Questions and answers of a Spiritual Nature excerpted from the book ‘Spiritual Elixir’ and other sources. They are organised loosely by the following subjects:
Question: Do angels help us on the physical plane?
Kirpal Singh: Angels? Angels worship Whom? He Who has appointed them as angels: God. Then if you worship God, where is the fear of the angels? You need no help from the angels when you look to the King. When He is related to you very closely, by relation, by blood, by soul.
Question: A good man once spoke to me about the devil being an angel who has rebelled against God. Can this be true?
Kirpal Singh: That is metaphorically speaking. There are two powers. One is the Highest Power which is the Creator of all. Then, at a lower level, the Negative Power is made; that is always going into expression for the purpose of formation of the world. That is Brahm; it is made for that. So there is nothing devilish …
God created two Powers, Negative and Positive.
Positive has its own work and Negative is going into expression. One goes in towards the Source, the other recedes outward. So truly speaking, there is no Satan, only those Powers are created Kal and Akal, Negative and Positive. They each have their own work Those under the command of the Negative Power, they always like to go out into expression. And those who want to come back again to their Home, naturally they follow the Positive Way. That is given through the Saints: Contact with God into expression, called Naam or Word, which has got two manifestations, Light and Sound. When you are contacted with that, It will take you direct to the Source from where It emanated: the True Home of our Father. So there is no antagonism, but that (Negative Power) is made for the purpose of Creation; because He had to make the Creation.
If you light a candle, the flame will go up because the Source of light is the sun. If you invert it, even then the flame till go up, because the source is above. If you throw a clod of earth into the air, however forcefully you may send it, again it will come to the earth because the source of the clod is beneath. Similarly, mind is negative in its affect. It is always working to take you into expression. But the soul is of the Positive side, it wants to take you up to its own source. When soul is freed from the mind, that goes to God. So mind is made the purpose of keeping the world going. Without mind, the world could not go on. Kal and Akal both are expressions of the Absolute … The Absolute is from where they all come. This is an intricate question, of course, but it can be understood this way.
Question: Is the nature of angels positive or negative?
Kirpal Singh: Even the avatars are under the law of cause and effect. Incarnations, what to speak of angels! Yes, surely. They are higher, of course, they have done some good actions; they get bliss for a longer time, in the higher planes, then come back again. In the Upanishads it is said that the souls of the rishis, when they returned after enjoying the bliss of the higher plumes, selected the man-body, because in the man-body alone can the soul reach God.
Question: Can an angel reincarnate as a man or not?
Kirpal Singh: Yes. If they are to go back to God, they must take the form of man. There is no other way back to God, I just quoted from the Upanishads where it is said so.
Question: How can the devil incarnate as a man?
Kirpal Singh: There is no devil. That is only the name given to the Negative Power, to the Power-going-into-expression. Had that Power not been, there’d have been no world.
Question: How can an angel who rebelled against God take a human incarnation?
Kirpal Singh: You see, take the example of the world. There are different appointments: officers, viceroys, commanders in chief. Under the law of karma, all are equal. But they have different positions in order to carry on the work. So this is the appointment of angels. Some are deputy commissioners, some are commissioners, some are governors; but they are under the law of cause and effect. They are not immune to it. You are not immune, unless you become directly connected with the God in you. This is the law, you see. You should go and ask God to tell you all these things. This is what He has made.
Question: If an angel were never incarnate in a human body, it would still be subject to the law of cause and effect? (Reno Sirrine answered, ‘Yes.’) Then this angel, the devil … but if an angel has never reincarnated, how can it rehabilitate?
Kirpal Singh: These are the appointments, as a man is promoted from private to corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, major, or general. They are all subject to the law of cause and effect. If they make any mistake, they are brought to the court. Only God Himself is immune from that, or those who are connected with Him. Others are all under the law of cause and effect. Even incarnations,1 you’ll find, have to undergo the law of cause and effect. Lord Rama struck and killed some man. In his next birth, Rama became Lord Krishna, you see, the incarnation of that age. And the man he had killed became a hunter and killed him. They are not immune. Even a military officer may control a town, but if he breaks any law he is brought to court.
