The highest expression in creation--the human being--is next to God. It is considered to be such great good fortune to attain the human birth that even the gods and goddesses are anxiously seeking it. We, who are at present enjoying the human life, should consider ourselves most fortunate and should try to appreciate what God has given through His grace.

The human life comes with both form and intellect, although we ourselves are conscious entities--we are soul. As man, we have progressed considerably where outer knowledge is concerned--knowledge of the physical make-up and how it is maintained, how it deteriorates, and the cure for its maladies. Thanks to science, a great deal of knowledge is available in the entire physical field. Man has used his intellect, and it is obvious what advances have been achieved which were once beyond reach; and yet with all this, we are not happy. Kabir Sahib made an all-embracing statement when He said, Whomsoever I saw in the human form was unhappy. If you think about it, you will see how true this is.

No son of man is really happy. Each one suffers from unhappiness of one type or another--for physical, mental, or intellectual reasons. Everyone has one woe or another. The whole world seeks permanent happiness. Why does a person toil to earn his living? Because he wants some happiness. Why does he desire good health? Again, for the sake of happiness. Why is everything done in this world? There is the hope of gaining some happiness behind all our actions, but the sad fact is that man does not realize that happiness does not come through worldly things. He seeks in the wrong direction, for in truth, happiness lies within one's own self; for our soul is the very entity of that Oversoul we call God, Who is Eternal, All-Wisdom, All-Joy and Happiness. We then have the same qualities as the Lord, on a smaller scale.

Food for the physical is had by eating. The intellect is fed by reading, writing, and thinking. But, food for the soul is the Bread of Life itself. So, how is true happiness found? True happiness is regained by the conscious soul rejoining back to the Oversoul, for it is the image of the Lord--it is a drop of that Ocean of All-Consciousness which sustains and maintains the whole of creation and which exists in all beings; no place is without Him. Because the soul is not enjoying the Bread of Life, it has no strength. The Bread of Life exists within everyone--in some it is apparent, but in most it is hidden. Wherever it is apparent, that Personality is known as a Mahatma--a Great Soul. He is also a human being like others, being born in the same way, with two hands, two feet, two eyes, and two ears, etc., and the same inner construction. In the Upanishads, the question is asked, Who is the great Craftsman Who has created this human body? Have you ever seen such a house, with numerous apertures of eyes, nose, mouth, etc., and yet from which the indweller cannot run out? He is controlled therein by the very Maker of the house, for both the Maker and the soul dwell within; but the soul has no awareness of this, for it has not been nourished by the Bread and Water of Life.

What is the Bread and Water of Life? It is found when the soul is joined back to God, Its Source, and It is found in the very temple of God--the human form. We live with It daily, and yet are in ignorance of It, for our attention is ever directed outward. As long as we remain with the body, the body is glorified; but we are prisoners within it, and remain so until we are released by the Controlling Power. And, how can this Power be experienced? It cannot be known by the senses, for while the senses, mind, and intellect are not still, there is no experience. So, God cannot be known by senses, mind, intellect, or even pranas. He can be experienced by the soul alone, when practically, through self-analysis, the soul comes to know itself. By separating matter from consciousness, we can learn what it is that controls all our faculties. You can say that we come to know the attention, for without the attention even the senses do not work. You will have noticed, for instance, that if your attention is fully focused on something, you will not hear if anyone calls you. If the caller complains of your lack of response, your answer is usually, "Oh, my attention was elsewhere--I did not hear you." When the attention is not with the sense of hearing, the ear will not receive from outside. Sometimes we find we have not fully understood a person's remarks, lucid though they may have been; but we did not understand because our attention was not trained upon the words. So, it is proved that even the intellect does not work without the attention. Often, with eyes wide open we do not see people; their presence does not register when our attention is otherwise engaged.

The famous scientist, Isaac Newton, was once absorbed in a mathematical calculation when a band passed by playing their instruments. When a few minutes later someone asked him if he had seen the band, he replied that he had neither seen nor heard it.

This body, in which we, as soul, live, is a wonderful machine. For example, if a factory is run by power from a nearby powerhouse, whatever departments are connected to that power will work. If any machine becomes disconnected, it ceases to work. If the main switch is turned off, the whole factory is out of action. So, this is a wonderful house in which we live--this human form.

