Those people whose soul is powerful achieve success in anything they undertake, because the soul gives strength to the mind, the senses, and the intellect. A very strong horse can pull even the most broken-down cart. So it is that in this human life, we can achieve complete emancipation; in no other form of life can this be accomplished.
We have been given human life by God's Grace and through the accumulation of good fortune. Since our birth, quite a number of years have passed already, during which we have worn the various labels of our religions; but during that time what have we achieved? It is inspiring to learn of the achievements of others in the field of Spirituality, but the ABC of Spirituality starts when we, ourselves, actually rise above body consciousness, just as those others did - practically. Learn to die so that you may begin to live.
This is, therefore, truly speaking our most important work - all other things being but give and take, the function of the law of cause and effect, or the effects of seeds sown in the past or in the present life. The Masters say, "Do your true work, why entangle yourself in others' affairs?" Your own work is the work which will go with you, as will the results of that work.
Many people question why so much praise is given to the human form, for all the holy books sing its praises; but it is the form in which that higher accomplishment is possible, which is impossible to do from any other form of life - all other forms are merely for the expression of enjoyments. In the human expression of life, we are partly bound and partly free - within certain limits; so we can make the utmost use of and benefit from that allotted freedom of will. The Masters tell us that They have seen the Lord - and He is within this very human form.
Guru Nanak went to Iran, and there Kazi Ruknuddin put to Him a question: "You are a very big Fakir or Master, and you must have seen the Lord's house?" Guru Nanak told him that indeed He had, and went on to describe the human body, concluding with a description of the two eyes for windows:
It is not necessary therefore, to search high and low to realize God - He is already within you. The glory of the body lasts for as long as we are in it; when we are separated from it, who will give it a second glance? While we have it, we have got a golden opportunity, and that it to achieve our important work - to realize the Lord. Where is He? The whole world is indeed His manifestation, but He is nearest to us in our very own human form - the temple of God.
The human body has a number of doors: the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, genital and excretory orifices; but the indweller of this form cannot run out of any of them. He is controlled within the body; and the power that controls him, which you can call the Controlling Power, is God. It is also called the God-in-Expression Power, for
Through Naam the Khand and Brahmand were created.
The whole of creation came into being through the Naam or the Shabd, or the Controlling Power or the God-in-Expression Power - which Christians call the Word. The Word was existing first, and creation came into being after the Word. The Muslims call it Kalma, saying that through the Kalma all fourteen planes were created. The Hindus say that through the Nad the fourteen stages were formed. So the God which came into expression is an Unchangeable Permanence, is the Creative Power in all things, and is controlling everything in existence. "O Nanak, Naam is the Controller of all; You get it through great destiny."
The Masters have declared that God can be seen in the physical form:
With the Guru's Grace, you see that the Lord's temple is within you.
And if they have seen Him, why do we not also see Him? Because the mind has come in between. But if the mind can be stilled and kept under control, then there is no barrier between you and God. A certain Muslim Saint advises that if you want to realize God, put one foot on your mind, and the next step will take you to the Lord's house. It is said that
The two brothers - the Lord and the soul - but the latter cannot speak to the Lord because its attention is constantly going into outer expression. Furthermore, through connection with the mind, it has become jiva, soul wandering or imprisoned in creation, while the mind, in turn, is being dragged around ruthlessly by the senses. So mind is actually astride the soul, but ruled by the senses which are, in turn, attracted by the outer enjoyments. The results of all this are that we, the soul, are identified only with the body and the world, to such an extent that we have forgotten our true Selves, our true nature. Even if we wanted to withdraw from all this, we could not, for we are helplessly entangled.
Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib explained that we are so much stuck fast in the world that our condition is somewhat like carvings in stone which cannot be removed. It is a reference to our soul, which through connection with the mind has become deeply engraved with outer expressions, and cannot erase them. It requires, therefore, some other Person Who can withdraw the soul's attention, extricate it from these outer entanglements. What a predicament the soul is in! - the soul, who is really the controller of all this intricate machinery of the physical body.
This physical form is a chariot in which the soul rides, but intellect is the charioteer while mind is the reins, and the wild horses of the senses drag it around. Who gives the intellect strength? Who strengthens the mind? We do - the soul - the true controller. Test it for yourself: while the attention or soul power is not focused, the senses cannot work.
