Ladies and Gentlemen: Last year (April 1963) a short discourse in English was recorded and sent to the States through Mrs. Lucille Gunn when she returned homewards. The idea was greatly appreciated; and I have, since then, been receiving numerous requests for sending similar talks from time to time. I have accordingly decided to speak to you once again.
God made man and man made religions. The underlying urge for the creation of various religions has always been the desire for the liberation of the soul in man from the bondage of mind and matter, and thereby an end to the endless cycle of births and deaths. All the world's religions have this idea at the core, in one form or another; and if we were to make a comparative study of the different scriptural texts, we would come to the same conclusion. The bedrock of all the religions is the One Reality - Truth - the Alpha and the Omega of all creation. Truth is, of course, one, though It has been described variously by the sages in the language of the time and place in which they lived. It is around this central idea of the one Truth that the various religions have grown.
Again, the cardinal principles of all religions are akin to each other, in spite of the seeming differences in the non-essential details pertaining mostly to rites and rituals as fostered from time to time by the priestly order. Love for God and man is the keynote of all the prophets and Saints, and search for the One Reality is their sole theme. In this mighty quest they had to delve deeply into the recesses of their own Self within, the treasure house of untold riches of Spirituality apparently lost to man mightily engaged in the pursuits of all that is of the world; for in his overbearing love for the worldly gifts of God, he forgets and forsakes the divine, immanent in all forms. The scriptures, whatever their origin, are nothing but the record of the experiences of the Godly Souls, carried on in Their effort to bring out the basic life principle, enlivening all souls, for the benefit of posterity in general and the aspiring souls in particular.
Godmen come into the world not to make any new laws, nor destroy the laws as they exist, but only to uphold the Universal Divine Law, unchangeable as it is. Their message is one of hope, fulfillment, and redemption for those in search of the divine in man; and, as such, They constitute a great cementing force transcending all denominational creeds and faiths. Presenting a workable way out of the theoretical polemics of the so-called religious strongholds, They soar high into the ethereal atmosphere of the spirit, and like a skylark, establish an abiding link between the mundane life on earth and the free and untarnished spiritual haven. All religions are Theirs and yet none binds Them, for They place before humanity what is sublime in essence at the core of each.
I am reminded of an episode in the life of Guru Nanak Who, in His long travels, once came to the town of Multan, a place greatly reputed for its sanctity and, at that time, the abode of so many religious divines, both Hindus and Muslims. The latter, fearing that a new addition among them might mean a strain on their income from offerings, sent a cup of milk bubbling to the brim symbolizing that the place was full to overflowing capacity and could not accommodate any more teachers.
Do you know what Guru Nanak did? He plucked a few jasmine flowers that grew nearby, gently placed them on the surface of the milk, and asked the cupbearer to take the bowl back to the divines, thus showing that a truly religious person could just float over without disturbing the contents of the bowl of worldly riches; for His was a purely divine mission, meant only to diffuse sweet fragrance to all and sundry, irrespective of caste, color, or creed. Thus you will observe the great gulf that separates the so-called religious teachers and pontifical heads of the world on the one hand, and a truly God-intoxicated Soul on the other; for the latter acts as the Divine Pole on which the divinity of the Great Divine, the source of all life, works in the tumultuous sea of life. The Master-Soul or Murshid-i-Kamil combines in His person all that the scriptures contain and much more besides. He is a living embodiment of all that is truly religious - the spirit lying dormant in others. He is an Awakened Soul, transcending time and space and causation, holding the past, present, and future in the palm of His hands as an open book - the Master of the creative life impulse throbbing in all things, visible and invisible, and competent to work simultaneously on all the planes: physical or terrestrial, subtle or mental, causal or ethereal, and even beyond into the Parbrahmand of the Upanishadic texts.
In His person He is at once a Gurudev or Radiant Master-Soul working in the higher supramundane planes, and a Satguru, the veritable Lord controlling and sustaining the universe itself in all its stages. He is in fact the Word made flesh and dwells among us to lead the aspiring souls gradually back to the Eternal Home of His Father, from plane to plane with varying degrees of density. His teachings promise a practical Way Out from the dense matter into the pure sunshine of the spirit by means of the Word Power or the Holy Ghost, manifesting in Him and revealed to those whom He may so choose. His is a direct experience of the soul, unlike the so- called teachers who work on the intellectual plane and quote scriptures in support of what they preach. In the case of a True Master, the scriptures come as handy aids to correctly explain and interpret the mystic experience of the soul in its journey Homeward, in addition to the actual practical inner experience granted to the individuals, leaving no room for doubt and skepticism. All our present knowledge is based on sense perception or is derived from intellectual reasoning or, in other words, is purely inferential. The knowledge that a genuine teacher imparts is direct and immediate, coming from an actual experience of the soul apart from the senses. His words, coming directly charged with the spirit currents surging within Him, sink directly into the souls of the listeners, leaving no doubt about the whys and wherefores of things.
