Right Understanding exalted
The Masters tell us that the right understanding is: you are not the body, I am not the body, you are a soul, I am a soul; our Life-Sustainer is God, and my soul is in unison with Him; by His Mercy you will also be rejoined to Him. The God-Power working in the Guru guides the disciple constantly; so if you receive this gift, all your faults and imperfections will be erased. Our biggest fault is that our attention is scattered – disseminated among outer things; this is our basic problem. But when the mind starts tasting the higher nectar, why would he revert to lower enjoyments again?
“Oh brother, without the Guru there is no knowledge; ask Brahma, Narad, Veda Vyas.”
In the Srimad Bhagavat it is written that when Brahma made the four Vedas, he became very sorrowful. Do you understand why? Because reading, writing, learning and the acquisition of letters are not necessary for realisation of the Truth.
Go ask Narad about this, and Sukhdev, Son of Ved Vyas.
This thing cannot be realised without a Guru. When the mind is stilled, one receives the radiating waves of the Guru which are already emanating from the Human Pole of the Master, and have great charging. Those who are receptive enjoy these charged waves, to the extent of each one’s receptivity. The learned and the unlearned both can become receptive; but as long as the mind is not set aside, there is no Spiritual Advancement. He tells us to go and ask anyone in authority, and They will tell you that it cannot be achieved without a Guru.
Guru Nanak also says,
Without a Satguru, no one had knowledge of the Divine, and no one can have it!
“Concentration upon the indescribable Sound Principle, the Nad, is the knowledge.”
That Sound cannot be expressed in words, but is given various names: Udgit, Nad, Word, Naam. To experience It is True Knowledge.
And of the Greatness of the Guru Who makes possible this knowledge, Paltu Sahib says,
Whoever can make the Sound coming from the Gaggan (seat of the soul in the body) audible, He is my Guru Dev.
Whoever can make It possible for one to hear the Sound at the Gaggan, and connect one to It is truly a Guru. He gives a little way up, and opens the Path. That Great Light which is God’s leads one’s attention away from outer attractions. It is a small experience with God.
My Guru gives me the Light of the Lord’s Naam.
In the Gayatri Mantra the same thing is mentioned:
Oh Lord, take us to the Light of the rays of the Sun within.
Go and search for such a Personality Who can reveal this Light to you – wherever you can find Him. Why can we not have this knowledge without a Guru? Understand very carefully that we are surrounded by the senses, and have become the very image of the physical form. We have forgotten our True Selves. When one asks a small child who he is, he opens his mouth and eyes wide and tries to express what he is, for he has some awareness left of his True Self, but when he grows up he declares, ‘I am Ram Das, I am Ram Singh, I am Mr Khan,’ etc. That small fraction of awareness has gone, and to regain that awareness we must have the help of a Guru.
If one hundred moons and one thousand suns arose – with all this Light, there is but dense darkness without a Guru.
If the Inner Eye is not open, how can one see? This eye is called the Shiv netra, the Third Eye, the Single Eye.
If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of Light.
If the ten senses are controlled, in that soul will all the Light become effulgent.
But how to control and invert the senses? This secret the Satguru tells. All outer learning has connection with the attention when scattered only, but the True Knowledge is gained through inversion. It is the ABC of Spirituality. Where the world’s philosophies end, there the True Religion starts. So meeting the Satguru opens the path of right understanding, by experiencing the Inner Knowledge.
When the Satguru is met, inversion occurs, brother.
Even for outer learning we need someone’s help, so naturally this more exacting type of knowledge cannot be achieved without the help of an expert. That small experience given at the beginning is then increased by the daily contact.
Death while living unravels the mystery.
You become the one who sees. When the attention withdrawn and the body becomes numb, then you can say;
Yes, I have experienced it.
The one who receives the experience can acknowledge it as practical proof, even if it be but little. It is like a scientific subject, and not one on the level of sense or feeling, for the soul itself has the experience, and as it rises higher, through the astral and casual planes, the more experience will it get. Finally the soul sees that
I and my father are One –
He works through me.
“Concentration upon the indescribable Sound is the knowledge; the fruit giving tree of the Guru is green, and its shade is deep.”