How can the mind be won over? There are two ways, one outer and one inner. The outer method is called kumbhak - controlling the breathing - by which the pranas or vital airs are slowed down and some little control of the mind is gained. However, this is a very lengthy process. In the past, the yogis spent hundreds of years learning how to rise above the body consciousness by this means. The second or inner method is to withdraw the attention or soul's expression.
The functions of a factory are dependent upon its supply of power from the powerhouse, and all the different departments must necessarily be in connected to it. If the supply is switched off from the powerhouse, the factory does not function. Likewise, the inner working of the body is quite perfect and functional; but control your attention and you will control your whole being.
We are really telling the story of a Perfect Man - One Who can control Himself - One Who is in complete control of His attention. Our attention is part of the greater Attention, which is God. God once wished to become from One to many, and from that single wish billions and trillions of Brahmands, vast regions, came into being. So the soul is a drop of that Ocean of All Consciousness. If only it would withdraw from its scattered condition and concentrate itself, it could surely make at least one small town?
For this problematic situation, some Expert is required, Who Himself is in complete control and Who will, by using a little of His concentrated attention, withdraw the attention of others out of the mesh of worldly expressions. This delicate operation is not a work done by reading, nor by writing, nor by any amount of thinking. Even if one could memorize all the holy literature perfectly, and could master all songs and music of praise, or were the knower of all the knowledge in creation, yet none of these things would enable one to withdraw from outer expression without the help of some Master-soul.
One Saint tells us, "O seekers of God, you have lost the Lord in the folds of your intellect." You will notice that thinkers cannot really be definite - they will say it is neither this nor that, etc., but the Saints say that They have seen Him. There is a definite claim in this. The true Godman has been made, for at one time He was just like us. Every Saint has His past, and every sinner a future. So if Saints were once like us, then there is every hope of our becoming like Them one day.
All Masters wish that those who follow Their teachings should also become Masters. Everything in existence is a play of the attention, and so the attention has a very pronounced nature. Guru Nanak Sahib went as far as to say: "Victory over the mind is victory over the world." Control the mind and you will control all creation - and how can this be done? Through the attention. You are the attention.
When Archimedes discovered the center of gravity, he was actually seeking to discover the center of the world, and desired to shake the world thereby. The true center of all things is within man; enter it and you will forget this world. When a Master comes into the world, a huge wave of Spirituality comes with Him and hundreds of thousands benefit. He can shake the very hearts of the people. So beware of the mind, which is the barrier between the soul and God. The soul is the entity of Sat Purush, and the mind is the entity of Brahm, controller of the three planes - viz: physical, astral, and causal.
The whole world has forgotten its true identity, due to its ensnarement in the mesh of illusion. "O mind, you are the form of Light, so recognize your value." That Light is the one essence of God, which has two functions - one going into expression, the other being the Controlling Power. Soul is a part of that Controlling Power, whereas mind goes into expression. However, coming from the one essence, mind is no small thing; and the soul is able to separate from the mind only when the mind returns to its true home or source, where it will also experience the deep bliss.
The philosophers like Socrates, Plato, and others did not mention the importance and necessity of Naam; but they did tell man that he should know who and what he is - "Man, know thyself." When people inquired further into this subject, they were told, "No, you are not the mind; no, you are not the intellect; you are the soul - an entity of the Consciousness, and when you truly know who you are, you will be the knower of all knowledge. Moreover, you will achieve success in all your undertakings."
Bulleh Shah went to Shah Inayat, who was a farmer, and asked, "Maharaj, how is God realized?" At that particular time, Shah Inayat Sahib was busy transplanting some small plants, and he said simply: "What is there to realizing the Lord? Just uproot it from here and plant it there. " It indicates a change of direction - turn your attention from here and direct it there. It is a question of attention, is it not? You may call it this, or call it that, but the fact remains the same: wherever you concentrate your attention, there will you accomplish. To accomplish self realization, this concentrated attention is even more necessary.
