A fakir once went to a jeweler and told him, "Put the ring on." The jeweler said, "On whose finger?" The fakir replied, "On God's," and held out his finger. The jeweler was amazed and said, "Brother, what do you mean? You have held out your own finger!" But the fakir asked him, "Who made this finger? In the womb of the mother, who made it? It was God; and does it not belong to Whoever made it?"
This was a simple way of making someone understand that we all belong to God. We are all conscious entities--not the body, mind, or senses. We are the keeper of these faculties, but being surrounded by them we have become as their image, so much so that we have forgotten our true self. God, the Lord, is All-Consciousness--All-Awakened--the Truth. He is Ever-Existent, All-Wisdom, Eternal Bliss.
Try to understand with full attentiveness that the soul is the very form of Consciousness. Kabir Sahib says, This (the soul) is a part of God, just as the rays that come from the sun are of the sun. The rays are the sun's expression in the world--but they are not the sun itself. So God is All-Consciousness, the Subsistent Entity, the Sustaining Existence; and our soul is a drop of that Ocean of All-Consciousness. If the soul becomes free from the environment of mind and matter in which it is imprisoned, it will see that--He is in me, I am in Him. I and my Father are one. When that true awakening comes, His reflection is clearly seen in everyone. Every small child thinks he is wiser than others because he has the reflection of God (Who is All-Wisdom) in him. Even the most idiotic person will say, "No one can know as much as I." It is due to the reflection of God within. You can see this confidence of knowledge in all men, although they are not self- or God-realized. Each is an entity--a spark of the All-Light, a part of the whole, like a ray of the sun.
We frequently see the lifeless physical forms being taken to the cremation ground, and have perhaps on occasion lit the flame with our own hands; but it has never occurred to us that we will also die one day. This can also be attributed to the fact that being the reflection of the Truth, we consider we are eternal and all happiness. God is All-Bliss. We also want all happiness, and for this reason, we are constantly searching for it. How long does our earthly joy last? For as long as our attention, which is happiness, is attached to the source of it. It may be a good thing or a bad thing; but by putting our attention there, we get some joy out of it because essentially we are all-bliss ourselves.
Why are we not fully aware of this innate nature? Because we have forgotten who we are. The start of all this forgetfulness was the birth into the physical form. This body is the origin of illusion. We are not the body--we are the indweller. The body is attractive because we (the soul) are enlivening it. We are surrounded by the senses, and with the aid of the intellect, we attempt to think of a solution--but if only we would awaken within ourselves...The whole world is asleep, through attachment and forgetfulness; all is illusion. Being identified with the body, the soul loses itself in attachment more and more, creating a new world for itself--a world of delusion, derived by seeing things in different appearance than they actually are. We think that the body and all its surroundings are part of the Truth--and this is a delusion. Can we not observe that the body and its conditions are never consistent?
How can we get out of this imprisoning environment when we have become its very image? Whatever practices we are doing to realize God and self are of little use, for we do them at the level of mind, or the intellect, or senses. All outer practices--repetition, austerities, renunciation, devotional actions, holy scriptures, rites and rituals, pilgrimages, donating alms, singing and playing instruments--all outer things are done at this level. How can one who has become an image of the body and is indulging in outer practices expect to rise above the body? There is only one solution, and that is to search out One Who has Himself escaped from the illusion; it is an impossibility for us to free ourselves for reasons which I have already given.
Is there any Saint Who is the giver of happiness to reveal this Path to me? It does not matter of what caste or nationality He is. Ravidas was a cobbler, Kabir Sahib was a weaver, Tulsi Sahib was a man of learning (Brahmin), and Jesus was the son of a carpenter. Castes and trades were made by man--only man himself was made by God. Man in essence is everlasting; he has got a body, intellect, but he himself is the image of the All-Consciousness, called the soul. So all Masters have said, Know thyself.
When will you actually experience the fact that you and He are not separate and not different?--when you separate yourself from matter by self-analysis. You can try by feelings, or through inferences, but both are subject to error--seeing is above all. When can one see oneself or the soul in its native clarity? To control the senses, to still the mind and intellect; Then the soul is seen in all its glory. He Who knows Himself and knows He is the mouthpiece of God--that God is working through Him--He is free from illusion. Great power arises from such a condition.