Both we, as indwellers, and the Controlling Power, reside in the house. Furthermore, the food--the Bread and Water of Life--is also available within. All is within, nothing without; Seek without and go into forgetfulness. The whole world seeks at the sense level, and even a whole life's search avails nothing.

There are two kinds of knowledge--outer and inner. Outer knowledge is at the levels of mind, intellect, or senses, and all practices of prayer, ritual, singing, fasting, pilgrimage, austerity, etc., are at the sense level. Talks given from intellectual knowledge are at the level of intellect only. So, As long as the senses are not controlled, mind and intellect stilled, the soul can have no experience of the Lord. As long as this does not happen, the soul cannot know itself, or know that it is the controller of this complex machinery. According to one's inclinations, one should be able to work through the body or leave it and rise above, as the situation dictates. Without this proficiency, how can any soul be happy as a prisoner? In a second, one's sense of hearing can be dragged towards some enchanting sound outside, or the sight drawn to something beautiful, and similarly with the other senses of smell, touch, and taste. Helplessly, the attention is being dragged constantly from one place to another. So, the first task is to control these senses and also to still the mind and intellect. If you do this, you will have succeeded in something exceptionally worthwhile.

The Rishis, Munis, and all Mahatmas stressed that one should know oneself; even the ancient Greeks--one Greek Master said, Gnothi Seauton, know thyself. This knowing of oneself is not at the intellectual level; it is truly knowing one's self. I can take my watch and place it here; I can put my shoes there; I can take off my coat; and so those who rise above into the Beyond, shed the body or wear it, work through any sense or cease to work through them, at will. With open eyes they see or do not see, as they so choose, and likewise with the other senses. If you have not reached this stage, you cannot say you know yourself. It is a subject of self-analysis, and until we reach this ability, we have no awareness of our true selves and how the true self operates the body and all its faculties.

That power, which we are, must be centralized--then any piece can be cut from the body and you will not feel it. You must have had some small experience of this; for instance, if you turn your attention completely, you do not feel the needle when the doctor gives you an injection; and there are numerous other examples. This is a practical science. Through intellect we can learn only theory; but the practical process of self-analysis starts from a practical demonstration, and whosoever has mastered this science can give that practical demonstration to others. With the Guru's blessing, he can know himself. We know ourselves only by names we were given, or by caste, or by nationality, etc. A small child has more awareness of his true self than an adult; but as he grows he gradually loses that little awareness through involvement in the worldly life. We have various labels stuck on us, but we are all really just human beings. If we are not Hindus, nor Muslims, nor Sikhs, nor Christians, then what are we? Guru Nanak, when asked Who He was, answered by saying, A puppet made of five elements in which the Invisible is playing. We have got a body made of five elements which we are operating; but we, in turn, are controlled by some Higher Power within. Do you understand this intellectually? Practically, you will know it only when you have the practical experience. That is not the end of the matter either; it is but the first step at the physical stage. When you have risen above the physical, you will have learned the first lesson of Spirituality. From then on, like an airplane, you will soar to higher stages.

God has given the human form in the very image of Brahmand, and so in the physical world we have the physical form, in the astral world we have the astral form, and in the causal world the causal form; but that path of progress is found only when one rises above the physical. Where the world's philosophies end, there true religion starts. The word "religion" itself really signifies joining the soul back to God, for re means back, and ligio, to bind. One must be bound back to one's own Truth--one's own Source -- that is true religion. The outer formations which we call religions are merely social affairs.

Outer attractions drag the soul hither and thither, and who wants to leave them? We can leave an attraction if some stronger attraction is proffered. That stronger attraction is the Bread of Life--the Nectar or Pearl of Life. To taste this Nectar, we must withdraw the attention from all outer things, and this is impossible to do alone because the soul is environed in mind and matter, has become the very image of body and world--at the level of mind and senses. Whatever practices we have done up to now have been at the same level, which you can see for yourself: there is hatha yoga, mantra yoga, prana yoga, bhakti yoga, laya yoga; they all have connection with either the senses or mind and intellect. Is this not so? If we do not still all these and rise above them through self-analysis, how can we gain awareness of who we are? Without a scientific method, we can never really know. Whoever can control his being will know who he is. Self-knowledge proceeds God-knowledge. This is the very basic teaching of all religions, but it was taught only while the God-Realized People were here, and when They left the worldly scene only the method remained, without essence. Consequently, the Truth was lost for want of practical people.

