Sat Sandesh
August 1972 Volume five number eight



From the Master

  • The Master’s talk: No love without fear


  • Other Features

  • With the Lion of Mercy: Remembrance of an Indian trip
  • The Protection of the Master
  • Serve one another in love
  • Princess of Divine Love: The Love of Mira Bai


  • Poems

  • Ring of Love
  • From the womb of memories





  • THE MASTER’S TALK

     

    No love without Fear

     

    The highest expression in creation – the human being – is next to God. It is considered to be such great good fortune birth, that even the gods and goddess 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 al beings; no place is without him. Because the soul is not enjoying the bread of life it has not strength. The bread of life exists within each and every one – in some it is apparent, but in most it is hidden. Wherever it is apparent that personality is known as 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 constructions. 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 not 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 every directed outwards. 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 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 all the attention even the sense do not work. You will have noticed, for instance, that if your attention is fully focused on something, you will not hear if anyone else 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 the 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 musical instruments. When a few minutes later someone asked him if he had sent 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 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 constantly being dragged form one place to another. So the first talk is to control these senses, and also still the mind and intellect. If you do this, you will have succeeded in something exceptionally worthwhile.

     

    The Rishis, Munis, 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 of my coat; and so those who rise above into 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 operate 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 only learn 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 when 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 only know it 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 the learned the first lesson of spirituality. Form then on, like an airplane, you will soar to higher stages.

     

    God has given the human form in the very image of the physical form, in the astral world we have the astral form, and in the causal world the causal form, but the 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 precedes 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 senses 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 them he does not know what to do to gain further progress, and remains at the stage. This is why I have always advised that the first 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 other 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 expressions, first the light manifested; then sound proceeded there from. 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 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 thinks 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 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 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 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 your house is on fire, the play will continue, and the rest of the audience will now withdraw and change its direction – the play will no longer hold any attraction 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 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 sates 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 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 of 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 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 only come 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 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 morning to night, but if he receives no wages, what is the use? So what is real devotion? Devotion is 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 treasure 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 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 tell 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 in control at present? Your mind – which is making you dance continuously to its tune.

     

    The Master say, “There is God – we have experienced him, we have seen the Lord.” What does this 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 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 a while, and make us aware of our true selves. You will then see that there is a power controlling all things. That 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 enjoyments – but when control is gained, at our will the senses operate. Furthermore, by withdrawal from the outer level of 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 servant 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 in 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 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 the true Master; the soul must have the experience. Such true Masters have even 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 happiness which last only as long as our attention if 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 to intoxication. After all, this is sometimes to get excited about. 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 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 attribute?

    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 turns the whole countenance radiant. In this there is bliss – all bliss – and it happens when one becomes 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 disciples 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 directions. 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 in his hand said, “Put a ring on God’s God 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 said 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 aria, 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 the hell, and those who considered him an aria would reach the 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 Lords 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, Christian, sikh, etc. this is true religion. Can you begin to see how Masters view the subject? Very beautifully, Guru Arjan 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 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 the 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 give 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 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 ecstasy 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;

    O 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 Masters advice? He says that one should adopt the attributes of an innocent girl, who daily increases her pure love for her betrothed. Entering her husbands home, she becomes whatever he is. The son of man becomes the son of God – the true relationship which was made 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 Masters words to you very briefly. Those who have already received a small portion of this wealth would 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 Gurus, 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.

     

     

     

     

    FROM THE WOMB OF MERCY

     

    From the womb of memories

    Full-bellied clouds come carrying seeds

     of the unborn waterfall.

    Gathering skies fulfill in time

     the vision of a momentary drop

    When veins run full of flood

     tears in overflow

    Receive the all-merciful.

     

    KRISSA RIPPEY

     

     


    WITH THE LION OF MERCY

     

    EXCERPTS FROM A TALK GIVEN BY RUSSEL PERKINS ON HIS RETURN FROM INDIA IN MARCH 1972

     

    When you come into the presence of the Master, the one things that’s always true is that  nothing is what you expect. Looking back on it, it’s like a big kaleidoscope: preconceptions broken, Masters greatness shown to me in ways I never really knew before. Well, I went there full of self-importance: I had done all this work Master had assigned to me; I awaited further assignments – that kind of thing. Well, he was not displeased with anything. He didn’t say anything negative or positive. It took me a while  to grasp: all he wanted to talk to me about was my own inner growth.