Our soul is the same essence as that of God. If God, when He expressed Himself and said, "From one I shall be many," created millions of Brahmands (universes), then why, if we realize ourselves, can we not make one small town? We cannot because we are in deep forgetfulness. We give strength to the mind, intellect, and senses--they are all working because of us, yet we are their servant. It is an upside-down situation, for we should be the master of our being. In various ways, Masters try to expose the true state of affairs: that the body is like a cart, with the soul sitting in it. Intellect is the driver, the senses are the reins, and the mind is the horse which takes us from place to place. Blindly absorbed in the enjoyments, the senses are helpless; the mind, following the instructions from the senses, has overpowered our wisdom and is running wild. What a deteriorated condition!
If we could only find a True Master Who is in control of His attention and Who can withdraw the attention of any number of souls by a single glance through raising our attention above the body consciousness, He would show us without any doubt that the body is merely clay and we are giving strength to mind and outgoing faculties. The Controlling Power which is in each being and is vibrating throughout creation has two aspects: Light and Sound. These become apparent and audible to us when the attention is withdrawn above body consciousness.
Those Who have realized the Truth say I and my Father are one. In Bhanwar Gupha (the fourth inner plane) there is no difference between the soul and the Lord. You will never hear such people say, "I am the doer." They see that He is doing everything, and They speak as inspired by Him. As the words come from the Beloved, He brings them into outer knowledge. He might say the same things as ordinary people, but there is a great difference, for others are the doers, and He is not. He is doing everything and yet He is doing nothing. A bubble in water may give it a different appearance, but when the air comes out, only water remains. Fire and its sparks are not two different things--the sun and its rays are not different. So we are not different from the Lord. He is in us, we are in Him; but while we think we are the doer, we shall continue on the cycle of action and reaction. When we see that He alone is the Doer, our coming and going will finish.
The words of a Master are expressed on that level which will help the forgetful ones to understand. He explains that we are conscious entities called soul, and that between God and us there is no difference--that we also have His attributes, but on a smaller scale. The sun is in one place, but its attribute is shining everywhere; similarly, God is One, but yet He is everywhere. Those who wrote the Shastras (ancient Hindu scriptures) gave a very simple explanation: that you may assemble many pitchers filled with water, and the reflection of the sun will be seen in each one. However, true satisfaction of knowledge cannot be had by explanations, but only comes when a God-realized Person brings you above body-consciousness, so that you withdraw from the body for a while and see for yourself. Our attention gives strength to our whole being, and His single glance of attention makes our mind and intellect inactive for a time. The individual's background has some bearing, of course, but the more time a person can devote to withdrawing from outer things in a receptive mood, the more experience he will get. All genuine Masters have proven that One Who can give this experience is a True Mahatma, Saint, or Guru. When God is awakened in a man-body, He is called a Saint.
Outer modes of dress and manner do not make a Saint. Though God is everywhere, a Saint is truly One in Whom He is manifested. My Beloved is everywhere, there is no place where He is not; But I glorify that form wherein He is manifested. You will notice that the body is attractive only as long as we, the soul, are in it. As long as the companion is there, this body is alive; When the companion leaves, it goes to ashes. Normally the eyes, ears, nostrils, etc., are open, but we cannot run out of the body--some power is controlling and keeping us there. Two of the same kind, living in the same house, but not meeting and talking to each other. It is like two brothers in the same company--the soul and God--but sadly, they do not associate. Living in the water, yet thirsty; Seeing this, I laugh. Here, the situation is likened to a fish who is thirsty while living in water itself. It is all due to forgetfulness; and knowing this, all Rishis, Munis, Mahatmas, and enlightened men have said that man should know himself. Guru Nanak says, Without knowing yourself, this forgetfulness will not be set aside. It is a simple statement.