General Questions of a Spiritual Nature
Question: Sometimes I feel the Light starts to break and I become afraid.
Kirpal Singh: Don’t worry, just look into the middle and that will open, break. You’ll pass through – you’ll find Master’s form at the back. Perhaps you may think you are dying. You won’t die, I’ll give you that in writing. Rest assured that you won’t die. But you will learn to die. Develop all around.
Question: Can we penetrate into the beyond by intellect?
Kirpal Singh: No. Intellect is just one of the faculties of mind, to wit, reasoning. The intellect is earth-bound and so is reasoning based on intellect.
Question: Does intellect play any part in Self- and God-Realisation?
Kirpal Singh: Yes, intellect plays an important part in understanding the theory of the problem of self-realisation. Once the theory is grasped. there is not much left for the intellect to do. Thereafter remains the practice, with heart and soul, to achieve the Goal by a process of self-analysis for the Science of the Self is essentially practical.
Question: Can we ever be sure of God-Realisation intellectually?
Kirpal Singh: No. God-Realisation is not a subject of intellect. It is a question of actual experience, beyond the pole of knowledge. All our talk of God is but inferential and at the most a matter of feelings and emotions all of which are subject to error. But seeing the inscape – with the Inner eye opened – is believing, and admits of no uncertainty and scepticism.
Question: Did mankind originate in the same basic form he has today?
Kirpal Singh: Yes. The known history of man reveals that there is no difference in the construction of human form ever since human life commenced on this earth planet.
Question: In ‘Man, know thyself’ did you mean we must know ourselves in just this lifetime or all out past lives?
Kirpal Singh: Know thyself is the most ancient aphorism. We having its equivalent in the Greek and Latin phrases gnothi seauton and nosce te ipsum and all that these words connote is the actually realised experience within of the Life-Impulse apart from mere theoretical knowledge whereby we live and all other creatures live and the whole universe is being sustained; for it is by knowing this that all else becomes known and nothing else remains to be known. Self-realisation is a stepping stone to God-Realisation. He who has found himself can never again lose anything in this world.
Question: Is the nature and extent of our Spiritual Growth or advancement beyond the tenth door determined by our past lives?
Kirpal Singh: Yes – in a way it is determined. A man is in the making. One who has passed primary class will get admission to the next higher grade. One who has just been put on the way will take his or her own time. However, there is no hard and fast rule about it. The one who has been put on the Way progresses more by regular devotion of time to meditations with full faith than one with a different background who is not regular in his meditations.
God Spirit and Soul
Question: What is God and how can we know Him?
Kirpal Singh: God, as all the scriptures and the Saints have said, is nameless and unknowable. Then how can we know God? The answer is that Absolute is not knowable, yet makes Himself known by manifesting Himself as Light and Sound Principle. Most religions tell us that the creation began from these primal manifestations. Now the Divine Light and the Divine Sound or Word may be contacted by rising above the physical consciousness. They exist in a latent form in all of us. Our Goal must, therefore, be to contact them and develop them within us. To do this, we through meditation learn to withdraw our soul to its seat behind and between the eyes. Having once contacted the Inner Light and Sound, we can progress towards their Source, passing from plane to plane until we reach God.
Question: What is God? Can you give a simple answer that we can understand?
Kirpal Singh: God is Absolute. Nobody can ever know Him. God when comes into action, creates all beings, sentient or insentient, and controls them. Our physical bodies work so long we are in the body, but we cannot run away out of it through the open eyes, ears, nose and mouth etc. That God-in-action-Power is called Word or Naam or Kalma etc. It controls our souls in the body. When that Power is drawn, our souls leave the body. Breathing goes out of the body but cannot remain outside. Some power pushes it back into the body. That God-in-action-Power controls the whole of the creation. That is called God. God is the Supreme Law working in all creation seen or unseen. He cannot be seen or heard in His Absolute Form, but when He came into Expression, He manifested in the form of Naam – the Divine Light and Holy Sound Principle. The lowest links of this Divine Principle are available in the human body which can be experienced by rising above body consciousness with the help of the Living Master.
