Are you even half a Disciple
This talk was published in the September 1972 issue of Sat Sandesh
In this vast ocean we call the world, who is a True One? Oh Nanak, think of the True One as the Truth. God, Who is Ever Existent, Unchangeable, Permanent, He Who never declines nor diminishes and is the Sustainer of all things – He is known as the True One. And, the God Which came into expression – from one Source, millions of rivers sprouted forth – that is called the Truth. So, who is true of all those who have received the human birth? He Who has realised the Lord is True.
What kind of thing is the Truth? The Jap Ji says,
He was when there was nothing; He was before all ages began; He existeth now, oh Nanak, and shall exist forevermore.
Truth is eternal – something even beyond eternity. There are many who boast of being true – ‘I have realised the Truth,’ etc. – but true is he who is true to his Real Self – both outwardly and inwardly. Outwardly his mode of living follows after the Lord. Inwardly he is ever at one with and constantly aware of the Truth. Human birth is a great blessing, and to realise the Truth should be that human endeavour above all others, for in that human life alone can it be realised; in the human life alone can the soul become a True One.
When the Master says,
I am ready to kiss the hands and feet of He Who has realised the Truth,
He is acknowledging that noble aim. The True Ones, the Masters, have ever come to this world and ever will. Their work was always successful and always will be. It is due to a man’s great good fortune if he ever meets a Soul Who has realised the Truth. We call such a Personality a Satguru – True Dispeller of the darkness. Guru Amar Das Ji searched for the Truth for more than 70 years, and when He eventually came to the feet of His Master, Guru Angad Sahib, He saw the reflection of the Truth and said,
Without good fortune, one cannot meet such a Satguru.
It is a very high destiny.
With good karmas a Satguru is met.
If the Lord gives special Grace, one gets the experience from a True Master, and He says He is prepared to kiss the hands and feet of such an Enlightened Soul, which is an expression of gratitude.
During the life of Guru Arjan Sahib, a certain family of devotees who were talented in singing the Holy Scriptures approached the Guru for some financial help to cover the cost of their daughter’s marriage. Guru Arjan said, All right, it will be given. They waited for some days, but nothing further was said; so once again they faced the Guru and said, Maharaj, we do not want very much; so if each sikh (i.e. disciple) could give one taka (two pice – about a third of a cent) that would be enough. Guru Arjan replied, All right, tomorrow we will see. The days passed by without further development, and again they approached their Guru, saying, Please do something quickly, for the date of the marriage is upon us. The Guru said, All right, tomorrow I will give. When they came to Him the following day, He took out four and a half takas and gave it to them. They looked at the small amount in surprise and said, Maharaj, what is this? You have such a huge gathering of disciples, and yet you have given us only four and a half takas. Guru Arjan replied, You said you wanted one taka per Sikh. The first Sikh was Guru Nanak, the second was Guru Angad, the third was Guru Amar Das, the fourth was Guru Ram Das, and, well, the half taka is for me – I am only half a Sikh – and that makes a total of four and a half takas. It was a sharp lesson to those who had thought to be clever and a wonderful example of the humility of Guru Arjan.
What then is the criterion of a Sikh? Guru is a Sikh – Sikh is a Guru; both give the same teaching. He Who becomes a True Disciple becomes a Guru – from server to Master.
The family of singers did not appreciate their Guru’s lesson and they began to demur, saying, Who would have known of Guru Nanak but for our singing? A True Sikh can tolerate anything but an attempt to defame the Guru, and showing His displeasure Guru Arjan said, All right, brothers, you can go. Others of His followers observed the Guru’s anger and begged Him to forgive the offending persons. The Guru said, All right, they will be forgiven when the mouths that have insulted will sincerely sing His praises.
Everyone can learn something from this incident. He called Himself half a Sikh, although He Himself was that same Light that all Gurus are; in actual fact, the Guru never dies. Through the ages, the Supreme Power is the same; that is our Guru.
When Guru Nanak was asked Who was His Guru, He replied,
Shabd is the Guru; the attention is the disciple.
The unchangeable permanence which came into expression and is known as the Truth – that is the Guru.
When Kabir Sahib was asked a similar question, He replied,
Our Guru is above the gaggan (focal point of the soul), the disciple is in the body; when the attention and Shabd meet, never will they be separated.
Do you begin to understand what a disciple really is? And, a Gurusikh is a disciple of a Guru. The Guru is first a complete disciple. Then the disciple becomes a Guru. The same theme continues on, for Truth is One. If a bulb fuses, another is put in its place; and when that fuses, another is placed, and so on. The Power which continues is called God-Power, or Guru-Power, or Christ-Power.