When Naren (as Swami Vivekananda was known as a boy before coming in contact with His angelic Guru, Paramhansa Ramakrishna) questioned his Master as to whether He had seen God, the reply was, "Yes, my child, I have seen God, and more plainly than I see you." This had an electrifying effect on the young man, who then and there bowed at His feet and was given the necessary God experience. In the same way, my Master, Hazur Maharaj Baba Sawan Singh Ji, once remarked that He had not only seen God Himself, but could make others see as well, if they followed His instructions.
It was not an empty assurance when St. John declared, "If the son (Jesus Christ) shall make ye free, ye shall be freed indeed;" for had not Christ said, "I am the Light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of life"?
"Religious experience," Plotinus says, "is the finding of the true home by the exile" (i.e., the exiled spirit); and language has no means of conveying the supersensuous experience of the mystics. As light comes from light, so does life from life; for mysticism, which is described as "the core of religion," can hardly be taught, though it may be possible to catch it from a true mystic.
"The human understanding," says Bacon, "is like a false mirror, which, receiving rays, irregularly distorts and discolors the nature of things by mingling its own nature with it." But "there is a direct communication between mystery and mystery, between the unknown soul and the unknown Reality, (and it is) at one particular point in the texture of life (that) the hidden truth seems to break through the veil." (Middleton Murray)
From the foregoing it is clear that the Science of the Soul is purely an experimental science. It is more positive than any of the physical sciences and yields results which are truly verifiable with mathematical accuracy. "An all-knowing mind," it is said, "embraces the totality of Being under the aspect of Eternity. As we gain our entrance into the world of Being, a total vision is ours."
With these few preliminary remarks, we take a hymn from the compositions of Swami Shivdayal Singh Ji. Please hear attentively and try to understand the basic concept of Spirituality which it conveys.
In the opening verse of the hymn, we have a sketch of the human life as ordinarily spent in idle pursuits. The Master is addressing humanity at large, all the embodied souls: Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, or persons belonging to any other denomination, wherever they may happen to be, and of whatever profession or avocation. He asks us just to pause, look around, and take stock of the situation as to how we have fared until now. With one mighty sweep, He tells us that all our past life up to this moment has been spent in utter delusion and is a dead loss so far as it has gone. We have never cared to weigh the problem of our spiritual emancipation, and whatever little we seem to have been doing is all at the level of our own man made religious beliefs, which, though helpful to a great extent, are not an end in themselves.
If you look at suffering humanity, you will find that it is only a very small minority which has anything to do with spiritual enlightenment. The majority of people are groping in the dark and are wholly engaged in the gratification of their sensual desires and have no time to attend to their Self and the Overself. It is only rare souls who, due to the evolution of some noble Karmas in the past, think of finding a way out from the labyrinthine depths of sense-enjoyments and yearn for spiritual enlightenment.
Fortunate are those blessed few who have a craving for the Lord and the Master and endeavor in this direction. When fire burns, oxygen comes to its aid. There is food for the hungry and water for the thirsty. These words are for the chosen few who have been blessed with the rare boon of right understanding. So the Master says that we have cared little for following the instructions of the Guru. You will feel alarmed from such a sweeping generalization, but it is a fact; and you will understand how it is so. You see, it is the Guru Who first loved us and picked us up for acceptance into the Holy Path, putting us in contact with the saving lifelines within.
Now we are to see to what extent we have accepted the sacred teachings of the Master and adopted them into our workaday life, and to what extent we have cared to follow His commandments. It is a matter of personal evaluation. Each one of us is the best judge for oneself and can testify to the extent he has succeeded and what remains to be accomplished. So, like a loving Father, the Master reminds us to consider this momentous issue of our life dispassionately, and see why we are not true to the Guru and to ourselves. He tells us that the time passed so far has been spent in vain, and it is exactly so. If you carefully review your past, you will find that you were for all these years under the spell of a long dream. Similarly, when the hour of final change, commonly known as death, comes, the entire life looks like a fearful nightmare. Each passing moment is hurrying us toward this final change. The Masters have always laid stress on the necessity of making the best use of the physical existence, which is the highest rung in the ladder of creation. Should we once miss this rare opportunity, we will once again find ourselves in the endlessly moving gyres of life; and who knows when this opportunity may come again? So the present life is the best suited opportunity for the achievement of spiritual emancipation.