Question: What is Science of the Soul?
Kirpal Singh: There is One God, and only one Way to Him, and for this we employ a complete and definite Science, oldest of the oldest, most ancient and natural, which is the practical side of all religions of the world as borne out by all the scriptures. This subtlest of all sciences is called Para Vidya which has a practical aspect and is the Way back to God during lifetime. Nowadays this Science is called Sant Mat. It is true nobody can know God. Past Masters cannot help, as man needs a Living Godman to understand things which one cannot follow by mere theory. Therefore, a Living Master is necessary to gain the practical side of the Science. Unless the experience of past Masters becomes our own experience, we get nowhere. The fact of the matter is that God-Power works on a chosen Human Pole. A Living Master is therefore God plus man, Godman i.e. the Mouthpiece of God. Guru, a little often used, is a corresponding word in Sanskrit language. A Guru is One Who can remove the dark veil within and show us the Real Light of God.
Question: Can the disciple see God?
Kirpal Singh: God is Absolute, whom so far nobody has seen. When He came into Being, God became Light and Sound Principle. You can seen His Light when your eye becomes single.
The Light of the body is the eye; therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of Light.
St Luke 11:34
And you can hear His Voice when your Inner Ear is opened. The ABC of the Masters’ teachings start when you rise above the body consciousness. No one can rise above the body consciousness by himself, he needs the Grace of a Competent Master.
Question: How would you differentiate between the soul and spirit?
Kirpal Singh: There is no difference between the soul and spirit, both represent the consciousness pervading the human body.
Question: If one could see the soul with these eyes, what would it look like?
Kirpal Singh: Nobody can see the soul with these outer eyes and as such it is beyond the ken of human comprehension to know it. The soul is the enlivening principle pervading the human body and it can be realised within by introversion when the senses are controlled, mind stilled and the intellect silenced.
Guru: His Need and Functions
Question: How does one determine a ‘Great Master’?
Kirpal Singh: Swami Ji Maharaj in Sar Bachan has answered this question very beautifully. He exhorts that as and when you hear about a Saint or Master, just go to Him and in deep humility and reverence sit near Him. Just look into His eyes and forehead like a child with deep receptivity. You will feel an upward pull of the soul and Divine Radiation from His eyes and forehead. Besides, if you have any questions in your heart, these will be answered automatically by His discourse without your effort. Over and above all the testing criterion for the Perfect Master is to have the conscious contact of Holy Naam within, the lowest links of which in the form of Divine Light and Holy Sound Current must be had on initiation. Again He should be competent to afford guidance for His initiates in the astral plane and must protect the soul at the time of their physical death.
Question: What is a Sant or Master?
Kirpal Singh: A Sant or Master in the Saints’ terminology is one who goes to Sach Khand or the Fifth Plane and comes back at will, and Who can give you experience of contact with Word or Naam. A Mahatama is a word in the vernacular to convey a highly evolved Soul. These words are, however, not properly used these days and an ordinary person of small degree of piousness may be termed a sant or master. But you need not worry about words.
Question: What is the history of the Masters?
A Masters have been coming at all times. The Surat Shabd Science was, however, enunciated in times of Sant Kabir and Guru Nanak and thereafter by other Masters.
Question: Is it possible to succeed on this Path alone?
Kirpal Singh: No. To succeed on this Inner Path, we must find One Who has explored it to its utmost limits. A Living Master is an indispensable need, and an indispensable means to the attaining of self-realisation. On the purely physical level, He serves as a living example of a perfect life. He tells us of our True Home and the Way that leads to it. On the Spiritual Side He gives us details of the Inner Path, its intricacies and difficulties, provides His attention with an actual experience of withdrawal from the body and of the Inner Light and Sound, and guides us through the more difficult part of our Inner Journey until we reach our Goal.
Question: There are many self-styled masters. How may one know a True Master?
