The thousand-headed Serpent
From the life of Lord Krishna we learn how he once jumped into the River Jamuna, where lived a thousand headed poisonous snake. Lord Krishna won over his monster with the music from his flute, that is, the Music of the Spheres. It again indicates that to control the serpent-mind there is no other means than the Sound Principle. The Lord is soundless, but when He expressed Himself, this Song came out of Him, and that Song will never cease. Or you can know that when it ceases, the world will finish.
Be always at Satsang, brothers; your deteriorated condition will right itself.
Our condition has deteriorated because the enjoyments are attracting the senses, and the senses are dragging the mind. The mind is riding the intellect, and the soul is taken everywhere by force because it is the chariot of the human body. If you will withdraw inside yourself, you will see the true situation. Regrettably, we are reluctant to look at ourselves and prefer to criticise others – ‘He is like this, she is like that’ and so on. But have we ever stopped to consider what we are like ourselves? He who has turned his gaze inward to himself will achieve his goal. King Dara Shikoh said that for some time it is necessary that we should become a beggar to ourself. This conveys that we should rather lose interest in the unwanted things that others may discard, and start discarding our own undesirable shortcomings. Look within. To realise God is not difficult; the difficulty lies in giving up the mind.
If God’s Mercy has been given, and the Master’s Mercy is over one’s head, then why does it not show forth? Many people are puzzled by this. The reason is that the soul is not showing any mercy unto itself. God’s Mercy gave us this human form, and through it also the yearning for Him began. Furthermore, He brought the seeker to the feet of a Godman in Whom He was manifested. The Godman’s Mercy was bestowed when He gave the contact inside. If you, the soul, do not have mercy upon yourself, then what can be done?
My Master used to say,
The doctors gave you the medicine, but you did not take it, so how can the cure be effected?
Without the soul’s mercy, the seed will not fructify. It is true that the seed has been planted and will never be destroyed but the person will have to come again to the world, even though he may not retrogress below the human form. Make the best use of the grand opportunity before you. A great part of you life is already spent.
Much has gone, a little is left; in the remaining time, do your work.
You have been separated from Him for life upon life, and the father is anxious that His children should now return to the fold.
If we could only understand fully what a Guru is, much of the illusion would vanish. Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, tried to make it clear Who He was. He told them of His past births and where He lived in His previous life. That place has been found, and today you will find a Gurdwara – Sikh temple – there.
At the hill of Hemkunt there is seven-pointed splendour.
There are seven hillocks there, and it is very quiet – but resounding with the peace. He tells that is where He did His meditation, so much that He became One with the Lord; They were not separate. And the Lord ordered Him to go into the world and work.
Guru Gobind Singh says,
My heart was not agreeing to come here; but He made me agreeable to come.
When He inquired from God what He was to do in the world, He was told:
Whoever I sent had their own praises sung; now go and make them repeat My Name.
So Guru Gobind Singh Ji continues:
I am the devotee of the Imperishable Being and have come to see this world’s play; know me as His devotee, but see no difference between us.
He also says:
Whoever thinks of me as God will go straight to hell.
He is stressing that the True Guru regards Himself as a servant of the Lord; if you read all the Great Master’s words with careful attention you will find that none have claimed to be a Guru.
Kabir Sahib was asked,
Who are You?
and He said,
Kabir says, we are those who hold the secret of the far-away Home, who bring the orders of the Lord above.
For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father Which sent me, He gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
Prophet Mohammed said,
I am he through whom you can reach Him.
He did not say, ‘I am God.’ When They see that He is the Doer, the Controller of all things, the Sustainer, the Power Omnipotent, how can They say, ‘I am the Guru’? Those who say this have not yet received the right understanding.
When people asked Guru Nanak, ‘Who is Your Guru?’ He replied, Shabd is my Guru and the attention is the disciple.
This world we see is the image of God; where we look, He is there.
There is no place without Him, the Controlling Power, Who also controls us in the body. There are so many outlets in this human form, but we cannot run out. We breathe in and out, but the breath does not stay out; some Power is pulling it back into the body. We are the companion of the physical form and as long as we remain there, the body is alive – but alas! we are imprisoned. Some Power has tied us to It.
That blissful Water of Life is the Name of the Lord; it resides in this body.
When the Naam withdraws, we have to leave the body. It controls millions of worlds, and when it withdraws dissolution and Grand Dissolution take place. We also call It the Shabd – It in us and we are in It.
