Illustration to
'Guru Dev'

Master: The word 'Master' refers to the One 'Master-Soul' from Whom all Souls originate; just as all copies are made from a 'master-tape.' This One Soul, Who actually is the only Soul, is Sat Purush. Therefore, there is only One Master though manifesting Himself through different embodied Human Poles. The True Disciple respects the outer pole – If ye love me, keep my commandments (St John 14:15) – but attunes himself to the True, Inner Master, Who manifests Himself as Light and Sound.

Shabd: The Sound Current; also called Naam or Word. 

Word or Naam is the Sound Current or Sound Principle. This Current or Principle lay merged in the Great Silence and was hence nameless. There was then nothing but Deep Silence with no name or pattern, no design or form and no colour or shade. The life vibration – principle – hidden therein, stirred the Great Deep and there came a Great Sound called Word and the whole creation came into being, and is being sustained by this. With the withdrawal of the Naam or Sound there sets in disintegration and decay in all that lives, with consequent putrefaction, and the result is dissolution which in common parlance is known as death. Thus this Sound is at once the beginning and the end of all that exists.

He – the Nameless – expressed Himself and made the Naam or Word.

Guru Nanak, Asa War M1

It is called variously as Sound; Sruti – that which is heard; Shabd or Akash Bani – voice from the heaven; Udgit, Sraosha – music of the beyond; Word or Harmony; Logos or the Holy Spirit; Kalma or Bang-i-Ilahi – call from God; or Nida-i-Asmani – heavenly Sound.

Naam or Word (Fourth Edition, 1981) –
Book I,
I. / (vi) Naam is the Great Master Force,
by Kirpal Singh, 1894–1974

The Inner Sound Principle is all-conscious and too subtle for the ears, the tongue and the pen. It is an unwritten law and an unspoken language. It is self-existing, self-sustaining and self-supporting and yet is the very life of all that exists both in the animate and inanimate creation. But It can be realised in the deepest depths of the Soul, for the two are of the same essence, the Soul being but a drop of the Ocean of All-Consciousness.

In the Sikh scriptures, It is also called 'Sacha Shabd' or the True Word:

With the True Word, one knows the Truth; with the True Sound, one sings the Glory of the Lord.

Guru Nanak, Parbhati M1

Naam or Word (Fourth Edition, 1981) – Book II,
V. Shabd is not the Subject of Reading, Ritual or Reciting,
by Kirpal Singh, 1894–1974

Like many other Great Masters and Spiritual Teachers Jesus Christ passed on Naam. Kirpal Singh writes accordingly:

The writings of Jacob Boehme, the Lutheran cobbler-mystic of seventeenth-century Germany, centre around the Word and offer conclusive evidence that the esoteric teachings of Christ – Surat Shabd Yoga – had not been completely forgotten:

If you should in this world bring many thousand sorts of musical instruments together, and all should be tuned in the best manner most artificially, and the most skilful masters of music should play on them in concert together, all would be no more than the howlings and barkings of dogs in comparison of the Divine Music, which rises through the Divine Sound and tunes from Eternity to Eternity.

The Aurora

For all whatsoever has life, liveth in the Speaking Word, the Angels in the Eternal Speaking and the temporal spirits in the re-expression or echoing forth of the formings of time, out of the sound or breath of time and the angels out of the Sound of Eternity, viz., out of the voice of the manifested Word of God.

Mysterium Magnum

The Disciple said to his Master: How may I come to the super-sensual life, that I may see God and hear Him speak? His Master said: When thou canst throw thyself but for a moment into that where no creature dwelleth, then thou hearest what God speaketh. Disciple: Is that near at hand or far off? Master: It is in thee. And if thou canst for a while but cease from all thy thinking and willing, then thou shalt hear the unspeakable words of God. Disciple: How can I hear Him speak, when I stand still from thinking and willing? Master: When thou standest still from the thinking of self, and the willing of self; 'When both thy intellect and will are quiet, and passive to the impressions of the Eternal Word and Spirit; and when thy soul is winged up, and above that which is temporal, the outward senses, and the imagination being locked up by holy abstraction,' then the Eternal Hearing, Seeing, and Speaking, will be revealed in thee; and so God 'heareth and seeth through thee,' being now the organ of His spirit: and so God speaketh in thee, and whispereth to thy spirit, and thy spirit heareth His voice. Blessed art thou therefore if that thou canst stand still from self-thinking and self-willing, and canst stop the wheel of imagination and senses […] Since it is naught indeed but thine own hearing and willing that do wonder thee, so that thou dost not see and hear God.

Of the Supersensual Life

Naam or Word (Fourth Edition, 1981) –
Book I:
II. / (v) Judaism and Christianity,
by Kirpal Singh, 1894–1974

The esoteric teachings of the Masters are even not completely forgotten today. Even at the beginning of the 21st century there are human beings who practise the Surat Shabd Yoga. In the year 2008 two Souls, who are consciously connected with Naam lived in Görlitz – the hometown of Jacob Boehme.

The Shabd can be heard as a Sound coming from the right side only through the Grace of the Almighty or after a valid initiation. When the Soul progresses, the Sound will come from above, and this Sound will withdraw the Soul from the body and lead her to the Inner Planes.

Some Souls
consciously carry within them the Sound Current because of some good fortune from the past but without being initiated. However, even these Souls cannot advance spiritually without initiation, since they have to be given over from their Ishit Guru – Master of the past life – to the Living Master.

Kirpal Singh said analogously: Some hear something and go to the otologist.

But hearing, ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive.

St Matthew 13:14

Test the Shabd: That is listening with full confidence, accepting the words of the Master and putting into practice what was said. Hereupon one receives the experience that he tests and enlarges to finally recognise the Shabd and to define his way.