During my last tour of the United States I gave a talk on 25 December, 1963, on the subject ‘Christ lived before Jesus’, in which I told them that Christ-Power and Guru-Power are the same. Similarly, the Shabd, the Word, the God-into-expression-Power and God Himself are all the same, and that Power working at the Human Pole we call a Guru. That very talk has been printed under the title, ‘God-Power, Christ-Power, Master-Power.’
There are three stages of a disciple: Sikh, Gurusikh, and Gurumukh. He who becomes the Gurumukh becomes the mouthpiece of the Guru, and the Guru is the mouthpiece of God. A Muslim fakir says that the words the Guru utters are the words of God Himself, although outwardly they appear to be coming from a human throat. Another Master says, Whatever words come from the Beloved are given out. Also, oh Nanak, the servant speaks as ordered.
The question arises: If we consider the Guru to be a Sikh, then how can one become a Gurusikh? There should be no misunderstanding on this point, for the followers of a Master would wish to know,
How can we become a Gurusikh? How can we be the loved one of the Guru? How can we become a worthy son or daughter of His?
Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru, clarified the matter by calling the True Disciple a Khalsa. There is no difference between a Gurusikh and a Guru.
The Khalsa is my True Form; in the Khalsa do I reside; Khalsa is my True Companion; Khalsa is my Perfect Master.
From the beginning to the end, and in between also, the Guru will never leave those He has taken under His wing. When I recommended the Spiritual Diary, it was to help you all to become Gurusikhs. You have not yet become Gurusikhs. You will be a Gurusikh when you leave your body and transcend above, and have your Guru’s darshan in all crystal clearness, and can talk with Him. This is what is necessary to be a Sikh. Then, if you advance further to become His mouthpiece, you will be a Gurumukh when They say,
There is no difference between us!
Just see what a noble future is awaiting you! You can become ambassadors of Truth, but first see where you are standing now.
The Masters approach this problem as a man-problem: Recognise all humanity as One. They do not give different teachings to Hindus and different to Sikhs, Christians, and so on. They say simply,
Become a Sikh – a True Disciple.
But, man is the disciple of the mind and the senses – of money, property, fame, and sensuous enjoyments. The Guru’s disciple is the Sadhu, and mind’s disciple is the rest of the world. Here the Sadhu means One in Whom the Lord has manifested – such is the Guru’s True Disciple. The rest of us are disciples of worldly things. These words may seem rather harsh, but they are to help you realise the situation.
It is the way of Masters to encourage and praise Their followers. If a person does even a little work, the
Master will say,
This happened during the life of Guru Gobind Singh also, and He said in particular to one certain disciple,
Bravo, you are a very good Gurusikh.
The Masters have deep purpose in praising each individual – to uplift and sustain him – and if the disciple is aware of his shortcomings, he should feel ashamed at such praise and begin to do better.
When the disciple had returned to his home, his wife, who had stayed near the Guru, asked, Maharaj, is he Your Gurusikh? I think he is my sikh. Guru Gobind Singh replied, No, he is a very good disciple. She said, All right, then please test him. When her husband came in the evening, the Guru told him, Get a bale of first quality muslin and bring it to me early in the morning. The disciple replied, Very well, Maharaj, I will bring it. He bought the muslin on his way home, but at about midnight his wife awoke him and said, I want that muslin. He said, But how can I give you that? I have promised to take it to the Guru Sahib in the morning. This sort of thing is happening all the time nowadays. He promised to buy another for his wife, but she was adamant and said, No, I want this very piece. What could he do? The next day, when this ‘Gurusikh’ went to his Guru, the Guru said, Hello, disciple, have you brought the cloth? He said, Maharaj, I went to buy it but could not find that particular cloth; so I will go again today.
So on the top of his disobedience, he told a lie to his Guru. Here also some people come and tell lies; they think, ‘He does not know.’ They come and give orders – they do not come to learn to become a Gurumukh.
So, Guru Gobind Singh said, Well, all right, and the wife of the disciple stood up and said, Maharaj, here is the cloth you wanted. Now tell me, is he your disciple or is he mine?
If Guru Arjan considered Himself but half a Sikh, then what are we? Anyone who learns to give a short talk on the subject becomes a guru overnight. The mere reading of books and learning of hymns by heart – shouting, laughing, singing, making people cry with emotion – and finally saying, ‘Go, child, you are saved,’ does not make a Guru. So, listen carefully to the Guru’s words on the subject, which speak for themselves:
If the Guru-sikhra is seen, again and again will I bow to Him;
I will tell my innermost thoughts and say, Oh Beloved Guru, join me back to God.
The word Guru-sikhra is Punjabi and means a small disciple, or you can say, half a disciple. If one were to meet a small disciple with even a little of his Guru’s attributes, you may consider him a Mahatma. Does this not indicate that there are very few even small disciples? He says he would tell his innermost thoughts to Him:
Maharaj, for birth upon birth we have been separated from the Lord. After going round the cycle of life so many million times, we have at last reached You. Even now we are wasting the precious moments – Oh help us – we are in misery from the mind and senses.