     

    He talked a lot about my attitude toward work. He said, “When you talk to people, make sure that they understand that you are telling them from the level of your understanding only. Don’t assert! Don’t come on as though Master is saying it. He said, “Whatever you do, don’t be the Master of the work assigned to you. Know you’re working for someone else, never forget that!” – very strong.

     

    Before Judith came, I missed her like anything, and I began to feel ashamed. Here I am with the Master, we are supposed to be above such things, attachment to wives, etc.. We went back to Delhi and  was trying like anything to meditate and through the Grace of God it was not entirely fruitless. But I missed Judith so much… That night at Darshan on the porch, Master said to me out of the blue, “Yes, what’s on your mind, speak up, heart to heart – so kindly. All during this time, Master was showing me time and again how he knows our innermost thoughts – it was really knows incredible, he really knows everything. There’s no doubt about it. So he pulled me out like that – heart to heart. I said, “Master, I am disgusted with myself because of the tiny amount of love that I have for you.” He said, “How can you measure love – how can you measure it? It’s either there or it is not.” I said, “when thoughts of outside things come up in meditation, my mind clings –“  he said, “Look here, when thoughts of wife and children come up, don’t love them, love them for the sake of him who has given them to you. Then you will be all right.” He was so loving, so kind. Many times I would be in that kind of a state. He would just talk to me and it would be like he was washing me with the gentlest kind of beautiful water. I would be shaking with happiness after just a few words like that.

     

    Our habit, even when we’re with the Master, is to think always  in our own terms, so that we ask questions and conversations take place in a frame of reference that is entirely of our own making. It is very rare for Master to violate that; it’s like a game he plays. If you select a frame of reference, he will play the game within that. But if you would selected another one, you might find out a lot more, or  if you just leave it open to him – anything could happen. These are subtle things…. In the Masters presence there is nothing that cannot and should not and does not lead to growth, nothing.

     

    You see, Master has two kinds of beauty. Actually, he has fifty thousand kinds; but he has two main kinds. I am talking about physical beauty. The first is his beauty near at hand, like when you are sitting on the floor about six inches away from him, and you are looking into his face and you see every nook and cranny of the boulder that his face it, and you wonder how on earth God could create such a face as that. That’s one kind of beauty, you see, and you are looking into his eyes…. Sometimes I would look into them and my eyes would hurt, and I could not focus on both eyes at once. And I found it very difficult to answer him and when he talked to me; I would have to avert my gaze for a second in order to make my mind work enough to come up with the answer that he wanted. Because it’s really true that looking into his eyes you begin to withdraw; there’s no doubt about it, the withdrawal process starts.

     

    The other kind of beauty is his beauty at Satsang. He’s sitting up there on the dais, and you may be quite a distance from him, no doubt, but he’s sitting up there and he is a lion. That’s his name, you know – “Kirpal Singh” means merciful lion – that’s his name and that’s what he is. And those days in Meerut he was sitting up there holding Satsang, and most beautifully exquisite experience is watching him – even if you don’t understand a word – watching him make his points with motions of his hands, the way he would move his head…. Sometimes he talks for three hours, more usually two. He never stirs from his waist down. From his waist up, he’s swaying. He’s looking, he’s darting his eyes – he looks at the whole congregation, he notices everyone. He’s so alive! You look at him and the life that’s coming from him is so tangible, you think, “Oh my God, how beautiful, how much beauty can there be in the world?” so that’s what it was like in Meerut….