Swami Ji Maharaj pulls us out of a sense of deep stupor and awakens us to the naked reality of the great illusion. He tells us that if an honest person happens to be among pickpockets, there is every possibility of his being robbed. As we are all sleeping soundly in the company of cutthroats, how can we be safe? Now, who are these dangerous miscreants? They are no other than one's children and kith and kin, the loving relations to whom we are so devotedly attached all the time. You may be a little surprised to hear this. Just think calmly for a moment. If a dacoit comes and takes away all our goods, yet we are saved. Another comes and plunders everything and also breaks our legs, and we are still saved. The third one comes and takes away our life as well. Who is the most dangerous of all these? Surely the third one.
Our children and other dear ones always command our attention, which is the outward expression of our soul. They keep us always engaged in one form or another and leave us no time for the spiritual way, so they are the most dangerous dacoits in this form. Does this mean that we have to leave our hearths and homes and lead the life of a recluse in the jungle? No, it is not so.
Please realize that it is your inner craving and fondness that keeps you bound hand and foot, as it were, to your dear ones; and this attachment or infatuation makes you worried and miserable all the time. You see, the very ties of affection which should be a source of happiness become fetters of bondage, as you are always in the grip of fears which, to say the least, are imaginary and baseless. The heart, as you know, is the seat of the Lord God. It is an asset entrusted to us for a higher purpose of life, viz., self knowledge and God-knowledge.
Where the heart goes, everything follows on its own. So herein the Master warns us against our attention being directed always toward our worldly relationships, which always cause distraction and disturbance. You know very well that the impediments which stand in the way of the child disciple and recklessly intrude upon him in the precious moments of holy meditation are the family ties that drag us down, again and again, from the seat of the soul, the eye focus. We have, of course, to live in the world, yet in a completely detached manner, just as a lotus flower, which grows out of mud, holds its head aloft and above the muddy pond, retaining its pristine purity.
Similarly, we are to attend to the mundane duties entrusted to our care without being concerned with the worries and cares of our relations who, apart from us, are sufficiently protected by the gracious Master Power.
You can very well understand it by a simple example. A man traveling in a train has a box beside him on the berth. Now, both the man and his box are being carried by the train. If the man were to put the box on his head, he would surely be a fool, for he would break his neck for nothing. This is exactly the state of affairs with the worldly wise. We generally lack faith in the gracious Master Power and unnecessarily create problems for our bondage as, otherwise, everything would progress smoothly in the well established Divine Plan. You might well have noticed that disturbed waters do not reflect. Always try to resign your precious little self in favor of the gracious Master Power, while sitting in your holy meditations, and thereby prepare a receptive ground for the inner Divine Grace to descend within you and fill you in abundance.
Here again another divine fundamental has been expounded. It has a very deep significance. The Master says: Know ye for certain that the great panorama of life is constantly changing and that the world is surely an illusion; for after all, it is not a place for permanent living. The scriptures also echo the same thing: "Lead us from the unreal to the Real, from falsehood to Truth, and from darkness to Light."
We usually do not pay heed to these sacred scriptural truths. But the Master, Who is a liberated Being and stands aloof and apart from the world, does see that everything in the world is constantly changing, and nothing is stable and steady. You can understand it from a simple illustration.
A man standing on a river bank sees some people drifting downstream in a rudderless boat. The man standing on the bank can see vividly that the boat and the persons therein are going downstream and cries out for help so as to save them. The people sitting in the boat cannot see the person on the shore and look at the boat and the water around it, which are moving at the same speed and so seem to be stationary. They remain unconcerned and continue with their idle pleasures in which they are fully engrossed.
This is exactly the state of affairs in which we are. We are ensouled bodies and are identified with the body so much so that we consider ourselves as bodies. Our bodies and the world are made of matter, which is changing at the same speed. As the particles of the world and the bodies are changing at the same speed, to those who behave at the level of the body, the world appears as stationary. Thus the learned and the unlearned both are under a grand delusion.
