The Gift of the Guru

Selections from the discourses of two Great Masters on the value of the company of Saints, compiled and translated, with comments, by T.S. Khanna

God willing, the visit of the Beloved Master is drawing near. It would be good for the dear ones to familiarise themselves with the following words of the Master and His Master, Hazur Baba Sawan Singh Ji, concerning Satsang. Understanding what is said, and then simple application, will bring the full benefit of the Gracious Master’s presence.

Kirpal Singh

Kirpal Singh with disciples

Kirpal Singh helps Mira Gerard pick up spilled parshad off the floor of the porch at Sawan Ashram, Delhi

I. Selections from ‘Morning Talks’ by the Living Master Kirpal Singh
From ‘True Satsang’

[…] The word Satsang means actually uniting the soul with the All-Pervading, All-Existing God. This is possible only when our soul has been analysed from mind and the outgoing faculties. When we know ourselves, only then are we in a position to know the God Who is pervading all, Who is controlling all, in Whom we live and have our being.

So this school which you are attending is called Satsang. We have joined it in order to have a contact with God. This is only possible when some man is there who sees God and is able to make others see Him. The God in man or man in God sees God everywhere and in everybody. Those who become receptive to Him also begin to see God in everybody. It is the Godman Who can give you a contact, a demonstration of the God within you and everywhere. Your teaching truly starts when you rise above body consciousness […]

Those who come here are fortunate. They should forget the past, the outward environments, and be here only with the God in man in front of them. You should become receptive, forgetting your body and all outward things. If your body is sitting here and your mind is roaming about outside to different things, you cannot derive the benefit of attending the Satsang.

Again I should like to impress on you that Satsang is a school that can rightly be called a Satsang if somebody is there who has seen God, who knows God, and has contact with Him. He is inebriated with the Love of God, and Love overflows from Him by radiation. If you want to derive the full benefit of attending this school, you will have to forget your environments, those who are sitting around you, and even your physical body. You should be attentive to the God in man in front of you. In this way, you will learn many things by radiation, through being receptive. Soul speaks to soul without spoken words.

Kirpal Singh

At Satsang, you are given two things together. First the theory is explained by spoken words and you are also given some capital through the eyes. This is radiated to the expectant one who comes to attend the school for the purpose of knowing God. Such schools are rare. There are many schools where people only talk about past histories and theory as given by the rishis of olden days. They might give you some quotations from past Masters, but that is for the purpose of only understanding. Unless you can have some demonstration to start with, how can you derive full benefit from the theory? A man may give a wonderful talk on the subject of how to run a business successfully. A very wonderful talk he gives. But if the people around him have got no money to start with, what good does the lecture do for them? If you are able to have some capital to start with, only then will the lecture be of some substantial benefit to you.

This is a school of Spirituality. First the theory is explained by giving references to the Masters Who came in the past, Who saw God and Who made others see God. […]

So you have come here for this purpose. You are fortunate and should make the best use of it. Forget everything of your hearths and homes, the outward environments and while you are here, forget even your body. Become fully receptive by looking into the eyes of the God in man. His soul speaks through the eyes to the souls who are receptive. […]

You are fortunate in having such a school with the Grace of God, but it is for you to make the best use of it by attending it in the way just explained to you. Remain in whatever creed or religion you are, that makes no difference. […]

From ‘How to develop the Attributes of the Master’

Those who love God, love the Master, the God in Him of course. It is no matter of show. That very Power is within you and knows every act of yours, what you are doing and why. He knows the very trend of your thoughts. Love knows no show. Love knows service and sacrifice. The outward symbol of Love is a sweet tongue, imbued with humility. When you have developed that Love, what should you do? You must have patience, perseverance and go on with it. Just like a moth which burns itself on the flame of a candle but never makes any sound.