     

    At Manav Kendra there’s a little old woman that lives there; she looks about ninety. She’s all bent over with a big hump on her back. She walks around mumbling bhajans and moves very slowly with great difficulty with steps and things. So one day we were all following Master along this path, and Masters walking very fast – he just floats along (and by the way he walks just as fast as he did before his operation, and in every way he appears to be more healthy, more vigorous, more active, and more youthful than two years ago) – anyway we were all coming along this path in a big could following Master and there was this little old woman up ahead, and there were three stone steps in the path and she started to go up them, with great difficulty. And Master, never even breaking his stride, just reached down and put his hand under her elbow, and it looked from behind as though he just lifted her up the three steps and set her on the top. And then he kept on going. She knelt right down on the  ground and took the dust from where his feet had been and put it on her forehead. The way he did it, the whole feel of the thing, was just so many things like that….

     

    Sometimes there’s a certain kind of Indian disciple who has a certain way of looking at the Master which to me is meaningful beyond words. Its smile, but it’s a smile that so extreme that it seems like their face is going to break in two. And there’s tears in the eyes along with it. Whenever you see that expression, you know that just being with the Master is almost knocking them out. and Master was so loving to people like that – he pats them on the face, he sits right down with them…

     

    Just before we left were up in Pathankot and I said to Master “I cant believe in two days time we’ll be in the United States.” He said, “who says you are leaving, who says? You will take me with you. Wherever you are, I’ll be there.” He patted me…. It was so hard to believe that we were coming home, so hard. You live in India for a little while, even six weeks, it gets into your blood. You just think, “Oh India,” just like you think, “Oh, Master, - how can you be so beautiful?”

     

    There was a Satsang the morning of our last day, and despite the fact that I was sick as a dog, I wanted to go to it…. In both good and bad ways, that Satsang was something. I was sick in a way that’s almost indescribable. I was sitting cross-legged on the ground.

     

    In the morning it was cold, but as the day went on it got hot, and I was dressed for the cold morning, with long underwear, etc., and as the day went on I really began to stifle. Master gave the longest talk without a doubt that I have ever heard him give anywhere – three hours almost on the nose, of which only a phrase or two were in English. And for last two hours of that three-hour talk I was in such intense pain that I had to sit absolutely straight because any other position put too much pressure on me…. With all that, Masters face was so beautiful – I was sitting there  looking at it, I could not believe it. And I kept looking more and more at his face and I realized I would rather be there than anywhere else in the world doing anything else. You see, you cant – pictures don’t get it, movies don’t get it, people descriptions don’t get it, you have it to see it with your own eyes.

     

    Everything about the Master is so subtle. He makes a point he smiles, just a little bit of a smile, and the subtle beauty of that smile just floats out across at your heart….

     

    Master said several times, “what you hear in your ears, preach on the housetops.” He was quoting Christ. Of course, we are not to give out what we are not authorized to give out what we are authorized to give out. but the news that the Master does not exist on earth and has the competence and power, and God can be found and met and loved and love back in a very real way in this age. That’s what the path is all about.

     

    When we are at his feet, these things are very clear; but when we leave him, and time goes by and we get involved in other things  lip service is paid, but less and less of our real heart goes to the job of finding God. The path is a very real thing. Master wants us to grow, he wants us to break through our attachments, he wants us to love, he wants us to be happy, be jolly, and live always from the level of someone who sees that the Master is taking care of him. Because he really is. He is protecting us every minute. What he doesn’t protect us from is the very thing we are supposed to have…. He showed me in a million ways he knows everything. He understands everything – our hang-ups, our attachments – he can go deep down inside our minds, he sees what is there. He loves us anyway! I said to him the  last day, “Master , you  have showed me over and over again that you know every thought I am thinking the inmost desires of my heart.” He didn’t deny it; he said, “Yes?” I said, “and yet you love me anyway!” he said, “Look here, if a child comes to its mother smeared with filth, what does the mother do? Does she not love it? Does she not wash it down and hug it to her breast? Does she hate him? Does she beat him or kill him?”

     

    There is nothing, you know, that he doesn’t know about us. He knows where we are at. He knows it. When you are in front of him, he knows, but he knows equally well over here. Because he made direct reference to fears and hang-ups and things like that I had over here before I went. He knew all about them; I never talked about them, not a word, but he knew. He really is God….

     

    RING OF LOVE

     

    MAY THE RING OF LOVE

                    THAT ENCIRCLES OUR SOULS

    PULLS US ALL TIGHTER TOGETHER

                    TIL WE EACH BECOME ONE WITH THEE.

