The Master’s Talk: To gain His Pleasure
Any place where one can enjoy the intoxication of God has its own value, be it temple, church, mosque, or any other religious edifice. However, it stands to reason that the very best place to seek God and enjoy His presence is wherever His reflection can be seen. The stone-constructed places of worship were all made in the remembrance of God, but it is not possible to see the reflection of the Lord in any of them. That can only be found in the human form – a certain human form wherein God has manifested Himself. Such a Personality is just like God walking on earth. Those accomplished in religious lore, tied up in rituals and customs, will usually advise against seeking God in the human form, but the earnest investigator should consider carefully just what benefit can be derived from a Living Guru.
If we take the temple or the mosque for an example, we find the former dome-shaped, like the human head, and the latter forehead-shaped, both after the model of man-body, and with the great respect are the prayers done therein. These are given in the highest importance, while the true temple or mosque of the man-body is ignored; we never go in there. The Truth lies forgotten within us, and we are left with outer things as consolation. To make a model of the man-body is very easy, but we are constantly adding cover upon cover over the True Light of God within our being, and to stop doing this is extremely difficult indeed.
My Master used to give an example of the True Wife who, disregarding the good or bad remarks that the world may have for her character, will keep her attention constantly upon her husband alone, knowing that she is true to herself and to him. So we should go towards God with that single goal in mind, and never worry about what is said by others. Travel with unceasing attention in the Lord, for you are His and He is yours.
The target was always one and the same, for all religions, but what happened?
Hafiz Sahib explains that,
We were on our way to meet the Lord, but in between our attention was arrested.
Religious and customary rites have taken our attention from the true purpose of our journey, and as long as the mystery of life is not unravelled we may spend our whole life searching among outer things, but the Truth will never be revealed. Who are we, and what connection do we have with the physical form? In what way are we related to God? Before these questions can be answered, that eye must be opened through which, by actually seeing, the Truth will be revealed.
A Muslim Maulvi Sahib exhorts us:
Why do you scatter your attention in intellectual pursuits? Whatever path you walk, become submerged therein; deaf and mute to all else. With full concentration proceed towards your goal; take a headlong plunge! Weighing and doubting will only stop your progress.
Further on He says,
I am in Him.
This happens only at that grand meeting when two become One – when He alone is there, He Whose reflection we are. When the curtain of separation is drawn aside, there will be no parting and no meeting. There will be no yearning.
Christ told us that
I and my father are One.
St John 10:30
Guru Arjan says
Father and son have the same colour.
When the soul reaches this awakened condition the wandering, searching, and sorrowful separation will cease. A True Guru is not separated from God: therein lies His greatness. By losing Himself in the Guru, one becomes the same as the Guru – a Gurumukh, or mouthpiece of the Guru.
St Paul mentioned this stage by saying
[…] yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.
Our Muslim prophet continues:
The place inside is so filled with my Beloved that there is no room for me; only He is there. In You, am I; look in my eyes and see the oneness. If you do not see, am I to be blamed?
Even the thought I am not there, does not occur. Within the eyes of an illuminated soul pulsates the power to drag you, like a magnet, into the beyond. This was the original reason for doing arti – a Hindu rite, with lighted candles.
At one Satsang, I was sitting beside the Hazur – He sometimes made me sit beside Him, just as a father would – and I said that there was an age in the past when the Guru would wash His big toe in water and give this to the disciples to drink, for there was a great changing in it. During the time of the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, He gave amrit, nectar, made from sweetened water, on drinking which they were infused with life; again due to the charging. Then in the days of the Tulsi Sahib and Swami Ji Maharaj, it became customary for arti to be done, sitting in front of the Guru, eyes level with eyes; but that age also passed. In the time of Hazur, my Master, the custom was to touch the Guru’s feet. Now that is finished and it remains only to look into the eyes of the Master and be absorbed into His radiance, as eyes are the windows of the soul. The purpose of all these gestures was for the disciples to derive the benefit of the changing from the Guru’s radiation, but when the Gurus leave, just the empty action remains.
The highest of the senses is the eyes. Nose, ears, mouth, etc., are on a lower level. When the two eyes meet at the practical point above the nose, they become single and the Inner Path is opened, through which we become familiar with the beyond. When the four eyes meet and become One, there is no separateness and no question of duality. From eye to eye the treasure is given. From eye to eye one gets an intoxication, and the physical body becomes insignificant – as nought. Even the thought of it does not remain. Criticism, ridicule and unpleasant worldly affairs ride harmlessly over one’s head. This is the knowledge of oneness.