So those who want to love God should not care for their name or fame, honour, this or that thing. They should leave every greatness that they have got physically outside, and lay down at His feet. If they lose their life in sacrifice, even then they won’t mention it. […]

From ‘Chastity – We must become self-centred’

People will run from hundreds and thousands of miles to have the company of a Saint. When we come to Him, what do we do? We do not derive the full benefit of His company. Why? – because our whole attention is not rivetted into the Master. If you go to the Master and just wonder about what He eats or what He drinks, you will not be able to benefit fully from His radiation. When you are at the feet of the Master, you should strike up no friendship with anybody, your whole friendship should simply be for the Master. […]

II. Selections from the Discourses of Baba Sawan Singh Ji
From ‘Sari Duniya’ publication

Hazur Sawan Singh

You will find the gate of salvation by attending Satsangs of the Saints. No one will get comfort without Satsang. You will find this recorded in the Vedas. Satsang is a very great wealth, but we do not value it. Even if one word of Satsang be imbibed, it will transform the whole life of an individual, what to speak of a whole discourse.

A thief, while dying, called his only son and gave him a twofold piece of advice:

  1. Do not go to any temple to hear the sermon.

  2. If you are caught while stealing, do not confess even if you are hanged.

Once the young man was coming back from breaking into a home, when he saw a policeman coming. There was an alley nearby, so he ran there to save his life. There he found a temple where a sermon was being given. Immediately he recollected the advice of his father and put his fingers in his ears so as not to hear any word. 

While doing this he heard one sentence:

The angels, gods and goddesses do not have shadows.

At another time the man was caught as a suspect. He was presented before a king who asked him if he had committed theft.

He answered,

No sir, I did not steal.

The man was then beaten, but still he would not confess. He was put into a prison house. One woman in the king’s police force was very clever and told the king that she would cause the man to confess. The king agreed to her plan and gave her the assignment. That night she disguised herself as a goddess. She got two artificial arms fixed and held two burning torches in her hands. She walked with an artificial lion and made a terrible commotion. The doors of the jail were flung open, and in the darkness the light of her candles shown brilliantly. When the poor thief saw that the goddess Durga was standing in front of him, he leaped up and prostrated himself at her feet.

The selfmade goddess gave him her blessings and said,

Behold, son! I am Durga goddess. I have come to remove your misery. Please tell the truth, if you have committed a theft. If you tell the truth, I will help you to be released.

The thief was ready to confess, but when he saw the shadow of the fake goddess, he remembered the utterances at the temple that gods and goddesses do not have shadows. He understood immediately that it was all deception.

The thief said,

Mother! I did not commit theft, and the king is punishing me unnecessarily.

The next day the clever woman told the king that the young man was not the culprit. The king ordered the man to be set free. The thief was pleased at this. He considered how wonderful it was that by hearing only one sentence from Satsang, he was released from prison – If I could hear all the words of Satsang, it would surely transform my life. Thus, he started attending Satsangs. The result was that he left the profession of a thief and became a Mahatma.

(Great Master Baba Sawan Singh Ji gives here some specific, practical advice concerning conduct at the Satsang:)

Do not sit ahead of the entire audience. Do not talk unless the Great Master asks you to do so. Before the arrival of the Master, sit at such a place which won’t cause you to move in order to have Master’s Darshan clearly.

When taking a seat, whether the Great Master is on stage or not, please be amiable before the audience – consider that all initiates are brothers and sisters and that you are their servant. Do no be contemptuous towards a poor man.

Secrets not revealed before

Remember the Satguru so much so that every breath a pang of separation from Him troubles the heart. This condition will only come when you drive away all other thoughts.

Kirpal Singh with disciples

When you meet the Great Master, as a result of good fortune, then have Master’s Darshan as if you were a man tormented by acute hunger, or like an infant who yearns for the protective mother, the only source of nourishment; if anyone interferes between him and his mother, he cries painfully and falls into desperation –

Like a rainbird who drinks only the water of the rain, when finally the skies burst into showers. – Like a fish separated from water, when it goes back to the soothing water.

Like this, one should get elated on seeing the Satguru, so much so that on having Darshan, the devotee should forget the consciousness of his body and have no thought or consideration of rain, sunshine, or shadow. Look minutely into the middle of Master’s two luminous eyes, riveting your attention. Don’t blink your eyes, as far as possible. Hear the recitation and utterances of the Great Master with your ears and have Darshan with your eyes.

Kirpal Singh

The gaze should be so confined that you see only the Holy Face of the Satguru and do not see the face of anyone else. Silently, imbibe the utterances of the Satguru. Do not pay any attention to any noise, such as knocking at the door or what anyone else says. If individuals come in and say hello, shake hands or say good morning or evening to the Great Master, don’t pay attention to them. If you do, it means disrespect to the Master. It is a great loss for one to leave the Master’s precious Darshan and look towards others. Be so much absorbed that your attention doesn’t divert towards the person who might interrupt.