     

    ASTRA

     

     


    THE PROTECTION OF THE MASTER

    LETTERS FROM COL. CHANDGI RAM & LT. COL. OTTAR Singh

     

    Any disciple of the living Master Kirpal Singh Ji who has been initiated for some time and has kept his eyes open has some knowledge of the protective power of the Master. The following instances are extraordinary only because of their setting ( the fourteen-day war of last December between India and Pakistan) and because they show the extremes to which the Master power will go to protect those who are trusting him.

     

    Of course, initiates do die, when their fate karma runs out, just like everyone else; but instances like these show us vividly that the Master is in control of the whole thing, and if the disciple is able to utilize the gift for his ultimate growth, then – the grace is given.

     

    The letters that follow are from old satsangis, educated, high-ranking Army men; yet as their words show, they are like little children at the feet of the Master. The letter from Col. Chandgi Ram of Meerut was translated from the Hindi; that of Lt. Col. Ottar Singh was written in English. Both letters have been approved by the Master for publication.

     

    Col. Changi Ram

    24 December, 1971.

     

    My dear Satguru Maharaj Ji: There is not a grain of doubt that life is only possible with they sweet grace. O Master – how can we human beings express our thanks to thee? Our failings are numerous and yet your gracious blessing are being poured out with thy hand of protection wherever we go.

     

    Here I wish to relate the happening in which thy sweet grace was seen to protect my son, 2nd Lt. Brijendra Singh, who has been writing to the Master regularly. This boy was selected for the Army more than a year ago, and trained in basic military subjects in Madras with sweet blessings of the Master. He joined the Poona Horse Regiment sometime in April or May of this year. In November 1971 his regiment was sent to Samba in Jammu and Kashmir, where they later advanced and fought against the enemy, but he was detailed by name to take training course in technical subjects at Ahmednagar. He volunteered to stay in the field and fight rather than take a course at that time.

     

    In action at Shakargarh Bulge on the border near Jammu, on 14 December 1971, the electrical system of his tank failed and it was stranded on open ground, making a perfect target for the enemy. Four saber jets soon hovered over his tank, and he decided to take shelter under the tank rather than to get killed in the open. He ordered the crew to go underneath, and he followed. Two infantrymen who could not find shelter elsewhere followed him, thus making two men on either side of him. The sambers were continuously bombing and strafing, and killed the four men on both the sides of him. Brijendra got splinter wounds on his legs, thigh and back. He managed to get himself into the tank, which was still stranded with its batteries all run down. As he got in, he saw a picture of Guru Nanak, which was pasted near the driver’s seat, transform itself into a picture of Maharaj Ji and with his usual smile told him, Koi dar nahin (there is no danger). Brijendra says that he also got a very big smile and made an attempt to start the tank. As he turned the switch, the tank automatically started. He drove it about six hundred yards under a groove of trees, and then became unconscious. He was later evacuated. He keeps a picture of Maharaj Ji in his pocket, although torn in folds.

     

    During his operation he asked me by letter, “What is Simran?” he had been guided by Maharaj Ji to do Simran…

     

    Last night Bakhshi Parmanand Ji with his wife came to see this boy and we talked and talked of Mahahraj Ji. It was nothing but an intunement with him and so a form of Satsang.

     

    Our failings are numerous; our ability to follow thee is nothing; and yet thy sweet grace is ever ready. Just a thought of remembrance leaves one in an indescribable state; what happens to those who are beyond this stage only thou knowest.

     

    Whenever it is possible, people in Meerut, especially those in RVC Center school, are very anxious for Darshan. Daya wishes me to mention her Namaskar.

     

    With humblest submission,

    Yours lovingly,

    CHANDGI RAM.

     

                                    *                              *                              *                              *                              *

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    LT. COL. OTTAR Singh,

    4, MAGDALA HOUSE,

    NAPIER ROAD, COLABA,

    BOMBAY-5

    3 JANUARY 1972.

     

    MY REVERED Master: I bow to your beautiful feet. I bow to the holy and gracious mother.

