Translation of a Talk delivered on the Birth Anniversary of Hazur Maharaj
The prime factor and the chief aid in the Art of Love is the constant remembrance of the Master. Love neither grows in fields nor can it be purchased from the grover’s shop. If you want to have a first-hand experience of Love, you can have glimpses by looking into the eyes of a lover. As God is Love, the person who loses his separate entity in Him becomes identified with Him, becomes as it were, Love personified.
Swami Ji therefore says,
Ai vidiya tu bari avidiya, santan ki tn qadr na jani.
Oh all learning, thou art but deep ignorance; for thou knowest not the worth of Saints.
They are Love personified. – For one possessed with too much learning grows imperviously blind to everything else.
Again it is said,
Tum ne dekhi hai kabbi yar ki masti bhari ankh Milti julti hai chhalakte hue paimane se.
Have you ever looked into the Love-laden and bewitchingly intoxicating eyes of the Beloved. They resemble over-flowing cups, bubbling over with the wine of Love.
Saints are the sea of Love and when tides rise in it, even the people sitting on the seashore get drenched. If you want to cultivate Love, you must associate with One Who has had an opportunity to come into close contact with a Master-Soul, for then you will both see and experience the great over-bearing tides of Love in Their eyes.
Bhai Nand Lal saith in this context,
Yak nigahe jan fazaish bas baud dar kare me.
A single animating lyrical glance of Thee is all I need, oh Master to quicken me with life.
Some who have experienced this intoxication have tried to describe it, and though there are many indeed who see the Satguru – the Master –, it is but rarely that someone has the good fortune to taste the intoxicating liquor of His Divine Love.
Hence it is said,
Khum do hazar bada na rasad by yak jura to.
Thousands of flagons of wine have not in them so much of intoxication, as a draught from Thee.
Se kuja sharabe khaki wa kuja sharabe janan.
A side glance from Thee is much more ravishing than thousands of cups bubbling over with deep delved wine,
for there is a world of difference between the wine of the earth and the wine of the Beloved – Master. There is indeed no comparison between the two.
Blessed are they who have had an opportunity to contact Perfected Beings and to taste the Elixir of Life, welling out of Their eyes.
Sri Guru Ram Das Ji tells us to how the Master-Soul narrated to Him His personal experiences and the True Romances of God. He is even prepared to make a holocaust of Himself for those, who have the good fortune to see His Master, but for those who came to obey the Master, He is anxious to make a sacrifice of Himself thousands of times. No words can describe the exuberance of joy in Him, for such persons who are always immersed in Master’s Love, who go to bed with His Love in their hearts and wake up in the morning, with Master’s name on their lips. He would like to wash off the dust of such persons’ feet and drink the washings like a nectar from God. Just as the bellows help in lighting up the fire, so does the sweet remembrance of the Master light up the fire of Love.
Sir Khod Iqbal saith in this behalf,
Kabhi ai haqiqat muntazir nazar aa libase majaz me – Ke hazar sajde tarap rahe bain, meri ik jabin niaz me.
Oh hidden Reality, for once come into the world in human form. Thousands of devotions in me are restless, waiting and vieing with each other to express themselves. Oh God, come before me in human form so that I may see Thee with my own eyes. I have thousands of yearnings within me and pray for just a visit from Thee.
It is therefore said,
Mana ke tu dil ke khilwat kade men hai makin – Zara samne ake baith ja ke nazar ko khui majaz hai.
Doubtlessly Thou dwellest in the innermost recesses of my heart. Wouldst Thou for once come out and sit before me as I am given to seeing things physically.
The eyes are thirsting for a sight of Him. We want to see Him with our physical eyes. Hazur is now concealed from our physical eyes. How to see Hazur again? Those who have seen Him cannot be at ease without Him. Once Hazur spoke of Baba Ji – Baba Jaimal Singh Ji, His Master – in this strain,
Though Baba Ji is in the heart of my heart and I am never for a moment separated from Him, yet what a blessing would it be if I were to see Him once again moving amongst us as before. For such a sight I would part with all I possess (i.e. my very life itself.)
The True Import and significance of a talk like this can only be understood by those who have a spark of Love in them but the others will consider it just nonsense.
Once Lord Krishna deputed Udhav to Brinhaban and asked him to console the Copias with his words of wisdom as they were suffering tremendously from the pangs of separation. When the torments of the lacerated mind are so painful to bear, the torments of the soul are worse still. These heart-aches have many a time turned kings into beggars, made them wander homelessly in trackless forests, or burning desert sands, and in short have even made some of them sacrifice their very lives. In circumstances like these the condition of the tormented soul can better be imagined than described.
Udhav went to the Gopias and spoke to them of Jnana Yoga. They listened to him quietly and at last said,
Oh Udhav, whatsoever thou sayest is doubtlessly true, but tell us as to how one who is mad after the physical charm of his Beloved can have solace by mere empty words?
