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The True Master and His Mission
Sant Kirpal Singh Ji
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The Necessity of a Living Master
The Way back to God is not of man's making but of God's, and it is free from artifice and artificiality. God draws man back to Himself through His chosen elect, the Godman, to whom the secret of the Path (the God-way) is revealed directly or made manifest by some Sant Satguru, for the benefit of the people.
The Masters, the Messiahs, the teachers and prophets all the world over fall into two categories with a separate mission assigned to each. There are, on the one hand, those whose sole purpose is to keep the world going harmoniously; and on the other hand there are those who are commissioned to lead back souls who are ripe for home-going, and yearn for an early return to the Source Spiritual from which they parted long ago before drifting downward to the material plane. In the first category fall all the reformers, and in the second such Sants and Sadhs as are competent to reveal the knowledge of God and to make manifest the power of God in man.
The process of ascent back to the Source is just the reverse of that of descent down to the physical plane, and one has therefore to reintegrate himself, to gather all his wandering wits at the still point of the soul - in between and behind the two eyes - where time and Timelessness intersect, before the spirit comes to its own and launches upon the Sea of Life for an inner journey homeward. This, in fact, has been the sole theme of all sages and seers everywhere.
A Great Saint – Baba Jaimal Singh (1987, p. 1)
Ages ago, Nature provided for us materially and spiritually. Today, the same unchangeable Law is operating and will continue to do so in the future. There is food for the hungry and water for the thirsty. Nature's inexorable and eternal Law of demand and supply always works.
It is only through a Living Master that we can contact the Almighty God within us.
Man Know Thyself (1988, p. 9)
Man needs man to bring him understanding, and so a Sant is the High One in the guise of man to Whom those longing for Him may approach. The unseen Almighty has His own law in this respect. Thus the Sant is God plus man. He is the mouthpiece of God, or if anyone is pleased to accept it, He is God-in-Person or Personified God. He is the most sacred 'Personal God' invested with all Powers and Authority, and He is a Living Altar to Whom man may pray and seek a solution of his problems from birth to death and after. He is the only source within the reach of man through which he can unite himself with God.
Spiritual Elixir (1988, p. 202)
Masters form a Divine Brotherhood in God. They are the Gems of humanity Who have completed the evolution and risen unto God. They have achieved complete Oneness with the Divine-Being and are overflowing with the holy Word of Life. The unfoldment of the spiritual life is quickened by the help of a Master. This help is of immense value. It quickens the inner possibilities of the soul. It awakens the spiritual life in us and leads us to the highest Goal. This quickening impulse cannot be derived from sacred books. As Light comes from Light, so Life comes from Life. A soul must receive live-impulses through the lyrical glances of some Master-Soul.
Spiritual Elixir (1988, p. 221)
Master of the time is a living Master who is imparting spiritual instructions to his following. But all Masters of bygone times are past Masters or Masters out of date. Each of these Masters had his own role to perform. The accounts of the ancient and outdated Masters and their teachings do a kind of spade work by cutting the untrodden soil and by creating a interest in us in esoteric matters of the spirit. Each of them lays emphasis on the need of the living Master and records his own spiritual experiences. It is from their exhortations that we are moved to begin the search. The innate urge in us is quickened and we are impelled to go in quest of one who can lead us Godward.
The work of imparting actual spiritual instruction and guidance is, however, done by a living Master. Highly charged as he is with higher consciousness, he injects the jivas with his life impulse. Spirituality can neither be bought nor taught, but it may be caught like an infection from one highly infected himself. As Light comes from Light, so Life comes from Life, and a spirit that is bodily ridden can only be moved by Spirit that is untrammeled by body and mind. This is the only way and there is no other way for spiritual training.
Without a living Master there can be no escape from bondage for the spirit.
Godman (1989, p. 26 )
It is only through a Living Master that one can contact the Almighty God within.
Spiritual Elixir (1988, p. 223)
All I need add is that the Christ or God-Power that worked on the selected human Pole of Jesus, who was His mouthpiece, works on the chosen Pole of the Living Master from time to time to reclaim and own His dear ones, to guide them and show them the same way to Him. He is just like an electric bulb which is fused and another is put in its stead. Physical body passes away but the Christ-Power never leaves until the end of the world. His benign grace works at all times-past, present and future. Thus the High One works unceasingly at all times through a Living Master.