We must rise above senses, mind, and intellect. We have got these faculties, but we are not them. We actually give life to them. How can a person, who remains at the sense level and does practices at the sense or intellect level, rise above and know himself?. Sometimes, as man is in the make, through some karmic reaction or background, a person may receive some experience without help; but then he does not know what to do to gain further progress and remains at that stage. This is why I have always advised that the first real step is to rise above body consciousness. Learn to die so that you may begin to live. The very alphabet of Spirituality starts here. Ahead of this lies the astral world and the astral body, of course--the physical, astral, and causal, in that order. When a person rises above even the physical awareness, he does begin to realize that some Higher Control is pervading all things. The single eye begins to develop, through which one sees God's expression in all creation. If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. When does that eye open? He Who controls the ten senses--in Him is the Light apparent. That Light is the inner Light, and He Who is in complete control can teach others to control.

God is Wordless, Nameless, Soundless, Formless. He is Absolute. He is something in Himself which no one knows. But, when He expressed Himself--From One I wish to become many--so--From one Source, millions of rivers sprang forth. With His expression, first the Light was manifested; then the Sound proceeded therefrom. This Holy Light and Sound are within each being and can be seen and heard. How? He Who has become One with the Light can reveal It to others by actual experience. If a soul has but risen above the astral or causal plane, he can take others only as far as that stage, and not beyond. But, He Who has become One with the Everlasting Light of God can take the soul beyond, as far as the Source of all Light and Life. Those who teach at the sense or mind levels are to be respected, for after all, one learns something from them; but real Spirituality starts above these levels--and by experience only.

If a creature is slave to even a single sense, like the fish is slave to its taste, the deer to its hearing, and the elephant to its sense of touch, then it is indeed a drastic condition--but think of man who is slave to all five senses! How can Naam dwell in the body that indulges in so many enjoyments ? Do we expect God to manifest in our body which is busily enjoying all the worldly attractions and tastes? No place is without God; His Perpetual Light is in every being. Religion should be a school in which the connection with this expression of God is available to all souls, and further guidance is given on to the soundless, wordless stage that leads to the Ultimate. In this practical science there is direct contact; other practices are built on hypotheses.

Eastern and Western frontiers derive from variance in climate and environment. Circumstance and status of life are due to environments of past and present. But, we are nevertheless all conscious entities. We are soul--truly all brothers and sisters in God and children of the one Father. One Father, and we are all His children. The natural relationship, made by the Lord Himself, is the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. If we can find some God-Realized Person to join us back to this forgotten relationship, our whole angle of vision on life will change. The true relationship can never be broken after you meet the Guru. The God-Realized Person fuses that relationship, which will last forevermore.

Masters come to the world already made, but man is in the make. Some Masters come to do a principal's work, some come on transfer from one work to another; but it makes no difference, for all are gifted, and all come with a Commission. This is why Christ said that He was the Bread of Life, and that Bread of Life had come down from heaven--whosoever partaketh of it would have everlasting life. God-Realized People are the Bread of Life--He is manifested in Them. The Master outwardly is the son of man, but His criterion is to give a little of that Bread of Life to us, as something to start us on the way. That is not the end, but the beginning. When a stronger taste for It is developed, one rises into the Beyond. So, that Nectar or Bread of Life has more flavor than all worldly tastes. Remember that God is Ever-Existent, All-Wisdom, and Perfect Bliss. Our soul can enjoy that Bliss when it is rejoined to the Lord.

You may say that you get peace and happiness from the world, which may be true to some extent; but for how long does it last? It lasts only as long as your attention is fastened there. If you are enjoying some play, and suddenly someone comes running to tell you that you house is on fire, the play will continue, and the rest of the audience will continue to enjoy it; but your attention will now withdraw and change its direction--the play will no longer hold any attraction or enjoyment for you. Happiness and unhappiness can come and go as quickly as that in this world. The true happiness that God gave us lies within us. He who wants permanent happiness should be at the Lord's feet. He Who rejoins that perpetually vibrating Lord will never die and will endure no more sorrow. That vibrating Lord is also called the Word. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. That Word is also called Naam, also Shabd. That Word of God is expressed in two aspects: Light and Sound. It is the highest aim of man to realize this Word, regardless of his religion. We can respect all practices, even at the level of mind and intellect, for they are good actions and will bear fruit; but without self-knowledge and God-knowledge the soul cannot become free from the wheel of births and deaths. And, true happiness starts when we start partaking of the Nectar of Life, the delightful enjoyments of which are far above all worldly taste.