When will man realize that he is something other than the body? When, through a Perfect Master's grace, he rises above body-consciousness for a while. Through the Guru's blessing, your true self will be revealed. A realized soul can give a demonstration of this for a while--that is the guiding criterion in finding a True Guru. The true meaning of the word Guru is "dispeller of darkness." What kind of Guru does your heart desire? Kabir Sahib put this question to Himself and answered it by saying, That kind of Satguru I like, Who removes the veil from my eyes and shows me the Lord. Commonly, when a person closes his eyes, he sees darkness within. So Whoever is competent to remove that veil of darkness and reveal the Light and Sound Principle within--the two aspects of God-in-expression--can truly be known as a Guru.
There are those who teach outer practices, and one may be thankful to them; but in this way the attitude of doership will never leave the heart. And remember, While he thinks he is the doer, he will continue to reap the reactions. As you sow, so shall you reap. Good actions will bear good fruit, and bad actions will have unpleasant reactions. So, the coming and going continues, for both are equally binding for the soul, something like gold and iron chains. The cycle of births and deaths goes round and round until one becomes the conscious co-worker of the Divine Plan and knows that God Himself is the Doer. The disease of ego and possessiveness must be cured and finished before one is free from action and reaction.
There is a remedy. Ego and attachment were both burned through the Shabd; a Gurumukh gets the Everlasting Light. This disease is destroyed only by the Shabd--contact with the God-into-Expression Power. And who gets this realization? He who becomes a Gurumukh. Who is a Gurumukh? He who is close to the Guru. God Absolute -- Nameless, Formless, Soundless God -- this, no one can see. It is something one must become absorbed into. But when God expressed Himself, this resulted in Light and Sound. When a person sees that God's Light is working within him, and the whole intricate network of creation runs by its strength, the I-hood goes. So how can the coming and going continue to apply? If he is not doing anything any more, he remains unaffected by action, and the karmas will finish. This is the ultimate goal.
Lord Shiva once said, O Lord, I know there is no difference between Thee and me; but I am Thine, Thou art not mine. Just as a wave is of the ocean--the ocean cannot be of the wave--so, if you experience a ray of Light, you have experienced the Lord. But remember, a ray is a ray, and the sun is the sun. Lord Rama asked His great devotee, Hanuman, "Who are you?" He replied, "Maharaj, when I am in this physical body, I am Your slave; when I rise above the body, You and I are one." Such instances are written in the holy books, and there is definite meaning behind them. We could all give this same reply, but seeing and saying is different from reading and saying. The Masters first see, and then talk about what They have seen; whereas we talk on the level of mind and intellect of what we have not seen; that is the difference. A king with his army, treasury, and retinue declares himself emperor, but how much weight will be carried by the empty words of a man without empire and subjects?
The idea that "I am in everything because God is everywhere" is very wrong if we have not got the actual realization of it and have not become one with God. It is true we are all miniature Gods -- all God-in-man and man-in-God -- but we have forgotten the fact, just as in a dream where we are someone different than when we are awake. The experience of Truth can be obtained only in the human form. The whole world has forgotten the true teaching; No one can go beyond without the Guru. It follows also that, The orders from the Beloved of the Beyond cannot be understood without the Satguru. It is a fundamental law. How can he who has not realized himself help others? Through the intellect, at the level of the senses, one can discover many things; but to know oneself is an entirely different matter.
The very first thing to learn is to keep the company of He Who has the realization. It is natural that any subject we wish to learn -- even on the physical level -- must be taught to us by One Who has mastered it Himself. Even if we start with a good background, even then further guidance is very necessary. But the Guru should be a real Guru, not one merely so-called, from the class that has defamed the name of "gurudom." These days, if you pick up a stone you will find a guru, sadhu, or sant beneath. How many men can you find who are true to their declarations? Be circumspect in your search. It is also said, While I do not see with my own eyes, I cannot believe even my Master's words.
If we do not have the third eye opened to see the inner visions -- with perhaps more or slightly less experience -- and be fully convinced that something exists within, then how can we have full faith in the Guru's words? Go and search for Someone Who is authentic and competent. You will find many to give you one practice or another, telling you to carry on doing it and eventually enlightenment will come. Such actions are good, but your I-hood will not be eradicated until, with an actual connection within, you start to see.