Spiritual Elixir (1988, p. 223)
In the absence of a living Master, one cannot develop the devotional attitude so very necessary on the spiritual path. There cannot be any devoted attachment for a person or thing which we have never seen and of which we have no idea. The very term "attachment" signifies that there is an object of attachment.
Some persons feel that this need for an approach to a living Master so emphatically stressed in Gurbani related to the time of the ten Gurus alone, but that is not the case. The teachings of the Masters were addressed to man in general and were for all times. Their appeal was universal and not restricted to any particular sect or any specific period:
The teachings of the Masters are common for all.
Godman (1989, p. 27 )
To succeed on this inner Path, we must find One who has explored it to its utmost limits. A Living Master is an indispensable need, and an indis- pensable means to the attaining of Self-Realization. On the purely physical level, He serves as a living example of a Perfect Life. He tells us of our True Home and the way that leads to It. On the spiritual side He gives us details of the inner Path, its intrica- cies and difficulties, provides His Attention, with an actual experience of withdrawal from the body and of the inner Light and Sound, and guides us through the more difficult parts of our inner journey until we reach our Goal.
Spiritual Elixir (1988, p. 25)
… but a person cannot have more than one Guru for spiritual perfection. It does not matter even if a Guru after initiating a person passes away.
Once he initiates an individual, the Subtle Form of the Master gets embedded in the disciple for he becomes from that moment the disciple's ideal and his instructions gradually begin to bear fruit. …
Loyalty to the Master who has initiated the spirit and to whom the spirit has pledged his troth demands the recognition that the Master is competent to impart further guidance and instructions, even when he is working on the spiritual plane after having left the physical world.
Godman (1989, p. 24, 25)
When the practical side is neglected due to lack of firmness or determination, carelessness or pressure of circumstances, scholars of many religious schools dwell more and more upon theory alone. The decline of the Science then commences and man finds no solace. This is usually the case when a Master leaves the body. Adequate provision, however, is made for the revival of this Science in every age, when both the Positive and Negative Powers commence their rounds again; the former through the agency of Master-souls, while the latter works through persons—so-called Masters— who lack practical experience or are lost in theoretical disputations.
Man Know Thyself (1988, p 10.)
In order to derive full benefit from Para Vidya (Science of Spirituality), it is absolutely necessary to have the guidance of a living Master, or an adept both in the science and art of spirituality. He must be a Murshid-i-Kamil or perfect Saint who can lead aspirants to perfection. If the blind leads the blind, both fall into a ditch is a common aphorism too well known to need any comment.
There are various grades and stages on the spiritual path. A Saint of the highest order alone can safely take the jivas to the pinnacle of spirituality. One who is a novice or has climbed half-way cannot take a jiva to the top.
Godman (1989, p. 110)
To love, revere and feel grateful to our fellow man is to love and revere God. So too, the love for the visible Master, our closest connecting link with God, is in reality love for the Supreme Father. We should therefore try to measure the depth of God's mercy and grace through a Master-Saint, who is God's visible representative. It has Spirituality as its end and is not idolatry. The atmosphere in which such a genuine Master moves is charged with currents of peace and love which affect those who come into contact with Him.
Man Know Thyself (1988, p. 29)
The Perfect Master and His Mission
A living Master is the only hope for the erring mankind; a kindly Light to guide their faltering footsteps and a Saviour for the sinful. With the help of limitless Naam or Shabd, of which he is a vast treasure-house, he helps the jivas or the embodied spirits to cross safely over the ocean of life and gain Life Eternal.
Godman (1989, p. 16)
The Master acts as a lodestar in all spiritual endeavours. He extends all feasible help to the disciple with His exhortations both within and without, and always keeps him steady on the right Path. Distance does not stand in His way. The Master's helping hand goes to the disciple far and near, in the burning desert sands, on the snow-capped mountain tops, and in the dreary wilderness. He exercises a healthy and corrective influence on the spiritual aspirants by releasing forces within His field of influence, like a mighty lodestone that holds marvellous attraction within its magnetic field. The Master is a mouthpiece of God. He is the Pole at which God manifests His Godhood. He may be likened to a switch which has in it the concentrated energy of the power-house.