The process of withdrawing from the outgoing faculties, to rise above the body-consciousness, to learn to die so that one may have everlasting life, is a science taught only by Spiritually Competent Souls. With such personal inner experience, even the scriptures take on new and clarified meaning. In the Upanishads it states that within man is the Sun of Maha Brahmand, in which the Sound is vibrating. This hidden teaching was that which was given to the son of Devki--Lord Krishna--by Ingris Rishi. This is referred to in the Gita, which also tells us to go to Whosoever can give this teaching. When we know the disease we suffer from, there is hope for its cure. Go to One Who can give a demonstration of rising above the senses. Experience of the two phases of the God Power--Light and Sound--should be given so that a person can verify he has received something. Having experienced this within, there is no need of being convinced by words alone. Most seekers of God are following hearsay only; they have seen nothing. One must have some practical experience one can call one's own. Self-knowledge can come only with experience. If one wishes to reach the sun, one must ride on its rays, and the ray of Naam or Word is in each being.

God sends Those Who are the very manifestation of the Bread of Life to guide the child, Humanity. They may come into any country, any religion; but Their basic teachings are always the same. They all say that Without a human birth, this mystery of life cannot be solved. If one has received the human life and has not unraveled the mystery, then that life is wasted. The hours spent on beautifying the body are as hours spent on beautifying a corpse, for one knows not the true being within. We thrash the husk but do not get out the seed, for all practices at the sense level are like husks. The laborer works tirelessly from morn to night; but if he receives no wages, what is the use? So, what is real devotion? Devotion to the Gurumukh, through which the Sound is heard without effort. Also, He who does the Gurumukh bhakti gets Light in the heart from that Love. It means that the Light sprouts forth from within.

Copies of the Light are found in outer places of worship; but for want of someone to show the Inner Light, the outer light has become all important and the Inner Light forgotten. In olden days, a five, seven, or nine-year old child would be made dwij, which means he received the second birth. The first birth, of course, is being born into the physical form, and the second birth is into the Beyond. The child was then given the Gayatri Mantra, and he was taught to practice the rays of the sun within and become one with the All-Light. At this initiation, they were also given a demonstration of this, but now only the outer custom remains--they speak of the second birth, and give the Gayatri Mantra, but there is no Light. This is no new idea I am placing before you.

Masters usually express a world of truth in but a few words. Brevity is the soul of wit. Yet, whatever They express, They do so with eloquence. We have but to study Their words carefully to uncover the wealth of meaning hidden therein. When Guru Arjan Sahib collected the works of the great Masters and made the monumental volume, the Adi Granth, He wrote that when He opened the Treasures of the Fathers and Grandfathers, He found the store of True Peace. Study these Treasures of our Spiritual Forefathers carefully. We show respect, bow before Them, make offerings of flowers, etc.; but we rarely study Them that we might understand Their true meaning. I will now take a short hymn; so try to understand by giving full attention.

The Guru has given me control of this house;
I am now the mistress.

The physical form is like a wonderful house in which we live. There are ten servants, viz: five senses of action and five of knowledge, with which the body is run. Sometimes one sense drags us, sometimes another. If one has four or five maidservants and none of them obey orders, do you think the house will be kept clean and orderly? The Master tells us that the Guru can make us the controller of all these senses. As I have already explained, no one who practices at the sense level can control the senses and rise above, for his attention remains at that level. When the Guru teaches one to control the senses, the whole being comes under control. Just think, are you in control of yourself?. You can see that you cannot even sit quietly here, are always looking this way and that way--your attention wanders. With so many different thoughts entering your head, who resides within and is in control at present? Your mind--which is making you dance continuously to its tune.