     

    I wish the Master, mother, Sawan Ashram and Manav Kendra a very happy new year blessed with peace, joy and success in their noble endeavors.

     

    I humbly enclose my diary for the months of November and December 1971. I also humbly and joyfully state that during meditations I am blessed with the Masters radiant form…

     

    While by now I am fully accustomed to the moment to moment presence and guiding hand of the Master in my everyday life, I wish to narrate below, out of sheer joy, a significant experience with which I was recently blessed and which shows that the Masters love, grace and protection are every available to us and more so in times of danger and crises.

     

    When the recent fourteen-day war was raging in full fury, on the 6th of December, 1971, at about 7 p.m. during a blackout night at Bombay , I sat down with brother Lt. Col. Charan Singh in his drawing room to listen to the Masters tape recorded discourse and meditate. A short while later the air raid sirens shrieked and the ack-ack guns boomed with all their might and broke the quiet and silence of a blackout in the metropolis. Naturally all the members of Lt. Col. Charan Singh’s family in their first floor flat, as well as mine from the opposite flat on the same floor of a two storyed army house, rushed to us in the drawing room and pleaded that, like all occupants of other flats, we should also immediately go down and take shelter in the compound around our building. But Lt. Col. Charan Singh and I calmed down our family members by telling them that while the Master was present and talking to us on the tape recorder there was no safer place than the drawing room where we were sitting and meditating. So the family members took the hint and while some of them remained in the drawing room the others stood at the windows of the flats verandah to enjoy the colorful fireworks, as they told us later, produced by the guns around the dark skyline of Bombay.

     

    And while the ack-ack guns which were located quite close to our residence, were spitting out fire and the Master was talking on the tape recorder in the drawing room, I, in the course of my one-pointed meditation with closed eyes, saw the Master himself in his dress of white turban, white shirt with a black coat on, and white salwar, walk through the door of the room, go around the room and then settle down on the sofa. (incidentally this was the very sofa on which the Master sat when he was gracious enough to visit us along with the holy mother and other disciples during his tour of Bombay in May, 1971.) I saw this beautiful and uplifting vision of the Master going around and around the drawing room and then settling on the sofa until the all-clear was sounded at about 7:30 p.m.

     

    Naturally tears of joy and gratitude flowed from my eyes after the wonderful experience above. And thereafter subsequent air raid alerts during the war I never left my flat but sat quietly and remembered the Master while the air-raid warning was on. I have also not told of the above experience to anyone. I would be glad to share the joy of the above related experience with the other disciples, friends and members of my own family, if the Master alone gives permission to do so. I thank the Master for his love, grace and protection.

     

    With love and reverence to the Master and the holy mother, I remain,

    Yours humbly,

     

    OTTAR Singh.

     

     

     


    SERVE ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE

     

    …. for love is the fulfillment of the law. The heart of a devotee feels the responsibility of his own existence in this world. As long as we are not of some use in this world, we will be but a cause of sighs to others. In order to change this, to console the downhearted, and to lighten the darkness of distress with rays of light, let us serve one another. Let us be a source of happiness and solace by loving service which comes from the heart.

     

    The more we serve, the more we will benefit from the gift of happiness within given by him, the Lord, our Master.

     

    The value of our service depends on our devotion alone, that is, on how much we, by serving, achieve to forget our little “I”.

     

    Service is also a wonderful way to meditation. The more we learn to forget ourselves, our sorrows and troubles, by doing our work and turning ourselves to his creation, the more this will be a helping factor for our meditation.

     

    So let us love one another, and remove all impediments, which would stand in our way. The more we are successful in this, the greater will be his love for us. For everything that stands in the way between me and my fellow beings also stands between him and me.

     

    ERHARD DONIG.

     

     


    PRINCESS OF DIVINE LOVE

    THE LIFE OF MIRA BAI AS TOLD BY MICHAEL RAYSSON

     

    Those who are after God have no position in this world. They may be born in palaces or cottages. There is no difference.

     

    Mira Bai was born a princess but she said, without the dear one my home is a void. Does there dwell someone who can take me to the Lord? For such a one I will give my body and soul. In  a humble cobblers hut she found this treasure in the form of saint Ravidas.