Spiritual Elixir (1988, p. 203)
Sant – the Master may seem an ordinary man to all external appearances. He is, however, a great deal more. He is a Perfect Man with the experience of outer and inner life. Outside experiences differ in various countries, but inner experience never. He may be defined as one brimming with Spirituality and above the life of the senses. He has freed Himself from various sheaths of grosser and finer matter, and He has seen the All Truthful with His spiritual eye. He is Competent to develop the spiritual possibilities lying dormant in man. He is charged by God Himself with the Magnetic Force. He is the mouthpiece of the Eternal. He has in Him the Refulgent Light of the Infinite, and He is Competent to Light the lamps of others.
Spiritual Elixir (1988, p. 204)
Satguru is the real friend of the disciple. He saves him from tense and hopeless situations. He comes to his aid when he has despaired of all hope and relief, and is surrounded by seemingly powerful forces arrayed against him, From time to time the disciple feels the overpowering influence of the Master working for his good. At times he works in ways that are difficult for the disciple to understand. just as a mother waits in the early morning hours for her sleeping child to awaken, in the same way, even more anxiously, the Master looks forward wistfully to the time when his disciple, steeped in deep ignorance born of matter and mind, will raise his head, look toward him and gladden his heart.
The loving care of the Master becomes more manifest at the time of the disciple's final leave-taking from the world. While all his relatives and friends helplessly wait beside the sickbed, and the doctors declare the case hopeless, the Luminous Form of the Master appears to take charge of the departing spirit and guide it to the new world, to the judgment seat of God.
After that, he takes it to whatever region he thinks best, for further discipline and advancement on the path. …
All our worldly ties and connections are of an ephemeral character. Some leave us in poverty, some in adversity, some in illness. A few may stay beside us all through life, but they too fall away at the time of death. But Satguru is the real friend, who always overshadows the disciple and keeps his protecting arms around him wherever he may be. He stands by him at the time of his death and even goes along with his spirit as a guide to the other worlds. …
A soul awakened to Reality by a Satguru cannot be a prey to the messengers of death but must go with the Radiant Form of the Master, which comes to receive it when it casts off its physical raiment.
Godman (1989, p. 265, 266)
A Competent Master gives full instructions about the true Naam or Word to His disciples at the time of initiation. It is He, who inspires the holy Naam and makes it manifest in the initiates. He shows them that the treasure of Divinity lies hidden within, and He tells them how to get in touch with it.
Spiritual Elixir (1988, p. 206)
When I went to the feet of my Master (Baba Sawan Singh Ji), after a few days I asked Him, "This method is very perfect. What is the proof that it will remain even after you?" That was a very insolent question, of course. But I did ask him, because I was very much interested in the competency of the system. Everybody gets experience and advances on the Way so quickly, about which we generally know very little. This is the last, ultimate thing which we have to attain. But the Master's grace is there: he gives it the very day of Initiation.
Then he said, "To whomsoever I will authorize, I'm responsible that this will continue. For others, I'm not responsible." It naturally happens that when a Master leaves the physical body, so many people take up the Way, considering perhaps that it is a matter of honor or income. So He said, "To whomsoever I will authorize, I'm responsible that this will continue. For others, I am not responsible."
(Washington D.C., Jan. 21, 1964)
published in the Jul. '76 issue of Sat Sandesh
Question: What is a Sant or Master?
Answer: A Sant or Master in the Saints' terminology is one who goes to Sach Khand or the Fifth Plane and comes back at will, and who can give you experience of contact with Word or Naam.
A Mahatma is a word in the vernacular to convey a highly evolved Soul. These words are, however, not properly used these days and an ordinary person of small degree of piousness may be termed a Sant or Master. But you need not worry about words.
Spiritual Elixir (1988, p. 24)
Master always holds the hands He takes. There is never a thought of loosening that tight hold. Master- Power will never leave nor forsake the initiate until the end of the world. He is a fathomless ocean of love Incarnate. Love knows only giving. So He gives and gives. He continually sends His grace to them. When the initiate sees the Master's inner glory and charm and listens to the strains of Music, he or she must respond, no matter what those who are ignorant may say. This is a Gift of the Master.
The Master is always with His initiates working over their heads and He is never unaware of their inner longings and feelings. He helps to wind up the karmic debts so that they need not return for another earthly sojourn.