In the same company, living in one place (body), but do not talk to each other.
The soul has turned its attention outwardly, tossing from one thing to another, and tragically it never converses with the Lord Who lives in the same house. If only it would withdraw from outer things, it would meet Him.
What is a Guru? The Name of God is Guru, and He is ever-existent. When vapour turns to water, it looks different. It may even turn to ice, but it is still vapour. The God which is in each life is the Sustainer of all things, but that Pole where He is manifested is called, Mahatma or Master, etc. The Master sees that God is the Doer and not Himself.
Guru Nanak says,
Whatever God’s Voice speaks, comes out of my mouth.
So this explains what a Guru really is: the Guru and God are One – that One which resides in all life.
He who has risen to the same height will know that Most High; this intoxication of Naam, oh Nanak, remains day and night; to realise God, withdraw from one side and turn to the other.
Everything is a play of the attention, so become the attention itself. Our attention is the child of the All-Attention, and as long as man does not know who he is, he will never realise God.
She who is lost in the nine houses will not find that rare Truth.
In Koran Sharif it is written,
I am that hidden treasure – concealed within you.
Guru Nanak says the same thing:
In us is the valuable jewel, which the Guru reveals.
There are untold treasures of Divinity within us, and if only we would obey the teachings, He would light the Light within, just as it is in himself.
It is God Himself in the Human Pole Who is the giver; no son of man can do it. This kind of misunderstanding is leading most of the world astray. A Master is not termed as such simply because he wears clothes of a particular colour – yellow, red, blue, black, etc.
In the Guru, He Himself came, to distribute Himself.
A Sant is One Who sees God, and in His company God can be seen by others.
The Master entrusted us with a sample of the Truth.
We should have respect for these Great Personalities, the company of Whom is called Satsang. It is not a term invested on meetings held by those who are worldly-wise in scriptures or intellectual knowledge, for which we have always an abundance of praise. We should of course be grateful to hear God’s name mentioned anywhere, but whoever tells the facts about what he has actually seen is a True Friend indeed.
The stories and anecdotes about God are retold by our friend the Guru.
Satguru, Guru Dev and Guru are three terms for the same Power, just like the example of vapour, water and ice.
Avatars come to the world with their own mission. Lord Krishna said,
Whenever righteousness fails, I take the form of an Avatar, to punish evil doers, uphold the righteous, and to maintain the world’s equilibrium.
The Saints’ work is to join back teaching souls to God – to reduce the world’s population. Saints and Avatars respect each other, for both carry out the Lord’s work in different ways.
The Negative and Positive are both created by the One Lord. They imprison one in illusion.
Both are necessary for the furtherance of the world’s purpose. Just as the single Power or electricity can make fire or ice, so it is that the positive and negative aspects are different phases of life.
The Guru’s work is to link the souls back to the Lord.
The thing is in one place but we search elsewhere. How can we grasp It? Kabir says, only when we take the Knower with us.
We took along the Knower, Who gave us that which we sought; accomplishing millions of births’ work and taking us there in a matter of seconds.
We were once in the Lord’s lap, but have not returned there up to now. If we had, our condition would be vastly different. If, with one thought, God created millions of Brahmands, each comprising physical, astral and causal divisions – as part of that same Essence can we not create even one town? Great is the potential in man; and only in the form of man can we realise Him Who is the very Soul of our soul. Truly, we have never been separated from Him, but our attention lies in other directions. Withdraw it, and rise above the senses.
Whenever Masters have come, They have said the same things, but in various modes of speech and in different languages according to the countries They lived in and the customs of the time. As the Masters left, so the religions were made to perpetuate Their teachings, the labels of which are stuck on us. While the Masters were here, all was well ,but when They left, for want of Them the same good old custom corrupted itself. This resulted in stagnation and deterioration – not in one religion, but in all, as one can see for oneself. Ever since paid preaching started in each religion, that has played havoc. The blind lead the blind.
We should find someone to give something to start with. If a businessman gave an impressive talk on how to multiply your money, but gave you nothing for a start, what would be the use of that? He who tells of God but gives no connection with Him, ranks in the same category. Whether more or less, a True Master will bestow some experience, depending on the background of each seeker. The actual meaning of the word religion is that re means back and ligio to bind – to bind back to God. Though the outer labels signify these different creeds, yet the Ultimate Goal is the same. If you strike two black stones together, the spark which result will be the same obtained by striking two white stones. Religious labels are for the body only, because the soul is an awakened entity, a drop of the Ocean of All-Consciousness. Masters comes to link this soul with the Oversoul, and give right understanding to the world.