     

    THE PATH

    The true seekers path is seldom an easy one, marked out as it is from the ordinary, and so was the case with the Mira Bai. Once, as a young girl, Mira was looking out of a palace window and beheld a marriage procession passing by. She turned to her mother and asked, “Oh mother, who will be my bridegroom be?” her mother was a great devotee of Lord Krishna, and so she said, “Girdhara Gopala (Krishna) is your bridegroom.” In a very simple and sincere way Mira took her mothers words to heart. While other children would be out playing she would spend her time in worship of Lord Krishna. Like an ideal wife she would attend the family idol of Krishna.

     

    As might be expected, this unusual behavior alarmed Mira’s family and so they arranged a marriage for Mira at a very early age. Her husband was a Rajput prince of noble but worldly character, and it was hoped that he would bring Mira to his senses. However, when the ceremony took place Mira was so wrapped up in thoughts of Krishna she hardly noticed her new husband.

     

    Her new family were worshipers of the goddess Durga (Shakti). Mira humbly told them that as her heart was dedicated to Krishna she could bow before no other God or goddess. Despite all their pleadings she remained adamant, although asking their forgiveness in her humility.

     

    The well of Mira’s devotion was deep and because her worship stemmed from a true desire for the Lord she rose above mere idolatry and at length sought out the true power of Krishna: the Hari Naam. She would spend all of her spare time in the company of wandering holy men and yogis, seeking for a true saint. She scrupulously kept up her household and wifely duties in an ideal way, but once done the time was spent in worship of the Lord.

     

    Rumors began to spread that she was keeping the company of bad men, and it became a matter of shame for her family and constant harassment for Mira.

     

    In the company of the sadhus I sacrificed my world and my modesty.

    I rushed to meet a holy man when one appeared, and wept when the worldly crossed my path…

    To the Lord the servant Mira has consigned herself;

    What cares she for the rumors that be current all around!

     

    Each day of her search her adorn increased and at last she came to her true Master, Ravidas. Unlike other holy men he lived as a low caste householder. The people would ridicule him because he worked with the skins of dead animals to make shoes. But he was word-personified, a real saint.

     

    When Mira Bai came to him, he recognized that great flame burning her heart and so bestowed upon her the rare boon of Naam-initiation.

     

    In my search I met the deliverers –

    The saint and the holy Naam.

    Thenceforward the Naam within

    And the  saint overhead have lit my path.

    I met my Satguru, saint Ravidas,

    Who gave me a souvenir in the

    Shape of the Name of God.

     

    At the very time of initiation a true Master imparts a first hand experience of God to the disciple:

     

    Immediately the Guru initiated me, giving me the maha-mantra,

    I witnessed Lord Girdhar standing in front of me.

    The search to know the path, which I was carrying on for so long,

    Was rewarded: I met my Satguru.

    And immediately I renounced the Lordly style in which I had dwelt.

     

    When her work was done, Mira would now spend her time in the Satsang of Ravidas or else she would retire in solitude and do her meditation. Her steadfast and devout conduct did not go unrewarded, and Mira made quick headway on the inner path. Her extraordinary desire for God developed into extreme bhakti.

     

    At times, like all devotees, she suffered from separation or barrenness, and at these times she wrote hymns so moving that tears of longing well up when they are sung:

     

    The life is gone in agony of separation,

    The sight I have lost through tears.

    Had I known that to love was to invite pain,

    To the beat of drum in the city I would have proclaimed:

    Let none love.

    I stand waiting, watching thy course, cleansing thy path –

    Mira’s Lord, when will you meet her?

    On meeting thee she will find peace.

    Oh, the  pain of my heart – my beloved only knows it!

    Oh, my beloved, thou hast pierced my heart with the arrow of thy love.

    My heart burns and yearns for a glimpse of thy face.

    Oh, grant me this prayer, O beloved!

    Take away this veil and let my eyes drink deep of thy holy beauty –

    And thus quench my thirst and relieve pain!

    Oh, the pain of my heart.