One who wants to see the form of his Beloved cannot feel satiated by a meaningless chat. After all, what is the end of Jnana Yoga – a union or meeting with the Beloved. How then can we see God ist the question of questions. This we can do only when we are able to rise up to His level. He knows that we cannot possibly do it, so then out of sheer compassion He manifests in a human form, full of impurities as it is. But for whom does He do all this? For those alone who in silence suffer untold miseries, and who pine to see Him in a human form.
The keen eyes of the lover, unmistakably spot the Beloved, while the rest call Him a Kurahia, or one with a perverted intellect. When Guru Nanak in His wanderings reached Kasur – a town in the Punjab – the people addressed Him as such and closed the very gates of the town of Kasur in His face.
Sri Guru Amar Das searched Him far and near for full 70 years. Every year He would go out on a pilgrimage to the sacred Ganges. But when He once saw Guru Angad, He became His bondsman. The companions of Guru Amar Das still continued going on their annual round of pilgrimage. They would occasionally come to meet Guru Amar Das as a friend, for they always regarded Him as one of themselves. What else after all could they do? Their Inner Vision had not yet developed.
A hen hatches along with her own eggs those of a duck. The chicks of the two are just alike, and for some time they feed about together, but when the hen takes them to a pond, the ducklings at once jump into the water. The poor hen on the land begins cackling as if they are going to be drowned, but the ducklings feel that they have come to their own element and recognised their own real nature as fowls of the water, quite distinct from the birds of the land. Exactly the same is the case with the people of the world. One who escapes from the clutches of the world, is looked upon by the worldly wise as a lunatic and as one lost.
In short the friends and companions of Guru Amar Das would argue with Him and beseech Him to accompany them on the usual round of pilgrimage as before, but He having drunk the elixir of Divine Love and Life from the Chalice of Guru Angad, could not leave His Master. The object of pilgrimage, of course, is no other than the purification of the mind. The High Souls have a unique way to explain these things. He (Guru Amar Das) sent for a bitter pumpkin and asked His friends to take it along with them on their round of pilgrimage and to dip it in all the holy waters, wherever they themselves would have a dip.
When these people returned, Guru Amar Das enquired of them if they had followed His bidding and asked them to bring forth the pumpkin. He then cut it in two, and putting water in the hollow asked them to drink from it. The water was found to be bitter. They looked surprised, as He pointed out to them that the natal bitterness in the gourd could not be washed off with all the dips in the holy waters of the sacred rivers. In this way He brought home to them that water could only wash off and take away physical impurities and not the impurities of the mind. The Master-Soul is however, such a spring of water, a dip in which can cleanse the very soul through and through. The very spot where He sits becomes holy. His presence sanctifies the very atmosphere around Him.
How, after all, did the sacred places come into being? Amritsar – or the pool of nectar – was founded by Guru Ram Das. Govindwal acquired its importance from Guru Amar Das.
Nankana Sahib got its sanctity from Guru Nanak. Muhammad the Prophet of the desert cast His spell on Kaaba, while Christ raised Jerusalem in the eyes of the world.
All these places no doubt were in existence long before, but the subsequent religious merit was attached to them by the feet of such Holy Saints alone.
Guru Nanak was born at Talwindi and it became a sacred place. He wandered from place to place, and undertook long journeys each of which lasted for twelve long years: one towards Burma and China, another towards Iran (Persia) and Mecca (in Arabia), a third towards Pryag and Benares, etc., and the fourth on the side of Sangladip (modern Ceylon) etc. We have accounts of His travels in far-off places in China and Africa. Thus wherever He sat in devotion that became a place of reverence. In fact, wheresoever devotion kneels that becomes a Holy Place, worthy of Love and respect. Should you engage in devotion at a place like this, it is well and good, but if, on the other hand, you engage in sensual pursuits, what is the good of going on a pilgrimage. The fault does not lie with the place, but with the pilgrims who visit it.
Arsenic used in a small quantity for medical purposes under the direction of a physician, does good, but if taken in a large dose, it causes death. Everything must therefore be used with discrimination. The Perfected Souls thus form the sum and substances of the sub-strata of such holy places, which with the lapse of time, will go on accumulating. In fact the whole world is nothing but a place of pilgrimage for the High Souled Persons have always appeared at all times and in all climes. Just as electric energy pervades everywhere in the Universe and there is no place without it; yet we feel indebted to the switch that gives us contact with it. All such links and points of contact whether in the past or in the present are blessed indeed, for they bring us close to the Powerhouse, the Great Reservoir of all energy and vitality, which is God.
Once the audience questioned Guru Nanak about the Way one could contact God, Who is the very Soul of our souls, and He replied,
Wheresoever you can have Naam, go and get It. This will be able to have only through the Grace of the Perfect Master.
Thus Guru Nanak laid no limitations and restrictions in this behalf. In the wide world one can search for the Pole, the switch, which would establish contact with the All-pervading Power. He could not possibly bind down an individual by means of attachment to an idol, or a shrine, or a sacred river, or a tree and the like; for every place is holy where there is a talk or a discourse of the Lord. Go to a place where you can get a contact or a link with God for in this lies salvation.