Hafiz Sahib has said that the words uttered by the Saints are for those who are ready to receive them. This is their last connection with the world, for their hearts have become pure, and they have the right understanding. They are ready therefore to realise the Lord. The immature will continue with the outer practices, for their time has not yet come. Though Truth is in each being, yet it must be rekindled by the Guru through the eyes, for the changing involved in the process cannot be done through form and formularies. This charging is an intoxication never forgotten by the person throughout his whole life. There are those who think that the Guru’s succession can be accomplished on legal papers; but how is that possible or even feasible?
There is only one thing to understand – how to remove the separating curtain between ‘me’ and ‘you.’
Get the True Bhakti from the Guru; then only can He invade the mind.
When you have completely surrendered yourself to the Guru, no questions or doubts remain. Everything becomes serene, calm, quiet, and the awakenedness springs forth. Life comes from life – there is no other way of realising the truth.
Those who see the Truth in all its reality say,
This is a very curious image, this human form!
They are not the human form, but are something else.
Bhai Nand Lal Ji, Who was a very devoted disciple of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, says,
For one hair of my beloved Satguru, I will sacrifice both worlds (this and the next).
Only he who can see even some small reflection of the Truth can make such a statement.
For Muslims, a Living Master is considered to be heresy, and when Amir Khusro was initiated by his Guru the people criticised him, calling him a heathen.
Khusro was unshaken and remarked,
Yes I am a devotee of a living form, but what has this to do with the world and its opinions?
When you become someone’s, become his very image. To incur the pleasure of a Complete Master is to incur the pleasure of God.
Swami Ji Maharaj says,
If the Guru is pleased, then God is pleased.
But the Guru should be a Guru and not just so called. Of what value is the pleasure of him who is under the influence of his mind and senses? People often get a bitter experience and then blame the whole of Gurudom, but those who are fortunate to have their Inner Eye developed even a little, see an Inner Reflection of the Truth.
Even one enlivening glance from You, oh Guru, is enough to infuse me with Life.
If He turns His eyes from us, both our worldly and Spiritual Existence will finish. Once this happens, it is most difficult to regain His attention, for no one knows what action will be pleasing to Him.
Perfect Masters do not allow vanity, self-importance and self-praising to remain in Their followers, but gradually weed them out.
Bulleh Shah, who belonged to the high caste, took initiation from Sai Inayat Shah Sahib. One day, the Master sent some of His followers to Bulleh Shah’s home, telling them to sing and dance outside his house. They did this, calling out, Oh Bulleh Shah, we are your Gurubhais (brothers under the same Master), so come out and meet us. Now, singing and dancing in the streets is considered to be unseemly behaviour, that of very low-caste people, and when Bulleh Shah was told that his brother disciples had come, he said, No, I do not know them – they are nothing to do with me.
When the disciples returned to the Master, He told them, It does not matter, from today I will not water that plant.
Remember, that the Guru gives nourishment to the disciples through His attention, even if they are thousands of miles away.
A Satguru looks after His disciple with His own Life-Impulse.
Only a few days ago a disciple in the West wrote to me:
When I sit for meditation, and even for sometime afterwards, there is a sweet fragrance.
I explained that this was a direct result of the thought-waves which are received when one is receptive to the Master. Receptivity is very necessary. If a radio set is not turned properly, there will be no sound. It is most difficult to please a Guru; He is above offerings of a money, property and worldly goods. You cannot have His pleasure by demand either. His pleasure may be gained through respectful attention, obedience to His wishes, devotion, and selfless service to humanity. If the disciple does not wish to live like this, then what can be achieved without the Guru’s Mercy?
I remember once in a Lahore, my Master called me and said,
Kirpal Singh, I have planted the saplings, you have to give them water.
Hazur, however much water You send through this hose-pipe, will be given.
To be careless about our attitude and action in respect to our Guru is very dangerous.
