Sawan Ashram

   Ethical life is a stepping stone to Spirituality. Without a proper foundation, a building cannot be erected. As such, the observance of continence is the first postulate to achieve success on the Spiritual
Path. Christ said: "Blessed are the pure in, heart for they shall see God." One cannot realize God unless one's heart is clean. God does not dwell only in mountains, forests, or skies. He is our controlling Power. He is within all of us. All great souls and Saints have declared that the Lord dwells in every human heart. Why then we cannot see Him? The reason is that our hearts are polluted. We cannot reach our goal without purity of heart for which we will have to make efforts. Have you ever
thought of purifying your heart where the Lord is dwelling? Until the mind is stilled, we cannot realize Him. Those with pure hearts say: "Open your inner eye and have a glimpse of Him. "

    How to purify and control the mind? This is our subject today. Great Souls Who have traversed on the Spiritual Path have recorded Their experiences about purifying Their hearts and controlling Their minds. Let us see how Guru Amar Das did it. It is a historical fact that He remained in search of God until He was about 70 years old. Every year He used to go barefooted on a pilgrimage to Haridwar. What a great devotion! Why did He go to this trouble? He did not go there on a pleasure trip. He was in search of something, by attaining which all else is attained. Ultimately He came to the feet of Guru Angad. After having experienced the Reality, He dealt with the subject exhaustively for the guidance of the worldly people.

    Everyone of us is afflicted with the malady of mind. The Upanishads state, "Human body is just like a chariot wherein the soul is a rider, the mind the driver, the intellect the reins, and the senses are the powerful steeds running amuck in the mire of sensuous gratification." Under the influence of mind, our soul is attached to the external objects at the sensual plane. Now mind is trapped by the senses. Presently, soul and mind are identified with each other. So long as one is out-flowing, one cannot realize the Reality within. So Guru Amar Das says: "One whose mind is continuously flowing out through the ten channels, how can he sing the praise of the Lord? If the mind is stilled, then only the question of adoration (of the Lord) arises." Guru Nanak also says: "One whose heart is not intact, how can he realize God?"

    Take a worldly example. When a man is totally confused, he would say that his mind is not equipoised or something is fundamentally wrong with him. It is said: "If you are firmly resolved to proceed to the Beloved Lord, you put one foot on the mind, and the other will enable you to reach
the alley of the Beloved." Control your mind, and the next step you take will be in the mansion of the Beloved. Guru Nanak also said the same thing: "By conquering the mind, you can win over the entire world."

    So the subjugation of mind is the first step not only on the path of Spirituality, but also to achieve success in every walk of life. Now, the question arises as to what is afflicting the mind? Guru Amar Das says that mind is running out through the ten outlets of the body. First, attention is under the control of mind. Then how can one adore the Lord? You may be reading something by the tongue, while the mind may be engaged somewhere else. Outwardly, we bow our heads, offer prayers, and worship the Lord while the mind is running out elsewhere. Such people whose minds are engrossed in worldly objects like children, wife, friends, gold, properties, etc. would be seen offering prayers or worshipping the Lord. Externally it would amount to the remembrance of God. But what is the significance of such a meditation? Equipoising the mind, its proper concentration by withdrawing
from outside and absorption in the object in front of it, is the first postulate.

    Kabir also said the same thing: "Mind is an unattainable ocean in which endless tides spring up." This mind is like an ocean in which unending waves of animal passions, anger, greed, attachment, and egotism are constantly emanating. Unless it is stilled, the goal cannot be reached "without a
competent Master Who can ferry us across the mighty sea of mind." Only the association of an adept Who has controlled the mind and transcended its limitations can help an aspirant to do likewise; otherwise, there is no way out. Our ancient history reveals that even great sages and seers were badly
deceived by mind. The waves originating in mind come from the plane of the senses that should be subdued.

    The Upanishads state that self-knowledge dawns only when the senses are at rest, the mind is stilled, and the intellect too is equipoised. So, stillness of mind is of paramount importance.

    "Mind is one; engage it anywhere - in meditation or in fulfillment of animal passions." Mind is a connecting link between the body and soul. It is so subtle that it identifies with the soul and so physical that it is easily attached to the body. If mind works at the sensual level, it will flow outside. The Reality that lies within would thus remain obscure.

