On selfless Service
27 January 19641
This is all I would expect of you: love one another. Think no evil, say no evil, see no evil and hear no evil. If you do that, what will be the result? Thinking no evil, speaking no evil, seeing no evil and hearing no evil can only be done if you have Love. If you start to think that way, you will develop Love within you. It is all given in one word:
Love and all things shall be added unto you.
It is said that St John went to a school and gave a lecture. First He said,
Boys, love one another,
and He sat down. He was asked,
Have You anything further to say?
Yes – love one another.
Again He sat down. And for the third time He was asked:
and He said,
Love one another,
and sat down.
Have You nothing to say?
they asked Him.
Love and all things shall be added unto you,
Love always beautifies everything. Even if you see a sin in somebody, tell him privately. Reconcile it before you go to sleep. That is the best way. Otherwise, that thorn will be rankling within your mind, and it will grow more and more and more; just as, when you put a seed of pepper in the ground, it can bring forth hundreds of peppers. If you have good will and good thoughts, good will is like a mango that is put underground and grows hundreds of mangoes. So it is the law of nature: whatever thought you have within your mind will attract all similar thoughts from all the atmosphere. If you have one evil thought, all evil thoughts will develop in you. This is one thing. We must follow it. If we do not follow it, the Spiritual Diaries are meant to help us change. Man can change, after all. We must change. And this will also help you to progress in your meditation. With God’s Grace, you got something to start with; but there is some flaw somewhere, which does not permit us to progress further from day to day. We should weed the flaws out, one by one. If there is no progress, look within yourself; do not look to others, but within yourself. You will find, if you do, rest, peace and joy. If anybody has done anything which is not up to the mark, tell him privately, in a friendly, loving way. He will come up. If you broadcast it and tell one person, he will carry tales to another, the second will tell a third, and so on. Each man has his own friend; and it goes around like wildfire.
What is the result? There is discord and disunion. First it affects us, and then anyone who hears it is poisoned. This is what is required of us, if we want to progress.
Physically I am now amongst you after eight years. Know that the God-Power does not leave: It always radiates, even from thousands of miles, whenever you sit in His remembrance; it is not the physical body, but the God-Power or Christ-Power. It helps all along; it extends all feasible help and protection. But still, the physical presence of the Master cannot be underrated: it gives you something directly: radiation, intoxication, clarity: you understand things better. You have been having that opportunity, to the best I know how, with the Grace of God and my Master. And I wish you to live up to what I know, to what I told you. I will be very glad to hear that you are all going on very amicably, very friendly, helping each other, dying for the same cause of God, all together. That cause of God is one for all humanity, not only for one religion or another: it is no reserved right of any religion. Spirituality is the birthright of every man. We should attain it while remaining in any religion. Spirituality is just knowing oneself by analysis and then knowing God: knowing, then seeing, then becoming. That is why you will find in scriptures: be still – physically and intellectually – and know that you are God’s.
We are already divine in nature; we are not to put in something from outside. By simply withdrawing our attention from outside to within our own selves, we will find that we are the same Divine Nature. Blessed are they who attain this ideal in the life of a man, and blessed is the school of thought from which many souls struggle to achieve it.
With God’s Grace, you have been put on the Way; you have also had some Inner Experience to start with. There is nothing to be disheartened about. You should now put in regular time for meditation, and God will help you: be rest assured. If you remain in contact, by sending in your diaries regularly, it is done only to bring out two facts: one, to show you where you stand; and two, for further guidance. That will go to make you regular in your meditations and progress from day to day.
Question: Master, I would appreciate it if you would explain about the diary, how we should use the slots allotted to selfless service. Some of the initiates thought perhaps they should mark when they err and have not followed through with selfless service, and some thought they should mark when they followed through with selfless service.2
Kirpal Singh: I tell you, selfless service means to have Love for all. If your children are eating and other children in the neighbourhood are dying of hunger, share with them. Share with those who are naked, those who are hungry, those who are thirsty, those who are needy. If you help others, naturally you will be helped. Help somebody with no compensation, with no consideration of whether you will have anything in return from them. Only give to the God in them. This means that the self expands: first, from yourself to the family; then, from the family to the class to which you belong; then, from the class to the religion; then, that self expands further to the country; and you become a patriot. In all of this, your self does expand; but there is also a danger. If your whole love expands to your family, then two families fight. Each one is fighting for his own family: the self has congealed in two different families. If your love expands as far as love for your class in society or your religion, you will love the men of your religion and hate others: there are religious wars, in which thousands of people die. If your love is just for your country and each man has love only for his own country, then, two great wars in which millions of people were killed, have shown what this causes. So our Love should expand for the sake of God in all men.
Peace be unto all the world over.
This is what is meant by selfless service: our selves should expand. Perhaps this point is clear now, is it not?
Question: One thing further: when would we mark it in our diary?
Kirpal Singh: There is no need; that is only for your information. I told you that each man should learn to help others, to share with others. Otherwise, what is the difference between a man and an animal? Animals also care for their children; they fight for their children. If you touch the child of any animal, it will take away your eyes. If you do that, in what lies the superiority within you as a man? The superiority of man lies in the fact that he helps his own self and others, too: not only men, but even all other creatures, as well. If you learn to live for others, you are, truly speaking, a man. Stand on your own legs, first. Don’t be a burden on others. Then, share with others; the more you can give out for His sake, the more you will advance.
That column is only for your information. From day to day, your self must expand. If you see a man dying and you are not caring and enjoying yourself, this does not mean selfless service. There is no need for someone to come and appeal to you that this or that man needs you. If you see it, come by, and help him. It does not matter if others see it or not. God is seeing you. This is to be developed, side by side. If you don’t care for the hungry gods moving on earth, how can you have Love for God? He is not in the heavens; He is everywhere, residing in every heart.
