Mind your own business
Phalgham, Kashmir – 11 June, 1973
There is a long distance race going on. Everybody is running to reach the goal. What should we do? We should do our best to reach the goal and, if possible, be the first to reach it, to get the first prize. When you have been put on the Way –
Hear Ye all, open your ears! Don’t look to the left or right; don’t look to those coming up behind; don’t even compare yourself with anyone going ahead.
Do your best to reach the goal. If you help those lagging behind, you will be retarded. Don’t mind who is running along with you, you go ahead; don’t look left or right. You follow? This is an example to show you what you should do. Once you have been put on the Way: Mind your own business! I am using strong words: mind your own business. Have good wishes for all – that is all right – but be concerned with your own progress.
That is why I write to everybody,
For Spiritual Things, you are directly connected with me.
No one should stand between the initiate and the Master so far as Spiritual Things are concerned. We try to help others at our own sacrifice. So reach the goal, and then if you are given that job, go on, do it. Some people begin to help others – it is a good thing – but the result is that their progress is retarded and they become bankrupt. So mind your own business. When you see a man is going ahead, all right, you also go ahead! The One Who has been given charge of initiation, it is His job to help everybody. Once you reach the goal you may be given that job, if you are considered fit, but not otherwise. Do you follow my point?
If a man who is himself drowning in a well tells people, ‘You can get out if you go this way and then that way,’ how does it look? Likewise, if you are drowning in the well of the world, and you are guiding others who are also in the same plight, how do you stand? We are drowned in the well of the body; if we come out, even then we should go further ahead and reach the goal. You see? This is your personal work, mind that.
Sometimes we slacken a little on the Way, and the result is slow progress. Even those who do progress, their further progress can be retarded. Of course, they may guide others for a while, but that is not perfect guidance. That job is Master’s. If He tells you to help others, all right, do it. But unless He tells you, never do it. All who are on the Way, try to follow what I say – this is a very important thing I am now touching on.
This is a general thing which stands in the way of our progress. You have to get the degree. Get the degree first, then you may be appointed to teach others. We start on our own helping others, but this guidance is not complete, and also our future is marred,
Question: Could You explain when You say don’t help others?
Kirpal Singh: Follow the spirit of what I am telling you, I never say don’t help others. There are many other ways to help, but in the Spiritual Way, you cannot. You are already drowning in the well; how can you guide others?
Question: How do You mean in a Spiritual Way? When we say what to do in meditation?
Kirpal Singh: Once you have been given initiation, go to the Master! My talks are there; my tapes are there; go to them. But if you become the doer, your attention is there, you become the teacher, your little ego becomes inflated, and your progress is retarded, so do not become the teacher. If the Master says something, then you may repeat it. There is a vast difference between the two things. You may say, Master has explained the problem like this. The result will be that there will be many who will reach the goal. The rabbit is running fast; those who come first, second, third, get the prizes.
So that is why Lord Krishna said,
Out of thousands, one comes to me; one is put on the Way.
To wish good for others is another thing. The books are full of the teachings; you are not the doer there. But the mind is a cunning friend. If you do something for someone and you feel happy at heart – I’ve taught him something – that spoils it.
So follow the point I am making: don’t compare; mind your own business. If not, you will spoil everything.
Sometimes you may think someone is senior to you, higher than you. Why? Those who are on the Way, why should they compare who is going ahead or who is lagging behind? So go ahead! By comparing, sometimes something wrong will come up. We degrade others, and we have to pay for it. When you are running a race, go – run, run, run, run! Reach the goal. He who reaches the Goal, who goes to the Highest, everybody says, Oh, he has won! Master’s words are very few but pregnant with meaning.
I have seen in my life two men in India and two from outside India who were a little advanced, who exerted and Master sent them away. Every day someone comes up and says, ‘Well, as I know a little more … you should do it like this.’ You see? You follow my point? That means he becomes the teacher, and you are taken away from your own Master for awhile. Sometimes people even say, ‘So and so is very much advanced.’ Therefore, that is why I say don’t compare. Go on. Fly your own plane. Try and make your plane reach there first.