There are three kinds of miseries: adhi-butik, adhi-atmik, and adhi-devik – misery through the physical form, through the mind and senses, through trouble which comes from above. The whole world suffers in all three ways; how can we gain peace? It is a very pressing question. It is the Guru’s work to give that peace.
During the days when Guru Arjan was living in Amritsar, some people from Lahore made plans to visit that city and have His darshan. In those days most travelling was done on foot; and so after some discussion they decided to break their journey for rest after twelve miles, and continue to Amritsar the next day. Everyone agreed to this, except one small child, who stood up and said, Why can’t we reach there in one day instead of two? Feeling somewhat abashed that the child had more enthusiasm to be in the Guru’s presence at any cost, they agreed that it was possible to reach Amritsar in one day, by walking very quickly double the distance, and very briefly pausing to gain their breath. So, the very next day they set out from Lahore and finally reached the outskirts of Amritsar at about midnight. It was a bitterly cold winter season, and when they arrived at the Sikh temple called Pipli Sahib Gurdawara, they were cold, tired, and hungry. Guru Arjan knew their condition, and from His Ashram, some distance away, He wrapped Himself in a huge blanket from head to foot; and placing a large container of hot halva parshad on His head, He set out to meet the exhausted disciples at Pipli Sahib Gurudwara. With His identity still veiled by the blanket, He distributed the parshad among them and then bent to touch each person’s feet. Now, each individual has his own aura, which is a minimum of six inches deep. The stronger the person is spiritually, the deeper is the aura, for it is charged with the thoughts of that being. So, when Guru Arjan went nearer to the group of people, those who did a little meditation became aware of the radiation which emanated from Him. They said to themselves, This must be some very Great Soul, indeed, Who has served us this night. They asked their blanket-covered Benefactor what He would like in return for His kindness, and He replied, Dear ones, I humbly beg of you, when you go before your Guru, ask Him to bless me, make me a disciple, and also give me the great gift of humility as long as there is breath in my body. He then quietly slipped away and returned to His Ashram. A few minutes later, the group from Lahore arrived in His presence and saw the same blanket-covered Person Who had served them at the Gurdawara. This is yet another example of the deep humility of Guru Arjan Sahib, Who termed Himself but half a Sikh. What, indeed then, would we find in a complete Sikh?
Everyone suffers from the three miseries. There are perhaps a few who, like the small child, would sacrifice their physical or mental comfort for the company of the Guru; but most people put the world first and the Guru afterwards. It should, of course, be vice versa; but we are inclined to weigh these things as if on a balance machine. Those who decide that the Guru has more weight have crossed the biggest hurdle of life, but those who weigh the world heavily will remain in the world. He called Himself a half-Sikh – He Who was a Gurusikh. Then what are we? We think we are Gurusikhs; but, in fact, we are Mansikhs – disciples of the mind. If we were Gurusikhs, would we not obey the Guru’s wishes? If you love me, keep my commandments.
Do we ever keep His commandments properly? He tells us that life is but a few days in length, a short span gained from the Lord’s blessing after so many rounds of births and deaths; and in this life we can rejoin the Truth. If we do not do this? This birth slips away – it will not come again; this precious opportunity will be lost. Who knows when again you will live in this valuable house within which the Lord can be realised? With the height of good fortune came the human birth; if the Naam is not repeated, it amounts to self-immolation. The whole of creation came into being through the Naam and is ever sustained by It. All this world you see is the Lord’s image; The Lord’s image becomes apparent. Make the Naam your companion. The Lord is All-Consciousness, and the soul is consciousness also, which when connected, becomes more conscious. Instead of this happening, it became connected and enmeshed with the lower expressions of matter, thereby getting affected by all the impure things of life in this world. When consciousness diminishes, what happens? After death, the soul goes to whatever level of consciousness it has at that time. So, now you have the great blessing of the human form; go and open your heart to a True Master – show Him your condition, and do not hide anything. We should receive the Bread of Life which is food for the soul. Food for the body is through eating and drinking, and food for the intellect is through reading, writing, and thinking. But, with awakenedness one learns to discriminate Truth from all untruth.
Naam is the Bread and Water of Life, the food for the soul – the cure for all ills, be they physical, mental, or mind ramifications. The soul is weak because we have not fed it. We only talk about the soul, but mere talking will not feed it. Can the stomach be filled by discussing various kinds of bread? If you are thirsty, will repeating the word ‘water’ in all the world’s languages quench your thirst? This Bread and Water of Life cannot be got from those who are materially prosperous, or those who will give you money, or from intellectuals who offer their vast halls of learning. Food for the soul can be given only by a God-realised Person, and where does it come from?
I am that Bread of Life … this is the Bread which cometh down from Heaven; whosoever partaketh of It will have Everlasting Life.