     

    In all ways the Guru Ravidas was a perfect example for princess Mira. Once wishing to show something of her appreciation for the Master, Mira brought a large ruby for his use. Ravidas kindly told her that he had no need for such wealth, but Mira insisted, “All right.” He said, “put it in that hole in the wall.” It so happened that Mira Bai was unable to see the Master for a long while, but when she finally returned, he was still living in his little hut. “Did you not use the ruby I gave you?” asked Mira. “Oh – you might find it where you left it.”

     

    Learning from her Master, Mira was becoming a gurumukh disciple, reflecting the Guru’s saintly ways. Far from admiring her serene life, her family felt that her unworldly ways were leading to madness and disgrace. Not only did she keep the company of holy men; now she had even taken a low caste cobbler for her Guru! In one way or another they tried to persuade her to leave the spiritual path, but to no avail.

     

    Mother! Do not stop me from dwelling among the saints,

    For in their hearts the Lord’s name is inscribed.

    Mother! Why do you rebuke me

    By saying, “Oh my daughter!

    Why this arrogance on thy part?

    Ye stay out in Satsang in the night

    At times when people enjoy pleasant

    Sleep. Why this madness?”

     

    My answer is emphatic: “The world is foolish which does not love the Lord Rama. Do you know that he who loves the Lord Hari knows no sleep?”

     

    When her sister-in-law begged her to stay away from her Master Ravidas, Mira told her, “The slur of hundreds of thousands of lives depart on association with a saint. The slur is on one who does not love their company. My life depends on the company of a saint. To anyone who does not like this company, your remonstrance would be proper.”

     

    When such means did not work, Mira’s family began to use more extreme methods. Thinking her behavior was the result of an unbalanced mind, they persuaded her to live in a haunted house, hoping perhaps to frighten Mira into submission. Mira, immersed in Simran, calmly passed through the ordeal with a blissful mind, seeing the house as just one more abode of the Lord.

     

    The father-in-law frustration at Mira’s conduct at last grew unbearable and he thought he must do away with her once and for all. Sending her a sweet drink, he slipped some poison into it. When Mira took a little sip, she immediately recognized the poison. Her only fear was that if she died in such a way it might tend to discourage people from devoting their lives to God. However, leaving it in the Masters hands, she happily drank the cup and awaited her death. miraculously nothing happened; in fact, Mira appeared more healthy and glowing than ever.

     

    Not long after this, Mira’s sister also plotted to kill her and had a cobra sent to Mira in a basket of flowers. When the cobra saw Mira, it grew very blissful and bowed its head before her, recognizing the love of God that overflowed from her. Even Mira’s brother wanted to kill her and he had starved lion let loose on Mira as she was walking to the temple where she did her devotion. Seeing Mira in an ecstatic mood, the lion was also overcome with joy and laid his head on her feet in reverence.

     

    Others tortures were also tried on Mira Bai, but lost as she was in the remembrance of God, she was always protected.

     

    Mira’s husband, though worldly in character, was deeply impressed by these experiences of Mira, and had a temple built especially for her worship.

     

    News of Mira’s exploits and of her God-intoxicated nature reached the Muslim emperor Akbar. He was also interested in meeting a truly spiritual person, and he decided to go see her. However, as the Muslims and the Rajput Hindus of Mira’s kingdom were bitter enemies, he went disguised as a recluse. When he beheld Mira and listened to her speak, the emperor was deeply stirred and bowed again and again before her. After he left, his true identity was discovered. When Mira’s husband found out that the Mughal emperor had been to see his wife, he was furious beyond control, for in his heart he bore fierce hatred of the Mughals. “could a Muslim dare to approach a Rajput lady, even to make a offering, and leave the soil of Rajputana safe? Fie on the Rajputs who heard the news and did not take a revenge!”

     

    Inflamed by such fanatical thoughts, the prince thought his wife polluted. He rashly ordered her to forever leave his palace and drown herself in some river. Mira Bai promised to obey, and headed for the nearest river and jumped in. but the Master power once again came to rescue her and tossed her back to the shore. The divine voice came to her, saying, “your life with your mortal husband is over; now you have a higher duty to perform. It is for you to set a high example to the world and show men how to fulfill the designs of the creator and become absorbed in him.”