The Guru is likened to a huge shady tree whose leaves are verdant, whose flowers are full of fragrance. Those who sit in its shade receive the coolness. Maulana Rumi says that our heart should sit beside One Who knows its condition. He then Himself asks how that can happen, and replies that one should sit under the tree whose flowery fragrance permeates, and should not roam around the world aimlessly, but rather sit in the shop where honey is sold; for in the world many things are taught, in huge boiling pots, and one should not go there with one’s cup without first giving thought. There is a lot of black marketing in the world, but more so where so-called Spirituality is concerned. There was on occasion when Christ became very angry with the Pharisees for defiling the precincts of the temple with their money-changing activities, and He drove them out.
Bulleh Shah has described this very clearly:
In holy places live the cheats, in the temples live the thugs, in the mosque live the professionals, but True Lovers live elsewhere.
It illustrates the decline in man.
Religions are well and good, but they should have a proper teacher – a Realised Soul. Instead, one finds this poor soul who is earning money for his living this way. He must do this, or be cast out. Now, what can people get from such poor beings? All these social bodies were based upon the noble thought, but everything has gone down with corruption; they are not up to the mark now. They want offerings of money, flowers, etc., and them gives their blessings, saying, ‘Go child, your salvation is assured,’ giving some ‘holy food’ to complete the transaction. The same good old custom has corrupted itself. The customs were made for the purpose of helping the people to gain freedom, but they have become binding chains in themselves. A man who belongs to a certain religion is afraid to visit another. This is the result of wrong teaching. Our Hazur, Baba Sawan Singh Ji, used to say,
This is a gift given to you; go where you like, and if you find anything better than that, then take it, and I will also go there.
We are devotees of the Truth, and should go wherever we can get it.
The fruit-giving tree of the Guru is green, and its shade is deep; in the Guru’s Bhandar, precious jewels are found.
The Guru’s Bhandar (treasure house) is a place where one gets something invaluable; go and sit in that refreshing shade. After trudging long in the hot sun, a man gets re-enlivened for a while when he sits in the cool shade of a leafy tree. Sitting at the feet of a Realised Soul, one becomes more conscious of what is real and of the worlds unreality.
In the company of the Master, there is awareness of the Lord.
In His company, the Lord seems very near, and when one leaves that company one reverts to the same condition. This jewel of knowledge which is right understanding is found in the Guru’s Bhandar and is gained at His feet.
“In the Guru’s Bhandara you get the pure Love of Naam.
First He told us we would get the precious jewels – the jewels of understanding. Gurbani is most praiseworthy, for not only does it contain the words of the Master, but those words are such that they explain fully so that there is no misunderstanding. Then He says you will get the pure Love of Naam; it means that there is such a Name which is pure. God is Anaam – nameless. He has no name. He is Absolute God. When He expressed Himself, He said,
I am One, but will become many.
In the Gurbani, it is written,
From one source, millions and millions of rivers sprouted forth.
The Koran says,
He ordered, and all creation came into being.
The Power which came into expression is called Naam, and various other names, given by the Rishis and Mahatmas, but these are merely names; the pure Naam is that Power – the Truth – the contact with which is given in the Guru’s Bhandara. Anyone can give mere words, and tell the person to go and repeat a certain name they have allotted to the Lord – although every respect should be given to all His names.
I scarifies myself on all Thy names.
Now the questions arises,
What is that Naam, repeating which one crosses the ocean of life?
Those who have not found the Guru consider that the words applied to God mean everything. The Hindus say that He is Om or Ram. The Muslims say that He is Wah-e-guru. Who is correct? Each insists that salvation is gained through their own choice of name, but in fact these are merely words given to that Holy Power of Naam. We should practise that Naam which is the Power itself: the Truth. Only through that Naam can salvation be received.
The controller of the nine riddhis (supernatural powers) is Lord’s Naam – the Water of Life – which resides in this body.
This is not a subject for physical sight; you must rise above the senses to see these things in truth. This Naam has an enchanting sweetness. Anyone can teach outer ritual, prayers, mantras, but with prayerful thought I say that if only religious leaders would give out the correct teachings, there would be Great Love among all men; this is the basic aim of all religions. Why is there so much conflict? Because of the different levels of understanding. They regard everything from the levels of mind, intellect, emotions, feelings, and inferences, and it is all due to the lack of right understanding. Remember that this type of people has always stood against the God-realised Souls, and principally the learned priests, who were at the level of mind. The Great Saint, Guru Nanak Sahib, was called an enticer, and was said to be misleading the people. He was refused entry into one city, called Kasur. Some people have propagated that I am the representative of the Negative Power and that no person should look upon my face for fear of being mislead. Just see, even today these things are still going on.