It is a wealth of Truth, obtainable from the True Emperor, not from worldly people.
Once Guru Har Gobind was on tour with the ruling Emperor of the time, who set up camp very near to the Guru’s camp. A certain Gurusikh who was a grass cutter, who earned his living by selling the grass he cut, heard that his Guru had come; and cutting a huge load of grass for the Guru’s horses, he set out for the camp with the big bundle of grass on his head. Now, the Guru’s camp was a very modest size; but, of course, the Emperor’s camp was huge and grand; and when the Gurusikh saw the large enclosure of tents, he thought, Surely this is my Guru’s camp, for a True Disciple always thinks that his Guru will have the very best place of all. He folded his hands and cast his eyes down, that the first sight he would have would be his Guru’s face, and started walking towards the largest tent. As he walked, he repeated quietly, Oh Master, have Mercy on me; I am under the influence of the senses and have forgotten; I am drowning in a deep black well – please take me out.
At the entrance to the tent of the Emperor, a sentry accosted him and demanded to know his business; but the Gurusikh replied with downcast eyes, Oh don’t stop me; I am going to see my Guru Sahib – I am going to the True Emperor. The King was inside the tent, and heard the commotion, and called out to know what was happening. The sentry told the King that the man wanted to go to his Guru Sahib – the True Emperor. The King said, All right, allow him to come inside. The Gurusikh, big bundle of grass on head, eyes closed, hands folded before him, approached the King, saying, Oh Master, have Mercy on me; I am under the influence of the senses and have forgotten; I am drowning in a deep black well – please take me out. The King, knowing he had come to the wrong camp by mistake, replied, I am not your True Emperor. Your True Emperor is in the other camp – the One Who has got the wealth of Truth and can give It to others. He is your True Emperor; all the rest are false. This story illustrates the yearning in the heart of a Gurusikh.
When He has the cure for all ills and unhappiness, why then are our miseries not removed? Because most people go to the Guru not for Spiritual Reasons, but because their children are sick; they have this trouble or that trouble. If only they would seek Spiritual Uplift alone and forget their woes and worries – the soul would gain such strength! When the soul is strong, the whole being is strong. If five or six people are going on beating each other, when one weak man is struck hard, he will go down very easily under the onslaught. A strong man will tell you, ‘Yes, I did get a beating, but I am alive and well enough to tell the tale.’ When the soul daily partakes of the Spiritual Food and becomes spiritually strong, unhappiness may come or happiness, his relatives may die or be born, according to their karmas, and he will get his own karmic events like others, yet he will not be affected by all this.
Guru Arjan is telling us that the cure for all our innermost troubles lies in the hands of the Guru. If you have not yet found a Guru, yet you have met a True Disciple of God, even then ask only for Spiritual Uplift. But, what do people do? Even if they have found the True Emperor, yet still they ask for money, property, health, even small supernatural powers. Some desire happiness of the world, and some want the joy of the other worlds. Why not ask Him for the Real Wealth? Have you ever heard of going to a king and asking for sea shells? He has everything – whatever you want – dharma, artha, kama, moksha (righteous life, wealth, fulfilment of all desires, redemption). But, we should ask for that thing which He has come specially to give: He gives part of His very life through which devotion is learned, and He joins the soul back to God. He gives His own share of the Bread of the Lord. In this world one can find people to give all kinds of things – but who will give his very life? And, what is that life He gives? That is the Truth. He is the Word made flesh, Which dwells among us. He has come to give, but no one wishes to accept.
Our Hazur used to say that the Satguru hovers around during the night, trying to distribute this Precious Treasure; but the world’s eyes are filled with sleep, completely unaware that It is available. Man sleeps the profitable night hours away. If you placed in the four corners of this Ashram the gifts of wealth, health, supernatural powers, and in the fourth, Naam, you would find the whole world’s population busily snatching up the gifts of the first three – who would go to the fourth? If we do sometimes remember the Lord, it is for our own satisfaction – to demand worldly pleasures. If by great good fortune you meet a Realised Soul, tell Him what is in the core of your heart – your innermost thoughts of misery in separation from the Lord.
Give me such a message, that my mind may cease to wander.
Our soul is enmeshed in created matter – it has become Jiva – through the connection with the mind. And, the mind, in turn, has sold itself to the rule of the senses. Sometimes it is dragged by one sense, sometimes another. So, he asks to be given something which will stop this vagrancy of the mind – Someone should give a taste of that Nectar, sipping Which all worldly wines become tasteless. Leave all insipid worldly tastes, my friend, and drink the Nectar of Naam. There is no real and lasting effect in the worldly pleasures, but with Naam one becomes filled with a deep satisfied contentment. Put wood or oil on a fire, and it will flare up even brighter; but if you throw water or sand upon it, it will fizzle out.