Kirpal Singh: A True Master is dedicated to bring souls back to the True Home of their Father. A True Master gives more than mere theory. He gives experience to His disciple. He shows the Way to God, which is within. God and Master are within. This question usually besets every True Seeker after God. In my boyhood, I had the same doubts and questioning before me. I did not dare to go to any Master for fear of encountering an imperfect master and then my whole life would be one of frustration. So I earnestly prayed to God for guidance. My prayer was heard. A True Master began to appear to me in my meditations seven years before I came to Him physically, whom I recognised to be the same Great Master Sawan Singh. Your question remains – how to recognise a True Master? Outwardly we should see that He has no selfish motives. He should be living on His own hard-earned money. He should not be fond of outward pomp and show. He will live a simple life. His thoughts will be pure.
His True Qualifications will lie in His ability to give the initiate some first-hand experience by opening the Inner Eye to see the Light of God and Inner Ear to hear the Voice of God, the Sound Principle. The extent of this experience will be according to the background of the initiate and his receptivity.
After initiation the only rules for judging for one’s self is one’s own Inner Ascent to the Spiritual Planes whereby one can see for himself, and meet all Masters; past or present, wherever They are, in the upper or lower planes.
Those who contact the Master inside and talk to Him know.
Question: In ‘Spiritual Gems’ – p. 318: “Talking of Maha-pursha (Supreme Lord) brings ecstasy to the soul. His sayings and works are of the quality of heavenly Nectar.” What are these works? What are His sayings? Are they the Master?
Kirpal Singh: Yes, the Living Master is a Mahapursha, the Great Force or Power Transcendental. Being One with All-Consciousness, He constitutes the Human Pole from where the God-in-Expression-Power works in the world. Every act and every word of the Mahapursha proceeds from a Higher Spiritual Level, and is charged with the Spiritual Life overflowing, which act as a balm to the lacerated hearts, give ecstasy to the soul, and attracts them to rise into the beyond. He does nothing on His own except as He is moved by the Holy Spirit.
Commissioned, as He is, from above, with the Sacred Duty of guiding the seekers after Truth to the True Home of His Heavenly Father, He comes into the world to work for Spiritual Regeneration. This indeed is His Greatest Work and whatever else He does is ancillary to this Divine Mission on the earth-plane, and as such is holy and helps the embodied souls in diverse ways in the Spiritual Advancement.
Question: How does a Master differ from an ordinary spiritual teacher?
Kirpal Singh: The Master-Saint is outwardly a human being like any one of us, but through blessings and intense Spiritual Discipline, He has risen into cosmic awareness and super-cosmic awareness. He has become One with God and is a Conscious Co-Worker of His Divine Plan. He is a Living Embodiment of God’s Love and does nothing of Himself. He is not tormented by any self-interest, but works for the pure benefit of suffering humanity.
Question: Do Masters welcome sinners?
Kirpal Singh: Yes, soul is of the same essence as that of God and Master looks on all as embodied souls. So all are dear to Him. He wishes them to reach to the True Home of their Father. A repentant sinner coming with a sincere heart is acceptable to Him. We are all sinners and we come to Him to be cleansed.
Question: How do we obtain True Knowledge of God?
Kirpal Singh: The knowledge of God is a definite and a complete Science in itself – unchanged since life began on earth. It is only rarely that one may come across this Science. It is God-made and not man-made. It has always remained an Unrecorded Science unwritten and unspoken. There is One God, and there is only one Way to Him. The elementary steps in this direction may be different. This knowledge has both a theoretical and a practical aspects. The theory is quite simple. The Power of Almighty God works on a selected Human Pole Who becomes His Mouthpiece or His Messiah, to impart His knowledge to those who long for Him and want to be with Him. God is Love, our souls are also endowed with Love and the Way to God is through loving devotion. One has to withdraw his soul current from the physical body and enter His Kingdom through the guidance and help of a practical Master or Saint, Who is Love personified, and can transcend the body and the higher planes.
There is a practical side of the Science of the Soul. The Master-Saint is able to give first-hand experience at the very first sitting to almost all seekers, however small that experience may be – according to one’s receptivity – to have an Inner Vision and Contact with the Inner Sound or the Voice of God, that is Word, the Sound Principle. This ever-existent Inner Voice, the Primal Manifestation of the God-head then becomes the Guide of man in the interior of his self. It is the Master in His Radiant Form that accompanies the pilgrim soul and guides him or her at each step on the way. The Master meets and talks and guides the disciple on the way up. Contacting a practical Master is, therefore, a must for those wishing to be on the Way to God.