Spiritual Elixir (1988, p. 216)
When a Sant walks on the ground, the land becomes pure and sacred. When he walks over the grass or in walking crushes any worms or insects, they get a man's body direct, irrespective of the cyclic order and stages of evolution of creation of life on earth in Nature's science. The fruit trees and plants from which the cereal comes which a Sant uses in his diet also get human bodies directly. The tree, a portion of a branch of which the Sant uses as his datan (toothbrush), and the cows who provide milk for the Sants also get man's body direct. Similarly the mares, etc., Sants ride, the ants or worms whose bodies touch the flowing water in which a Sant bathes, or any flying bird who happens to see the naked portion of the body of a Sant also get the same advantage.
An ordinary man would take this as an enigma or joke and would hardly be prepared to believe because his testing stone is his intellect, and he knows nothing of the Power of God, or such powers delegated to or concessions inherent in the bodies of Sants, unless he acquires experience in the noble science that has been designed by God Himself for man. It is true that God is unseen to external eyes, but He has not left man all forlorn on earth so far as approach to Him is concerned. The door of approach, the starting point, for any search or research in this connection lies within man. The Sant is the means.
Sant – the Master
Master takes care of and extends protection for all who are dear and near to the disciple and looks after their best interests.
Spiritual Elixir (1988, p. 213)
God-Man is the only True Friend. All worldly connections are severed at the time of death. All friends, all relatives, the wife and children must part. Who is there to accompany you to the other world? – the Word personified in the God-Man. He helps you in all your undertakings here and hereafter. The God-Man receives the initiates at the time of death, when all others fail. Like a never-failing friend, He always holds out His helping hand.
Spiritual Elixir (1988, p. 222)
How to Recognize a True Master
The life and conduct of a perfect Master single him out as a unique personality apart from the rest of mankind.
Touch ye not the feet of one who
living out of the offerings of the people;
O Nanak! he who earns his own bread and
helps the needy knows the path.
He who regards himself as the lowest is in fact the highest.
He smilingly forgives all who talk ill of him, and does not pick flaws in others. His love embraces all humanity. Christ-like, he proclaims and practices the cardinal truth, "Love thine enemies."
Godman (1989, p. 115)
How can we distinguish between a genuine and a false Master ? There is in fact no such testing stone or magical formula except that of self-experience, for discriminating right from wrong, truth from falsehood, and reality from unreality.
In these times then, when materialism is on the increase, we do not find competent Masters growing like mushrooms. So search we must, not allowing false propaganda, the testimony of others, blind faith, the promise of future happiness, and our regard for position, wealth and pleasure, to lead us astray.
Man Know Thyself (1988, p. 22, 23)
Regarding Gurus and Masters, it may be remembered that everything seeming similar is not the same. Masters abound and from among those highly thought of or talked about preachers, the majority of them will not be found talking of self- experience, though they are able to express the theory side in a thousand different ways with the sweetest words possible. The only criterion for judging is one's own inner ascent to Spiritual Planes, whereby one can see for himself or herself and meet all the Masters, past and present, wherever they may be, in upper or lower planes. If one having experiences of the lower planes thinks and claims to be in the eternal Home, 'one with Him' and equal to those who have reached the Ultimate Goal, and begins to teach while he or she has much more to learn and to see, how would you accept him or her? The worst of it is that lay people are easily deceived by the acting and posing of such so-called, self-styled teachers as they are quite clever externally in talking about spiritual matters of which they have only a second-hand knowledge through books or hearsay. Even a loving disposition may be imitated to a great extent. That is the reason that the world is full of masters. Christ warns us: "Beware of false prophets who come in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves." Those who contact and talk to the Master within see everything in its true light; do not enter into fruitless discussions, but keep silent.
Spiritual Elixir (1988, p. 225)
There are hardly any universal or common marks on the person of a Sant. Still, we need some clues, some key. We may point out, "Rishis and Munis are defined as those who possess knowledge of the past, present and future. Yogis, in addition to that, have miraculous powers to exhibit and attract. Of gods, it is said they do not cast a shadow. At least something must be said about genuine Sants and Sadhus by either the ancients or modems."
The reply is that for the ordinary layman and the negative-minded man, there can be hardly any indications that a man may be a Sant. For the slightly advanced on the path of love of God, and for those of astute observation, there can be given some hints and clues. Much patience is needed, however, to discover them:
Sant – the Master
Question: How does one determine a ‘Great Master’?
