The last Darshan
The final darshan of Kirpal Singh’s earthly sojourn … an account of the evening of 17 August 1974
Master had become weaker and weaker over the last few weeks. The four-day celebrations for the 117th Birth Anniversary of Baba Sawan Singh which started on 26th July and which ended with Master giving initiation to over 1000 souls, was followed on 1st August with Master addressing the Parliament of India; all this demanded His full attention. The strain must have been tremendous.
Although the new dates when Western disciples could visit the Ashram had been announced in May, Master allowed nearly twenty to be with Him at the end. In spite of His illness He gave them His Blessed Darshan almost every evening, sometimes downstairs in the porch, sometimes in His bedroom. There were moments of such beauty, of such peace, they transcend the memory of His suffering. His humour at other moments was so subtle that any feeling of hopelessness that we might have felt never took hold. Yet there were moments also of terrible foreboding. On the evening of 2nd August, a disciple asked if she could see the Master privately after the darshan.
Yes, as long as there is breath …
So much Love and encouragement was flowing out. On 6th August, He told us,
When you look at the Master with devotion, you are repaid in kind.
Later He said,
The realm of the Saints is that of all-forgiveness.
Then there was a spontaneous moment of lightness when Master suddenly leaned forward and thrust out His hand towards a German disciple who had expressed some doubts,
I’m a man like you.
The young man grabbed hold of the outstretched hand.
Master had suffered so much physically in recent years that we supposed this illness would, as in the past, lift from Him in time. Looking back we can now read the signs He was giving us that He would soon leave the earth-plane. Master’s last darshan talk was held on the roof-terrace just outside His bedroom on the evening of Saturday, 17th August. The weather was hot and oppressive. Master was on a white bed, sometimes sitting, sometimes lying, sometimes almost unable to speak. There were long pauses. There were moments of radiant beauty. At least one disciple saw a golden halo around the entire body of the Master – when He moved a little this Light would remain where He had been, thus forming a golden figure beside Him; it appeared as if Master’s Divine Spirit was already drawing away from His body – but of course nobody knew at this time how short a period was left; only four days.
Master started by asking us gently but persistently if we had any questions; He looked at everyone, but no one wished to speak. After a long silence He then, said pointedly
No questions anyone? – No? Any doubts? If there are no questions, any doubts? Something lurking in the mind? No?
At this stage it now seems obvious that Master had some final words He wanted to say, and as He knew there were in fact some things lurking in our minds and needing to be resolved, He drew them out in the form of the following questions which enabled Him to give out what remained to be said.
But on this occasion after a while and without waiting for a question, He made this statement,
These are selections by God. They send the fruit – certain people to administer certain things. They know when to come and when They are going back. They won’t let you down, mind that.
Then after another long silence Master asked again if there were any questions. Someone who was not initiated and who was having Master’s darshan for the first time, said he would bring some tomorrow, but Master replied,
If you have any questions to be brought tomorrow, why not bring them up today? Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today; procrastination is the thief of time … If you’re not ready … that’s another thing.
The Master gave an understanding smile.
Some anxious moments followed; Master was gasping for breath. A young American then asked the first question,
Master, why don’t You heal yourself? You are all-powerful.
Why don’t you heal yourself … ?
Then a radiant smile appeared on His face and He asked so sweetly,
Anyone whom you love, if he gives you something, would you refuse it? Tell me. What does he hope for you? He should gladly accept it.
There was a long pause while the Master was coughing. At the end He started looking around again and asked for more questions. Eventually someone asked,
Is there any worldly desire that is correct?
All thoughts coming up are due to two things: either reactions of the past – as you have sown – or outward necessities. As you sow so shall you reap. Things go round the Wheel of Life unless, and until, you become a Conscious Co-Worker of the Divine Plan. It is He Who takes work from everybody and we are all mere puppets in His hands. Only then can you escape the reaction of what you sow. You follow? So we have to consider man-body as the highest in all creation, a golden opportunity to go back Home. We should meanwhile weed out all unnecessary things and do what is to bring us near to God. That’s all.
Then someone else asked,
How may we differentiate between necessary requirements of the body and so forth, and desires which should be weeded out?
You have got one pair of boots, yes? Then you get another pair of boots too. That will last you a year or so. Those are required for your use; any number more, very simply, have to be hoarded up in your houses and make the atmosphere ugly. We simply add to our own desires; out of possession, we want to possess everything … Anyone else?
An American lady who was leaving the following morning asked,
About desirelessness – should we not desire to go to Sach Khand? Or is that another trap?
And Master told her,
Whatever brings you closer, whatever goes to bring you closer to God, that should be developed. Whatever helps you to stand in the way of going back to God, avoid it! Simple living.
At this stage the same man who had said that he would bring his questions tomorrow said,
Master, I have read your writings very carefully, to the best of my ability, and I am a non-drinker, a non-smoker, and I am on the vegetarian diet. Do I qualify for initiation?
Those are the minimum requirements …
This did not put him off; he said,
I would like to be initiated.
Master went on,
The main thing is that you must be able to grasp the theory in detail. Then when you are put on the Way, you will put your whole heart and soul into the practice; not half-heartedly or in a slipshod manner. Some dying man out of desire may get it – is put on the Way – but he has always been putting off till tomorrow what he could do today. This is wrong. So please continue onwards with your practice.
A disciple then said,
I just want to pray to you that I develop more Love and faith in You.
Master told him,
That Love will sprout forth when you come in contact with Light and Sound Principle … or sweet remembrance of the Master.
Someone else made a sign to ask a question.
and was asked,
What type of life is most conducive to Spiritual Progress?
Keeping the commandments one hundred per cent, and developing receptivity. Then you’ll have one hundred per cent of the fruit.
Master then asked,
The last question was put,
In some types of work I am not able to keep full remembrance of the Master. How can I remain permanently close to You and at the same time do my work?
The last reply was,
In the beginning, you see, whatever involves your memory or brains, will have to be done as one thing at a time. Later on when this habit is formed, that goes automatically. You see, just go jolly and you’ll also be keeping the will of the Master. But that will develop in due course, not in one day.
Like the holy, the ever-flowing waters of the sacred Ganges flow the sermons of the Guru. In it bathe the congregations of the Sikhs. The scriptures are explained and recited, as if Brahma himself chanted the Vedas, over the Guru’s head waves the royal umbrella. From His lips Divine Name as nectar rains; in the company of Guru Nanak, Angad became the Guru, then after Him Amar Das; and now Guru Ram Das has gone to the Lord; oh Harbans, His Glory fills the whole world. Who says the Guru is dead?
Harbans – from the Guru Granth Sahib