The worldly wise do not care to pay heed to the gospel of the Master Who, like a person standing aloof, is witnessing the drama of human havoc as vividly as we see each other; but the people at large fail to respond to His compassionate call. So the Master affirms with conviction that this place is not the place of permanent abode for your soul, but a halfway house for a limited period assigned to you for the higher purpose of spiritual perfection. If you will view things from this lofty viewpoint, you will find that our life so far has been as futile as anything. It is a matter of deep concern for each one of us, and we must assess the position carefully before it gets too late in the day and we are forced to fight a losing game.
Step by step the Master is opening up new vistas of right understanding by telling us what the root cause of this misconception is. He says that it is foolish for the human mind to be attached to outer fancies, infatuated by the colorful shell, and caring little for the sweet kernel within. The mind may be likened to a parasitical plant which has no roots of its own, but draws its sustenance from the host tree to which it tenaciously holds. In exactly the same way, the mind in itself has no separate existence per se, but is a sheer projection of one's mental make-up and is inextricably mixed up with the sense objects through the senses. It, at its lowest level, is bound to the body, while at its other end - the highest level - it is subtle enough to draw its sustenance from the soul.
Herein lies a great gulf between the ideologies of the East and the West. The Western psychologists regard the mind as a nonentity, while the Eastern sages accept it as something substantial, an important link between the body and the soul, which has in the nature of things a divine function to perform. Like fire, it is a good servant but a bad master. It is a very good link between the physical and the astral worlds. If you can own your mind and master it and learn to harness its faculties, it will serve you best. Just look at the great scientists, scholars, and other intellectuals who have achieved laurels in their respective fields.
But they could benefit still further from mastery of the mind if they could but learn the sacred technique of self analysis and withdrawal of the sensory currents from the body. Here you will certainly agree with Swami Ji, Who says that the human mind is gravely foolish in having fallen prey to outer sense enjoyments and is endlessly entangled in worry and misery. You know that the mind at present resents inner silence and stillness, as it has a tendency to roam about without for aeons and aeons without end. You can keep it engaged in outer pursuits for hours at a time; but when you attempt inner silence and stillness, it cries out and runs riot like a little baby locked in a dark cell, who shrieks, cries, and knocks to get out. Now, if the baby were provided with some sweets to eat and toys with which to play, it would stop crying. Exactly similar is the case with the human mind.
The living Master holds the key into the Beyond; and when He provides the child disciple with the inner links of divinity which carry him into higher regions, the latter gets a feeling of satisfaction. You know that the inner bliss is supreme and unrivaled. There is nothing like it on earth; but alas! the mind is so much intoxicated with the lust for woman, wine, and wealth that it fails to see and comprehend the greatness of spiritual beatitude within. But patient and persistent efforts to keep the mind still will gradually unlock the treasures of divinity within you with the grace of the Master. Always be buoyant and fresh when you sit for meditation and wait patiently, like a loving baby looking up into the eyes of the nursing mother.
Having described the sad state of affairs, Swami Ji pities the abject condition of the foolish mind, since it does not know how it can become liberated from the clutches of the senses. In the first place, it is foolishly clinging to the sense pleasures; and secondly, having lost all power of resistance, it is easily led on from one false step to another.
The Master says that the mind, with all kinds of endeavors, cannot possibly break through without the grace of the Satguru. The mind is now so much caught in the whirlwinds of passion that it can hardly think of liberation. You see, if a tightly stretched wire is struck, however lightly, it continues vibrating for a long time. Exactly similar is the case with the mind.
Inextricably caught in the meshes of sensual gratification, it knows no rest. It is through the good grace of the Master if one is led to the knowledge of his utter helplessness. It has been seen that after Initiation, when the dear ones have meditated regularly for some time, that they become aware of this state of utter destitution. So you will agree that daily introspection of one's lapses and shortcomings is very necessary for weeding them out, one by one. The emphasis on maintaining the diary prescribed for the purpose has a much deeper significance than is realized. Spirituality is not something difficult to achieve; but it requires a proper receptivity of mind, willing cooperation to abide by the Holy Commandments, and patient effort in the right direction. Far from being difficult, it is just a simple change - and that for the better. Just as a baby becomes quiet and feels happy with its toys and sweets, similarly the mind, when it obeys and introverts, will be blessed with inner unalloyed bliss and harmony with the grace of the Master. It must, however, be remembered that it is complete self surrender to the Master within that will create loving receptivity.