Bulleh Shah’s Inner Enjoyment was stopped from that moment, and by the Gurus orders he was also not allowed to enter the Master’s court. In those days, Shah Inayat permitted His followers to express the Holy Hymns in song and dance before Him, and appeared to show His pleasure at such occasions. There was a certain prostitute who was very talented in her execution of the Holy Songs, and she would attend Him regularly each week. For Bulleh Shah, it was as if both worlds, inner and outer, had sunken into deep and silent gloom – such was his condition without the glance and thought transference of his Master. So in desperation, and greatly anxious to regain his Master’s favour, he went to the prostitute and begged her to give him any amount of work, in return for which, he requested her to teach him how to sing; with the hope of giving the Master some enjoyment.
For instance, if a Master approves of selfless service and helping the poor, then His disciple should do that, for to become His True Loved Ones they should develop the Master’s own habits within themselves. Merely pretending to do His will has no effect, for He knows and sees everything.
So Bulleh Shah studied the art of the singing and dancing for nine months, and one evening he said to his teacher, Tonight, let me go and sing for the Master, instead of you. She agreed, giving him her clothes to wear, and with quickening heart he hurried off to the Master’s house. His songs even now are heart-rending to the reader, filed with the great sadness as he describes his separation from the Master. He Who knows everything can recognise a person by what he is, not by what he is wearing, and when Bulleh Shah sang with so much pain and feeling the Master could not help Himself, and, rushing from His seat, wrapped Bulleh Shah in His arms. Now many who were watching this began to wonder that such a Great Master would embrace a prostitute, so Shah Inayat said, Listen, brother Bulleh, take off this finery, that the peoples doubts may be removed.
How can you recapture the Master’s pleasure when He is displeased with you? And then, when He restores this blessing, what do you gain?
This hymn of Guru Arjun will disclose some knowledge on the subject:
“I fall at His feet to gain His favour. Oh, meet a Satguru Who is God Himself! There is no one else like Him.”
If the Guru is pleased, then so is God, for God has manifested Himself in the Guru. Satguru is the very image of the Truth, the ruling Power, for His will governs everything and there is no one comparable to Him in this world or the next.
“I have searched all Brahmand; but not found one like my Guru.”
A person can only speak of whatever level he has reached. The worldly will think on a worldly level, but they who have reached Brahman and beyond say that even in Brahman there is no one equal the Guru. He is Truth itself, and He is also the Pole at Which the Truth is manifested.
When two hearts take joy in the same thing, most decidedly they will love each other. If one likes to serve the poor and do meditation, the other should do the same, and without any effort love will grow between them.
Maulana Rumi has said,
He who approaches you, approaches God; and he who departs from you, goes away from God.
Uttering empty words will be futile, for saying one thing and doing something else may hoodwink the world, but no one can deceive the Guru. My Master used to say that the Guru-Power is all awareness and if a soul is not fit he will not be given the Inner Road. There should be nothing left of the mind or senses.
Guru Arjan, Whose hymn I am now taking, was tested very severally by His Guru. The Masters test the disciples again and again to see how much loving devotion he has, and to what extend he still remains under the influence of mind. He who sacrifices everything for the sake of his Guru has achieved all.
During the strife-worn days of Guru Gobind Singh, a certain man named Nabi Khan Ali Khan was killed, and someone went to inform his wife of her husband’s death.
On hearing the news, her first words were,
Is my Guru all right?
For a True Disciple, the Master is most beloved than any other relationship, for it is one of the soul with God. Naturally the child who heeds his father’s slightest wish will enjoy his pleasure. Whoever insists on his own ideas and does not want to obey, doubtless he will also get the Master’s Love, but the Inner Key will not be entrusted to him.
I will now tell you how Arjan won His Master’s pleasure.
It happened that one of the relatives of Guru Ram Das Ji – Guru Arjan’s Master – was getting married in Lahore, but the Guru Himself was in Amritsar at the time. So He sent for His eldest son, Prithi Chand, and told him to go to Lahore and spent about fifteen days there, over the wedding.
When these highly enlightened personalities come, They are always surrounded by the people who either want Their money, or wish to be their successor.
In reply to his father’s orders Prithi Chand protested, If I go there, who will look after everything here? He was afraid that his father would give the succession to Guru Arjan, who was most beloved of the Master, and so he refused to obey. The other son of Guru Ram Das was Maha Dev who was usually in a spirituality intoxicated state, so the Guru sent for Arjan Sahib and told him to attend the wedding instead of Prithi Chand, and then instructed him, Do not return here until I send for you.