Getting Naam, mind is satisfied;
Without Naam, life is accursed.
But, Naam cannot be had through money, force, flattery, homage, etc. It can be received only by serving a True Master. There is no difference between the Sadh and the Lord. He Who is One with the Lord is the Sadhu, and He is the mouthpiece of God. If only someone would bring us near to that Personality. Through ages past, present, and future will He remain with me; my mind likes that kind of Personality. Who is He? He is my True Friend, meeting Whom all misapprehension is erased. Search the whole world; such a Personality is rarely found. The Satguru has an exceedingly noble task – to rejoin the souls back to the Lord – but in between is the mind, and that is why man alone cannot do this work. The mind must be controlled. If you look at man’s condition, you will admit that he is helplessly being dragged along, wherever the senses are leading, wherever his passions are enticing him. If some beautiful scenery or some beautiful form is seen, the mind is dragged towards it; if some attractive music is heard, the mind is dragged to that; the sight of food alone is enough to stir the taste into anticipation; the mind is constantly dragged hither and thither. So, the poor soul, which supplies the strength for all this, is being ridden mercilessly. It should have been in supreme control, but the mind and senses have overpowered it and rendered it helpless in this degraded position – is it not a very shameful thing? So, the Master says that such a message should be given which will control the rebel mind. Give us that intoxication which has a stronger attraction and beauty than all others, that the mind may cease to look elsewhere for its enjoyment. That special intoxication exists only in the Naam. Naam is the same as the Ever-Existent Lord, and this Bread of Life is received only by those upon whom that Lord showers His Mercy. If you have great destiny, you meet the Satguru. And, what happens? He puts in your heart the means of serving the Shabd, through the attention. If one should meet such a Master, one should ask Him to perform this Spiritual Operation.
All Masters have proclaimed that there is God, and He resides in the physical temple of the human form. One Muslim fakir advises that if you have definitely decided to realise the Lord, then place one foot upon your mind, and the next step will take you to the Lord’s door. In the Koran it is written that he who can control his mind reaches the door of God. Our soul is attention. The Lord is the Greater Attention. That Greater Attention has made millions of worlds – regions upon regions – can we not even make a single small town? The whole machinery of the body is driven by us, the soul. Whatever we turn our attention to can become successful. If you eat your food without any attention on it, you will not taste it. If you put all your attention on a certain task, others may shout at you, yet you will not hear them. There is great power in the attention, yet it is unhappily dragged around by the mind. For the solution to that, we must offer the mind a stronger taste. For example, if you stir one teaspoonful of sugar into a glass of water, that liquid will seem sweet. If you stir one cupful of sugar into another glass of water, that liquid will taste like syrup; it will be so sweet. If you then taste the first liquid once again, it will appear to have no sweetness at all. So, Naam has got the Nectar of the Lord which satisfies the mind and renders the small enjoyments insipid.
Without the Naam, a meaningless life is spent. Furthermore, without a Perfect Master, no one can get It, even with a million good deeds. It is a very high destiny to meet such a Master. If, for instance, you enter a perfumery, you can enjoy the scent of the perfume without even buying any. But, if the perfumist gives you a small phial to take away, then? Masters have a radiation; and if one sits in full concentration in Their company, one gains the benefit of that. If, in His intoxicated nature, the Master speaks out, what happens?
In Bengal there was once a Master named Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. All Masters have Their own expressions in praise of God, and this One would say, Hari bol, which means, Speak the Name of God. One day He approached some washermen who were washing clothes by the river, and they thought He was a beggar of no account. But, He sought out one washerman and persisted that he should repeat the words, Hari bol. At first the washerman ignored His request; but when He persisted and persisted, he agreed to say the words if only to be rid of the beggar; so he said, Hari bol. Now, there was a great charging in these words, and he could not cease from repeating them in intoxication. He danced around singing, Hari bol, Hari bol, and soon the other washermen gathered around him in curiosity; but they, too, became caught up in the magic intoxication of those words, and they also began repeating, Hari bol, Hari bol. So, you see, it is a great, great blessing to meet a Master. Even if He gives no gift, yet while sitting quietly and attentively in His presence, you will enjoy sweet and serene peace. And, if He gives you the contact, and you increase that contact by daily practice, then the whole world’s noxious attractions will fade away gradually. And, whose praises are being sung here? A small disciple’s. But, he should be a Real Disciple – not a disciple of mind and senses, of this and other worlds.
I give this mind unto Thee, oh Guru,
Show me the Path.
Our Hazur once said,
If only you people could give your minds today, you would immediately go back Home.
One man stood up and said that he was prepared to give his mind, but Baba Sawan Singh Ji said,
How can a person give something which does not belong to him? First make the mind your own, and then say you will give it.
The cure lies within us – not from outside – and that is the Satguru’s Naam. Satguru is Naam – the Word made flesh.