After describing the manifold diseases of the mind, the Master now comes to our rescue in offering the tried remedy. With deep compassion, He tells us to accept and pin our faith on the Holy Naam granted by the Satguru. This Naam or Word is the God-into-Expression Power described variously by the sages as the Comforter or the Holy Spirit, Kalm-i-Qadim or Bang-i-Ilahi, Naad, Sarosha, or the Voice of the silence. It is the Audible Life Stream, the life-giving Voice of the living God, creating and sustaining the universe. The lowest link of this divinity already existing within each one of us is manifested or revealed to the child disciple upon Initiation into the mysteries of the Beyond, and can be developed to any extent one may like by practice from day to day. Now the Master tells us how to develop this Divine Power or Naam. He says that by austere patience and deep gratitude one should sit within and look ahead in front of him for the Divine Grace.
Please note that you have neither to create anything, nor premeditate, nor visualize; but simply keep on looking lovingly within, in the middle of whatever you see in front of you between the two eyebrows, and mentally repeat the charged names which carry with them the life impulse of the Master.
Just see how simple and easy it looks, but it requires much perseverance and steadfastness for attaining proficiency on the Path. You are simply to maintain a reverential silence within for enjoying the full fruits of the Divine Grace, which will manifest Itself in great abundance. Please note that if you call at the door of some rich man and wait regularly for some days continuously, he will one day surely ask from you the purpose of your daily calls on him. It is but a worldly example; and if you mentally wait at the celestial door of Divinity, accurately and with firm patience and all humility, don't you think that He will respond to your supplications? Most surely He will. You just wait patiently and see within.
Systematically, just like a shrewd architect laying brick by brick in the spiritual edifice, Swami Ji admonishes us for our betterment that we must develop patience and inner perseverance and learn to surrender completely to the Divine Will and pleasure, taking all events as they come as in our best spiritual interests.
You know that we are constantly being torn between two false dragons, one of which is the past, and the other the future. Very few are fortunate enough to rest their oars and devote their wholehearted attention to the problems that face them in the living present. The majority of people are obsessed either with irretrievable happenings in the past or imaginary fears ahead in the unknown future.
Both these occupations, you will admit, are useless and a sheer waste of time. The past is dead and buried; and repentance, though good in itself, cannot cure or undo it, while the future is chiefly based upon the reactions of the past karmas and is affected to a great extent by what we are doing in the living present. So, if we take care to live an honorable and honest life in the living present, abiding by the Holy Commandments of the sages and seers, there should be little to worry about for the past and nothing to become anxious about for the future.
We must, therefore, pay proper heed to the sowing and not to the harvesting, for the harvest will come of its own from the seeds sown. Guru Nanak has beautifully said: "It may be all very well to worry about events contrary to the Divine Plan, but what is destined will happen in spite of us." Learn the sacred technique of doing one thing at a time, with one- pointed, wholehearted and undivided attention. In this way you will accomplish much more in less time and with far less effort. So the Master tells us that all we need to care about is our spiritual perfection, and to take the routine round of the fated karmas as exactly what we need for soul emancipation. In this way we will cultivate a state of perpetual contentment which will be helpful in holy meditations.
The Master once again reminds us that mind is very wicked and tricky, for it will not readily accept the gospel of the Guru, however reasonable it may be. Knowing full well that we cannot avoid the decrees of heaven by any amount of wishful thinking, the mind continues planning and maneuvering otherwise. Our intellect, finite and limited as it is, cannot possibly comprehend the subtle activities of the mind which goes on thinking endlessly. The only remedy for taming the hydra-headed mind is that of the Holy Naam. By contacting the Sound Current and heaven's Holy Light within, it becomes docile and forgets everything else around it. This is the sovereign remedy for all the ills of the world, a panacea that cures all diseases of the body and mind. By administering to it regular doses of the Celestial Music emanating from the Throne of God, the mind gets rid of the lower propensities and begins to enjoy and take delight in the higher ravishing bliss of Divine Intoxication, which is the greatest gift of the Master. Never agree to the dictates of the mind, as it has a hundred and one ways to keep you stuck fast in the physical body and the terrestrial plane.
Victory over the mind is victory over the world. You have been granted a yardstick for measuring your spiritual attainments in the form of an introspective diary, and you can surely judge things for yourself and see how far you have advanced on the Path.