No other work will gain any profit, except to keep the company of a Master and repeat the Naam.
Perfect Masters come for this purpose. They also have side issue. Do They come in any special age? They come at a specially appointed time – when illusion, selfishness, violence, etc., are at their height: chapters in human history when one person cannot bear to see another’s face. At such times, there is only one cure.
Our True Friend is He Who brings right understanding and removes misapprehension; oh Nanak, forsake the company of the immature and seek the completeness in a Perfect Master. The former will abandon you in life; the latter will remain even after your death.
The True Master joins all the scattered souls together. His mission is to bring all children of God to one common platform. Today the voice of people across the face of the earth is demanding integration, integration. The Masters give birth to the True Integration of the human race. God made man, and it was man himself who made separate religions, castes, etc. When the Master is here, integration progresses, but when He leaves, further separation takes place and more labels remain. A True Sikh, a True Hindu, a True Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, etc., is only who actually sees the Light of God within him.
The tenth Guru of the Sikhs says,
When the illusion lifts, then who is a Hindu and who is a Muslim?
Have you any idea who laid the foundation stone of the holy city of the Sikhs – Amritsar? It was a Muslim, named Hazrat Mian Mir, and he was told to do this by Guru Arjan Sahib Himself. Hazrat Mian Mir, Guru Arjan Sahib and Chaju Bhagat were very good friends; it is said that intoxicated people keep each others’ company, and those who are intoxicated with the Lord will sit together. There is a dearth of people like this, and brother does not wish to sit with brother. The fact that the same Truth lies in all men is forgotten. A Persian prophet has said that all the conflict about religion and caste is due to deeply embedded superstitions and clannishness, which has separated us from each other; but Those Who have tasted the intoxication of God show others the same Oneness of God in all.
Hundreds of lovers, but the Beloved is One; caste and religion are different but the aim is the same,
The target is one, but the archers are many.
Two versions, different ways of thinking, wrong thinking, misconceptions, etc., should be straightened out.
Sit together as One, and in Love throw away your differences.
We can sit together only in the name of the Lord – or in the name of mankind, as all mankind is One; or we can sit together at the level of the soul.
Join in the name of the Lord where the Gurumukh sits on His prayer carpet.
But we need the company of Him Who has right understanding and has solved the riddle of life; Who will guide us into the knowledge that all mankind is One: born the same way, enjoying the same privileges, and whose outer and inner construction is the same. Furthermore, the One Who is worshipped by all is One and the same Being Who is the maker of everything and Who resides in each heart. We are all brothers and sisters in the One God. If this right understanding is grasped by all men it will lead to right thoughts, right speech and right actions: the complete formula for True Peace on earth.
However, there is an awakening beginning; it gives one pleasure to realise it. In 1957 a World Fellowship of Religions conference was held, and I have been in close association with this organisation since then. The WFR has one achievement to its credit, which is the fact that the religious leaders who previously did not wish to be in the same company as each other, will now sit together and exchange thoughts. Nevertheless, they have not changed a great deal; they are still political at heart. This way, True Integration will never be enjoyed. Why? Because the Hindus say only that all Hindus should become One, wherever they may be. Likewise, the Muslims, Christians and others have similar intentions. They are raising big pillars. For how long will the toleration last?
The Masters are not concerned with outer badges of caste and creed; They see the Lord in everything and in everyone. They have True Understanding and teach what They have seen, not what They have heard about or read.
In the old days, it was the custom for a king to have the benefit of a Spiritual Advisor. All laws and decisions were made with his counsel, and he could see in advance the effect they would have on the public. His word, therefore, was like a command to all. Today we do not use that quality of guidance. Kabir Sahib’s voice was a lone arbitrator in the Hindu-Muslim controversy, when they could not look at each other without hatred in their hearts.
Guru Nanak reveals this when He replied to the question,
Who are You?
If I say I am Hindu, you will kill me; Muslim I am not. I am that puppet made of five elements, with the invisible Power in me.
Kabir Sahib puts it this way:
We are not Hindu, neither are we Muslim; take us both as One.
Real Integration will be achieved at the individual level; at the level of the man-body or at the level of the soul. Unity already exists as man, soul and worshipper of the Great Power – God – called by different names.