How many people in the world truly pray to God for the sake of God? The Sikhs have a prayer:
To be with the Gurumukh, to have company of a Sadhu, to have the intoxication of the Naam, this is the true affinity in which Thy Name is remembered in the heart.
They pray also:
Nanak’s servant wants only this happiness; give me the company of a Sant.
These are daily prayers in the life of a Sikh; but when they do meet a Sant or Master, they insist that they do not need help from anyone.
I have walked from far off ages;
Now I see, and surrender myself unto Thee.
We have lived through many species of life and have finally reached the human form, supreme in all the 8,400,000 species. If one takes a step forward from here, one can reach one’s True Home; but if one steps backwards, one reverts again to the cycle of lives, the wheel of births and deaths. The Master says that after so many births through the ages, he can now see that the Satguru is competent to release him from this imprisonment in creation. We are weighed down by karmas from the past actions, some of which get paid off, but most of which remain unaccounted for. While these accounts are outstanding, nothing can be achieved spiritually, and the soul cannot be released from the wheel of life.
When King Dhritrashtra , who was blind from birth, was asked what he had done to deserve such a fate, he said,
I know of my past for the last one hundred births and can find nothing in them to deserve this blindness.
Then Lord Krishna, who held the status of Yogishwar, which denotes the highest proficiency in all yogic powers, gave a little attention to the King; and he was able to see that, in the 106th birth back, he had committed a certain action for which he was now paying with blindness.
So, you see, our condition is like an overburdened donkey which is stuck in a bog and cannot get out. The weight of our past lies heavy on our heads, and the bog of mind and senses has such strength that we are sinking further and further into the mire with each life. If someone would only take true compassion on us! Who can have such compassion, but a God-realised Soul Who leaves His home of contentment to descend and bear all the insults and brickbats of the world, and Whose aim and desire is only to take the dear souls out of their sad predicament. And, when He accepts each soul, He first lightens the burden of those karmas, and then pulls him out. The Great Guru pulls the attention out.
It is obvious that those who are at the level of mind and senses can achieve only whatever is within this same level. If a person wants to realise the Lord, then outer efforts of prayer, austerities, fasting, reading of scriptures, pilgrimages, donations, singing, etc., all of which are done at the level of mind and senses, therefore cannot take the soul above this level. In all these actions, even the very thought of doing them remains to restrict one from rising into higher levels of consciousness – the more beautiful realms of Light. That is why the soul cannot release itself from its plight – it must have help. Shabd burns out ego and attachment; the Gurumukh receives the Effulgent Light. When the Sikh becomes the Gurumukh, the mouthpiece of the Guru, He gets the Effulgent Light which is God’s own form. His ego is wiped out, for He sees clearly that He is not doing anything, but God is working through Him. With this knowledge, pride of I-hood leaves.
When the compassionate Satguru gives the contact with Naam – a connection to the Light and Sound – then where will that take us? It will take us to its source, and that is our True Home, for when the Lord willed to become many from one, this resulted in vibrations, out of which were born both Light and Sound. So, God Himself is Light and He is Sound – the Nada. The work of the True Master, the One in Whom the Lord has manifested, is to give the connection to Naam, which is Light and Sound. What gift could be greater than this? No one but the Satguru is capable of giving.
To obey and to surrender oneself are two different things. Being obedient to the Guru’s wishes does not mean you have surrendered yourself, although he who has surrendered is naturally obedient. But, if you have surrendered, you will not think of why and what; you will just do what He says.
I have given myself unto Your reckoning; so do what You will.
When Hazrat Ibrahim’s slave was asked where he would like to sleep, what clothes he would like to wear, the slave replied,
Sire, you have bought me; whatever you wish I will do.
This is what surrender means. It is a very difficult step to take, for hundreds of doubts enter the mind. When people see the Guru living like an ordinary human being, eating, drinking, etc., they become careless in thought and respect. You should always remember that a Master’s life is two-in-one. He is the Son of man, accepting all as brothers, having no ill thought for anyone, living like a true human being, sharing happiness and misery with others. He also suffers in the sadness of others, and sometimes sheds tears of sympathy, too. But, as His True Self, He leads the souls within and up. Those unfortunate people who consider Him merely a man remain at the level of man and lose the golden opportunity. So, He advises us to surrender.
And now I see, and surrender myself unto You.
This is the only way to crowning success. If a man has four sons and three of them are very demanding, but the fourth is content to accept whatever the father gives, does that mean the father will ignore him? Rather, would he have more love for that son, and unasked for, his full share would be given. This shows surrender.
Guru Ram Das Ji once said,
My Guru is a great dyer and has a huge vat of colour; whosoever gives his mind will be dyed in it.
But, we can give all else but that.
I came with hope in my heart;
Oh take away all my misery.
