We must be sincere
We must be sincere. If you have seen the Truth, only then ask the people to follow you.
Dear friend, come and see and have It!
But if you have not seen the Truth yourself, then why, like the proverbial blind man, lead others into the pit along with you? We must be sincere to our own selves and to our fellow men and women. If you only know the scriptures in theory, say so. If you have seen the Light and can rise above body consciousness, and are also competent to give others some experience of it, well and good. Go and tell the people so. You see, that is the difficulty. People speak so much about the scriptures. You must have heard so many speakers holding forth on the subject. But how many of them are there who have had the first-hand experience of Truth, and are competent to give you also that experience? To talk of Spirituality is just like giving a learned discourse on the principles of business without having any capital or practical capability to start the business.
When you get experience inside, however elementary it may be, you are convinced of the Reality and can develop it to any length you may like, by regular practice.
Preaching was meant to be done only by those who had the first-hand experience of Truth. But preaching has become a source of income; and paid service in all social religions has made matters worse. I am not talking of any particular religion, but what I say is true of all religions. People have made a business of religion and so many have taken to it just as a means of livelihood.
But God’s gifts are all free. They pretend to serve Him, but at bottom it is all mercenary. The world is full of them and that is why we are fed up with the very word Master. But a Real Master does not seek worldly gain. He gives God’s gift – Spirituality – freely and free of cost. He has realised God. He is the perfect man. He has transcended the physical consciousness and has seen the Light within.
What did Kabir tell the pundit?
Oh learned pundit, if you want an experience of the Reality, go to some competent Living Master.
‘What sort of Master?’ asked the pundit. Then Kabir went on to define Master as One through Whom God speaks. This is what all the Saints, including Kabir, have said.
Thus we have in the Bible:
Holy Men of God spoke as They were moved by the Holy Ghost.
2 Peter 1:21
Guru Nanak says,
Poor Nanak only speaks what He is bidden,
Oh Lalo! I only say that which my Lord speaks through me.
A Muslim Divine also says the same thing:
The words of the Prophet are the words of God, though they may seemingly appear to drop from a human tongue.
You too have the same possibility in you. But you have not yet come in contact with the Power working in you, because you are still bound to the physical body. As long as you do not lose this body consciousness, you cannot enter into the beyond.
The Bible says,
Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.
You must seek out One Who has risen into cosmic awareness and is a Conscious Co-Worker of the Divine Plan. He will no doubt be a man like any of you. But He has realised His own Self and experienced God within. When you sit with Him, you will find Him quite a different being, full of Love and compassion for all: a radiating centre of the Divinity in Him. The very atmosphere around Him is charged with the radioactive rays of Spiritual Bliss.
A man who has attained the highest degree of mastery in any field of activity will at first appear like an ordinary man. He is essentially a man first and last. But he has developed in his own particular way. When you sit with him, you will find him a giant in his own field. This is exactly the case with a Master-Soul. When you meet Him, you will find Him just like any other man at first sight.
He Himself will tell you:
I come to you as a man to man. I am a man just like you. I had the good fortune to sit at the feet of my Master and progressed in the Spiritual Way. Those who are in search of the God Way are most welcome.
A doctor is a man first and then a doctor. An engineer is a man first and then an engineer. Similarly, a Spiritual Man, a Master, is a man first and then a Spiritual Guide.
All possibilities are within man. Great is man. He who has developed in a certain line and has an experience of it, is able to guide you also if you are seeking the same way.
The Master-Power never leaves you. It is not the human body but the power working through it that remains forever. Christ-Power has been working through the ages and shall continue to work; but through different Divine Instruments and according to the needs of the times. The body alone perishes, but that Power remains. Those who have really seen the Truth within can open your Inner Eye and make you see it. If They give you some Inner Experience, however little it may be, you can develop it.
One of Christ’s parables illustrates this beautifully:
A rich man going out on a journey distributed among his servants some talents – twenty to one, ten to another, five to the third. When he came back, the man who had had twenty talents had made them thirty, the one with ten had made fifteen of them, and the last who had gotten only five had never touched them but had kept them safe buried underground. As no use was made of them, the Master thought it prudent to withdraw them.