Someone once asked Kabir Sahib what kind of respect He had for sadhus and sants, there being so many in the world. He replied, All sadhus are great in their own way; but I place my head at the feet of He Who is the knower of the Shabd. He hears It, is one with It, and can connect others to It. And when does one get such a Guru? Through good karmas a Satguru is met. When God showers His mercy, He brings the fortunate recipient to that human form wherein He is manifested.
What kind of yoga does the Satguru teach? He gives us the desirable service by connecting our attention with the Shabd. He does not give any practice at the level of mind, intellect, or senses, but connects the attention directly to the Shabd, which is the God-into-Expression Power. Philosophy deals with theory, but mysticism deals with contact with Reality, because philosophy works on the intellectual level, whereas mysticism works on the level of the soul. This is why Kabir Sahib said that all sadhus are respected, but a God-realized Person is worthy of worship. A God-realized man will give you realization. A king would never wish his son to serve as a minister, and a True Master desires that His children should reach the stage of Mastership.
You may read all the books written by and about the self-realized people, but the right understanding of them will only enter the heart when they are explained by a Self-Realized Person: Those Who see have one understanding. You will find that intellectuals have different understanding, because on the level of the intellect, naturally each will reason in his own way; so some say one thing and others say something else. All statements given out by past Masters on the subject of Truth have been one and the same. Of course, They used whatever language and mode of expression that were suitable at the time; otherwise, the facts are the same. Although it is written in those very scriptures that you cannot realize God through books, yet many people spend their whole lives searching among them. One should read and tully understand.
All Masters have indicated that God does not reside in temples made with stone. We have ourselves made these buildings--in our own image. Church steeples are nose-shaped, the merabh of the mosque is forehead-shaped, and the Hindu temple's dome is head-shaped. Within these holy places are kept the two symbols--the light is lit and the bell or other sound is heard. But, He Who made this house (human body) gave the key to the Guru. When this house was made in the womb of the mother, there was no machinery in there to form it; it was formed by the hand of God, and He took up residence within. So, in this temple of God--the human body--the Light of Truth is shimmering. Though we have respect for outer temples where the people should gather to sing the praises of the Lord, yet we should light the Light within ourselves.
Many Muslim fakirs have frankly stated that for those people whose eye is not open, the mosque is that which is made of bricks and mortar. For realized souls, who are in full control of their faculties, this physical form is the true mosque. They have also said that no one should say the Kaaba is better than a temple. Within the Kaaba, Hazrat Ibrahim's Hajar-ul-Asvad is kept as a monument, which is kissed in reverence--but suchlike images and memorials are kept in holy places in remembrance of God. The fakirs say also that where God is manifest is the best place for worshiping Him.
Now listen attentively to the hymn of Guru Amar Das Ji Sahib:
We live in this body; it is the soul's house. On top of this, we have made houses for this house. He says, Within this house lies everything--nothing is outside. The whole creation resides therein. Whatever Brahmand is, so is this body; he who searches will find it. Macrocosm is in the microcosm, and he who searches outside the body will never find it. The thing is in one place, you search in another; how will it come to hand? Kabir Sahib says, You will realize it only if you take the One Who knows. Keep the company of one who has mastered whatever subject you want to learn. So, if you meet Someone Who truly knows Spirituality, then:
With a little attention from a competent Master, you will withdraw from outer conditions and the Light will appear within, however little experience it may be. I remember once, Jawaharlal Nehru was discussing this science with me, and he asked the question, "How can you realize this thing?" I replied, "By giving a sitting." He said, "How much time will it take?" I said, "Half an hour." The thing itself is within, but the one to see it is wandering around outside, dancing to the tune of mind and senses. The soul sustains the latter, but he is himself being dragged here and there. Because we have erred, this is our condition--when instead we could have made the senses work to our will, for they cannot operate without our attention.