There is not one who can save himself from the bad effects of mind and senses. Guru Nanak Sahib said, "He is pure who has achieved Self-knowledge." As both mind and senses draw their sustenance from the soul, then Self knowledge enables the soul to extract whatever work it wills from them. If the soul wills that they cease to work, it will be so. Those who are ignorant of Self knowledge are forever drifting in the mind's waves which are filled with the pollution of the senses - the results of being dragged around willy nilly in the worldly enjoyments. Kabir Sahib advises the seeker to seek a Guru Who can tell him where the mind is, and to continue searching until such a Guru is found. It is very valuable information or advice.
Mind is like a spider, trying constantly to lure us into its web. Its seat lies behind the eyes, and if the attention is controlled there, the mind also comes under control. To know oneself, however, one must become pure. The imperative of all this is the emphasis that one must go to Someone Who already knows Himself, and Who can give a demonstration of how to rise above body consciousness, that is, above both mind and the indriyas. "God Himself reveals the Imperceptible - through the Satguru."
We usually read the words of the Masters without understanding their true meaning. If we knew who we were, we would know He Who is above the senses. The first step toward God-realization then is Self realization. Swami Ji said, "You yourself must recognize yourself; listen not to the advice of others." Do this, and all your troubles are over. All your questions will be answered. The old Rishis declared that Self-knowledge is something, knowing which there is naught else to be known.
The Macrocosm is in the microcosm, but at present the soul's position is restricted - covered with the three coverings of physical, astral, and causal expressions. But it is not an impossible situation, for "Whatever is in Brahmand is in the physical form; he who seeks will find it." The mind also has three stages: physical mind in the physical world, astral mind in the astral world, and we have just been considering the Brahmandi or causal mind. To illustrate the point: rainwater may be clean when it starts to fall, but as it goes through the earth's atmosphere it gets polluted - even more so when it actually touches the earth. To re-purify that rainwater it must be evaporated by the sun, that it may rise as a vapor above the earth's atmosphere, whereby it is purified.
The enigma of the situation is observed by Charan Das Ji: "Mind is controlled by intellect, senses controlled by mind; How can the attention be focused in all this complexity?" God is All-Light, and the soul is also Light - "All worship the Living Light." A Khalsa for instance, is he in whom the effulgent Light is refulgent. Lord Krishna explained that every person has got that Light within him, but it has to be awakened. Hazrat Mohammed Sahib and other Masters said the same thing. Christ told His people that He had come to make those see who do not see, and implied that men with eyesight were in fact, blind, for they could not see the Inner Light. To see for oneself is most important: "While I do not see with my own eyes, I cannot believe even the Guru's words." We can only be truly convinced when we see for ourselves. We are grateful for all means of outer learning, which gives some incentive, but the art of lecturing and telling stories can be mastered by anyone with a little training; the problem remains unsolved, however. "As long as the senses, mind, and intellect are not stilled, the soul cannot experience."
You can see now why Self knowledge precedes God-knowledge. The matter of controlling the mind arises again and again, so have you fully understood how it can be controlled? Someone Who is able to control His attention must give you a sitting, and at this time control your attention for you so that you will forget the body. The Light within is already there in existence, and when He opens your inner eye, you will be able to see It. The true meaning of the word Guru is: the One Who brings Light into the darkness. This is not done by merely pressing the eyes with the fingers - one can ruin one's eyesight that way - moreover, awareness of the body and its environments remains, whereas by true inversion these things are forgotten.
There are two kinds of practice. One is the kind which connects with the mind, intellect, and senses. People do perform various different practices, but still find that the mind is running away from them. All these practices are known as Apra Vidya or outer knowledge. But we must remember that, While the senses, mind, and intellect are not still, the soul cannot experience. It is illogical and impossible for the soul to practice at these levels and at the same time achieve the ability to rise above them. This is very clear. Perhaps the mind can be controlled for a brief while, but then it runs away again, something like a snake in a basket which spits and strikes every time one opens it. Practice of all this outer knowledge cannot control the mind, as the Rishis and sages who have fallen into sin will remind us. There is no need to study examples of others, however, for we fall daily - our failures spread over the full twenty-four hours of the day. Under the ashes there are live coals which spark up and spring into life when the breeze blows! You must pour water on the fire to ensure it does not re-spark - even when the stormiest winds blow.