These words are of that Master-Soul in Whose loving memory we have congregated today. I am simply telling you whatever little I have gained at His feet. The True Import of all religions is kept up before the public by the High-Souled Saints, but after They passed away, there remains behind Them mere tracks of forms and rituals devoid of substance, and people in course of time get attached to empty words of little wisdom which lead nowhere. This causes social disintegration instead of fusion and adhesion; narrow petty-mindedness in place of all-embracing Love and concord. The Sages come to unite man with God, but those who follow Them wean the people away from Him and each tries to raise a band of votaries for himself.
There is the selfsame Reality behind both Islam and in what Islamites call Infidelity. The differences found in various observances of religious creeds are man-made, but their purpose is the same. The difficulties, if there be any, are generally born of ignorance of each other. All religions are founded on one, and only one fundamental, viz. God, but our personal prejudices and predilections have created so many intriguing complexities and complications. As our Inner Eyes are yet closed to the One Reality that lies hidden underneath all forms, we simply see the shadowy forms and nothing else and are thus at loggerheads with each other, ready to clutch and cut throats and tear limb from limb.
It is therefore said,
Az taasub kasai Sheikh-o-Brahman shud juda, Warna dar maikhana yak saqi-yak jam-o-bas.
It is through narrow-mindedness that the Sheiks (Muslim Heads) and the Brahman (Hindu Heads) have come to possess separate drinking vessels. Yet in the tavern it is the same barman (the Master-Soul) Who serves the wine (of God’s Love) to all alike.
The wine of Divine Love is the same for all. The serving bearer – the Master-Soul – is also the same for all. The rest are all tipplers. Use a little commonsense and look at the various religions with a discerning eye. The Master-Soul is One Who is linked with the Over-Soul. He comes into the world in order to unite people to that Over-Soul or God. The rare individuals who understand Him, keep up the traditions safely for the time, but when such souls endowed with power of discrimination pass away, the Reality also fades and vanishes and is ultimately lost to the ignorant multitude, each one of whom, through petty-mindedness, sets up a different school of thought – if all groups deserve this name.
The Master-Soul used to collect all His numerous following at one centre, as He was a Great Centripetal Force; while His followers, after He leaves the physical body, are split asunder, one from the other by the centrifugal forces that operate.
Once the people asked Hazur as to which religious denomination He belonged. He replied that He was a Christian if God were so and a Muslim, or a Hindu if God could be called as such. This human body is a combination of five elements – earth, water, fire, air and ether –; but the Great Power that is working in and through it is that of God – and the same pervades everywhere and is found in all living creatures, irrespective of caste or creed and regardless of colour or form.
Whosoever constantly remembers this Great Power, one day identifies himself with It. Thought alone is the ruling force, and as you think so you will become. It was the chief characteristic of Hazur that He would unite together all types of persons in one congregation. His Sangat or brotherhood consisted of people of various faiths and nationalities. The Satguru or the Master-Soul always stands for this central and cardinal principle.
Satguru aisa janiae jo sab se lai milai jio.
Satguru or the Master is One Who can gather all persons into one fold.
Satguru is Sat – Truth or God – personified. He would, therefore, unite all the children of God in one common brotherhood. Spirituality knows no differences and no distinctions, for the two cannot exist at one and the same time. Where there is no Spirituality, ethical life too gradually decays.
I still remember that forty years back Muhammadans would attend the discourses in Gurdawaras. They participated in Hindu weddings and joined their nuptial processions. Like true brothers they attended their rituals and knew not in the least that they were in any way different from their Hindu brethren. But see today the depth of degredation to which things have sunk. Let religious differences apart, a brother does not like to talk with a brother. The followers of Hazur should make a special note of this, because Hazur used to sit amongst thousands, while we cannot sit together. When we are co-tipplers at the same tavern and drink the same wine of God’s Love, why should we not congregate at one place? It is with painful feelings that I am obliged to utter these sad words. Such of the audience who are listening to these woeful words, should at least act on what I say. In whatever direction we may go, we find the same earth and the same sky; in the same way we have one Master and only One, Who is everlasting and immortal.
It is said,
Janam Maran dou men nahin, – Jan parupkari aie – Jai dan de bhakti lain – Har sion den milai.
Far removed are they from the cycle of births and deaths, They come into the world for a selfless service, by a transfusion of Their Life-Impulse the seeds of devotion are sown, and the individuals are linked up with God.
The Master through all-embracing compassion infuses in us His Love and thus gathers the soul at its centre behind the two eyebrows. What a great blessing this is. As we go through the teachings of Swami Ji, Tulsi Sahib, Dadu Ji, Kabir Sahib and Hazur, we find that They all talk on one and the same thing.
The Life of one who has had an opportunity to meet any High-Souled Personage becomes transformed and the very purpose of his life is fulfilled.
Hazur belonged to that High Order as described above. In fact all Mahatmas are imbued with the same colour. Just as one bulb of a thousand watts, when fused, is exchanged for another, so, too, is the case with these Master-Souls and the selfsame Light continually shines through Them without an end.