With the Guru's blessing, the door which lies between us and God is opened. In Guru Nanak's Jap Ji, He tells us:
That which we call the One is something. He is not one and He is not two--this is merely a way of remembering Him, for we are finite and require finite terms. There is no way of praising Him, but there are words which attempt to describe that He is the Truth; He is the Naam; He is the Doer; He is the Supreme Being beyond birth and death. He was not created, but born of Himself. And that God is the blessing from the Guru--Satguru shows the One. An experience of that One which we also call the Truth is given by the Guru, for that One responds to the wish of the Guru. Guru Amar Das achieved this after more than seventy years of searching, and from what He has written, it seems that He left no practice unexplored. When at last He reached His goal, He said that doing all those karmas He had become extremely tired--and then the gift of the Satguru came so easily. Without good karma, you cannot meet a Guru; and then it happens only with God's grace. He is waiting at the door, which He Himself will open.
I once met a man of some spiritual repute, but he did not believe that there is Light within the human being; he considered it good enough to see the sun outside and that there is merely flesh, bones, blood, and dirt within the body. And yet all great Masters have firmly declared that by repetition of the Holy Naam, a Light the strength of millions of suns will be seen within the human form. It is said also that the Guru makes us owner of the house, like a queen, and gives us ten servants (the five gross and five subtle senses) at our call. The servants obey implicitly when the owner is in full control. The outcome is revealed within, when the sun appears in all its glory. Guru Nanak says, The midnight sun has risen. Maulana Rumi says, Only those who see the midnight sun should come and talk to me; otherwise, do not waste my time. When do we see it? When we withdraw from outer environments we realize it in this very temple of God, the human body. By repeating the Naam, the light of millions of suns is apparent.
A Guru is not just a literary man but a Realized Soul; Someone Who does not live in darkness, and Who can remove the dark veil from the eyes of others. It is the principal criterion for judging a Guru. A man may be learned--a great intellectual or propagandist--but living in darkness. How can one who sees not the Light show it to others? Though the Light burns in each being, yet it is rather likened to a lamp upon which are many coverings and from which not a single ray of light shines forth. The soul has many coverings; so if you remove the first, a glimmer of Light will be seen. If the second covering is removed, even more Light will shine, and so on. He Who has removed all coverings will radiate forth the Light of God in full effulgence, and He is a True Disciple. He is then a true Hindu, true Sikh, true Christian, true Muslim, etc.
Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib gave the example that if some floral design is engraved on a wall, it will remain there, come rain or shine. We, the soul, have become so much attached and a part of the world that we cannot withdraw from it. However, One Who is in control of His attention can help us to withdraw by His single glance. The Saint has given me the wealth. That wealth must be increased. A fine lecturer may instruct in the principles of running a business and becoming wealthy, but unless he also gives some capital to start with, the information is useless to a poor man. A True Saint never merely says, "Go on doing this and you will eventually get something." A True Saint is the One Who gives some capital to start with. And Who is that Saint? He in Whom God has manifested Himself. God is the Giver--not the human form. Through the Satguru, you will realize God, brother. It is also said, Without a Satguru, no one has realized Him. Hundreds of moons and thousands of suns are inside, but you have not the strength to see them.
The Guru is a great power; He is God-in-man or man-in-God. He is Word made flesh: The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. Also, In the Guru, He has manifested Himself, and distributes the Shabd. When you get the Shabd, you will get God. The God-into-Expression Power is called the Shabd, and the Shabd which is manifested in a human pole is called the Guru. Ice, steam, and water are all basically the same substance. Satguru is complete in Himself. The Satguru is that Power which is complete in its own strength. The same Power working on higher planes is called Gurudev. On the physical level it is also called Guru, Sant, Mahatma, Sadhu, etc. Who is competent to tell of God? The stories and anecdotes of God can only be told by the Guru. Information about the Lord must be factual, and only the Guru can give it, for He Himself is the Truth; He tells what He sees. Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him. He does not add anything from outside, but shows what is already within; it is a subject of self-analysis. When you meet a Satguru, the inversion starts. At present all expression is outward, but through the Guru's power the senses begin to invert within. When Guru Amar Das Ji was asked how the senses can invert, He replied:
The subject cannot be expressed in words; one must sit down and experience it. He was also asked what one gets through inversion, and He replied, "Die while living, and you will unravel it." At the time of death, the attention withdraws by leaving the senses and focusing at the point behind and between the eyes. While living here in the world you can learn to die at will, and can be the one who sees the mysteries of the Beyond. Iearn to die so that you may begin to live. As Christ said, You must be reborn. Also, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation.., the kingdom of God is within you.