Now, the Master conveys to us another sublime truth by telling us that we have been caught in the spider's web, having prepared a vast net of attachments and binding ourselves down in the mire of delusion and deception. Just like a spider weaving fine threads of its own secretion and then getting tangled therein, it is our own mind which has developed an unnecessary attachment with the physical body and its allied relations. Do you know what is the underlying basis of Maya or delusion? Its roots lie in the physical body from where it springs and spreads around like a gigantic Upas tree. We readily forget that we are ensouled bodies and not merely physical bodies. It is the soul currents which permeate through and through the physical plane whereby it is enlivened; and they, in turn, get their sustenance from a higher life principle known as Naam or Word. So long as that Divine Power is working in us, we are alive. As soon as that Power is withdrawn, the whole structure collapses like a pack of cards; and it is then said, "Dust thou art and unto dust returneth."
Besides, in our daily talk and behavior we are sensible enough to say, "my turban," "my shoe," "my coat" - because we can take off these things as and when we will it. Yet in actual practice, we have never realized that we have the power to take off this physical raiment around our soul. Where the world philosophies end, there true religion starts. The Master grants this unique experience of life-in-death by making us rise above body- consciousness. This singular power of revealing the lifelines within differentiates the Living Master from all other teachers. Feelings, emotions, and inferences arrived at on the intellectual level are all subject to error; seeing is above all. When you see for yourself that you are the indweller of the physical house and not the dwelling house itself, which you tenaciously believed up to now, your angle of vision is altogether changed; and you begin to see everything with a different vision. It is the reflection of your own soul current which, when attached to anything, gives you a feeling of pleasure or enjoyment. For example: you are sitting in an opera house enjoying the show along with others sitting around you. The play is on, and everybody is immersed in the so-called pleasure. All of a sudden a messenger comes to the hall and breaks the news to you that your son has accidentally fallen off the roof and is lying unconscious.
In spite of this harrowing news, the play is going on as it was, but your attention is distracted: you are overtaken by sorrow on account of your great attachment to your dear son lying hurt, with the result that the same delightful show which so much engrossed your attention is now insipid and void of all pleasure. This shows that the pleasure was not inherent in the show, but was just the reflection of your own single-minded attention which you had bestowed on it. This very principle works everywhere and at all times. The Master knows it and sees it working as vividly as we see each other. Now He comes to our rescue and tells us to bind our attention with something which is of a permanent nature, and enjoy everlasting happiness or bliss. All that we see with the aid of our physical eyes is in a perpetual state of flux and is constantly changing in form and color.
The Master points out the still point within us which is at the eye focus, and grants us the charged names for consolidating our outgoing sensory currents at this center, so as to attune ourselves with the perennial source of divine ecstasy already existing within but lost in the out-of-bounds recesses of the mind. It is this Unwritten Law and Unspoken Language which are manifested and revealed to the child disciple, enabling him to live a life of perpetual bliss under the protective guidance of the Master. This is the secret of all spiritual success, and He directs that all efforts should be put forth for recapturing this inner Vocal Silence or Radiant Sound at the seat of the soul, now lying smothered under the dead weight of mind and matter. So it is of the utmost importance for us to understand the great mystery of the living lifelines which the Master graciously reveals to we who are lost in utter bondage within the manifold limitations of the physical body and its correlated attachments.
Now the Master exhorts us: it is on this score that you should pin your deep faith in the competence of the Master, which is unique and unrivaled. Nobody can adequately help you release yourself from this state of sheer helplessness and utter hopelessness. Those who are obedient and devoted within grow strong in faith when they see for themselves that the Master is all in all here and hereafter. We know with His grace that the Master is the Word personified (Word made flesh), and it is through His Will that the Holy Naam or the God-into-Expression Power is revealed and made manifest. We should always look to the Master to guide us within, as nobody else can. It is, therefore, of great importance that we should be constantly aligned with the Master and owe lasting allegiance to Him, and not allow anybody to come between Him and ourselves. All the brothers and sisters in faith should lovingly cooperate for this highest purpose of life and in no way allow themselves to be distracted by anybody - however apparently he may look to be highly evolved or developed. It is an undivided affectionate obedience which stirs the ocean of compassion and mercy within; and the gracious Master extends His kindly protection and timely help to the child disciple, whether he knows it or not.