The soul which is getting lost in the nine portals of the body
  can never realize the eternal bliss.

    The soul that is flowing out through the nine channels of the body is consequently deprived of the unique happiness within. Everyone is a victim of this malady. The only alternative is that one should learn to do one thing at a time. Meditate at the time of meditation. Remember God when you sit for that purpose. Whatever you do, be wholly and solely devoted to it. Only by working like this can you be successful in any walk of life. Great Souls never advise you to renounce your hearths and homes and leave for jungles. They only exhort us to discipline the mind wherever we are. We can reach our goal when this is done.

    If one is unable to control the mind, what would be the result? Some people take active interest in acquiring knowledge so that they may be able to subjugate the mind. Learning, knowledge, to be over-smart, to make a mountain out of a mole hill, to impress others by clever speeches, etc.- all these things are easy to acquire. Then what is difficult? "Transcending into cosmic awareness or disciplining the mind is hard to do." Controlling the mind, withdrawing the soul, and rising into cosmic consciousness is a Herculean task. Unless mind is subjugated, soul cannot rise above body-

    What do we experience when we sit for meditation? Only those things which we see or enjoy at the sensual level. The malady afflicting the mind is described by Guru Amar Das: "It (mind) is trapped by senses and always troubled by lust and anger." Five organs of actions and five powers of perception are keeping the mind under their influence. The faculties of perception work through the organs of actions. Mind is attracted by beautiful scenery or melodious songs. It relishes delicious meals and
enjoys sweet smells. Sometimes it is attracted by lust. Gyan Indriyas (powers of perception) keep one's attention gleaned to the outer world through Karma Indriyas (faculties of action). Sometimes the mind is degraded by lust; sometimes it expands through anger.

    Chastity is life, while sexuality is death. History is full of events to explain this point. When Mohammed Gauri attacked India for the first time, he was defeated by Prithvi Rai in two consecutive battles. But in the third battle, Prithvi Raj lost to Mohammed Gauri. Historians write that Prithvi
Raj was found with a maid-servant the night before he was defeated. Similarly, Napoleon Bonapart is said to have lost the battle of Waterloo because on the previous night he had indulged in sex. History reveals this. You can confirm it from your daily experience.

    "A dog and the unchaste would always remain perturbed." Once a feeling of lust is generated in a dog, its effect lasts for 30 days. What would be the fate of those men who are constantly haunted by thoughts of animal passions? It is through the eyes that our faculties are affected by lust. If you want to avoid it, do not look into the eyes of the opposite sex. You will be safe to a considerable extent. Mathematicians have calculated that through eyes we get no less than 83 percent of our impressions. Through ears we get 14 percent of our impressions. So, 97 percent of the external impressions are gathered through these two sources, and the remaining 3 percent through other sense organs. A Muslim sage has said: "Close thy eyes, ears, and tongue. If by doing so you do not experience the Reality, laugh at me." Guru Nanak has said, "O foolish mind! learn thou to remain at home."

    This body is the home. If mind is checked from flowing out and gets concentrated in the body, it would start experiencing the sublime Truth. Only after transcending the pale of senses, one realizes that the direction of Naam (the Word) is upwards, while that of lust, downwards. How can a man,
who is always haunted by animal passions, commune with the Word? Some aspirants say that Naam does not fructify. O Brothers! make your lives chaste. The keeping of a self-introspection diary, which I have prescribed, has some significance. It must be understood that the greater the purity of life, the greater will be one's access to the higher spiritual regions. So chastity of life is essential.

    All the five passions--desire, anger, greed, attachment, and egotism-- are perverted forms of one and the same thing--desire. Suppose a stream with a fast water current is flowing gently. Place a big stone in it. The water will strike against it causing two things--foam and sound. Similarly, when we apprehend, visible or invisible, obstruction in the fulfillment of any of our desires, it is converted into anger. Directly or indirectly, if you come to know that someone said or did something against your wishes or put up some obstacles, you may get angry. The anger generally assumes two forms-loud voice and foam. An angry man cannot talk slowly. While shouting, one starts emitting foam. Then one indulges in recrimination and factionalism and starts slandering others. This is followed by waves of lust and anger. In the wake of obstruction, do you know what happens? By vanity, one insists on having a thing. This is known as greed. Having achieved the objective, one is stuck fast in the fear of losing it. This is called attachment. Then one revels in one's possession and asserts of having obtained it. This is known as ego or I-ness.

