaves he should have good reason to rejoice.
All is the Guru's or God's play - inside and outside - for the Guru is the Shabd itself. When Guru Nanak was asked who his Guru was, he replied, "My Guru is the Shabd, which is the Creator of all."
Whoever sits before a God-realized Person in all sincerity, in his company he will come to understand what the Shabd is, and what is the true gain from the Guru.
The Gurumukh sings the praises of Shabd in all ages. St. John tells us that "In the beginning was the Word." All Creation was made afterward. Beware of those who declare themselves gurus, for a true Guru will never say this; instead, he sees that God is the Doer. Sometimes it might be that an intoxicated man may murmur, "I am God, I am God" - that is something different; but there is no comparison between the Ocean and a drop from that Ocean. The Sun and its ray are incomparable. When the ray realizes what it is, deep humility comes, and he is humble. Such realization of the Lord is like an over-laden fruit tree, the weight of which bows the branches to the earth. He sees that some Power is working, and even if brickbats are thrown at him, yet he will give his blessing. Shankara said, "There is no difference between You and me; but the wave is of the ocean, the ocean cannot be of the wave."
How can one who is one with the Shabd be born, and how indeed can he die? He returns to his Father's home and does not come back to the world. If he does happen to return, it is not as a prisoner but as a doctor: A guide to humanity.
He gives the right understanding; he sees and then speaks. Without seeing, an explanation is like a blind man's knowledge.
The Naam Power, though one and the same, is known by different names. "Oh my mind, repeat the one Name." When the Master gives the contact and opens the inner eye, what is outside will be the same as is seen inside.
So contact with him will also give an inner peace and coolness. He is the Bread and Water of Life. He is saturated with the Love of God - is desireless. The ups and downs of the world may come and go, yet he never worries; even if his body breaks into pieces, yet will he be whole. Daily he leaves his body, he dies daily, and death holds no sting for Him. Christ told the people to take up the cross daily. Mira Bai says, "My Beloved is resting on top of a scaffold - how can I meet Him?" How can those who are sitting at the sense-level meet the Lord? A hundred wise men will think alike, no matter what the difference in their language or mode of speech. He Who has unraveled the mystery can give an experience to others, who, by daily increasing it, will become as wise as he. Do not all loving fathers desire their children to be even more successful than themselves? And which child will achieve that success? He who keeps the father's commandments.
He lives on an elevated level, he finishes the give and take of the children, he is fully awakened and clearly sees the true condition of this illusory world.
God accepts His devotion, because he is drenched in the Lord's color. In him, God has manifested; and he lives in God. His angle of vision is different from others: he has realized Truth itself.
Constantly absorbed in the love of God, he can go to His true home any time he likes. While singing the praises of God here on earth, yet when he goes home he is one with Him.
The Satguru makes audible the Inner Sound, which is above the five senses. Bhai Gurdas Ji says that if one wants to hear the Sound, one must rise above the five elements. And the more you transcend, the more will be revealed unto you. "Only he who goes high enough can know Him who is the highest."
The Guru Sahib says that he is overflowing with joy to take His Name. By His grace, everything blossoms. "He on whom rests the Guru's grace is perpetually in bloom."
Return to: Elixir