Do not laugh in the Satsang. Even if the Master laughs, you need not do it.

Value of Darshan

If my Satguru (Great Master Baba Jaimal Singh) would come and give me Darshan even for a minute, I would gladly give away everything I have. At the time of distribution of parshad (sanctified food), generally there is noise and disturbance. This is a great mistake. You need not pay attention to parshad, as to whether you get any or not. Do not leave the most precious Darshan of the Satguru to lose yourself in the thought of parshad. Parshad may be taken, but do not sacrifice the Darshan.

Do not get bored when listening to the discourse. It is a sin to do so. When the Master gets up from the Satsang, having finished His discourse, consider yourselves as unfortunate that this most valuable time went out of your hands.

Duties of a Satsangi after the Satsang

After hearing the discourse, one should not speak with anyone nor see anyone. Put emphasis on Simran. Escape from the company of those talking and socialising. Rest assured that the Satguru has filled the pipe of our heart with His Darshan. If you start talking with anyone, the heart will keep on emptying of the Darshan. It is the duty of a Satsangi not to squander the boon given by the Satguru. He is, rather, to increase Master’s gift. It will increase if a devotee engages in Simran for three to six hours after Satsang. Also, he should recall the utterances made by the Satguru in the Satsang. He should ask himself what shortcomings he has. From that day on, he should try to eliminate those faults. If those faults are not overcome, then he should pray before the Great Master,

Oh, True Emperor, I am feeble and a sinner. Please forgive me.

When the disciple will devote more time to Bhajan and Simran, the attributes of the Satguru will start coming into the devotee, and his shortcomings will begin to depart. This is the benefit of hearing the Satsang.

Therefore, a Satsangi should try to follow and act upon the commandments, after listening to the Satsang of a Perfect Master. He should leave off lust, anger, greed, attachment, and ego, criticism, back-biting and bad company. One should eat morsels gained only from hard-earned and honest money. A Satsangi will not progress spiritually until he earns his living by the sweat of his brow.

Kirpal Singh with disciples

If a Satsangi is a guest of someone and is served food, he has to compensate the same by giving the merit of three hours of meditation. Otherwise, the mirror of his heart will not be clear.

Unless and until the mirror of his heart is clear, he cannot love the Satguru.

Devotion and Deep Faith

Love and faith at the feet of the Satguru are the foundations of Spirituality. A house cannot be built without a foundation. Similarly, if a person devotes twenty hours daily in meditation and has no love and faith, he cannot progress spiritually even a little bit. Of course, the ego comes up that one is an aspirant on the Spiritual Path. Just like a bullock at an oil press who keeps on going all day long, but remains at the same place – walking in a circle – such is the situation of the person who has not yet developed Love.

It is seen generally that any work done with enthusiasm is accomplished quickly and well. The student who studies whole-heartedly gets smart in his studies. It is a principle that the teacher who teaches the students with Love gets better results from his students. On the other hand, if a teacher is full of anger, then the students do not get benefit from his efforts.

Therefore, it is necessary that a Satguru be Love personified and the Satsangis meditate with Love and devotion. When the Satguru is Love personified and the Satsangis love Him, they will also love to follow the Master’s commandments. This way the benefit is gained very soon. One cannot bring the mind into concentration unless one has deep Love and devotion for the Satguru. Unless the scattered mind gathers together, one cannot enjoy the Simran.

Kirpal Singh

Without Love the Simran seems to be a burden. If you do Simran now and will forget it after a little while, you will remain forgetful for several hours. The sign of complete Simran is that the soul will start gradually leaving the body. After crossing stars, moon and sun, it will reach the luminous form of the Satguru. To reach this point is the job of Simran. Before that, consider that the course of Simran is not yet accomplished.

(These words of the loving Masters will be very valuable to remember when the Master comes on tour, or at any time. The outpouring Grace at Satsang is priceless:)

As a fruitful branch hangs low with the weight of its own fruit, so does the Master, with the weight of the Divine Treasure within Him, lovingly meets all and sundry, irrespective of any social and religious considerations, who come to Him to partake of His riches and to tread the Path to the Eternal Home of the Father.

“In Whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.”