Telepathy is transference of thought, and thoughts emanate from the mind, and mind has therefore to be stilled; eyes have to be closed from all external views and the ears likewise from all outer sounds. The soul currents of the body have to be withdrawn and collected at one centre, the seat of the soul in the body, and this is done according to the instructions given at the time of initiation.
This in brief is what is called Spirituality, the proper type of meditation, the Science of Para Vidya, which has come down from ancient times and is known today as Sant Mat.
Question: Kindly define initiation.
Kirpal Singh: Initiation is a specific term. It means introducing a person to the principles or tenets of some science. It is not something merely formal explaining of the subject orally. It has a deeper meaning too. The term carries with it the idea of adopting a person into the life and spirit of what is explained. Thus, initiation has a two-fold aspect: theoretical and practical. First comes a clear understanding of the true import of the Science taught and then a practical demonstration of the Truths thus inculcated. In the terminology of the Saints, it means, actually imparting the Life-Impulse by a Master-Saint, for nothing short of it counts in the Science of Soul or Spirit, which is a Live-Principle.
Question: What are the essential pre-requisites for initiation?
Kirpal Singh: An intense longing to meet the Lord during one’s lifetime is the first and foremost qualification for initiation. Seek, and ye shall find, is the law. Next comes strict observance of dietary regulations by eliminating all preparations containing meat, fish, fowl, eggs both fertile and, infertile and alcoholic intoxicants and stimulants. Last, but by no means the least, is life of righteousness – right thinking, right speech and right action –, continence and chastity which constitute stepping stones on the way to Spirituality. Every Saint has a past and every sinner a future. This is what the Masters proclaim. One has to outlive and forget one’s past whatever it be, and assiduously pray and strive for an Adept Who can lead him Godwards.
Question: Why is initiation considered very necessary for Inner Spiritual Progress?
Kirpal Singh: Do we not need a teacher for learning all empirical science – engineering, medicine, technology, industry and agriculture? The Science Spiritual is a highly obtruse subject, dealing with the world beyond. The sense-organs, the senses, the mind and the intellect do not, and cannot, cognise it for all these limiting adjuncts fail to measure and grasp the Limitless. Here the soul is to be disfranchised of all that is personal, and has to cast off the mask of terrestrial personality – persona –, and become pure Soul before it can experience the Truth which has no form or shape. It is more of a practical subject than anything else, and for this one has to pass through a process of self-analysis and self-transcendence by gradual inversion, and withdrawal of the sensory currents from the body. In order to completely understand and to successfully practise a super-sensory subject, unwritten and unspoken, one has of necessity to seek the aid of an Adept – Murshid-i-Kamil or Master-Soul –, fully conversant with both the theory and practice of Para Vidya, and competent enough to disengage the human soul from the human frame, and to trans-humanise the human in man and lead him to the mount of transfiguration to see the Reality face to face. Again, the Inner Spiritual Planes are so bewitching, bewildering and so vast, and full of diverse temptations that one cannot without the active aid of the Master, traverse them.
Question: Please explain the importance of initiation.
Kirpal Singh: Initiation by a Perfect Living Master assures an escort in unknown realms by One Who is Himself a frequent traveller to those regions. He knows the presiding deities or powers of the planes, conducts the spirit step by step, counsels at every turn and twist of the Path, cautions against lurking dangers at each place, explaining in detail all that one desires to know. He is a Teacher on all levels of existence; a Guru on the earth-plane, a Guru Dev, Astral Radiant Form, in the astral worlds and a Satguru in the purely Spiritual Regions. When everyone fails in this very life, at one stage or another, His long and strong arm is always there to help us, both when we are here and we quit the earth plane. He pilots the spirit into the beyond and stands by it, even before the judgement seat of God.
Note: Many of the following replies conclude with the suggestion. – Please refer to the ‘Wheel of Life’ for exhaustive explanation. This refers to the book ‘Wheel of Life’ which is listed on the book page.