Man is an upside-down tree, with the roots at the top. A tree's roots are in the earth, and the branches stretch upward; but man's roots go up, and the branches down. Christ told the people to take up the cross daily, which means every day one should rise above body consciousness. St. Paul said, I die daily. The whole world leaves at death, but it is a natural science to leave at will, the art of which we have forgotten. The Gurumukh comes and goes at will. The Gurumukh, not the manmukh.
Each one has the wealth of Naam within him; and that Naam is what? God is Nameless -- Namustung Anamung -- which means I bow to He Who has no name. When God Absolute, that which is not in expression, came into expression, that was called Naam. Naam sustains all Khand and Brahmand (i.e., the whole universe). Also, Through Naam all Creation came into being. So He says that within us is the wealth of Naam, which is the controlling power. 0 Nanak, everything is under the control of Naam; with great destiny it is received.
How can one recognize the Naam? When the Absolute God-power was expressed, there was vibration, and that vibration has two aspects: Light and Sound Principle. By repetition of Naam, the Light of millions of suns can be seen. Also, God keeps the jeweled song of His Name with the Sadhu. In that song is the Light and the Sound; you have only to withdraw from outside and you will see and hear, with the help of a Perfect Master. Until you see and hear for yourself, you cannot truly believe. How many Mahatmas can you find who will give this experience by giving a sitting? A learned man will give you scholarly knowledge; a doctor will teach through anatomy and dissection; a God-realized Person will give you a demonstration of the soul's awakening, by self-analysis. After more than seventy years of hard searching, Guru Amar Das got this realization at the feet of Guru Angad Sahib.
The Elixir of lmmortality is the Name of the Lord; It resides in this body. Naam is the giver of all kinds of happiness, but one must withdraw the attention and rise above the body-consciousness. That Naam which is then contacted inside is delectably sweet; there is great intoxication there. The intoxication of Naam, 0 Nanak, inebriates day and night. There may be a variety of words to signify, but the Power is the same. Repeat, oh my mind, that one Naam which the Satguru has given. The different names given to the Lord are merely the means of remembering Him. I pay homage to all Thy Names. But He is the Form of All Light and is called Guru, Sant, Sadhu, Mahatma, etc.
Because He speaks of what He has seen, the Guru's thoughts are invaluable. The seeker who really wants the Lord will receive, for He Himself will make the arrangements for meeting that Personage in Whom He is manifested.
There is a feast of all feasts within: a feast of jewels. Those who are familiar with the Jap Ji will remember the words, Within is the jewel of jewels; Listen to the Guru's teaching. The Master's way of describing the Truth is very clear and open. There is food for the hungry and water for the thirsty. Whoever has a sincere yearning for the Lord will most definitely get Him. Many will say, "I want God," but they should analyze their desire and see why they are wanting God. It will be discovered that they really want the health of their children, wealth, name and fame, the removal of their unhappiness, or peace in the hereafter, and many other things. Everyone seeks solicited favors; no one really wants God and God alone. All cry out for worldly satisfaction, and God goes on granting their wishes. And he who truly desires the Lord and the Lord alone--most definitely he will get his heart's desire. Such single-pointed devotion is the ideal condition for realizing the Lord. I do not want Swarg (Heaven) or Vakunt (higher heaven); I only want to repose in the lotus feet of my Guru. How can one reach God if he desires the fruits of this world or the next? Comb your heart and find out if you truly want the Lord. True desire does exist, but it is very rare.