“With the full Mercy of the Guru you get the True Merchandise.”
If in your search you have found a truly God-realised Soul Who has realised that which is written of in the scriptures – has actually experienced that – then there is no need to read the Holy Books which speak of such a Guru. You may put them aside. To get what they got, meet such a Realised Soul who will take one along the Path that He has travelled. No one has ever achieved any real progress just by reading, and never will.
“To see this worldly ocean is terrifying – having no beginning nor end; there is no boat, no raft, no pilot.”
The world can be likened to a vast ocean frightening to regard; we can see no beginning or end to it all. Furthermore, we can see no means of crossing this ocean safely; we have only the mind as a helper. The mind, with its four departments – its reservoir of impressions, its reasoning powers, its intellect, and its ego – all are blockages, keeping one from the Truth. Their help will only extend to considering the subject. Reasoning is helpful, but nothing can be realised through it. So is there any real means of crossing this worldly ocean?
Guru Nanak Himself answers this:
“The ship is the Satguru, Whose gaze will take you across.”
A single glance from the Satguru can put you on that ship. That is the ship of Naam, the connection to which is given only by the Satguru; it is the very key to salvation. In the book ‘Bal Kand’ (part of the Ram Charitra Mansa) written by Tulsi Das, it is said in praise of Naam,
With or without attribute, both are Brahma’s image; but I consider Naam higher.
Naam-Power is higher than any attributed or non-attributed form of God, but indescribable. That is why it is said,
How much can I say in praise of Naam? Ram himself could not sing its praises.
This is a clear comparison of Naam and Ram, showing Naam to be higher; for even Lord Rama could not find the words to praise It.
Oh Nanak, with devotion read hundreds of thousands of tons of paper; with limitless ink, write at the speed of the wind; but your description cannot be scribed, oh Naam.
The whole world’s scriptures would weigh less than one hundred tons, but He speaks of reading many hundreds of thousands of tons of books; of writing as fast as the wind; but Naam cannot be expressed in words. Naam is Naam.
All say Naam, Naam, Naam, but no one has got It; Naam is unique.
If you want to start to understand what Naam is, go to the God-realised Person in Whom It is manifested. In His Bhandar, that treasure is stored. All other treasures and wealth is perishable.
To cease His remembrance, even for a second – all happiness leaves, and misery results.
Why are we unhappy?
Oh Nanak, the whole world is unhappy; only he is happy who is sustained by the Naam. God is our Life-Sustainer, and we are truly happy only when we turn our face towards Him. When we turn away from God, misery enters our lives.
Swami Ji Maharaj says,
Oh soul, you are unhappy, we know, from the day you deserted the Shabd and befriended the mind.
That tongue should be burned out, which does not repeat the Naam.
The tongue which has never tasted that sweet nectar is in fact worthless – fit only to be cut out and thrown away. We should be grateful to Him Who gave us life and goes on sustaining us, but we never give this a single thought.
Much loved are the gifts, forgotten the Giver; knows not, gives never a thought to the awaiting death.
With this tongue of thought, go on being thankful to Him. The thankless tongue should be burned out.
When the physical crumbles and death makes his claim, there is naught but misery and regret.
If this important work is not done in this life, the misery will increase with the physical form’s decay, when you will go into the keeping of Yama, the Lord of death. You will then bear the fruit of whatever you sowed during life, and so around and around the cycle you will continue. But if you rise above the senses and taste the sweet nectar of Naam, then your coming and going will cease. Living at the sense-level will keep you tied to the everlasting chain of births and death, no matter how many good karmas you accrue. The jewelled wealth is of the beyond; it is separate from the senses, and so cannot be realised through them. The Guru Who keeps and can give this treasure is very rare. During the life of King Janaka, only one could be found in the whole of India – namely Ashtavakra. Sukhdev Swami found only one also – King Janaka. Of course, the more there are, so much the better for the world. It makes no difference where a Realised Soul lives: in the jungles or in the towns.
When you meet a Perfect Master with all attributes, salvation is gained while living, laughing, and wearing ordinary cloths.