Here is discussed the technique of introversion. The Master tells us to look at the door of the Master within at the eye focus, and attune the soul with the Holy Sound Current coming therefrom by complete absorption and single-minded devotion. The inner Light and Sound should be looked at and listened to with rapt attention. The heavenly melody, when listened to in this way, will grow stronger, ultimately come from above, and drag you up into the Beyond. You may well ask why the Shabd Dhun (the Sound Current) does not exert that magnetic pull now. It is so simple. You know that iron filings when put near a magnet are at once attracted to it; but if some earth is placed between them and the magnet, or if the filings themselves are covered with rust, the magnet, though lying close, is unable to attract them. Similar is the case with the soul, which is not yet wholly freed from the entanglements of mind and matter. The Sound Current grants it a treatment which is at once curative and constructive. It is a constant cleansing process, for which the time factor is a necessary must. It is by constant and patient practice that we learn to bind our attention to the Holy Naam within; and once it learns to ride the Sound Current, it is carried in no time to higher spiritual regions.
Without the Shabd, there is no way to be extricated from the entanglements of the body.
The Naam is the only tried approach which can take us out of the quicksands of delusion. You have seen that all human efforts at the intellectual level or the senses cannot help us to rise above body-consciousness and become attuned with the Holy Word. The Shabd Itself is the divine principle which alone can release us from the meshes of mind and matter. All past Masters bear testimony to this great Truth. Swami Ji Himself has dealt with the same theme elsewhere in His writings, saying, "Besides the Holy Word there is no way through which you get a release from the limitations of the physical body" - Shabd being the only tried medicine which has been found highly efficacious in granting you spiritual emancipation.
Swami Ji once again stresses the importance of the Master Who holds the key which opens the Way into the Beyond. He says that this is why I again advise you to open the door within by taking the key from the Master Who will reveal to you the Sound Current. Here the physical body is described as a prison house which is locked by Providence. You see, there are nine openings or doors in the body citadel, and yet the imprisoned soul cannot escape. There is some Power within which is controlling and sustaining it. The tenth door, which opens into the Beyond, is locked by the Creator. For opening the locked house, you have to look for the owner of the house; He is no other than God Himself. No one else can grant you an ingress into the Beyond. It is the same God Power, working on some chosen human pole known as the Living Master, Who opens the great prison door blocking your way. Ordinarily, we fail to appreciate the grandeur and greatness of the Master, Who compassionately rends asunder the golden gate blocking the way to your divine heritage within when, at the preliminary sitting at Initiation, He grants you a glimpse thereof and provides you with a means of finding your way inside.
It is the climax of Divine Grace when one is accepted and initiated by the Master. Those of you who are privileged to invert within with His Grace know for yourselves what supreme bliss has been bestowed upon you. The Master is Master, indeed, for all times and for all climes; and the growing child disciple is gradually blessed with the sacred boon of right understanding, as by loving obedience and humble supplication he goes ahead and makes his way from plane to plane in company with his Radiant Companion.
The Gurumukh - the true disciple of the Master - will be blessed with this inner inversion, as there is nothing to prevent him from entering the eternal Home of the Father: he has got the passport in the form of the sacred charged Names, and he is obedient to the Will of the Master. You should know that Gurumukh is a very important term in the terminology of the Masters. Gurumukh means "Guru's mouthpiece" just as St. Paul said, "It is I, not now I, but Christ Who lives in me."
It is by complete surrender to the inner Master in His Radiant Form that one becomes a Guruman or Gurumukh. The astral planes within are infested with much subtle Maya, wherein there are numerous obstacles for the soul, if it is not granted the protective guidance of the Master Power.
You know there are various organizations everywhere engaged in the pursuit of their mental satisfaction and claiming to be spiritualists. They do not know that what they are professing and promising to their followers is all deceptive illusion and liable to further enmesh the soul. The Negative Power has a vast dominion engulfing the first three planes, and those who happen to fall prey to the allurements of their mind - subtle or causal - are caught in finer fetters or bondages. The Masters of the Highest Order Who came in the past have left behind some useful treasures in the form of Their precious experiences for our guidance so that we may safely tread in Their footsteps. Complete inner inversion for meeting the Radiant Form of the Master within in all consciousness is the threshold of the inner journey. A disciplined initiate is, in due course, blessed with this rare privilege; and then the Radiant Form of the Master takes charge of the pilgrim soul in its onward journey.
Those who are led by their mind impulses are known as manmukhs. Such persons cannot rise above the body-consciousness. They do try from time to time, but they always keep their minds above the Master, with the result that time and again they fall helplessly. If they could pin their deep faith in the competence of the Master and rely less on their own intellectual reasoning, they could be blessed with this rare privilege of inner inversion and enjoy the supreme bliss.