What I mean to say is, that when you are given some experience, you have to develop it as you do your learning in a school. Initiation does not mean observance of any ceremony, or ritual, or anything of the sort. It is just a practical experience of the Science Spiritual. The theory is explained first, and then the experience is given, and that is to be developed from day to day. That Master-Power overhead Which gives the experience protects both within and without, and keeps a constant watch over the disciples.
You will find that such people have been coming to the Masters and asking them as Philip asked Jesus:
Lord, show us the Father and it sufficeth us.
And what did He reply? He grew indignant and said,
Have I been so long time with you, and yet thou hast not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, ‘Show us the Father?’ Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works.
Christ was a Conscious Co-Worker with the Father or Divine Power within Him. Only He Who is conscious of the Power working through Him can bring you in contact with the Power within. That contact is possible only when you rise above body consciousness and not otherwise.
When the Masters come, They tell us of God and the God Way. They remind us of the Reality within. Man is the teacher of man. Can past Masters help us? Yes, we do need Them. They are helpful in Their own way. We have respect for Them, because They gave out the Truth and Their experiences of it. Those who came in contact with Them were put on the Way, and they also realised the same Truth. The scriptures are the treasures of the experiences that They had with Their own Selves and with God and we are fortunate to have them with us today.
If we had come two thousand years earlier, we would not have the New Testament with us and I would not have given you these beautiful quotations from it. All scriptures deal with the same Truth. But we are familiar with one or another scripture only. When I quote the Bible to you, you have no difficulty. So it is with people of other faiths. They follow easily what is said, when I offer quotations to them from their respective scriptures. All these scriptures make my task easier, as well as that of my listeners. The Sacred Books are just handy aids in the hands of a man of realisation for they all deal with the selfsame subject, viz., God-Realisation.
What we need is Someone Who has the experience within Himself of what is spoken of in the scriptures and Who is competent to give us some taste of that experience right now. Call such a man what you will – pir, murshid, Saint or Master that is immaterial.
We have respect for all such persons who came in the past or who are here now in the present age. Those Who have seen the Reality can put us on the Path and give us a first-hand experience of it. The need of such a Godman has been felt ever since the world began.
Some people say that they don’t need any Master. Well, they will have to rely on books, the Holy Scriptures. These scriptures are, of course, more reliable than the intellectual commentaries on them by the learned. If the commentators have seen the Truth, they will interpret the scriptures correctly, but if not, they will confound and confuse the reader in spite of all his wits and will lead him nowhere.
When you rely solely on books, you ultimately rely on some Master, for the scriptures were after all written by somebody. Instead of this indirect approach, would it not be better if you could meet a man of realisation directly? He has practical experience of what the scriptures describe and can give you much more than you can ever get from books; He can give you first-hand experience of the Reality itself. This aspect has been stressed by all the Saints. They enable us to understand how we may have that experience in our lives.
In the Gospel of Matthew we have,
All things are delivered unto me of my Father,
No man knoweth the Father save the son, and he whomsoever the son will reveal Him.
Thus, the son knows the Father and the Father knows the son, and all others to whom the son reveals Him, for he becomes a Conscious Co-Worker with the Father, on the Divine Plan.
This is why Christ said:
I and my Father are One. It is not I that am doing it. I am the way, the truth and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me. If you had known me, ye should have known my Father also.
In what a forceful way He has put it: Through the man Who has known the Father – God –, you can also know God.
The alphabet of the teachings of the Masters starts where the worldly philosophies end. That is the beginning of True Religion. It begins when you come above body consciousness and not before.
Naturally, the man Who has experience of the Truth is the only One competent to put you on the way. You may be able, in the company of such a righteous man, to understand the true nature of things, the real significance of what is highly abstract.
So all Masters Who have been coming from time to time have been giving out the Truth. The question now arises: what sort of yoga, Spiritual Discipline, do They teach? We have so many yogas, so many ways of coming to the Home of our Father, to reach the state of unchangeable permanence, all peace, all joy, all happiness, which never decays and is not subject to Dissolution or Grand Dissolution.
That was the goal which we set before us in our first meeting. I also gave quotations from different scriptures. The Ultimate Goal of all religions is God. We are worshippers of the same God, no matter whether we belong to one country or the other, East or West, to one religion or another; for that makes no difference. All religions say the same thing. Love God, and further, as God resides in every heart, love all humanity. This is the best way of leading our outer life. If followed naturally, the Kingdom of God would surely come on earth – for which we so often pray but are disappointed.