Swami Ji Maharaj advised the seekers to: "Make this enemy mind your friend." But how? If, for instance, you have to spend the night under the same roof as a man you know to be a daring thief, how will you protect your money and possessions? The only chance is to give all your valuables into the charge of the thief himself and implore him to guard them in safekeeping for you. In other words, take a positive approach. Even if you ever catch a person doing wrong, do not hand him over to the authorities, but rather give praise to the good in him, encourage him to turn from his bad habits and live by the good ones. Mind loves to relish all kinds of enjoyments, and it is not his fault he is getting intoxication at the sense-level through all these outer things. Mind will most definitely not leave these enjoyments until it is offered a more delightful and stronger enjoyment.
The Masters tell us that if we control the mind, we can achieve realization. Guru Arjan Sahib has given so much informative advice on this subject. "By reading and thinking on the Vedas, or doing yogic practice, you cannot get free from your five companions." No matter what you try, the ego will not go. Doership does not go. The law continues to take its toll: "As ye sow, so shall ye reap." How can we lose the thoughts of doership? We must stop the waves undulating in the mind. "While there are waves in the mind, ego and pride rule; neither Guru's Shabd nor love for the Naam can be achieved."
Naam is there already - but only when the water is still can the reflection be seen. The cure is one alone. "Shabd burns out ego, attachment; the Gurumukh's everlasting Light is received." Ego and attachment will go when one sees that the Lord is the Doer and not oneself, that, in fact, everything is sustained and upheld by Him. Salvation is assured when one becomes a gurumukh - he who is one with the Guru. This happens through the eyes: "Looking at the Satguru, the blessing is received, that inner knowledge which solves all mysteries." Eyes are the windows of the soul, and the stronger soul will drench the weaker soul in its own color. Seventy-five percent of the knowledge is received into the soul through the eyes; the other twenty-five is learned through the mind, intellect, and senses.
The attitude of mind is important - how you go to the Master, with what attitude. It should be one of humble devotion. Those without proper attitude of mind will not benefit fully, even in His presence. One should not waver in doubt, furthermore, but should have single-minded attention. One Fakir said that his heart was so full of his Beloved that he forgot himself and who he was. Guru Gobind Singh said, "Two forms have become one." If you sit in the Guru's presence with the attitude that you are the disciple and He is the Guru, then how can the Guru be there? He is truly there when you are aware of Him and Him alone. For this, devotion is necessary, and preceding this, obedience to His commands.
It is a great blessing to have a human body - still greater is the blessing of the Living Master. He is the Attention and the Controller of the attention in others. When the attention is imprisoned in the mind and senses, how can it rise above by itself? "The great Guru drags the attention up." What great power there is in attention. Great is man - you are attention, are you not? All men are micro-gods, truly speaking. Why remain in misery? "He Who sent you is Himself calling you back: Return home in peace." God sent you to this world, and also has sent Someone to take you back home, through Whom He is saying, "Come children, come back home. " Masters come for this purpose alone - for the sake of the pious and the sinner alike, for both are at the level of mind and senses, are they not?
Without Self knowledge man achieves nothing. Some seekers roam around naked; some will not eat from any vessel, but only from their hand; many go on pilgrimages to different holy places, doing different practices; but desires are not killed by any of these means. Cut off your head, go to any extreme; but you will not control your mind thereby. The Masters repeat and repeat this:
Kabir Sahib said, "A fish drifting down the limpid waters of the Ganges, washing itself in many ways, could not be rid of its smell." The wise ones begin to purify the mind, having no bad thought for anyone - not in thought, nor word, nor deed - like appropriating another's goods, for instance. There must be no lies, no cheating, no cunning and scheming. We are all brothers and sisters in God, remember; and the wise man will do good to all alike and think only good of all men.
The Masters are sometimes quite abrupt - with all due deference. Bulleh Shah once very plainly said, "God is not found in mosque or Kaaba; God is not in the Koran, nor in namaz (prayer); neither saw I God in places of pilgrimage, 0 Bulleh Shah, from my Guru I got that gift, whereby all my difficult search was ended." What a shortcut it is! What a blessing to find some Master Who will reveal it within you! The teachings of past Masters are valuable, for they are one and the same, and those who met Them experienced a practical demonstration of those teachings - of the true knowledge. You will find the similarity running through all the scriptures, from which I am constantly quoting; but the seeker must receive a demonstration himself; he must see for himself, and then go on to develop further.