That is all he desires. Seeing the competency of his Guru, he surrenders himself and asks that all his unhappiness may be washed away.
To walk this Path, brothers, benefit from obedience.
The Master thinks of all humanity as brothers – He does not say that He is God. If ye love me, keep my commandments. Those who bow their heads to His words will most decidedly gain salvation.
Satguru’s Words – Words are the Satguru. In months, even days, success can be ours; but we have no respect for His words. Yes, outwardly we make a great show of respect; but we do not obey His instructions. It is a big weakness – we are most lacking in this. If you start obeying from today, you will see the difference. Since the day I met the Master heart to heart, my days have changed for the better. From that very day the real meeting started. And, what is the real meeting? There are two kinds: one is just to see someone, and the other is when one heart becomes one with the other through Inner Sight. This latter is the true meeting, and from then on? True association is with the Master. Masters have said also that such a meeting washes away all sins – not through just looking physically.
Life is short, but it came with a great blessing: it is thy turn to meet God. This is the time to realise the Lord. And, when you meet a God-realised Soul, speak out all your innermost thoughts – and then do what He says. Know you have met the Satguru, when you lose all attachment by rising above body consciousness – first above the physical when attachment to the body leaves, and then above the astral and causal, in that order. This is the fruit of meeting a Satguru, and there is only one condition laid down – that is obedience. Each one of you has been told to keep a Spiritual Diary, but how many keep them correctly? Five percent at the most. Those who keep the diary correctly are succeeding in meditation. Who knows when you will get this human birth again?
Kabir Sahib says,
Each human breath is valued as the Three Regions combined.
Just consider then how ruthlessly we waste our lives.
Renounce the mind’s thoughts and rise above duality.
Leave whatever the mind tells you – obey only the Guru’s words. Furthermore, leave all impressions and influence begotten of ignorance. God is in all – each one has a soul, which is His entity. We are all brothers and sisters in God, and the body is the very temple of God. Leave now all ignorant attitude – put it behind you.
Lord Krishna says,
He who sees all in me, and me in all, is surely my loved one.
In your diary is a column for humility. Sometimes a person thinks of his riches, his education, his position, or power over others. Remember that God is in every form; when He is sitting within us, why all this pride? If the Master is sitting and the servant standing, this is the result of karma – action and reaction – and there is really no difference between the two.
When you get a glimpse of the Lord,
this heat wave will not affect you.
You must go through all the ups and downs of life; but if you follow the Guru’s behests, these things will have no effect upon you. Our Hazur used to say that the thorns that are spread along life’s way cannot be swept aside, but why not wear strong boots for protection? Join your soul to God – from within. The greatest sin in this life is hatred for others, because of He Who lives in each and every one. If you are hating Him, how do you expect to meet Him? If you desire to meet your Beloved, injure nobody.
I myself do not know how to speak
– the words which come are God’s orders.
Guru Arjan Sahib now explains that the words He utters are not His own, but come through the Lord’s direction. What more could He say? It is like a proclamation, for Masters are Conscious Co-Workers in the Divine Plan, and They always acknowledge that He is the Doer and not They. God speaks through Them, that humanity may know the Way back to Him.
The treasure of devotion to the Lord is a gift of the Almighty,
given out of compassion through Guru Nanak.
Devotion to the Lord is a valuable treasure – and it is a gift given out of the compassion of the Guru Who distributes it. Unfortunately, people do not realise its value.
I ate so much, all my hunger was satisfied.
Desire no longer torments if the hunger becomes satisfied. This gift will satisfy the hunger and thirst, for contact with God is food for the soul. That is the connection with Naam. To see the Light and hear the Sound is the daily Bread and Water of Life.
Whenever I see even the small Gurusikh,
again and again I will bow to him.
To see the Light of the Guru in even the smallest disciple deserves homage. Out of compassion this gift is given, but no one wants it. Guru Arjan says that when He received this gift, all desire was satisfied. Now I will take a short hymn on what the disciple’s program should be:
He who calls himself a Sikh of the Satguru
Should arise before dawn and meditate on Naam.
Guru Arjan has spoken of half a Sikh. Now, Guru Ram Das tells us what a Sikh should do. The disciple of the Satguru – the One Who is the image of the Truth – should arise very early and meditate upon the Naam. When the soul is contacted with the Naam, it sees the Light and hears the Sound, which are within Naam. This is the True Meditation, and between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. is the best time for meditating. Be wide awake – have a bath if necessary. But, sit down refreshed and buoyant for meditation.
Those who meditated upon Naam had all their troubles resolved; oh Nanak, their faces were radiant with freedom. Not only were their faces glowing with the Lord’s presence, but many others received freedom through them.
A Gurumukh frees millions with a tiny ray of Naam. A Gurumukh is an Enlightened Soul. Macrocosm is in the microcosm; He who traverses the physical – Pind – , astral – And – , and causal – Brahmand – bodies finds the Truth.