Guru Arjan took the Master’s orders without question and left for Lahore. A person of lesser Spiritual Strength would have ignored the order and declared that out of Love for the Master they had to return, but for Guru Arjan his Master’s orders were of supreme importance, making a barrier between the Master and himself which he would never think of surpassing.
Remember, he who obeys orders will achieve success in his goal.
Many days passed and there was no word, so Guru Arjan wrote these words and sent them to the Master:
My mind is desiring Thy darshan; like the rainbird in anguish, the thirst remains unquenched – there is no peace; I am living that without the Beloved’s darshan.
He sent these words to his Master by a man, but the man gave the note to the Master’s son Prithi Chand, and therefore it never reached the Master’s hands. What a dying man does not do in desperation! He wrote another letter. From Lahore to Amritsar it is only thirty miles, but he could not go there because of his Master’s orders.
Remember, he who breaks the wall of the Guru’s order will never realise the Inner Knowledge. He may get a little Inner Experience and help, but he will never become perfect.
So in the second letter he wrote:
Glory be to the place where You reside; Your face is so beautiful, seeing this, the Inner Sound easily vibrates.
This letter also got into Prithi Chand’s hands and again there was no reply. He then sent a third letter, which he marked with a number 3. In this he wrote:
The separation of minutes was likened to an age; oh Beloved, when will that time be when I may see You? I cannot sleep, and the nights cannot pass without One Who is my Lord.
When this letter arrived, fortunately Prithi Chand was not there at the time and the Guru Sahib received it.
Though the Masters know everything, They do not disclose what They know, but allow things to come out openly of their own accord on the material level. Forgive me, but we frequently consider our Guru to be less than a man.
The Guru Sahib called Prithi Chand and asked him about the two previous letters, but Prithi Chand replied, Maharaj, do you think that I am a thief? The Master gave him a hard look, and turning to another man said, Go and look in the pockets of his clothes. He then sent for Guru Arjan Sahib, and when he arrived, told him, You wrote me three letters, and whoever will complete that poem will be my successor.
When a test comes, a simple thing becomes difficult. I remember that I also sometimes wrote poems to my Master – through separation the thoughts would come, and the poems were written. Some rivals started copying me, but always there is a difference between wine and water.
Guru Arjan wrote the fourth stanza thus:
With great destiny I met Him; the Ever-Permanent Lord was found in the house; I desire only to serve, and never be separated for a moment; I am Thy servant, oh Lord.
This shows the kind of respect the disciples should have for his Master.
I once wrote to my Master and requested Him to give me the ability to love, but only that kind of Love which does not transcend the limits of respect. The Master was in Dalhousie when He received it, and after reading the letter He placed it on His heart and said with such humility,
I really appreciate such-like Love.
A devoted one’s poem is written to gain his Master’s pleasure. Guru Arjan was one of those rare devotees who truly achieved this, and at the end of this hymn He indicates what is gained by it.
Just as we cannot say what God is, so it is impossible to describe the Guru. He has a physical form, but He is not the physical form; if He were, what could He give us? If the whole earth became thin paper and the seas turned into ink and all the trees were made into pens, were we to cover the paper with praises to the Lord we would never succeed in describing His Glory.
I used to study in a Christian school, and always had an inquisitive nature. I knew that we said Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj, for in India we attach many respectful terms to the names of Masters and certain respected people, and had noticed that the Christian called their Great Saint merely Jesus.
So I went to a Christian bishop and questioned him:
Why do you not put prefix to Christ’s name, when even the most insignificant common man is at least referred to as Mr Somebody?
The bishop said, and I can still distinctly remember his reply,
We consider Christ the Son of God, and as we cannot glorify God, so we cannot extol Christ. If we start prefixing His name, we will make Him smaller, not greater.
Another Master says,
You are the Emperor above all; how can You be praised?
Without doubt, there is no equal to the Guru. He who starts seeing another as equal to his Master, his soul becomes an adulteress. Truly, the Light is in everyone, but not manifested as in the Guru. When two great souls meet and see the God in each other, that is something different again – something qualified.
I remember one incident in Lahore in a house called Pari Mahal – Fairy Palace –, where at the time Maharishi Shivbrat Lal Ji was staying on a short visit to Lahore. He was the successor to Rai Saligram Ji, who was one of the chief disciples of Swami Ji. When my Master was told of his presence in Lahore, He went to see him, and I accompanied the Master. It was a very strange sight that I saw. My Master, Who was always the very depth of humility, was trying to touch his feet, but he wanted to touch Hazur’s feet.