The subject is a long one, but a complete outline can be had from any of the hymns of the great Masters Who taught this Science. Their conclusions are unanimous: No one can cross the ocean of mind, for the waves are gigantic; without a Controller, none can cross. Do you feel a need for such a Person Who is in perfect control of His attention? The world's history shows that it has never respected such Personalities. They have been accused of destroying the established customs; They have been banned from entering cities, They have been hung, crowned with thorns, made to sit upon red hot iron plates. When Hazrat Mian Mir heard that Guru Arjan Sahib was to be forced to sit on the hot iron plate, he lamented to the Guru, "I cannot bear it that they will do th is to You." Guru Arjan Sahib told him, "Listen, this Power is also in you and in everyone; all may destroy one another, yet that Power will remain. It is God's will that this is happening."
Make a decision - what you want to do. Do you want to waste your life? You are already drifting away - go on drifting if you prefer. However, if you would prefer to benefit from your human life, then you must give time for it. In truth this is our real work - all other work is not ours, but merely a means of finishing our give and take. You are here in this world for a few days only - it is not your permanent abode - do you want to spend the time sowing new seeds? It is a golden opportunity offered to you - benefit from it, otherwise, you will go around the perpetual circle of action again. "The whole world is a disciple of the mind; only few are disciples of the Guru; those who keep His commandments gain that unfathomable knowledge." You must decide for yourself. The very essence of the holy scriptures are put before you.
Guru Amar Das Ji came to the feet of Guru Angad after more than seventy years of searching. When, through His Guru's Grace He realized the Truth, He said that it was impossible for anyone whose mind is trapped within the "ten doors" to truly sing the Lord's praises. On the subject of the mind, this hymn of Guru Amar Das reveals:
The competent doctor will tell you of the cure for the diseased mind and what steps to take. A good doctor will not only diagnose, but will give you the cure also. One who gives only advice is not efficient. Now the cure for the mind has already been told to you, has it not? Go to a realized Soul, and He will first tell you this: "The Guru makes you controller of the 'house'; you become the mistress of the house." Guru Ramdas termed it "queen of the house," and explained how He was given ten maidservants to work for Him - the five senses of action and the five of knowledge. Spirituality starts with the first step, but it is something which never perishes.
The human body is two-part: one is above the eyes, and the other below the eyes. The senses operate from the eyes down, and through them the outer impressions enter into one's being. "In a room full of kajal [mascara], no matter how careful, you will get stain, upon stain, upon stain." This is what happens to you in this world. Rise above it all - above the body consciousness. "The great Guru drags the attention up." These are direct references for your guidance, that the Masters give a way up - up to where the Sound is vibrating and the Light is effulgent. The great Masters - Lord Krishna, Lord Buddha, Hazrat Mohammed Sahib, Jesus Christ, and others - all spoke of these two principles. Merely wearing the label of a particular religion does not make you a true exponent of it. He in Whom the Light is effulgent is a Khalsa; he who climbs the highest peak to see God's radiance is a true Muslim; he who sees the Light of God is a true Christian. You must actually see that Light.
The senses are perpetually dragging us around. The sense of sight drags us to beautiful scenes; the sense of audition draws us to melodious music and sounds; the sense of taste attracts our attention to enjoyable things to eat; the sense of smell is seeking fragrant aromas, etc; and the sense of touch leads one to sensual enjoyments. Likewise, through these senses we are subject to passion, anger, greed, attachment, and ego which will go on attacking us until we rise above their influence. The true Master teaches a way up to a higher level, and gives one a demonstration of that at the first sitting, which can then be practiced daily. Remember, Spirituality starts "When the senses, mind, and intellect are stilled."
When Guru Amar Das came to Guru Angad, the Guru gave Him the demonstration, and Amar Das said, "What beautiful Sound comes from within! I hear the Sound which has vibrated through the Four Ages, that Sound supporting all, Maker of all, the perfection in each being." And that Sound is everlasting.