The Masters say, "There is God--we have experienced Him; we have seen the Lord." What does that mean? It means the God which has come into expression--not God Absolute. Absolute God is a stage into which the soul must merge and lose its personality to know. Where then is the Lord's expression? It is in the very temple of the human form--He is the Controlling Power therein. As long as the Friend resides, the companion remains; When the Friend leaves, only ashes are left. The body flourishes while the soul is in it--but the soul must leave when the Controlling Power leaves. The body then reverts to dust. Dust thou art, and unto dust returneth. What does the Guru give, through which we can gain control of our being? He gives the Greater Nectar, tasting which all lesser enjoyments become insignificant. That Nectar is called Naam, It is called Word; It is the very highest gift of God. We must meet Someone Who will withdraw our attention from materialistic affairs for awhile and make us aware of our true selves. You will then see that there is a Power controlling all things. The Master says that He met a Guru Who made Him the Controller of the house--and if the house is to be looked after properly, then how many servants are required?

Ten maidservants were given by the Lord.

Five senses of knowledge and five of action--and through the Guru's grace, one becomes their controller and the soul begins to gain consciousness. At present we are slaves to the senses--slaves to enjoyment--but when control is gained, at our will the senses operate. Furthermore, by withdrawal from the outer level of the senses, worldly happiness and unhappiness can no longer touch us.

I put my house in order;
Then the thirst of yearning for the Beloved came.

The house runs in perfect order when the servants obey orders. One can enter an orderly house, even in the darkness of night, without stumbling. Of course, if there is light within, so much the better. With the servants' help, the whole house is put in order; and if a person is free from all worries, he will naturally be drawn towards his source. The soul is the Lord's entity, and has a natural inclination to go towards Him--but, only when freed from outer entanglements. When the Guru gives a demonstration, through His grace the soul is released for a while and rises above body-consciousness. By regular daily practice, the soul gains proficiency and is able to leave and return to the body at will. This results in all outer ties being broken, and true yearning for the Lord develops. Then the thirst of yearning for the Beloved came. Also, The ties are broken in the company of the Sadhu. What is a Sadhu? There is no difference between the Sadhu and the Lord.

Everyone has God within; withdraw from outer things and become the image of Him. You all have that Light within you, but you do not make the best use of It. Only He in Whom God has manifested can manifest the Light in others. Those Who are One with that Light can be called Sadhu, Sant, Mahatma, etc. A lighted lamp can light other lamps, and this is a criterion which is most necessary to judge a True Master: the soul must have the experience. Such True Masters have ever been very few in the world; even now They are rare. They tell us that They have awakened within Themselves. When one goes into oneself, there is great bliss inside, lasting bliss, unlike the worldly happinesses which last only as long as our attention is focused. If one remains within, one will be perpetually blissful.

A certain Muslim fakir says that if the intellectuals came to know about this Nectar, they would go mad and begin dancing in intoxication. After all, this is something about which to get excited. This place of sensual pleasures is insipid; Renounce it, friend, and drink the Elixir of Life. It is the soul's food, imbibing which all other tastes fade away. If you have got even a little taste of that Nectar, then increase it daily. At present, your mind may not allow you to go within; but when you achieve that competency, it will not allow you to come out. Turn a lighted candle upside down and its flames will still go upwards, because its source is the sun. Those under the mind's influence are like clay--no matter how high you can throw a ball of clay in the air, it will return to earth, its source. With the ten maidservants of senses, I set my house in order and started finding my Lord.

What can I say of my Beloved's attributes?
He is the image of beauty and mercy.

What words can one use to describe the Lord? He is utterly Attractive. He is All-Bliss. Even these words cannot express His nature. The Masters speak of bliss and know of what They say through experience, but what do we know of it.? Everyone speaks of bliss, but without a taste it remains unknown. But, it can be known through the Guru's grace. The outer bliss, which is experienced merely at sense level, is enjoyed for but a brief space of time--obtained at the cost of drinking one's life-blood even at that, through outer connections. People speak highly of this kind of bliss, but, oh brothers, what is this compared to the true inner bliss of that All-Pervading Power of the Lord?

Thus I adorned myself with the love of Sat,
and put the fear of non-acceptance in the eyes;
I ate the tanbol of Amrit-Naam within.