    So desire is the root cause of all the five passions. Therefore, Buddha said: "Be desireless." This is full of meaning. We only give it a superficial reading and never think seriously as to what is at the root of it. Guru Amar Das says that mind is wandering in the ten portals of our body. How can it adore the Lord? What is the disease afflicting the mind? It is trapped by the senses that are keeping it engaged in sensual pursuits. The only way of weaning it away from sensual appetites is to subdue the senses and discipline the mind.

    Now we know about the ailment engulfing us--lust and anger--by which all the world is being carried away. Gurbani goes to the extent of saying, "One Who is free from lust and anger is God's incarnation." He in Whom waves of animal passions and anger do not emanate is an embodiment of the Lord. All the passions are burnt away by a mere glimpse of such a person Who will influence others by His radiation. It is quite natural because His mind is controlled.

By seeing Whom mind is stilled is called a Satguru.
Mind can never be subdued, except by the grace of a Master.
This is the verdict of a Muslim sage. So how can the mind be stilled? It can be done by an association with a Spiritual Adept. This is the first step. He will first explain the theory and then give a practical
demonstration of the esoteric science. Further, He would give necessary guidance to the probationer. Tulsi Sahib also says the same thing: "Attention is stilled in the company of a Sadh--a Disciplined Soul."

    The association of a living Master is known as Satsang which acts as a breakwater (in the sea of mind). It is a long wall of stones erected in the sea so that the waves may retreat after striking it. On the other side, one can easily take a bath and see one's reflection in the water. The company of a Great Soul serves the same purpose. For a moment the mind-stuff is restricted from flowing out and  self-knowledge dawns.

    Guru Amar Das now explains how the mind can be disciplined:

What a wonderful thing! Mind gets Docile by contacting
  the All-Pervading Eternal Bliss.
    He says that the remedy lies in establishing a link with the All- Pervading Spirit or the Word dwelling in every human heart. Then mind would easily get stilled and all passions would cease to have their hold on it. After explaining this, He elucidates Naam:
Ram Naam (All-Pervading Word) is very, very scarce;
You can partake of the Elixir of Life through the Master's instructions.
    Guru Amar Das says that the Power of God permeating everywhere--Ram Naam--is known as the Word. That is extremely hard to find in this world. A contact with It makes the mind docile. It is only through the grace of a Master that we can taste the Nectar of Naam or Its Eternal Bliss. First, one should come across a Master Adept in the spiritual science, and then one should keep His association and follow His instructions. He may then grant us the inner contact with the All-Pervading Naam. This is the panacea for all ills of the mind.

    The Ethereal Music is going on in each individual, which has been mentioned in the Vedas. The Upanishads refer to It as Udgit (Music of the Beyond). In RigVeda it is stated as Vak Sidhi. Among Muslims It is known as Kalma. The Hindus call It Naad and ascribe to It as the manifestation of 14 Bhavans (regions). Both speak of the same thing. Various planes and sub-planes were formed by Naam. Earth and sky were created by Shabd reverberating in each heart. Christians have termed It as the Word. Saint John has stated in His Gospel: "In the beginning was the Word; the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The Word was there before the creation. All Great Souls have stressed this point. A divine link is present in each one of us by contacting which mind gets stilled. There is an instance in the life of Lord Krishna of the Gita. While playing upon the flute, He jumped into the Yamuna river (human body) and tamed the hydraheaded cobra by the melody of His magic flute (Audible Life Steam). This has been stated allegorically. What is that hydraheaded cobra? It is nothing but the individual mind. It has numerous ways of trapping a man--learned people by their learning, devotees by their contemplation, etc.--and generates egotism in everybody. But, by listening to the intrinsic music reverberating in each one of us, the mind is subdued forever.

Mind becomes docile by drinking the Nectar of Hari Naam (All-Embracing Impulse).
Mind gets steady by communion with Naam or the Word.
    Just as a mouse becomes heavy by taking mercury, making him unfit for moving fast, mind, if it partakes the Elixir of Hari Naam, would shed all its ramifications. That is the only way of disciplining the mind.

