What is True Living?
I have been addressing you as friends, but now I see that we have realised that we are all brothers and sisters in God: we are all children of Light. Most of us here have been able to have a glimpse of the Light of God which is controlling all the universe. Truth is One. Whoever realised the Truth, or became the mouthpiece of the Truth, always gave out the same thing: in the human body that we have – which is considered to be the highest in all creation – the Highest Aim is to know the Truth.
You can have the experience of Truth when you rise above body consciousness and come in contact with it. That Truth is clothed in Light. There is Music of all Harmonies emanating from the Truth. Those are fortunate who have had the good fortune to have a contact with It. That seed has been sown: it will bear forth fruit. The only thing that remains is that we live up to that Truth.
Our Master, Baba Sawan Singh Ji, used to say,
If you take some laxative pills, whether you take them by error or knowingly, they will give you motions.
Similarly, whatever experience of Truth has been given you, if you live by it, knowingly or unknowingly, or by compulsion even, you will have the effect. The only thing is that we should take it up and live up to it; and from day to day we will progress; and one day we will find the True Home of our Father.
God-into-expression has two aspects: Light and Sound – Music of the Spheres and Light. To come up to Them, we require Love. Also,
Truth is above all, but True Living is still above Truth.
Our True Living will safeguard us from losing the Truth that we have got. And what is True Living? Masters have been giving this out in Their own way from time to time.
The first thing is, we should observe truthfulness. What we mean we should say; whatever we say, we must mean. Our hearts and tongues and brains should all agree with what we give vent to. This is what is called truth or truthfulness.
You will simply find that we have no control over the words of our mouth that go to express what lies in the heart of our hearts. The two things should agree: what is in your heart and what you are giving out with your tongue. If these two agree then there is one thing to test the usefulness of the truth you are telling; that is, if your truth goes to harm anyone. Say only that much that is required so as not to harm anybody else.
Don’t do the work of the unpaid apprentices of the C.I.D. (Confidential Investigation Dept, the Indian equivalent of the American F.B.I.) of God. Don’t carry tales. If somebody tells you some thing, mind your own business.
What are you after, really? You are really after knowing God and adopting certain ways which go to help you on the way.
If you see something wrong somewhere, just point it out to the person privately – heart to heart; don’t broadcast it like anything. A True Friend is one who sees others to be on the Right Path. But there are ways and ways to say something. In the case of Father Abraham – I read his life story, and it was given there – he never spoke lies, but told half-truths. By a half-truth is meant only that part of the truth which does not go to harm anyone. This is one very important thing. If your heart and tongue and brain agree, your brain will test what you are going to say. Your intellect is to test whether what you express goes to the benefit of others or to harm others. If it is going to harm others, then don’t speak. Then wait. Better set it right then and there.
As I told you before, don’t work like the unpaid apprentices of the C.I.D. of God. It creates much trouble, first within your own hearts; because you have those things, which you don’t need, in your own way. Those things go to stand in your own way, in the way of your own progress.
The first thing is, we must be true to our own selves: what we think at heart we must give out. But before giving it out, think twice: What are you going to say? What will be the result of it? There you will use your intellect. And the only criterion is, not to give out anything that goes to harm others. This is the first thing.
Next comes humility. Water stays in a place which is low. It may be raining cats and dogs, in torrents; but the water will not stay on a steep place. It means that all good resides in a heart which is lowly, in those who are meek.
St Augustine was asked,
What is the Way back to God?
And He said,
First, humility; second, humility; and third, humility.
When you are humble you learn something. When you know you know everything, you are naturally stuck fast in your own self-assumed ignorance, which may be taken as truth; but it may be wrong. You have taken up something, and that is good.
If you hear that there is someone else who knows better, go to him, and hear him. Whatever you know, you know already. If you only hear from him what you already have in your mind, it will be confirmed. But if he has anything more to say, you can grasp it. You will find that many people do not have more of the truth, because in their own egotism, they consider that they are right; and that may be wrong. Only when he is humble can a man go to somebody. And if you go to somebody, then listen to what he says. What he knows he knows.
Sometimes you simply say,
Oh, we know this already; this is no new thing.
Just listen; he might have something new to say. If a glass is put under a tumbler of water, it will be filled. If the glass is kept above the tumbler of water, it won’t be filled. Even if you have progressed on the way and you have known the Truth, you will still become truly humble. When a tree is laden with fruit, all branches bow down to the earth. You will find that the Saints Who have become Conscious Co-Workers of the Divine Plan are truly humble: because They see,
It is He Who is doing it, not I.
So the second thing required is humility. And the third thing is chastity. Chastity is life and sexuality is death. Be chaste. Chastity opens the door of meditation. You will have quicker results. Marriage does not mean having unchaste lives, if it is lived according to what the scriptures say. The scriptures tell us that marriage means taking a companion in life who will be with you in the earthly sojourn. You should help each other to know God. This is the ultimate goal of the human body which we have. One duty may be that of begetting children, but it is not all of our duties. Try to adjust your lives according to the scriptures.
And what did the Bible say?
Love your wives as Christ loved the Church.
That is taking a companion in the earthly sojourn for some higher purpose.
So chastity is the ground on which the building of Spirituality can be raised. First of all, those who are chaste have their body, brain and everything built on it. So if you are married, try to live up to what the scriptures say.