Such dear ones cannot achieve inner stillness and silence. The Master tries to make them understand in one way or the other, but they are so filled and intoxicated with their mental merchandise that they fail to comprehend the greatness and sublimity of the Holy Path. Please understand that the mind has its various grooves to which it clings fast. Basically, it is only when we try to sit silently that we come to know where the shoe pinches. The alphabet of Spirituality commences with inner silence, which necessarily requires solitude and seclusion. It is only during these sacred moments of silence that we can understand the basic principles of Spirituality and imbibe their right import.
The Negative Power puts two strong impediments in the way which are encountered by initiates. First, the mind will always be doubtful about the efficacy of meditation; and we will start missing the meditation and get devoted to alternate pursuits: mere routine readings of the scriptures, etc. Secondly, it will bring forth the argument that there is no more need for him or her to call on the Master, as Initiation per se is sufficient for proceeding on the way back to the home of our Father. Complacency retards inner progress. We are living on a plane which is governed by the Negative Power and where the inexorable Law of Karma works supreme. The mind is the agent of this Negative Power and one way or another it will entangle you and keep you tied to the many limitations of the body and worldly possessions. Such a skeptical mind, instead of doing anything useful, will find fault with the Master and the Path.
Here the Master reveals the naked truth which ordinary people will not be able to understand. He tells us that the manmukhs, or those governed by their deluded minds, will not believe in the words of the Master and will not adapt themselves to His teachings. Such a course of life will eventually culminate in misery at the final hour of death, when they will have to accompany the angel of death known as Yama or Yamraj. The initiates of the Living Master have a rare privilege, for they are granted Divine protection at the time of their final exit from the world. Such disciplined souls are greeted at the last moment by the Radiant Form of the Master, Who escorts them into the inner planes for further progress on the Path as may be necessary for each individual. There are many living instances of those leaving the earth plane for good who bore testimony to the Master's presence and made a happy transition, with His Grace.
In conclusion, Swami Ji gives us wise counsel: the mind is undoubtedly our enemy and is too superior in strength to be annihilated. It is an innovation introduced by Swami Ji to make friends with the mind, which is an agent of the Negative Power and, in its present state, an enemy of the soul. Instead of fighting with it right and left and to no purpose, we should make the best use of the mind in a friendly way. You know that mind has a tendency to tread on beaten tracks; that is, it creates grooves of habit and mechanically acts in a repetitive manner. Just see for yourself: if you do something at a fixed time and continue doing so for a number of days at the same time, a habit is formed; and after some time it will become part and parcel of your daily routine.
So, this is the easiest way of overpowering this powerful idiot, instead of fighting with it outright in an unequal struggle. We can turn this weakness to our advantage by devoting regular time to the holy meditations, at a fixed time, with religious zeal and punctuality. It will be seen that after some time the inner revelations will arm you with something far superior; and the mind itself, which used to resent inversion, will start relishing it and gradually give up its past pleasures. The Master gives us a positive approach for the solution of this riddle, which becomes so easy and interesting to solve if we make a friendly alliance with the mind instead of making it an inveterate foe.
Swami Shivdayal Singh Ji was a Master in the nineteenth century, and the term Radhasoami was coined by His beloved disciple, Rai Saligram Ji, Who succeeded Him at Agra. In His original writings, Swami Ji concluded each composition of His with the words Satguru Soami or Sahib Soami, meaning the True Master and Lord, or the Overlord of All, as used by Tulsi Sahib, Who was His older contemporary. But later on Rai Saligram Ji, Who was a God-intoxicated sage, gave out the name Radhasoami, meaning "Lord of the Soul," and made an addition to the many Names of the Nameless One. This Name was substituted for the original Names in the sacred scriptures. So it is for your information and guidance that "Radhasoami Faith" is no new religion, but a new term given out by Swami Shivdayal Singh Ji's followers. It is in essence nothing more nor less than the age old Science of the Soul, and is being kept and maintained in its original pristine glory through the sacred forum of the Ruhani Satsang.
Herewith I conclude my talk and wish you one and all Godspeed on the Inner Path of Spirituality. Love God, love all mankind and creation, and love one another. You have love for me, and I have love for you. If you love me, keep my commandments. My love and best wishes go to you all, wherever you happen to be. Thank you.