He will not advise you to leave home and household duties, but He will say that, out of twenty-four hours each day, set aside two to three hours for this Holy Purpose. This work must be done as well as the worldly duties, so earn your own living and stand on your own feet.
In olden days, those who renounced the world for the Spiritual Life never collected money for their sustenance, and they had no possessions. They ate whenever food was offered them. But these days, this type of life has become a business, and they have started collecting not only goods but money too. It is now something far different from the original purpose, and blind men are leading the blind. This is mainly why the name of the gurudom is scorned by the people at large, who are saying that reading the scriptures at home is better than going to a guru.
“ ‘It’s mine, it’s mine,’ they say, but they left without body, wealth, wife, or family.”
The whole human race is engaged in possessing, but when each soul leaves, he takes nothing with him – neither possessions nor people – not even the body, which was his first worldly companion, will accompany him. He has frittered away his whole life’s attention.
“Without the Naam, all outer riches have no value, because they have forgotten the Path.”
We are the indweller of the physical form, but have become identified with it, so much so that we have forgotten ourselves. We see, not at the level of soul, but at the body’s level. It is a very deep forgetfulness. Rich and poor, literate and illiterate, alike are all in the same state of illusion. The body is made of matter; the world is made of matter; and both are changing at the same rate. Being identified with it, we consider we are still and unchanging. The whole world is suffering from two kinds of illusion – jar maya and chaitan maya – coarse and subtle types of illusion. We rise out of the clutches of these when some Master-Soul brings us above them and opens the Spiritual Eye and puts us on the Path. Without this, there is no difference in having outer knowledge and not having it; the spiritual ignorance remains. Actually the man without intellectual learning will succeed more rapidly on the Spiritual Path, for if he is told,
he will start without delay or question; but the learned man will stand and ask,
Why? How many steps are there? What is at the top? I hope I will not slip and fall.
This intellectual hesitancy will keep him where he is; he will never climb up. However it is true that he who has learning but does not allow it to stand in the way will be more valuable than others; but such cases are rare. Outer knowledge is like a garland of flowers adorning a Realised Person, Who will explain the Truth in many ways. Such knowledge in an unrealised soul is like a burden on a donkey’s head.
“By serving the True Master, the Guru much will know the unexpressed.”
Become the one who serves Him in Whom the ever-existence and imperishable Lord is manifested: the Master. Who can know Him? Only a Gurumukh. And what is a Gurumukh?
He Who is One with the Guru.
One fakir has said that the seekers of God have lost Him in the waves of the mind’s ocean – in the thoughts of the intellect. Go and seek for some True Master, for the right understanding.
“Coming and going around the wheel of life according to the karmas – how can what is written be erased? The law is the law.”
What is written comes from the beyond – one must go through it. Those who have Love for the world and its environments will return to it again and again. Good actions will bring them happiness and had actions misery.
Hell, heaven, again and again birth.
By rising above the senses and experiencing Inner Knowledge, one can become neh karma (free from karmas). For such a person the perpetual wheel of life ceases to turn. The only reason for our continual return to the worldly life is our attachment to it. When we love God a little, it is usually for some worldly gain, and not to realise Him for His own sake. When the God-realised Person gives the right understanding He teaches the True Values of life, and how to make the best use of everything.
“Without God’s Naam there is no freedom, but the Guru’s knowledge gives the connection.”
We cannot realise this Name or Naam by ourselves, for whatever practices we do are at the sense level. We must depend on the knowledge of the Guru, for life comes from the life, and light is lit from light.
“Without Him I have no one; He is my life and breath.”
He is speaking from experience, for He has seen that everything is sustained by the Lord. Being outwardly scattered, we cannot experience that. The Masters do not speak of Themselves, but Their words come from the Lord direct; for They are in constant and direct contact with Him. They are joined to the Lord. One fakir explains that whatever the Masters say, the Lord Himself is saying, although the words may seem to come from a human throat.
“All are consumed in ego, attachment, greed and pride; oh Nanak, meditate upon the Shabd and realise the Supreme Unity.”
Shabd is the same as the Naam. God is Ashabd, but His expression is Shabd.
Creation and dissolution come through the Shabd; through the Shabd comes re-creation.
It is the Power behind all creation and dissolution. There are two kinds of this Shabd, Naam, or Word: one is outer, at the level of the mind and intellect, and one is above these. The latter is the one received by the Grace of the Guru. Get the connection to that Shabd, and meditate upon It. The result will be that you will gain a wealth of knowledge, you will gain the greatest of achievements: to know the Music of the Spheres.
