Let us reform ourselves
The significance of Satsang has been explained on a number of occasions. This is a Sacred Place – Sawan Ashram – and must be taken as such. Whenever you visit a Gurdawara or a temple, you do so with a feeling of reverence. If you go there without such a feeling and keep thinking about worldly affairs, what will you gain? The purpose of your coming here is Love of God, His remembrance, and communion with Him. Come here with a clean mind and pure heart remembering the Lord. Then alone you will be able to derive full benefit from Satsang. The more attentive you are, the greater will be the benefit. Whatever you understand you must practise. Otherwise, the result is sorrow.
Swami Ji Maharaj has aptly explained the significance of Satsang. Kabir in a couplet says:
The heart is somewhere else, but the body is with the Saint. How can an unbleached cloth be dyed like this?
If you just sit quietly and attentively, even if you are not able to follow the Satsang fully, you will derive some benefit. By thinking about mundane matters, you not only harm yourself, but also spoil the atmosphere for others. We do not assemble here to make friends, but to establish True Relationship – the relationship with God that does not break even after death. It cannot be snapped during one’s lifetime. It is only because of our lack of understanding, false sense of ego, and such other ideas that we are amidst this conflict. To where does this conflict lead us? To suffering.
There can be no salvation by visiting this place as a routine. The more you put your heart into the Satsang, the happier you will be. If you do this you will get something which is not available elsewhere. You have been asked to maintain a diary, but you remain adamant and do not do so. If we keep a diary regularly, we can become angels. We are not Saints, but have come here to become one. This can happen only if we put our hearts to what we understand here.
Swami Ji pointedly tells us:
For years we have been having Satsang; at least now leave old habits.
If we do something for a number of days or months, it becomes a habit. Habit so formed should be unravelled. Bad habits falsehood, deceit, enmity, intrigue, backbiting, etc. should be discarded. It is to shed these old habits that we come to Satsang. If that is not done and we make only a show of it, then, what is the point of coming to Satsang ?
We come to Satsang to form such habits and adopt such ideas as to forge a link with the Truth – Sat –, to give up negative ideas, and to assimilate positive thoughts in our lives. The Holy Koran says that even God does not care about a person who does not think of reforming himself. By reforming ourselves, we can change the whole world.
The worst of all the bad habits is to criticise others. One must observe non-injury – non-violence – even in thought. All religions are good, but the observance of non-violence is the highest. Forget the past and discard all bad habits. Otherwise, we will only harm ourselves and remain entangled in the whirlpool of births and deaths. Thus, Saints lovingly exhort us to give up obstinacy now.
Swami Ji says,
How long are we going to deceive the Master? It is high time we get to know Him.
‘Deceiving the Master’ means that we think whatever we do – good or bad – is all right and that He is not watching us. But the Master-Power is always within us and is watching all our actions. The Master is not an ordinary human being. The Master is a Divine Power manifest on a Human Pole. That Power is always watching us, although physically He may not be seeing us. So, recognise the Master-Power. The Master loves all, even those who may consider themselves as His enemies. He wishes everyone well. Even if someone threatens to kill, He will not wish ill of him. Why? Because of the Master-Power in Him. If we recognise this Power in Him, we must obey Him, for He will never give us bad advice.
Swami Ji reminds us that Satsang is done by the Master, Who is not an ordinary human being. Then Who is a Guru – Master? He is God Himself. You should come here in His remembrance and go out remembering Him. Adopt whatever things are helpful to reach Him and reject those that become obstacles. To reach God is not difficult, but difficult it is to become a man. Although we may appear to show great reverence and understanding, we consider ourselves to be wisest of all. That is why Swami Ji Maharaj has said that we must leave our old habits.
Everyone judges things from his own level. Unless you concede someone as your superior and obey him, you cannot get anything. Anyone who has not attained a higher level will take you downward. He Who is at a higher level will unite all. All human beings are liable to make mistakes. If someone commits a mistake, forgive and forget.
Kabir says that if someone considers the Master an ordinary human being, he will get the lowest birth. The manifest God in him is the Master. If you consider Him a superior individual, you must listen to Him. If you do not agree with Him, He may not contest it and may say that He might have made a mistake. Even then, if He is blamed, it cannot result in happiness and will cause suffering. There is not an iota of doubt about it. The purpose of Satsang is to increase happiness within ourselves. When a soul gets a link with God, it will acquire all His virtues. The Master is full of compassion; He ignores and washes our sins. For example, a mother lovingly cleans the dirt of her child before embracing him. She does not harm him. We come to Satsang to become Saints. We can do so if we practise what we are able to grasp. Swami Ji, thus, very lovingly explains that we are committing a blunder if we see the Master from our own level.
He goes on to say:
Do not take Guru to be merely a human being; He is the essence of Lord.
The question now is: Who is a Master? This is not a new question. Guru Nanak was asked this question. He replied that the Word is the Guru, Master, and soul is the disciple. The Lord Himself is the Master and our souls are His disciples. Kabir also gave the same reply when He was put this question. When the soul establishes a contact with Him, it is free from transmigration. Then Who is the Master? He is the Human Pole in Which the Light of God is manifest. He can show Light to others. That is the only proof of His being the Master.
Christ has said:
I am the Light of the world; those who come to me shall never walk in darkness.
The Master’s word is the Real Master. Those who obey what He says achieve salvation. He can give us some experience of Light. If this is done, then there is no scope for doubt. Swami Ji says that the Master is the essence of God. That God-Power working through the Master never dies.
He also says:
Make the mind understand somehow, and contemplate on Him with loving confidence.
Swami Ji says that somehow we will have to understand that the Master where God-Power is manifest can give us the experience of the Power. This is the only touchstone to remove any doubt. Anyone can lecture, act, and pose; but few can give the experience of Light within. Someone Who can give this experience proves adequately that He has the Divine Light in Him. Then, whatever He says must be accepted. What He says is that we should have communion with God Who is within us all and, therefore, we should love all. The mind may refuse to understand this, but you will have to make it understand.