He adorned himself with Truth. When one experiences the inner Nectar, one feels enwrapped or adorned with Truth Itself. In this blissful condition, fear enters the heart along with the love--for one becomes fully aware that all one's thoughts and actions are known. These two things both come with adornment of Truth: love and fear. Adorn your eyes with fear. If a person really knows something of that Power, he has an awe-filled awareness. The more he sees, the more awe enters his heart. Such a person really sees, and his heart is dragged; development is achieved this way. He says that he ate the tanbol of Naam. In Naam there is Light; in Naam there is Nectar; It is the Elixir of Life. He speaks of consuming that Nectar and absorbing It into his being. When one eats pan the lips become red, but the color of Naam tums the whole countenance radiant. In this there is bliss--All-Bliss--and it happens when one become adorned with the Truth.

There are two stages of Truth. One is to become the Truth, the other is to be connected to It. I have always advocated speaking the truth and giving the minimum of two hours daily for meditation. Be truthful. Those who tell lies are really trying to cover their sins with them. He has told us of the true adornment, but few people really understand this. Even you people do not understand. When the mouth is red from the pan (Naam) and the heart strings are pulled, he is filled with a deep fear. He is then neither alive nor dead. He cannot live in such agony, but he cannot die because of the joy. Do you understand a little? This is the disciple's condition. He cannot leave; he cannot stay.

Bracelets, clothes, jewelry, were made divinely radiant;
All happiness enters when the Beloved appears.

The Master is explaining by worldly examples. When a wife awaits her husband's return, she dresses in her finest clothes and jewelry. But, what if her husband does not come? Our outer practices in worship of God are a kind of adornment: all types of devotions, prayers, reading of books, and so on. They would all become radiant if only He for Whom they are performed would appear. But, if He does not appear, one is left like the wife who gazes at her fine adornments and cries because her husband did not come. What is the use of all these outer preparations, if we do not see the Lord? The Master tells us that all His preparations for the Lord became radiantly beautiful because the Beloved appeared. What is a woman's crowning glory? Surely it is the presence of her husband. So, which devotion will become resplendent? That in which the Beloved appears.

I developed a woman's attributes to gain my Beloved's pleasure;
Thus did I win His attention, and illusion faded.

He adopted a girl's attributes. She lives in her father's house until her betrothal, and then the love in her heart for her betrothed increases daily; her thoughts are ever upon him; her heartstrings are dragged in his direction. She becomes restless and unhappy but consoles herself with thoughts of her forthcoming marriage and how she will then leave her father's house to be always at her beloved's side, and she is content to await that day. Love and yearning are two of her attributes. On marriage, her past identity is finished--she takes her husband's name and caste and way of life. When the soul has rejoined the Lord, what is the difference between Hindu, Muslim, Christian? We may respect and live up to these labels, for they are our outer adornments and should beautify us; but what is truly our caste, mine and yours? Our caste is that of God's. I and my Father are one.

Once a certain fakir went to a goldsmith, and holding forth his hand, said, "Put a ring on God's finger." The shocked goldsmith stuttered, "What are you saying?" But the fakir calmly asked, "Who made this body?" The dazed goldsmith replied, "God, of course." "Then," said the fakir, "If God made it, does it not belong to Him? So put the ring on His finger." It does not matter if one is born in the East or the West, if one is Muslim, Sikh, or Christian; all are first human beings--mankind--and all are conscious entities. The unity already exists, but we have forgotten it. Man has separated brother from brother by applying outer labels of religion, caste, nationality, and so on. We are His; He is ours--we should all be above any kind of controversy.

Bulleh Shah was a sayyad, a high Muslim caste, and his Guru was an arai, which is a low farmer's caste. But, when Bulleh Shah went to the feet of his Guru, he said that if anyone called Him a sayyad they would go to hell, and those who considered Him an arai would reach heaven. He was emphasizing the fact that the disciple's caste is that of his Guru. The Guru's caste is that of God. Meeting the Guru, we join that true relationship which is never broken. This applies even after death. The karmas in life have to be paid; so why not pay them cheerfully? All our relationships and environments have been written by the Lord's pen, and He has joined both individuals and circumstances through the prarabdha karmas. It behooves us to live through them with the best attitude.