“His sweetness is above all others; above the sweetness of mother and father.”
For a child who plays in his mother’s lap, she is the sweetest of all beings to him. The True Devotee who plays in his Master’s lap will place that relationship above all others.
“Sisters, brothers and all my friends are very close to me; but there is none like You in this world.”
To the child who plays in his father’s lap with no other thought than to try and please him, the father will give what he wants. When all other relationships are broken and the Guru is the only one in existence, then you have succeeded in your work. On this Path, mere words have no value: you must obey His every command. Make you life pure and chaste; do service unto others; be careful of evil words. Love everyone, as God is in every being. When you serve others, you are serving Him.
“By Thy orders, Sawan (the rainy season) came; and I ploughed the furrow of Truth.”
The rain comes in the form of the Guru, like a refreshing coolness upon the parched earth. My Hazur’s name was Sawan. Like a rain of Mercy, They come by God’s orders, and we should take full benefit by clearing up the land of our whole being with Satsang, where all the dirt and filth is thrown out. We scatter our thoughts abroad; but at Satsang we can withdraw towards the Truth. All Master’s encourage this.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
St Matthew 18:20
There will be strong charging there, even if they are thousand of miles from the Master’s physical form.
Guru Gobind Singh says,
Where five disciples sit together, there God will be.
How can any good come from a gathering filled with criticisms and disagreements?
This Satsang was started with my Guru’s orders, so throw away your laziness and lethargy, and become pure. In Satsang the flow of Mercy is pouring into you, so get the fullest benefit from it. Weed out all imperfections, one by one; that is why I have told you to keep a diary. When the soil is weeded, it is ready for the seed to be sown, then the True Growth can begin. If small pebbles and rocks are not removed, the seed may sprout but will not bear fruit.
“In great aspiration, the seed of Naam was sown; I pray each second for Mercy, that it may bear fruit.”
This seed of Naam, once sown, cannot be set aside by any Power. That seed will bear fruit sooner or later. But without the water of Satsang, how can the seed be expected to sprout green and fresh in all its beauty? Once sown, it will not die, but in unprepared soil it will not fructify. He who does not do his meditation in this life will have to come again. As this seed cannot sprout in any other form, he will be given the concession of not retrogressing below the human birth. But why not complete your mission now? He who is unlearned in life cannot become learned merely by going through that change which is called death. No one should be under the misunderstanding that, having received the connection with the Holy Naam, he has got salvation. He will get salvation, but in how many lives?
“When I met the Guru, I knew He was the only One; my heart can never accept another.”
Once the disciple has recognised the Guru, he can only understand his Guru’s teachings and none other.
Hanuman, Lord Rama’s greatest devotee, was once asked what day it was, and he replied, Oh Ram. On being asked what month it was, he said Oh Ram. He was so immersed in the sweet remembrance of his Beloved that he could think of nothing else. Wherever he looked, he saw Ram, and every person he spoke to was Ram. It is really worth having a Guru if you are receptive like this.
“All the transitory objects have dropped away, since I got the company of a Saint.”
At the feet of a True Guru there are no factions, political fights, or religious wranglings. The Master simply places a man-problem before you. He tells us that when he met his Guru, there was nothing else in his life. He is one, and yet he is not one – this also is a mystery.
He who knows and becomes One with Him, becomes the Doer and the Giver.
We are devotees of the Light; it matters not in which pole It is expressed: all are one and the same. He whose eye is opened can see the beautiful play of God’s expression.
“Each man has been allotted the task; but success depends on Thy will.”
The Satsang is started by His orders, and He makes the work a success.
Hazur used to tell us that when Baba Jaimal Singh Ji gave Him orders to start the Spiritual Works, Hazur went to Baba Garib Das and Chacha Pratap Singh Ji, who both told Him,
If we give initiation, the soul might not give salvation; but if you give it, that soul will surely have salvation.
When my Master gave me orders to do the work, I asked Him to whom I should go for such assurance and then added that I would do the work as ordered, but that He should give the protection. Hazur assured me that it would be so. With His support I started the Satsang; it is not mine but His, and He will take everyone across. Whatever blessing He extends is being given out. All credit goes to Him.