It is spoken of one bhakta, a lover of God, that he prayed to God, Will You, oh God, come to my house? … – All right, He promised, I will come today, be ready. So he made great arrangements: he set beds of flowers; cleaned his house; cleared away all filth; made his place very neat and clean; and then, he waited at the door outside. From morn till night he was sitting there; and nobody came. God did not come. Perhaps he was expecting God to come wearing a very precious robe, with great pomp and show. It so happened that one old man passed by on the road and asked him, Oh, dear friend, I am hungry. Will you give me a loaf of bread? He did not care for him. At night, when he prayed again, he said, Oh God, You promised You would come to me, but You never turned up. … – Oh, I did come, but you did not care for me. I was in the form of that old man.
In everyone, He is. If we have developed in that way, then serve all: you are nearer to God; God is within you.
Lord Krishna said,
Who is dear to me? The one who sees me in all and all in me; he is the dearest to me.
All Masters say that. This is what is meant by selfless service. It helps a good deal in your progress on the Spiritual Way. That, plus self-introspection – the weeding out of all imperfections – both go to give you very great progress within on your Spiritual Way.
Question: Master, may I ask a question? There was an instance near my vicinity where I lived when a beggar asked for something to eat of a woman next to my place. I observed that. And she said, ‘Wait a minute, and I’ll give it to you outside.’ She prepared a nice butter and honey on white bread sandwich and gave it to him. And what do you think he did? He said ‘Thank you,’ and after going away, he turned around and threw it in the bushes! (laughter)
Kirpal Singh: Don’t laugh. There is no question of laughter. It is a serious matter. Those who think they are needy, help them. If you don’t think of any recompense – of any compensation God compensates you. Whenever you go to help someone, you are compensated then and there. Your self expands: you feel a sort of joy by doing selfless service. Naturally it is paid then and there, when you feel like that.
Question: Master, many times people have approached me on the street, and they’ve begged for money; but before giving them anything, I’m always trying to have guidance to find out whether God indeed wants me to give to that man or not, because I know that many of them might use whatever they receive in the wrong way. You may give them money for food, and they may use it for liquor, for example.
Kirpal Singh: That’s right. Sometimes you will find that some beggars have amassed hundreds and thousands of dollars in their accounts by begging. (laughter) Yes, yes, I’m not exaggerating – I have found it that way. They are begging from morn to night; and when they die, they have thousands of dollars in their credit. And sometimes, at the back of it, they are not married to one, but to two or three wives at the same time. That is why you cannot differentiate; but really, they go by nearly every day, so that you will know some of them, if not every one. For that reason, Masters have laid down: give it to Master; He won’t keep it for Himself. He will distribute it to the needy; He knows where it is needed or not. That is one reason.
What does a Master do here to live? A Master is One Who lives on His own pay and earnings and not on the earnings or donations of others. That is the first criterion of a Master, given by all Masters. The second criterion is that He has no pomp and show. He does not want or accept any outside pomp and show to display how great He is. He doesn’t let people put garlands over His head and say, ‘Glorify Master.’
I’m a man like you.
You’ll find that. He sees where the need is and where it is not. Where there is a need, we don’t give to it; where there is no need, we simply give to it to certain places where there are already thousands and millions of dollars.
Mind that, there are more true beggars in the average class than in the begging class. You will find there are more. They cannot go on, but out of their self-respect, they would rather die hungry, than dare ask for help. A little care should be taken. But don’t hate. Of course, if you hurt and reject and hate everybody, you will not be giving where there is need. Some people do need help.
For that reason, Master sometimes says,
All right, give it to Master.
He’ll give it where it is most needed. Nowadays, Masters say, it has become a business. The pity is that people cannot differentiate. If you find these two things, especially – that a man lives on his own earnings and does not require any pomp and show – I think he is near to God: go and ask, and he’ll give you anything. Now, go around, and you’ll find how many are living on their earnings. The ministers and others in all churches of all religions are paid. They are earning money with that; they will act and pose.
Generally, I tell you, that’s what they do in all religions. So, one who stands on his own legs and shares with others is the one to really have the company of and learn many things from. Selfless service means just that: it requires no compensation.
Question: Another thing I’d like to ask, Master, is regarding the Shabd. If we are absorbed into the Shabd in meditation, isn’t that a criterion that our sins will be eradicated through the Shabd?
Kirpal Singh: When you come in contact with the Shabd, the Sound Current, the Word in you, you become selfless. When you become selfless, all sins are burned away. The Masters do not touch these reactions which are in fruit, called pralabdh: otherwise, a man would lie dead at the moment of initiation. Further, He lays down a conduct of life that is not to be transcended and gives the initiate a contact within, to be developed day-to-day. By developing it, he becomes a Conscious Co-Worker. The more he comes in contact with the Light and Sound Principle within, the more he will become a Conscious Co-Worker. When he becomes a Conscious Co-Worker, he sees that he is not the doer; it is God Who is the doer. And all those actions which have not borne fruit naturally become fruitless. They cannot bear forth fruit; just as any seeds, which, if once roasted in the oven, won’t grow if they are put in the ground. It is something like that.
Sat Sandesh’s editor’s notes: 1) This is the second half of a talk that divided easily into two sections; the first half was published last month as ‘Marriage: Inner and Outer.’ 2) See the circular letter, ‘On Keeping the Diary,’ of 19 October, 1968, for a full explanation of this question. In this circular, Master advised that what is recorded in the Selfless Service column, No. 6, ‘should be looked upon as a failure to observe the virtue of Selfless Service towards others physically and financially.’