When the end comes, and not before, one realizes that There is no friend in this world--affection and love are all lies; All live for selfish happiness, both friend and foe. This is my house; these are my possessions. Why? All Mankind is one, and all should share with their brothers whatever they have. We say we are Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians. First become a Khalsa [one in whom the Inner Light is refulgent] and you will then be a true Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, etc. This is true religion. Can you begin to see how Masters view the subject? Very beautifully, Guru Arian has placed the facts before us in this hymn.

Have you ever thought about who you are and what you are? We only think in terms of high and low, but only he is high who has knowledge of the Lord. An emperor does not wish his son to end up as a mere minister but desires that he, too, should be an emperor. Similarly, no Guru wants His disciples to remain disciples, but they should grow to be Gurus also. For this, implicit obedience is essential; but it is a sad fact that disciples do everything but obey. They bow down, scraping noses in the dust even, and they say, "Maharaj, Your words are our orders," but the matter ends there. The result, therefore, is what it is; but those who do obey will receive the Priceless Gift.

When Ravidas Ji was told, "You are a cobbler [low caste], so why are you doing this [spiritual work].'?" He replied, "This is not ancestral property; God is his, who has loving devotion for Him." Whosoever is truly devoted will meet God. Think of the lowest in status as the highest, if God resides in his heart. He is the highest, in Whomsoever God has manifested Himself; otherwise, you may say that the whole world's population are cobblers, for they are all deeply absorbed in their outer skin. As sons of man, all are cobblers. The knowledge of all four Vedas can be found in the Gurbani (words of the Masters). The teachings are such that even those devoted to the books do not understand them and, therefore, fall into illusion. They are symbolic; they give out history pregnant with meaning; go deep down into them.

My temple of the body is the highest;
As all desires are renounced, and the Dearly Beloved is mine.

The Lord Who is loved above all else has become his--all his and no one else's, for he has given everything up, and there is nothing but the Lord. I have become His; He has become mine. The soul merges into God and realizes the Bliss that He is. Not content with that much information, people clamored for Him to tell them more. His replies are given further in the hymn, in which He refers to certain stages. You can judge for yourselves where you stand at present.

The Sun appears and the Light radiates;
The stage is prepared with profound devotion.

God--the Light--Sun of all suns--manifested. God is within in the form of Light; and those who see that Light are disciples of the Lord, irrespective of religion. This is a Light which is apparent, and It merges into Its own Source. Therefore, Through the Inner Light and Perpetual Music, one merges with the True Lord. When the Lord sits upon the prepared throne, the soul merges into Him, and the two become One. Two became one image, and the desire to return was gone; But He persuaded me. Who would desire to return to this world having reached such a wonderful stage? Just consider how Masters forsake this complete bliss for the imprisonment of the body. They give up the ecstacy of Their own home to take on God's mission, and what do They have to face? They are reviled, insulted, tortured, and false propaganda about Them is spread abroad.

The multi-colored Lord came to grace the stage;
0 Nanak, the soul enjoyed true happiness by meeting the Lord.

To receive true happiness is the very essence of human life. Without unraveling the mystery, the human life is wasted. If you have not yet found the Lord, then what is the Master's advice? He says that one should adopt the attributes of an innocent girl, who daily increases her pure love for her betrothed. Entering her husband's home, she becomes whatever he is. The son of man becomes the Son of God--the true relationship which was made possible by the Guru. He is the very Bread of Life, and His gift is the greatest blessing, for He raises the soul above body-consciousness that it may taste the Nectar which renders all other tastes insipid.

I have explained the Master's words to you very briefly. Those who have already received a small portion of this wealth should work hard to increase it. Whatever it grows into will go with you at the end, when all other things remain here; wealth, property, even the body will be left behind. They were given according to your prarabdha karmas--the give and take for this life. With joy and cheerfulness, endure them.

Masters' teachings are very simple and direct. We are all entities of the Lord--all brothers and sisters in God, and He is our Father. It is a true relationship joined by the Guru and can never be broken. Those of you who have received the gift of initiation are most fortunate. Benefit from it. You have love for me, and I appreciate it. Many do have love, but they do not obey. Do not waste your precious opportunity in love of this kind. I wish that you should benefit fully from the Priceless Jewel you have been given, and your love should be in this alone: whatever is told to you--obey. Do your meditation, for in meditation lies the true thing which has permanent value.

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