Question: Please explain why the enactment of the drama of life.
Kirpal Singh: It is all an expression of the inexorable Law of Karma. Desire is the root-cause of all bondage and rebirths. Unless one becomes a Conscious Co-Worker of the Divine Plan by complete self-surrender and annihilation of ego, the goal of Spiritual Perfection cannot be attained. Please refer to the ‘Wheel of Life’ for exhaustive explanation.
Question: How much our lives are preordained, and what part does ‘free will’ play after we become initiates?
Kirpal Singh: Six things are preordained or covered by fate-karma; viz. health and sickness, poverty and opulence, honour and ignominy. Strenuous effort, self-control and discipline do play an important role for our betterment with the Grace of the Master. Many dear ones with unhappy and chequered careers claim to have become saintly persons after Holy Initiation and faithful meditations on Holy Naam.
Question: What happens after death; do we enter another place to go through a period of birth and growth and groping until we find our Master again?
Kirpal Singh: It is supposed that the question relates to the initiates of the Living Master only and as such, it should be understood in the light of what follows. The dear ones who have been blessed with the Sacred Boon of Holy Initiation into the mysteries of the beyond, are all granted full protection by the gracious Master-Power in the beyond. Most of their karmic debts are paid off as they had lived their normal fate karma. Smaller karmic debts are paid off even before leaving off the body and as such they are not reincarnated. If, however, there remain some overwhelming worldly desires, the initiated souls are granted human birth, but are placed in such congenial environments where they will have the chance of continuing their Inner Journey, by meeting the Living Master working at the time. Spiritual Growth and Progress thus continues under His guidance.
Question: Why must our past lives be concealed from us?
Kirpal Singh: It has a significance. The entire human life is a drama based on the inexorable law of karma, which result in union and separation of the souls for the liquidation of their mutual give and take. If one is told about these karmic debts involved and the sons or daughters born to us are only our past debtors, the reason and sense of their breeding will be harmed. It conceals these truths from the humans for keeping the earth life agoing. You will be perhaps astonished to know that Kal has obtained three main boons from the Almighty, as contained in Sar Bachan. These are:
1) Nobody will know of his or her past life;
2) Nobody should know about his or her exact time and date of death; and
3) The Living Master should not grant Holy Initiation to the humans by showing miracles but simply hold Satsangs and if the dear ones come up of themselves and seek initiation, only then should they be initiated.
Question: Do I have a lot of bad karma to work off ?
Kirpal Singh: Every initiate has a lot of good and bad karma to be worked off during physical existence. The terminology of good or bad karma cannot be adequately justified, as both entail some debts requiring fair liquidation. Suffice it to note that the Decrees of Heaven are subject to no error and the Divine Dispensation is invariably flavoured with Mercy. The Inner Rare Bliss from regular and devoted meditations changes the entire outlook of the initiate when he or she finds the gracious hand of the Master protecting him or her at every step. You should know it for certain that everything whatsoever comes to your counting is definitely for your Spiritual Progress, and you should gladly withstand the trials and tribulations of this life, by reposing your hopes and aspirations at the feet of the gracious Master-Power overhead.
Question: When metaphysicians heal, is this the power of God or Kal?
Kirpal Singh: Healing done by metaphysicians falls within the scope of Negative Power when the karmic debts involved are put off for the time being, and have to be repaid sometime with compound interest. The gracious God-Power does not actually punish the souls but deals out justice tempered with mercy in accordance with our karma. The decrees of Heaven are in no way subject to error and the Divine Dispensation is invariably flavoured with Grace.
Question: Can karma apply to nations as well as individuals?
Kirpal Singh: Yes. The cumulative reaction of karma debt of nations results in wars, epidemics, destruction by fire or floods etc.
Question: Does God move us around like a chessman on a board or do we, with our free will, move ourselves?
Kirpal Singh: It is our past karma evolution which moves us around under His Divine Will. We are bound within certain limits on account of past karma and free within certain limits. We can make the best use of free karmas to change our course to proceed on our Spiritual Way.
Question: Kindly define mind.