God is Nameless - He is that Power. That Power is vibrating everywhere, but is difficult to realize because one must get in contact with It. Who then does get the contact? "Whosoever has good fortune from way back gets connection to God's Naam;" Nanak says, "happiness is theirs in whose 'house' the Unstruck Sound vibrates." Also, it is said, "No heed for caste; this knowledge is for all; in this Iron Age, whoever meditates on Naam, O Nanak, gets salvation." You may be a Hindu, or Muslim, or Christian; it makes no difference, for the Light is the same - why conjure differences? Temples, mosques, churches, and other sacred places contain the symbols of that Light and symbols of the vibrating Sound; but the true temple or mosque is the human form in which the Light of God exists.
A certain Muslim Saint quite frankly says that to attend the mosque is for the beginners only. These edifices were made to remind man that the Light is within his own form - to attend them is all right for the uninitiated; but if the Light is not seen thereby, where is the benefit? However, the true seekers go on searching by performing various practices. Those who do become Gurumukhs give the direct advice, and tell the seekers to seek within the temple of the body. They do not leave the people stranded with only the books for guidance, but explain how to find that which is written of in the books. All knowledge lies within, and the key to it is with the Guru. Guru Amar Das explains how the mind becomes pure: "While attention stays in the mind's waves, there is abundance of ego and pride; until the Shabd is connected and love for the Naam develops." The taste for Naam comes only when the connections with the senses are severed.
How can one who is being dragged through the worldly affairs praise God? Self-knowledge is required. You have to go home, your Self, not the senses, mind and intellect, but you. You are the power behind your whole being, remember. Guru Amar Das then advises the mind:
This was His advice, after receiving the inner gift. "Leave off the plane of senses which is devoid of all taste, O friend; drink the Nectar of Naam." The world has no true taste - it is but a place of sin and immorality - but the Naam is the Elixir of Life, and we should have preference for the taste of that. Only with that Nectar can the mind be controlled. Lord Krishna explained how He controlled the thousand-headed serpent, which He found at the bottom of the River Jumna, by playing His flute. It was His way of describing this serpent mind which has a thousand ways of inflicting poison into us. It can be controlled only by the Sound of Naam.
In the past you desired many things, but they were never fulfilled. Now everything is fulfilled, even before that wishful thought comes, because Nature is now at one's beck and call. Even with a little intoxication of Naam, one can be the controller of Nature. Swami Ram Tirath said that with the Lord's intoxicant comes a cool breeze. All one's heated passions are cooled, and even the simplest desire is fulfilled. The Swami then explained how the Masters never proclaim that They come straight from heaven, but rather They talk as man to man. Guru Amar Das, likewise, in all modesty continues:
This is an indication that Masters were also at the sense-level once, but have ascended to the high state of purity by surrendering Themselves at God's feet. Then He says
You can see that this is a watch which my fingers are holding. But I am the power behind the fingers which makes it possible. To come close to a realized Soul means to be near the greatness of God - in Him. So to go to a Master's feet is like going to the feet of God, for it is the same Power working in Him. And the first thing He does is to drag that sinking stone of the attention above the deep ocean of senses. And then? "He settles account with Dharam Rai (Lord of Judgment or Death); and takes me out of the mire of sin." He clears up your case in Dharam Rai's court and lifts you above the senses; how many such Masters can one meet in this world? When They tell us that They also were under the senses, it means that there is hope for everyone.
The stage of everlasting life is reached by rising above the poison of the senses. Ruled by the senses, the body emanates an unpleasant smell; but with purity of thought, it will emit a delightful perfumed fragrance. People spend so much money on toilet preparations and scented soap, etc. to keep the body smelling sweet; otherwise, the odious smell from various thought waves is very strong. Each thought has both color and smell of varying degrees and shades. But the Masters may refrain from washing for some time and yet be surrounded by a fragrant atmosphere from Their body, which is also the result of Their thoughts. It is a very practical and scientific thing - each man having his own radiation according to the type of life he leads and the thoughts he has. If his life is spiritual, his color will be golden or white. If his life is full of love, his radiation will be blue. You may have observed that usually they depict Lord Krishna in blue or yellow color.
The same thing applies to the smell emitting from the body. A passionate man will smell like a herd of sheep - no matter how much he washes himself. One who is full of anger gives off a smell like burned cloth. A greedy person smells very earthy. But Guru Amar Das tells us that the Masters were also like us once, and have reached a stage of purity - so there is hope and potential for everyone. The way to that?