In no other expression but the human form can a soul realize God. Who will succeed in this? The Gurumukh. And who is the Gurumukh? He who is close to the Guru -- he whose eyes meet the Guru's and become one -- he whose soul is one with the Guru. How can a person who does not even know how to sit in his Master's presence be called a Gurumukh? The eyes are the windows of the soul, and the inner wealth is the property of the Gurumukh, not the manmukh (the mouthpiece of the mind). He who obeys the Guru's every word will realize the Lord. But we choose to modify His commandments to our own way of thinking. We forget that when the Guru Power initiates, It remains with the disciple watching his every move -- and does not leave him until he has arrived in the Lord's lap. Christ said, Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
How would one recognize a Gurumukh? They keep the Guru overhead and live upon His wishes. The Guru is constantly apparent to the Gurumukh, who knows that all his actions are observed by his Guru. He who is always aware of that ever-existent presence will never disobey. Kabir Sahib says, This kind of disciple has no fear in all three regions. It is also said, The servant in the Guru's house has implicit obedience in his mind; He has no self-value and his heart ever repeats God's Name. You are fortunate to come to the Guru's door. But most people consider themselves above others and will push themselves to the fore; even among themselves they start fighting. One should be grateful if one's smallest service is accepted in His vineyard. All work will be successful from that servant who sells his mind to the Satguru.
A plant from a sesame seed sprouts and then dies. He who attempts to realize God through mind and senses, and not through a Guru's power, falls down in his efforts and never reaches his goal. However, he who obeys the Guru's word will succeed. Christ told His disciples to keep my commandments. Even if you obey the Master's words blindly, you will benefit. Kabir Sahib says, In the court of the Lord, there is nothing lacking. If any failing is found, it will be in the manner of our service. Think deeply on these points--where do you stand? If you live by surrendering yourself completely to His will, you will reach the highest goal. While you do not surrender, you will find failings.
The macrocosm is in the microcosm--there are worlds within worlds inside the physical form. Whatever the Brahmand is, so is the Pind (body), and he who searches will receive. Beyond the body is the And (astral), then Brahmand (causal), Par-Brahm (beyond causal), and Sat Lok or Sach Khand (true place or region). All these planes are within you. The experience of them starts when you leave Pind--when you rise above body-consciousness. What does everlasting mean? That which never dies. What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Of what value are all worldly things if you do not realize who you are and Who the Sustainer is? What will you have to your credit? In the Jap Ji, Guru Nanak has explained this beautifully:
We can gain the greatest blessing in this human form, but we choose the world which is much loved by us. We tend to wave aside our higher aspirations and comment vaguely, This world is sweet--who has seen beyond it? The famous Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore, had great insight in summing up this very situation when he prayed, O Lord, I know that in You is limitless wealth, but I cannot empty this house of mine of its rubbish. All glory and beauty lie within this form, but it can be experienced only by rising above the body. You can say that one dies while living, or you can say that one is twice born. Having tasted such Nectar, why return to the world with its insipid display of wines? We are ever engaged in trying to improve our worldly conditions and surroundings, never giving a single thought to the subject of Spirituality, but, In the end, everything will go.
How did Valmiki, Who was previously a famous robber, become a Saint? He used to rob people and live on the loot. But one day, unknowingly, He tried to rob a Saint, and the Saint said to Him, "Look here, this that you do is not good. Your mind makes you do it, but tell me frankly, is it a good thing?" Valmiki agreed that it was very bad, but when the Saint asked Him why He continued doing it, He said, "It is my living--I have a wife and children to support." The Saint said, "All right, you know that you are committing sins, but go and ask your wife and family if they will share the responsibility of those sins with you." Valmiki laughed and accused the Saint of intending to run away, but the Saint said, "You may tie me to this tree, but you should go home and get the answer to this question." Valmiki had become quite intrigued with the subject and agreed. When He reached His home, He explained the situation to His wife and children, fully confident of their love for Him and fully expectant that they would support Him. But they all said, "Why should we share your sins? We want food, and we don't care where or how you get it--that is your affair. How can we share the responsibility for what you are doing?" Shaken to the core, Valmiki went to the Saint and begged His forgiveness. That dacoit became Maharishi Valmiki--a great Saint Who went into such deep and long samadhi that the bees made their hives in His hair. He wrote the Ramayana (story of Lord Rama) in verse, many thousands of years before Lord Rama came to the earth.
So you see, a man can change--he but requires some worthy aim in life. For those who love the world, the Beyond does not exist; but for those who long for the Beyond, this world and heaven and even above heaven has no meaning in their lives. A devoted soul desires only the Beloved's love. He wants to see Him. The very last words of the Guru Granth Sahib are, O God, give me Thy darshan (glance). He who sees the Lord in everything is the beloved of the Lord. Maulana Rumi says that compared to the vastness of the worlds within, this world is not even the extent of an atom. What a magnificent abundance of Life there is within us! Those who have tasted the joys of the Beyond find no satisfaction in the world. They live by the orders of the Most High.