Question: Sometimes such and such person advances …
Kirpal Singh: This is exactly what I am telling you: comparing stands in our way. Mind your own business. If the man who carries the lamp gives light to others but remains in the darkness himself, then? You have got your own husband. God has given him to you. If another person appears to be like your husband, then? Have respect for everybody, that is all right, but see what your Master says. This is our failure. We sell what is sweet to others and what is left for us to drink? Bitterness. Why not eat the sweets yourself? If someone is better, or good, or bad, He is there to watch. Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Nobody escapes, even the incarnations and Saints are not immune from this.
I am giving this out as a science, why you should not do these things. Understand, that is the most important thing. That is why to sit by a Master gives you more than you can learn in hundreds of years. These are very simple things I am telling you. When your house is on fire, what is your duty? To ask why the house is on fire or who put it on fire? Come out first! Reach, reach, reach. That is all. But do you know what we are doing? We want to guide others. Intellectuals can guide us only up to the standard that they have reached. But the first thing is to come out of this prison house of the body. There the ABC will start. The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation; the Kingdom of God is within you.
So the ABC starts when you rise above body consciousness.
Learn to die so that you may begin to live.
Come up. Come out. Those who are not here (Master points to the spot between the two eyebrows), who do not come here, they are all burned down, caught by the outward dacoits. Rise above where religion starts, where the ABC of religion starts. Someone has not gone up; well all right, he has not. Well and good! Have you gone up? Someone else is going down, telling lies, this and that. What about you? He who has taken that man under His custody is responsible; He will take care. Once you are given into a Master’s custody, that is His responsibility.
Before coming here I was answering a letter: somebody claimed he had reached the goal and had been given orders. I told him,
It is not to my knowledge – but if you want to do it, then do it. That is your own responsibility.
I wish you all progress. The Master’s job is very delicate. He is responsible for you in this life and in the other one, too. It has nothing to do with lecturing, nor intellectual wrestling. Knowledge is good: There is knowledge of the world, knowledge of the body, knowledge of diseases, knowledge of so many subjects. But of all knowledge, that knowledge which is the highest is knowledge of the Self. With the knowledge of Self, you can succeed in any knowledge to which you turn your face. So just weigh what I am telling you.
Question: May I ask a question?
Kirpal Singh: A hundred and one, not one. To the best I know, I will answer. Yes, please.
Question: Suppose a man came to me and I became aware that he was God-intoxicated. If I could pick it up very clearly and if I was uplifted although he never said a word – would I have the right to ask him, ‘Brother, would you give me a little guidance so I can become more like you?’
Kirpal Singh: This means that you have no faith in your own Master and you will have nothing!
Question: Oh! Then you shouldn’t ask him that?
Kirpal Singh: Why not ask your Master? What is He for? Does it mean your Master is not able to give you anything? He who has given you so much on the Way so far, is He not competent to give you something further?
Question: But You would never have time to draw a breath if we all did that.
Kirpal Singh: Suppose I take you as my Master. When I think you are not sufficient, only then may I ask someone else to help me.
Swami Shiv Dayal Singh was once sitting with some devotees. A man came up who had been on some pilgrimage. One of the devotees, taking the man by the neck, said, Look here, bow down before the Master. Here is the true master, this is the true pilgrimage. But Swami Ji said that this was wrong, and He gave an example of a man fully devoted to his Master but who was drowning in a river. There was no help. Suddenly a hand came up to help him, Come, I’ll help you. The drowning man asked, Who are you? – I am God. – I don’t want any help from anybody except my Master. Then another hand appeared, Come, I will help you. – Who are you? – I am Prophet Mohammed. – I don’t want your help. I want my own Master. Only then did his Master appear and save him.