    Naam and the Master (Word-personified) constitute the only two remedies for the mind. When fire subsides under ash, it appears as if there was no fire, but it becomes active as soon as a strong wind blows. If water is sprinkled, it would never ignite even if thousands of storms blow. Mind requires pleasure. Worldly pleasures are divided into two main categories: beautiful things to look at and melodious music to hear. Mind is irresistibly drawn by exquisite beauty and sweet music.

    Suppose a child is playing with a toy. If you want to take the child away, you have to offer him something more attractive. If the child is shut in a dark room, he will surely raise a hue and cry. Similarly, mind normally receives intoxication from external objects like charming scenes and melodious tunes. It would be dociled by obtaining inner bliss, far more joyous. So Naam or the Word has both these things. First, there is Light, divine beatitude, and bliss of the various subtle and cosmic regions, by receiving which external pleasures lose their charm. Secondly, there is Celestial Music.

After enjoying the external bliss within, the sense-pleasures lose all their charm.
    When the Sound Current becomes audible, Its happiness renders all sense gratifications insipid and valueless. Now the question is how can we contact It? It is only through the instructions of a Master that we can partake of the Elixir of Hari Naam (All-Pervading Word). Kabir says that we should go to a Master and ask Him, "Where is the seat of mind in the body, and what are the channels through which it flows out?"

    If one is lucky enough to meet a competent Master, He would explain the place of mind in the body and how it externalizes. Kabir says that if you realize that a Master is not an adept in the esoteric science, you should leave him and search for a perfect one. He who has not controlled his mind cannot help you in this regard, When we go to a perfect Master, first we are blessed with His association; and the restless mind gets stilled. Maulana Rumi also has stated:

O mind! seek thou the nearness of Someone Who is fully conversant
  with the condition of our mind.
    He may know how we do float down helplessly under the impact of mind. Adopt the company of One Whose mind is controlled and by sitting near Whom one may have some soothing effect. Maulana Rumi adds:
Do not waste thy time like idlers wandering the world's bazaars.
Sit thou in the shop of One Who deals in honey.
    He goes on to say that, "lots of pots are boiling filled to capacity." This means there is a lot of propaganda all around. The world is full of fake Masters. If a Master can guide us about the seat of mind within and tell us how it runs out, it is all right. Otherwise, bid him good-bye and search for a true preceptor. Do not waste your time.

    "None condemns his own stuff. On the other hand, everybody pleads that his place is the best." Maulana Rumi says, that the boiling pot might contain acid instead of milk. Go and attend a spiritual discourse and try to find out the reality. After all, you are endowed with intellect. You can judge and test a Master. At least, you would realize that there is some stillness of mind, inner peace, and clarification of the subject. If it is so, one would have some conviction. Seek the practical guidance of an Adept. Commune with the All-Pervading Naam within. By listening to Its divine melody, mind would be stilled forever. This is the true definition of the Path of the Masters that falls into two categories: objective and subjective. Every social religion has its own external teachings.

    The subjective aspect of all is one for all mankind. Gurbani has defined Gurmat--teachings of the Masters--thus: "The essence of Gurmat is that one communes with the Word. He who truly follows the instructions of the Master would taste the Elixir of Life, by partaking which mind gets dociled." The only way of stilling the mind is to seek the practical guidance of a Master. He will give you a contact with Naam and grant a practical demonstration of transcending the senses. If you undertake regular spiritual practices, your life would be transformed. All sensual gratifications would cease to have their hold on your mind. Guru Amar Das received this Eternal Bliss when He came to the feet of Guru Angad after a search for 70 long years. He is giving us a detailed account of His personal experience:

Mind gets refreshed by communion with Shabd and then adores the Lord
    First, He has used the term Ram Naam, and now He is using Shabd or the Word. Both have been defined identically. "The creation and the ultimate dissolution of the universe are caused through the Word. Again, through the Word it takes its existence anew." By communion with. Naam, attention would rise above the plane of senses, purifying the mind. It would no longer be defiled by the external impressions gathered through the outgoing faculties. By listening to the Sound Current, ingrained and accumulated impressions of previous births are burnt away. What is the criterion of a pure mind? There are no more mental oscillations; instead there is steadiness. By constant remembrance of the Lord, all the worldly impressions are nullified. In such a state of equipoise, Naam can be developed. Consequently, mind would be cleansed and be able to adore the Lord in the true sense. It is only a question of stilling it. Bhai Nand Lal says, "A perfect Master is a sovereign remedy for the mind." The earlier discussion was concerned with the malady affecting the mind. How a perfect Master can consolidate a scattered mind is explained now:
An Adept in spiritual science brings about concentration of mind
  through His charged attention.
A glance of His grace is sufficient to emancipate us.
    So the company of a Spiritual Adept is indispensable. The Master now says that Divine Music is reverberating within you; commune thou with It. Mind would, consequently, be purified and be able to sing the praise of the Lord. Once you think of something that will be ever before you, only then mind is cleared of its defilements.

    So, the first step is the association of an Awakened Person; and the second is to commune with the Word within, a real Satsang. Both the steps will help in the stillness of mind and its purification. One would understand the significance of adoring the Lord and reap the fruit thereof. "In the association of a Saint, if the mind is engaged elsewhere," says Kabir, "the condition of such a man is like a raw coconut which cannot be dyed by any color."

    Swami Ji also says, "Go and sit in the company of a Great Soul with a receptive mind. Listen to Him with rapt attention." For a moment, cut yourself off from all sides and wash away all worldly thoughts; only then will you derive benefit from the charged atmosphere. Such a Satsang is worth one thousand Satsangs heard with scattered attention. So attend a Satsang with undivided attention: Then only can you take full advantage of it. Guru Amardas now gives out His personal experience of how He controlled His mind:

Self-knowledge dawns through the guidance of a Godman;
Only then can the soul enter the true Home.
O Soul! sky is thy dwelling place;
But alas thou are trapped by the bondage of matter.
    All Great Souls have said that, before attaining the Kingdom of God, you would be blessed with self-knowledge through the instructions of the Master. The Upanishads also state "Know thyself." Guru Nanak has said, "Nanak, without self-analysis, the miasma of delusion does not disappear." Christ has said the same thing: "Know thyself." Unless we realize the self, the mirage of the outside world does not disappear. All Saints have stressed this point. Its secret is self-analysis, which means self-realization by liberating the soul from the clutches of the mind and senses. How can you know the Lord without knowing your self?

    The first question which all Great Souls have placed before us is self-knowledge. Self-knowledge precedes God-knowledge. This can only be attained by the practical guidance of a Spiritual Adept Who has analyzed His own self. What does He enjoin upon us? Shake off the mortal coil and rise above body-consciousness. There are various sheaths covering the soul--physical, astral, causal, and great causal. As the soul transcends the limitations of the three bodies--physical, astral, and causal--one gains self-awareness, cosmic awareness, and super-cosmic awareness respectively. By rising above the causal body, self-knowledge dawns, and one is nearer to the Reality and knower of it. How can the mystery of "knowing thyself" be solved? Through the grace of a Godman you can have experience of self-realization and thus enter the mansion of the Lord which is the true home of the soul. You may call It Sach Khand or Sat Lok which is immune from the haunt of dissolution and grand dissolution. Having experienced this, Guru Amar Das explains:

O mind, get intoxicated with the Elixir of Naam and glorify the Lord.
    You (mind) have had a taste of sensual and worldly pleasures. Now you experience the bliss of Naam and differentiate between the two. You will find that there is no comparison between the two. Naam, the Elixir of Life, is far more blissful than the insipid pleasures of the world. All Great Souls have commended it. Guru Nanak said the same thing when He went to the Mughal Emperor Babar. He was taking Indian hemp, an intoxicant, and offered it to Guru Nanak also. Guru Nanak said, "O Babar, the intoxicant you are taking would produce but a passing inebriation and momentary forgetfulness. I have that intoxication (of Naam) with me whose effect is felt all the time. The intoxication of Naam, O Nanak, works around the clock."