He should rise before dawn and take a bath in Amritsar.
The outer Amritsar is a city which was started by Guru Ram Das and completed by Guru Arjan. But, the Master means here that the soul should go up and take a bath in the Inner Amritsar, the Pool of Nectar.
In another hymn, Guru Amar Das says,
The True Amritsar is within this body; when the mind drinks of it, he becomes emancipated. Whoever reaches that Pool of Nectar with Love and devotion, having risen above Pind, And, and Brahmand, can take a bath within It. It is called also the Tenth Door – Daswan Dwar –, or Haus-i-Kauzar, or Prag Raj. That is where the soul should take its daily bath, and this should be the Sikh’s program: he should rise above the three planes and have a bath in the Pool of Nectar.
With the Guru’s word, take God’s Name;
All sins and misery will be washed away.
If the Guru’s initiation is followed by absolute obedience to His wishes, all sins will be washed away forever, along with all the miseries of the worldly life. And then, after transcending the physical, astral, and causal planes, and taking the bath in the Pool of Amrit, what should one do?
At sunrise, sing the Gurbani,
After meditating upon the Lord’s Naam.
Gurbani are the scriptures containing the Holy Words of many Masters, and these should be read daily. It is something like sitting in the mother’s lap where one feels uplifted and reassured. Furthermore, one is reminded of the Valuable Jewel which lies within one’s being. The words tell us where and how that Bread of Life can be contacted and through Whom. It is a most helpful thing to read the words of the Masters. But, note that He says one should read after meditating. There is much difference between reading and meditating; the former is not a substitute for the latter. The books do describe how the soul can rise above all three planes and go into the fourth stage – beyond which lies Sat Lok or Sach Khand. It is good to refresh this lesson daily. But, the trouble is that we have forgotten to meditate and are stuck with the Holy Books alone. We must become connected to that, within. The Perpetual Sound is food for the soul; Nanak says, he whose Satguru is perfect will get It. The Music of the Spheres continues perpetually; and if your attention is controlled, you can hear It when working or resting. Sitting or standing, meditate upon God’s Name.
He Who with each breath remembers God –
That Gurusikh gains the Guru’s pleasure.
The Guru loves one who meditates upon Naam day and night. The Guru loves one who takes His teachings to heart and lives up to them.
Khalsa is my True Form; in the Khalsa do I reside; Khalsa is my True Companion; Khalsa is my Perfect Master;
In these words there’s not the smallest falsehood; I take my Par Brahm Guru Nanak as witness. The child who obeys the Guru’s words will get whatever he wishes. Is he not the Guru’s beloved child? Although, of course, such a child never asks for anything; he has no need, for his greatest dharma is to live on the Guru’s will and pleasure. Brothers, do you want to be someone in the Guru’s favour? Then these are the two things you must do. But, we say we have no time – so who is going to keep the diaries? What is the result? We are just delaying what we will have to do. Remember, when we meet the Satguru … Know you have met the Satguru when attachment and desire are finished. From that day, your good days will start, but not by waving your hands, dancing, jumping around, showing outer enthusiasm and demonstration. Only one who respects and follows the Master’s words – is utterly truthful before Him – will gain the Spiritual Riches. He is sitting within, remember, and then we want to trick Him as well as others. Furthermore, we want to hide things from Him. There is an old Punjabi saying:
In front of the Guru and the doctor, one should hide nothing.
Some even call him a liar. What will happen to such people? They will remain imprisoned in creation and the births and deaths, and will continue around the cycle of 8,400,000. But, eventually they will have to do the work.
He on whom the Lord’s Mercy is showered,
gains the message through the Master.
The Guru gives the message to those whom the Lord Himself has blessed. God sends the Masters, and He Himself gives the Treasure by manifesting Himself in Them.
Nanak’s follower desires the dust of that Gurusikh’s feet,
Who repeats and makes others repeat the Naam.
The receiver should know that It is God’s Gift, through the Guru’s Mercy. He whose ego rises to confront his Guru does not understand this.
The intoxication of Naam, oh Nanak, inebriates day and night.
The Masters have described that intoxication again and again. One Satsang is really enough to understand, but we should then make it our very life – live up to it.
It does not matter to which religion you belong. You can succeed, for this message is for all mankind. Different religions and sects are the results of karmic reaction; but the soul is the conscious entity, part of the All-Consciousness which lies within every being. So, the body is truly the temple of God, in which His Light is burning. From today, become a worthy Sikh – worthy even to be called a Gurusikh, the beloved disciple of the Guru.
You can do this if you obey the Master’s words. You will not do it? You will have to do it – if not in this birth, then in the next. Oh brothers, what is the use of coming again and again? Why not do it now? If this birth goes, it will not come again in your hands, and the precious life is wasted.