Make the best use of your life and make it bear forth fruit. This can be accomplished by meeting the Satguru and receiving the Lord's Naam. It is only through the blessing of great grace that one can approach a Living Master.
Guru Amar Das Ji quite frankly says that at one time an unpleasant smell came from His body, but it did turn into a sweet fragrance. If you would also like your being to emanate such lovely fragrance, then do your bhajan and keep in regular contact with the Naam. It is our own work - but we would put the obligation onto others if we could. But remember: you can do this work only when in the human form, and only you can do it. "Manmukh is in forgetfulness, steeped in poison, wasting his precious life; God's Naam is an Ocean of Joy, but he could not contact the true Shabd."
Those not connected to the Guru remain under the mind and senses, and the birth they have been given with great blessing is utterly wasted. The Ocean of Joy is perpetually pounding above the eyes, and the Guru gives the way up to It. "That upside-down well in the void contains a lighted lamp which burns with neither wick nor oil; through its flame the Sound vibrates and issues forth; he hears, whoever enters the samadhi of true knowledge, and none other." Those who go into samadhi or very deep meditation hear the true Sound. The gift of Naam is being given publicly and openly - by the Grace of Hazur. When I toured the West, thousands received It - not hundreds. Apart from the centers in India, there are two others throughout the world.
Everyone is outwardly repeating God's Name: "Allah Allah, Ram Ram," and so on - but it usually means the Lord's Name on the tongue and a knife in the pocket at the ready. God will never be satisfied by such hypocrisy. One can fool the world perhaps, but not the Lord.
O Nanak, he in whose heart God resides got the salvation.
If He becomes manifest in your heart (soul), then you may consider you have succeeded in your life's work. "Repetition of God's Name does not realize Him; by the Guru's blessing, He resides within and some realize the fruit of that." What do you achieve by repeating God's Name with the tongue only? If you actually see Him within you, you will cease to sin. Each and every action we make is seen by God - how could anyone sin if this was truly realized.
You have got this life with abundance of good fortune, so make the best use of it. For those who are wasting it away at the sense-level: who knows when you will get the chance again, and when you will again have the opportunity of doing this important work. Guru Amar Das has given such emphasis to this hymn by offering His own life as example. In company of such Masters, Who are in perfect control of Their attention, there is pin-drop silence. What serenity!
It does not matter to what group you belong, for all religions were built upon the base of some noble purpose - but you should take the utmost benefit from them. That benefit means to realize God. An enlightened One will teach you how to seek Him within the temple of this human body; and when you go within this body and see for yourself, you will truly understand the religious scriptures. The inner way is mentioned in them all, for Those Who saw for Themselves have recorded Their experiences. The thoughts of all Masters are parallel. Read the book "Naam or Word" which I have written. I have reserved no special rights for these books, and they have been translated into many languages: German, French, Spanish, Italian, Greek -- even Russian.
Religions are good; they are the first necessary step, for man is a social being and must be part of some social structure. The second step is: "To meditate on God's Naam is the supreme dharma, whereby your actions will become pure." In this Ashram there is no mention of any special sect - do not be misled by hearsay - this is a School of Satsang. If you start to put emphasis on outer form, you will retrogress.
This work is all by the Grace of Hazur - Hazur Baba Sawan Singh Ji, in Whose remembrance the 27th of July is upheld every year. This date is coming soon, and I feel the best way of celebrating any Master's day is like this: Today is July 1, so the whole month should be spent in His remembrance. Read the teachings and understand them, then try to hold on to them. Give some time - two hours, four hours, or more. The Muslim brothers keep a whole month's fast, do they not? Well, you need not fast but you can eat less - and then put in two, four, or six hours daily for meditation. For one month take leave from the worldly duties; what is the harm in trying it? In this way you will really benefit from that which you have taken up.
In the past, people used to go to holy places for one or two months in the year for the purpose of getting clear of the poisons of the cities for a period and to sit at the feet of some Master in remembrance of God. If you want to celebrate July 27, then leave all else and do your meditation. Making a big noise with empty words will benefit you nothing. If you are at present doing two hours of meditation, then do six instead, or eight. Readjust your life and make a concentrated effort; and when that day of the 27th comes, you might become something.
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