    Shamas-e-Tabrez has also mentioned of this state of intoxication. "I am the fountainhead of Eternal Bliss. If, after my death, manure is made of my body, and if that manure is scattered in a field where wheat is grown, the cook and bearer of chapatis (bread) made of that wheat Will dance in
ecstasy." Great Souls have made an attempt to describe that Bliss by comparing It with worldly pleasures. But there is absolutely no comparison between the two. The Bliss of the pure wine of Naam (Water of Life) is far more exhilarating than the mundane sensual pleasures. There are no parallel
examples to describe that state. Guru Amar Das now says:

O mind, you are conversant with sensual enjoyments,
  now you experience the intoxication of Naam
  and see the difference between the two.

Lord is the bestower of all comforts, by uniting with
  Whom all the desires emanating in the mind
   would be fulfilled.

    He says that the Lord is the Ocean of all comforts and Giver of happiness. What would be the effect of establishing a communion with Him? At present, various desires crop up in the mind, but none of them appear to be fulfilled. But with God-realization one becomes a conscious coworker of the Divine Plan, and nature automatically works to one's advantage. This leads to the purification of one's mind. Nature will be at the beck and call of such a person. Patanjali goes on to the extent of saying that a
yogin, if he so desires, can create a world of his own. What is, after all, this world? It is a mere projection of the Divine Will. By communing with it one would become His conscious coworker. A thought has a tremendous force. As you think, so you become. On the one hand there is Divine Bliss,
while on the other are sensual pleasures. We have to choose between the two. We are ignorant of the laws of nature. There is an Elixir of Life in it.
I was a lowly person, and it is through the grace of my Master
  that I have attained this status.
    Guru Amar Das says that at one time, He, too, was working at the plane of senses; but now He has attained the zenith of Spirituality with the grace of His Master. He admits of a great change in Him--a change that even a ruffian would admit if he followed the Path. That is why Guru Amar Das pays a high tribute to His Master. God Power is extremely subtle and always chooses a human pole to work in the world. You may call Him polarized God or the Word-made-flesh.
The greatness of the Master lies in rescuing us
  from the mighty maze of mind and matter.
    The Master's hand is God's hand, though seemingly He may appear to be a human being, because God Power is working in Him in fullness. Before one finds a Master, one is steeped in worldly pleasures. It is the Master Who, by infusing His own life impulse, makes one rise above body-consciousness. Wherein lies the greatness of a Great Soul? He is a liberated being and can liberate us. He is not affected by the world's glamour. By practicing the Word made manifest by Him, one can rise to any heights. The great sage, Balmik, the author of the epic Ramayana, was once a highway man. What a man has done, another can do, of course, with proper help and guidance. Every Saint has His past and every sinner a future. One does not become a Saint overnight.

    Having merged with the Absolute, Saints are granted divine commission and sent into the world to help the world-weary souls. Some are awakened by birth, while others attain perfection over here. There is no difference between the two, as the same God Power works in both. They manifest Themselves in various forms according to the needs of the time and clime.

Freed from the prison of the mind, I have now grown wise.
    Guru Amar Das says that at one time He was completely lost in the world of senses; but with the grace of His Master, He was now enjoying life eternal. By practicing the Word, He was no longer swayed by feelings and emotions. Ganka, a prostitute, was transformed in a moment by a single
glance of grace from a Godman Who came to take shelter, just to escape a heavy downpour of rain that overtook Him on the way. A spiritually charged person is far above the world of senses. He radiates rays of Spirituality; and whosoever comes within His aura, automatically imbibes His spirit
currents. A very sight of such a Person purifies the mind, and one begins to see things in their right perspective. A change like this was brought in the life of Guru Amar Das when He came into contact with His Master; and He, therefore, testifies to this and glorifies His Master for His greatness. Whosoever came by spiritual riches, he did so only when he came into contact with a Great Soul; whether we may know of it or not is a matter of fact. But it is certain that a change like this could not come without the magnetic influence of such a Personality, for that is the law of nature.
God Himself ordained that no one could even conceive of Him
   except through a Satguru.
    None can realize Him save through a perfect Master. This is a fundamental principle. How can one, groveling in dust on his own, trans-humanize the human in him?