The Master: Swami Ji Maharaj in Sar Bachan has answered this question very beautifully. He exhorts that as and when you hear about a Saint or Master, just go to Him and in deep humility and reverence sit near Him. Just look into His eyes and forehead like a child with deep receptivity. You will feel an upward pull of the soul and Divine Radiation from His eyes and forehead. Besides, if you have any questions in your heart, these will be answered automatically by His discourse without your effort. Over and above all the testing criterion for the Perfect Master is to have the conscious contact of holy Naam within the lowest links of which in the form of Divine Light and holy Sound Current must be had on Initiation. Again He should be Competent to afford guidance for His initiates in the Astral Plane and must protect the soul at the time of their physical death.
Spiritual Elixir (1988, p. 24)
Question: There are many self-styled masters. How may one know a True Master?
The Master: A True Master is dedicated to bring souls back to the True Home of their Father. A True Master gives more than mere theory. He gives experience to His disciple. He shows the way to God, which is within. God and Master are within. This question usually besets every true seeker after God. In my boyhood, I had the same doubts and questioning before me. I did not dare to go to any Master for fear of encountering an imperfect master and then my whole life would be one of frustration. So I earnestly prayed to God for guidance. My prayer was heard. A True Master began to appear to me in my medita- tions, about seven years before I came to Him physi- cally, whom I recognized to be the same Great Master Sawan Singh. Your question remains-how to recognize a True Master? Outwardly we should see that He has no selfish motives. He should be living on His own hard-earned money. He should not be fond of outward pomp and show. He will live a simple life. His thoughts will be pure.
His true qualifications will lie in His ability to give the initiate some first-hand experience by opening the inner eye to see the Light of God and inner ear to hear the Voice of God, the Sound Principle. The extent of this experience will be according to the back- ground of the initiate and his receptivity.
After Initiation the only rules for judging for one's self is one's own inner ascent to the Spiritual Planes whereby one can see for himself, and meet all Masters; Past or Present, wherever they are, in the Upper or Lower Planes.
Those who contact the Master inside and talk to Him know.
Spiritual Elixir (1988, p. 26)
Concealment is the essential attribute of Sants. It is inherent in their character. God is concealed and prefers to remain so, from the external view of man. This Law is from the High One for those bodies in which the Lord is pleased to work. Disregard of this Divine Law results in bodily punishment. For this reason also, a Master Saint never shows any miracle for attracting souls from mundane life for purposes of initiation. A student or disciple, however, sees any number of miracles at each move in this world or next after initiation. Sants neither dress themselves distinctly nor bear nor keep any mark, sign or symbol with them. They do not say they are high of self, but mention their own Masters. When told they are great, they reply that it is none of their doing; it is the kindness and mercy of their Master.
Sant – the Master
In the company of a Sant the agitated mind becomes still. He stands for the good of man and does his work as a friend or brother, if one's mind is not prepared to accept him as a guide. He remains concealed, but by his very concealment is added fame to fame and glory to glory.
He does not see who a person is, what position he holds, or to what school of thought or race he belongs. He simply sees that one coming to him is an ensouled human being - man. The Sant is so watchful and alert a merchant of his precious goods (i.e., the spiritual science) that anybody who thinks himself the most clever, the wisest, the most highly educated, a performer of miracles, etc., cannot get even the scent of what he has, though one may try his very best. The Sant loves theists as well as atheists, or even the worst sinners or those who are drowned in sensual pleasures of the world, just as a loving mother will not throw away her child completely covered in dirt and filth.
It takes a Sant to know a Sant. A Sant alone can describe a Sant. His presence in the midst of any society or social group is its most precious adornment. He may be seen going from one place to another but he does not go there for any propaganda or selfish motive, but is attracted by the strong silken ties of love in certain hearts. He is the uplifting leader of moral cleanliness and spirituality. Whether a metal be gold or iron, it is mere metal to a Sant. He is not affected by offers of position of dignity or indignity, honor or dishonor, nor moved by joys and sorrows, praise or censure. Sovereignty, wealth and beauty of women are no attractions for a Sant. He is far above the influences of lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego. He is unaffected.
Sant – the Master