Kirpal Singh: Mind-stuff is made of a highly rarefied matter or Satva substance in the elements. Gossamer-like it spreads in the body with its tentacles deeply rooted in the senses, working through sense-organs. Its base also goes far above, rooted as it is in the universal or cosmic mind chid akash. It serves as a link between the material body and the conscious spirit or soul in the body which is enlivening both the mind and the body. Like fire, it is a good servant but a bad master.
Question: Where is the seat of the mind?
Kirpal Singh: The seat of the mind in the body is in the eye focus as that of the soul, but slightly towards the right corner of the left eye while that of the soul is slightly towards left corner of the right eye.
Question: Is mind conscious?
Kirpal Singh: No, the mind by itself, is not conscious. It is the consciousness of the soul that the mind reflects.
Question: What are the attributes of mind?
Kirpal Singh: Mind has four facets or attributes, to wit,
1) Chit – it may be likened to a lake in which countless streams of impressions are imperceptibly pouring in all the time.
2) Manas – it is the thinking faculty of the mind which cogitates over such impressions as rise on to the surface of the lake in the form of ripples and waves just as the breeze of consciousness blows over the waters of the chit-lake and sets in motion an endless chain of thoughts one after the other.
3) Buddhi or intellect – it is the faculty of reason, ratiocination, discrimination and finally decision, after considering the pros and cons as presented by the manas. It is the grand arbiter that tries to solve the problems of life which come before it.
4) Ahankar or ego – it is the self-assertive faculty of the mind for it likes to assume credit for all the acts done, and thus prepares a rich harvest of karmas that keep one moving up and down in giant Wheel of Life.
Question: Why is mind considered a formidable barrier to Spiritual Progress?
Mind in its present state is burdened with huge karmic load of past lives. It is enthralled by the outgoing faculties of senses and is thus driven helplessly into the mire of sense-gratification. The alphabet of Spiritual Progress commences with the control of mind. It is said that unless mind is controlled, senses are disciplined, and intellect is stilled, we cannot have experience of self- realisation. Human body is just like a chariot wherein soul is the rider, mind is the driver, intellect is the reins and senses are the powerful steeds running amuck in the mire of sensuous gratification. It is for this reason that having a retrace of the facts, the senses are to be disciplined, intellect stilled and mind controlled so that Inner Experience of soul can be had. Mind is accustomed to roam about externally through ages. Unless it is offered something more joyous within, it cannot be controlled.
The four main attributes of mind as discussed above have to be divinised before any perceptible right understanding of the subject can be arrived at. Just as at present we are so greatly impressed by the facts of externality of life that we have little or no knowledge of the higher Spiritual Truths full of Divine Beatitude; which is gross ignorance, similarly unless we have firm conviction of the life of the beyond, there is no hope of our mind taking the right turn. It is only in the presence of the Living Master, Who has full command and control on His mind, that we find radiant reflections of Inner Stillness and equipoise of the mind.
A Saint has exclaimed aptly:
If you are firmly resolved to proceed to the Beloved Lord, you should put one foot on the mind and the other will enable you to reach the alley of the Friend.
Self is the friend of self and self is the foe of self. The mind, acting as a slave to the senses, running after the sense-objects, debases itself. As a reckless sower of the karmic seeds, it has, per force, to reap and garner an abundant harvest, in life after life, in an endless series. The poor soul in the Light and Life of which the mind works is hopelessly and helplessly relegated to the background and the mind assumes the supreme command of the citadel of the body. What a pity! The princess of the royal blood is swayed by the wiles of a trickster who himself is being pleasurably duped by the siren-songs of the senses and, is unwittingly dancing to their tunes on the stage of mundane life. No wonder that it poses menace to the security and integrity of the soul, running a handicap race with formidable and at times insurmountable hurdles in the way. We have, therefore, to subdue this inveterate foe before we can smoothly tread the Spiritual Path. To subdue the mind by force is impracticable. It has to be won over steadily by persuasion and by giving it some foretaste of the Real Happiness which a Master-Saint alone can do.
Explanation: 1) That is, avatara, or incarnations of the Negative Power.