    Further, Guru Amar Das explains: "From hemlock I have grown into a sandalwood." He says that He was an abode of all kinds of wild desires that had now left Him altogether; instead He was now full of fragrance. Every thought has its own color and smell. A lustful man, for instance, emits a
foul smell like the one from a herd of unclean sheep. Similarly, one who is swayed by anger smells like a smoldering fire of dirty rags. A Godly man radiates a gentle aroma like jasmine without the use of any scent. All beauty and glory lie within. A mere touch with the hem of a Godman is enough to transform a person. Many persons were cured of their physical ailments by touching the garment of Jesus. The scriptures all the world over have glorified real Masters and not the so-called teachers. One may succeed in deceiving one's own self for all his life and others for sometime, but the All-Seeing God cannot be deceived. "The Power within, my Master used to say, "is infallible."

    Guru Power is All-Knowing and does not grant inner access unless one is found fit. One cannot by wisdom and cunningness deceive that Power. One may talk as much as one may like and make a show of practicing rites and rituals, but one cannot without purity of heart enter within.

Human birth is a rare privilege and one must make the most of it.
    This is what every Saint has emphasized from personal experience. The greatest advantage that we can have is to realize the "self" within. This is the be-all and end-all of human existence. Is not flesh more than raiment and life more than flesh? We must know how to save life that is dearer than pranas (vital airs) which are sustaining the body. Self-realization and God-realization come before everything else. On the contrary, we are engaged in useless pursuits of the world. "What does it profit a man if he gains possession of the whole world and loses one's own soul." Weeping we came into the world and weeping we go. Death does not spare anybody, and death knows no calendar. Why not make hay while the sun shines. To fall from the top rung of the ladder is a sad fall indeed and often proves fatal.

    There is a great gulf between a man and an animal. A man is gifted with the power of discrimination. He can judge right from wrong and is free to choose between the two. The Vedic Rishis always prayed:

Lead us from darkness to light, from unreal to the real,
  and from death to immortality.
    One can achieve this and much more in human life:
By a great good fortune thou has got a human birth;
This is the only opportunity for thee to contact the Lord,
All else in the world will avail naught,
Seek ye the company of the Saints and learn to commune within.
    Human birth is a rare privilege to which one comes by an immense fortune. He is the roof and crown of creation and has great possibilities in him, which he can develop to any extent he likes. He can become really great in the human life if he realizes himself and the God Power in him. The human spirit is of the same essence as that of God. It is a pity that one with blue blood in his veins has chosen the company of mind and matter and is dancing in tune with the senses. Hence, the Master emphasizes on this point. Now the question arises as to how one could get to the crest-jewel of his
The eternal life which thou seekest so much,
You can have it (the Holy Word) from some Saint.
                                                                           -Guru Arjan
    What is Ram Naam? It is the All-Pervading and All-Pervasive Power of God. To get to this Power we must leave all else and seek the association of some Saint; for all else in the world is naught. Christ says: "Leave everything and follow me." Lord Krishna advised His warrior disciple, Arjuna, thus, "Leave all the philosophies aside, take refuge unto me, and do what I bid you to do."

    So, we have to understand all values of life--social, ethical, and spiritual. All around perfection is the goal of life, and it is the highest education that one must take. No one wants us to leave our hearths and homes and go into the wilderness. All that is required is to give some time to Spirituality; that should take priority over everything else. The riddle of life has got to be solved one day, and the sooner it is done the better it would be for us herein and hereafter. Therefore, the great teacher says: "It is in the fullness of time that one meets a perfect Master." What does He do? "He links us with the Power of God."

    Thus, we see that one comes across a Purnapurush, or Teacher of the highest grade, only when one is destined as such. And when we meet such a Teacher, He puts us in tune with the Holy Word and we begin to practice the same. As Guru Arjan says, this All-Pervading Power can only be had from a Word-personified Saint, for Satguru is the manifested pole of Sat or Truth and revels in Truth and can make us do likewise:

The whole world is in deep slumber;
  and we, too, are asleep;
How can one who himself is asleep wake us up?
    A Liberated Soul alone can liberate us. One has to go to a Liberated Being, take counsel from Him, and by working out His behests, gain liberation for himself.
Those who have communed with the Word, their toils shall end,
Their faces shall flame with glory;
Not only shall they receive salvation,
But many more shall find freedom with them.

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