At present, the mind desires those things it cannot get. When it realizes the Truth, the whole of Nature will be at its beck and call. Underlying, its desire is for permanent happiness, and when it gets this, all coming and going in the world will cease. While it remains within the scope of the three regions, it will continue to return to the earthly sojourn; and not until it gains access beyond Brahmand will the soul be truly free. Heaven, hell--again and again, birth. The ABC of Spirituality starts where the mind and senses are not! Maulana Rumi Sahib says, While we do not rise above, we are ignorant of that Invisible's picture. All practices concerning outer knowledge are connected with body, mind, intellect, and senses; and whenever they cease to function, Spirituality starts from there.
The majority of those who listen do not absorb; they merely hear. Gold is a rare and valuable metal, but without purchasers it will remain in the shop. The spiritually qualified are called atheists by the unqualified. Guru Nanak was so-called. Some realized men were skinned alive, some were hanged or crucified. Some were burned alive or made to sit on a red-hot plate. Practically every conceivable indignity has been perpetrated upon Them. So only Those Who truly know can have respect for this precious gift. Body should be the Guru's, mind should be the Guru's. Then He says, You get the Par-Brahm. One can understand why He says, He who is qualified protects the wealth. And he who becomes a Gurumukh will get it.
Some spend their whole lives searching among outer things. But those who are fortunate will find, like Guru Amar Das Ji, that the treasure they seek lies within themselves.
As long as we remain in illusion, we will wander aimlessly, without roots. The manmukh spends his whole life in forgetfulness and then dies in it. Then where does he go? Wherever your thoughts are will be your abode. But true seekers are the fortunate ones to grasp the facts. When Guru Amar Das Ji received the treasure, He explained the facts so minutely that there can be no more doubt.
This body is like a huge Granth (Sikh holy scripture)--or a big Bible, Koran, or Veda. Whatever the Masters discovered within Their books, They clearly gave out to mankind. He who goes within will realize the Truth. They have told of the real values of life, but without going within one will never benefit from Their words. Merely following the letter of the word will not give you experience. Even if you read and fully understand what is written, you will not experience the same. Understand what I am saying, and then go and search for it. A great part of your life has faded away; make the best use of what is left. If we really want God, we will definitely get Him. Use your awareness wisely, for only in this human life can you receive the abundance of wealth, and in no other. We may have succeeded in every phase of life--intellectually, physically--but what have we done for our true self? Just think, where are you going and what are you doing?
He who "taps inside" and enters his own home gets food for the soul and eternal bliss. His aimless wandering will cease. Guru Amar Das Ji has described all actions at the level of senses as beating the husk to try to gather the non-existent grain. He says also that it is like a man who worked from morn till night but received no payment and returned home tired and unhappy. All karmas and dharmas (actions and righteous actions) come under this category. Only by the Guru's grace can you realize the Brahma within. The Guru's greatness is thus demonstrated. This is not through ego that He says so, but is just a statement of fact. They do not speak through pride, but merely state, "Yes, we have seen it." When They are asked if They have got anything, They say, "Yes, we have received God's gift." He who becomes a Gurumukh will also receive. When the Lord so wishes, He Himself will show the way.
By repeating the Naam, the soul becomes glorified at the Court of the Lord. By repeating the Naam, they return to their true home; 0 Nanak, their faces are radiant with freedom. It matters not to which religion, caste, or country one belongs; he who gets the connection with the Lord will gain salvation. He will become what the books describe through that very Power of which they speak. Oh my mind, repeat the Naam, this wealth which the Satguru has given.
For whom is this teaching? All Masters' words are uttered for one and all. Why is this? Because all teachings of the Masters are alike. So remain in your own religion, keep your own customs, but do the real work ahead of you. Millionaires will leave their millions behind, those who have mud huts will leave them; this body did not come with you and will not accompany you when you return. Yes, you will take your actions with you.
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