This was a hymn of Guru Nanak Sahib, Who has very openly tried to teach us the way of right understanding and its incalculable value.
Now in Dhani Dharma Das Ji, Who succeeded Kabir, says:
“Oh Lord, where have You placed me? That unchangeable place is where the Hansa lives, and this is but the play of the negative.”
It is protest to the Lord. ‘I am a conscious entity, a soul, and my place is Sat Lok, I am a dweller of the True Home, and yet where am I now? That unchangeable place is where the Hansa live – those who can differentiate Truth from untruth. How have I become trapped in this negative illusion?’
Oh loved one (soul), your place was one of All-Consciousness, but you have tied yourself in the matter.
Man, there was no matter in your home, for you were the dweller of the pure place; and yet here you are imprisoned in the mud and water. One hundred wise men will have but the same thought.
Guru Nanak says,
You are residing in the Imperishable True Home, and I am lost in perishable matter.
So learn to die so that you may being to live.
If you yearn for Everlasting Life, then learn to die before death.
To learn how to leave the body while living has been the teaching of all Masters.
“Through the play of nirgun and sagun, you got into the clutches of Kal, the Negative Power.”
So many people are trying to gain good attributes, or are trying to reach a stage above attributes. Why not reach that which sustain both nirgun – without attributes – and sagun – good attributes? To be without attributes is an attribute in itself, so we must go beyond nirgun and sagun, and get connected there. What high thoughts these Master have – and just see where we are standing!
“The imperishable Nectar sustains, in the country of the Sat Purush (the True Being.”
The place is beyond the circle of Kal and Maha Kal (the forces of the Negative and Greater Negative Powers) where dissolution and grand dissolution does not reach.
His name is Satguru, Who knows the Sat Purush, in Whose company the disciple gains salvation; oh Nanak, sing the praises of God.
When the Satguru is met, the eye sees.
The Master will make the soul reach to the same stage as Himself. He Who has become One with the Sat Purush will take the seeking souls there also. He who has passed only intermediate cannot teach the B.A. class. He who has transcend Pind is no doubt due some respect, but we should see how far beyond Pind he has gone. It is a great pity that the actual words of the Masters are not always found, for Their words are usually collected after They leave the worldly scene. It is even possible that the words of some of the Masters Who went on were never found at all. So it is difficult to discover who has reached where.
Kabir Sahib says,
Do not say that these Holy Books are lies; liar is he who does not practise what he reads.
If you go within, you will meet those Masters, just as you meet the people here when you come to Delhi.
“Dharam Das pleads with folded hands; oh Lord, take me to Your country, I cannot bear this noose of the Lord of Death; use any means, but keep Your attention, on me.”
The world is a place of birth and death –
Take me to my True Home, oh Satguru, it is in Your hands alone.
That God-Power, the Truth, is working in the Human Pole of the Satguru. It also works in us all, but has not manifested itself in all men.
Wealth, attachment, all are illusion – all a play of Kal.
Due to the never-ending disseminations of thought, the world is lost in forgetfulness. Wherever your attention is, so there you will be also, and that is why again and again you must come to the world.
The Guru reveals the hole where the secret is hidden; by closing the doors, the Anhad (Unstruck Sound) is heard.
When you come to know the Anhad, it means you have succeeded in your mission. This will be only when you have fully and completely withdrawn from all outer attractions, and have risen above the mind and the senses.
“Cut illusion, attachment, and give me Nirvana, that Everlasting Place of the Hansa, which only a few will reach; Dharam Das pleads with folded hands, to realise his aim and release him from this wheel.”
Oh Lord, bless me with that state beyond the three attributes. This wealth and attachment is dragging me here, again and again. Take me out of it all, and put me in that place which is ever-existent and permanent where very few reach – only those like the Hansas, those who can differentiate the Truth from untruth.
It is His plea to the Satguru’s Mercy.
This is the teaching of the Masters – the People Who have realised the True Knowledge. Live wherever you wish; live in your own religion; but make your life good, pure, and righteous. Stay away from the outer senses, the enjoyments. Be fully controlled. Sit at the feet of a Realised Master and get the contact within. day by day to the practice and earn progress within. You will be a success in life.