     

    Mira rose and first headed towards the fabled lanes of Brindaban, where once Lord Krishna sported with the Gopi maidens. On arriving she went to see Jiv Gosain, a famous priest there, but he would not see her because she was a woman. Mira Bai said that she had thought that only Krishna (God) was male and that everyone else (souls) was female. On hearing this Jiva Gosain came out barefooted to do her homage.

     

    Mira Bai would often liken the Lord to Krishna, speaking of the beautiful sound that came from his flute, the drum that announced his presence, the bells that adorned his waist and the sweet sounding cuckoo that flew about him. His face was like the full moon with a glowing crown, on his feet were radiant trinkets and he danced on a wonderful lotus. In this and other ways she described the inner lights and sounds of the spiritual worlds and the transcendental beauty of the true Master.

     

    As Mira went about, people would be magically drawn to her and little children especially would flock around her. In her simple way she explained the inner path in a way they could understand and told stories of God and his saints.

     

    WAKE UP MAN!

     

    You are like a traveler in this alien land,

    Like a guest in a caravanserai.

     

    Mira Bai had been given the everlasting treasure, the Naam, by her Master Ravidas, and had seen the transitory state of the world. She had realized this in the temple of her body, and now she tried to make others see also:

     

    Human birth is a rare divine gift.

    It is difficult to obtain it over again.

    Some good deed performed in the past life has secured this present human birth for you.

    Besides the span of life is short and ephemeral,

    Utilize this opportunity to cross the ocean of births and deaths.

    Ride the boat of Naam, steer carefully and cross over with ease.

    Like the game of chess is this life,

    Play well the pawns and do not lose the chance.

    The saints and enlightened ones, as they pass on, sing like Mira words full of wisdom;

    Wake up, man! Slumber no more!

    Short is the span of life.

     

    Mira would illustrate the lesson with colorful anecdotes from the lives of the saints of the past and also of her own time, such as Kabir, Dhanna, Namdev, Sadna, Saina, and Pipa – all of whom were enlightened by the way of Naam.

     

    She explained that the practice of Naam was different and far easier than all the other ways. She did not lay much stock on outer practices. Time and again Mira emphasized the  greatness and need for the company of a saint and of Guru-bhakti and Naam-bhakti.

     

    If you seek the Lord, seek him among the saints, who are of his ilk.

    Fix not great faith in outwardly donning the mendicants garb

    And seek him not in the jungle.

    Such a search is futile.

    What avails thee bathing in the Ganges or repairing to Kashi, if thou hast no faith?

    Remember the search in the wind and waters is futile.

    To no purpose is it to hold big sacrifices. He is not met therein.

    The Lord dwells in the midst of saints. Seek him in Satsang.

    So says Mira Bai.

    The path of realization outlined in the Vedas is labyrinthine and long;

    But I came across the easy way to him.

     

    In the beginning there may be some difficulty in doing Simran of the Naam, but Mira Bai assures that for those who pursue it with devotion and zeal, its practice becomes the  easiest and sweetest of all:

     

    If you desire to taste the sweetness of Hari Naam dwell in the company of saints.

    True, in the beginning the constant repetition of the name is trying and bitter.

    But in due course it tastes sweet and refreshing like the mango.

    Be not vain. Remember in the end the body will turn to ashes.

     

    Like all saints, Mira affirmed that the nature of Naam is transcendent light and sound principle, whose fullness is found in the human body. By the grace of her Master, Mira Bai merged with this great ocean of Naam.

     

    When the Satguru did come and offer his guidance,

    Then was my light mingled in the great light.

    Making my body a sound-box,

    I play on it many notes in the mind,

    With a view to wake up my slumbering soul.

    My heart is full to the brim, infatuated with the melody of the Lord’s name.

     

    In the end Mira gives all homage to her guru:

     

    The great teacher is my refuge. To him I bow, lying down on the floor.

    O Lord of Mira, Girdhar Nagar, thus am I freed from the bondage of birth and death.