The reason why we look to others is because there is something wanting in our Love for our own Master. If the Master is wanting, that is another thing. But the Master is a Master. If a master is up to the primary standard, he can only guide you in that class. If he is a matriculate, he will guide you up to the matriculate class. If He goes beyond, then He can guide you further. A man can help others up to the extent he has advanced. So there is a question of masters and Masters. All so-called masters are not Masters. All gurus are not Gurus. They have gone up to the level of their attainment. That is why you are given the criterion of the five Charged Names as a test. Anyone inside who stands before the repetition of these Names goes to the Highest. Only the Charged Names can save you from any negative effects inside. There is more delusion inside than outside.
Maulana Rumi guides us,
Don’t go on the Way without a Guide.
There are many dangers. There are many falls.
Outside we have a government; but on the higher planes there is also a government. All Masters Who have left the earth scene help Their followers further through the One Pole Who is working on earth.
Lord Krishna used to meet so many. When I was at Lahore one man came to me, and, having heard my talk, said he had seen Lord Krishna inside. I told him,
Well, all right, when you meet Lord Krishna again ask him what to do further.
Lord Krishna was also a follower of the Shabd Yoga. His job was different – that’s all right, but we have respect for Him. Later this man told me he had seen Lord Krishna inside and Lord Krishna told him,
If you go to Him, then I won’t have to come to you.
There is a regular government going on. People think it is like voting for a President or Prime Minister – it is not done by voting. Cleverness will not help you.
You follow my point today? The man in the well cannot guide others. He can only say try this, try that, but he won’t be able to give you any practical guidance. When his own house is on fire, how can he help anyone else to get out of a burning house? So mind your own business. In very simple words, what is the truth behind this? Have respect for all. If the others are not good, I mean the so-called masters, all right, this is their fate, you pray for them, that is all. Don’t compare. Those Who have the right, Those Who are highest, They might have the right, but They tell us not to speak against anybody nor lose respect for anyone. This is what is wanted. If we lose respect, we are the loser. This is a very delicate point.
I would be happy if there were more givers. My job would be easier. But who can give? Who can appoint the Guru? When Guru Nanak was about to leave the earth plane, people asked Him,
How will we find You again?
He gave a very good example:
Your Friend is always there. If He comes in other clothes, won’t you respect Him?
There is a very strict law. When my Master appointed me to give talks, I begged Him,
Don’t give me this job. Give me some other job. It is very kind of You, but give me some other job.
Because he who looks out of respect to you, that is debited against you. And how much have I got?
Then He said,
When my hand is over your head,
then He stretched out His hand,
then why are you afraid?
When you think of the Master and do everything in the name of the Master, when you are not the doer, you are saved. A little man who begins to give talks considers in his heart of hearts that he is the Master. He says he is very humble, but at heart he feels that he is something. When he begins to think that way, then the whole debit goes to his bank balance.
You follow today’s talk, dear friends? Save yourselves. Mind your own business. God will bless you. You are in the race. Reach first. Do not look left or right – who is running faster or who is failing behind. Have good wishes for all.
Pray to God,
May Thy peace be unto all the world over, under Thy will, oh God.
Under Thy will. This is Guru Nanak’s prayer:
Let all go to Thee, oh God, help everybody to meet Thee.
Thousands start on the Way. Most of them fall on the Way. Most – not a few but most. Out of these thousands, one reaches the Goal; the others are delayed. So only when He wants you to do something should you do it, and never take the credit for yourself. When you have got your Master, do what He says. Love everyone – they are going on; they are running. If God wants to make them first, they will be the first. Do not be the doer.
The sum total of this must be digested. That is why I say that I am no lecturer, but when a point comes up it gets thrashed out. Thank God. You understand? Then mind your own business. Go on with your meditation, each one in his own way. You may pray for others, that is all right. He will help everyone. But pray to Him Who can give to everybody. And make sure it is not you who are giving.