These are the three things. If you observe them, Tulsi says,
If you don’t reach God, be rest assured: I am your surety that you will, you must.
For this, you will find that we have to attain to Godhood. God and Godhood are not two things. There is God Absolute, Which cannot be seen at any time. And there is God-into-action, Which can be seen and contacted. The expression of God-into-action-Power, Which is called Word or Naam, is Light and Sound. To come in contact with Them is coming in contact with the Truth. They are the electric lifts: if you come in contact with Them, They will take you to the Ultimate Goal from which They emanated.
Fortunate are those who have been put on the way by having a lift above the Iron Curtain of the physical body! We are to develop that from day to day. But to do that, something is very important: purity of life. Purity of life has so many aspects. First is the purity of the body. The body is the temple of God, the True Temple of God. The outer temples raised by people are made in the image of the human body; they are models of the human body.
The Light of God and the Voice of God are already within your body. You can hear It; you can see It.
Christ said to His disciples:
Blessed are you who see things that the old prophets and the righteous men could not see; who hear things that the old prophets and the righteous men could not hear.
So, there are seals:
our eyes and our ears are sealed.
With the Grace of God in the Master, if those seals are broken, you have some experience of seeing and hearing. Then, we have to take heed of how we should keep this human body, which is the True Temple of God. In this human body only you can have an experience of the same.
If we keep the outer temples raised by the hand of man so clean and tidy, why should we not keep the human body, which is the True Temple of God, in which God resides, clean?
There are two ways to keep it clean. The first is:
Cleanliness is next to Godliness.
Keep your body clean. It is the True Temple of God. Also don’t put anything into it which goes to defile it. When we consider what we are to eat, the first thing required is that our livelihood has been earned by the sweat of our brow, in which there has been no dishonesty: you have been true to your work. Work is worship.
And further, whatever kind of food you take should be a helping factor Spiritually. It should be food that does not go to flare up passions within you and that is digestible. You will find that this is generally fruits, vegetables, grains, milk and any products thereof. All Masters came and advised this. Even Christ said that. If you read the Essene Gospel of John you will find it there:
Whom you cannot give life to, don’t take their life. Fruits, vegetables, milk and grain I give you for meat.
This is the exact wording. All other Masters have had the same thing to say. So first, our livelihood should be earned by the sweat of our brow – honest earnings. It does not matter whether somebody is seeing you or not: the God in you must see to it.
Two men went to a Master. The Master told them,
Look here, what have you come for?
We have come to know God.
He gave them two pigeons, one to each, and told them,
Go and kill them where nobody will see you.
One man was very clever. He went round behind a wall and killed it and came back within a few minutes.
And the other man – poor fellow – was tossing about from place to place: he could not find any place where nobody was seeing him. In the evening he returned.
Master, I have not found any place where nobody was seeing me.
And He asked,
Who was seeing you?
The very pigeon was seeing me.
Mind that, when a man is initiated, that God-Power resides with him and watches his every action. Our Master used to say,
If a child of five years of age is sitting by you, you will not do anything wrong in front of him.
You’ll want secrecy. When you think that that God-Power is already residing within you, how can you commit any sin?
And the last thing is: whatever things you have brought for your eating, the hands through which these things pass should also be of those with pure thoughts. Because little, little things charge those things which pass through the hands of people who are unchaste. I have read in scripture that unchaste thoughts are like dogs.
So earnings should be pure and honest, and the quality of the food you take should also be clean; and the hands through which these things pass should also be clean; they should be of pure heart. Because everything is charged, you see. Whatever thought reverberates in your mind, you have that charging. Why don’t you feel it? That’s the point. We do not feel it because there is already so much filth in us, say tons, that if a maund or even a seer (Units of weight in India. A maund is about 82 lbs., and a seer is slightly over two lbs.) – a kilogram – is added to it, what difference does it make? Those who are pure in heart, even little ounces will affect them. So, these three things are important: honest earnings; the quality of the food; and the hands through which these things pass should be pure. The first two things are, I think, for those who earn their livelihood and bring things in from outside. And the third part is for those who cook, who prepare the dishes. They should be pure, with very noble thoughts of God and Love for all: with no anger, no enmity, nothing of the sort.
Then, last, will come good character. So these are the things which go to defile anything we eat. If your hearts are pure, you will feel that little things will affect you. For that reason, because it is the temple of God, we have to keep the body clean. And also keep it clean from within by giving it food that does not go to defile it and by living a way which is pure.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Even if a fish is put in a river, still the bad odour does not leave it. Water can cleanse your bodies, but unless your thoughts are pure and your mind is pure, your body cannot be pure. I will give you an example: every morning you take a bath; and if for one day you do not take a bath, you sense a bad odour in the body.
That is due to the thoughts that cross your mind daily. Every thought has its own effect, its own odour, its own colour, mind that. I tell you, those who have lusty thoughts, the odours from their body will be such that even if the body is cleansed every morning, they will again find that bad odours there. What results if you are feeling anger and are resentful or are always having something against somebody? That affects your body. Just smell your body. You will find a bad odour there, like the smell of a cloth burning. If you are very greedy in eating, too voracious, the smell of your body will be like the bad odour of a fish. So there are different odours.
If your hearts are pure; if you have only good thoughts coming in you, striking you; if you have Love, thoughts of Love, thoughts of Spiritual Heights and Love for God; then the smell of your body will be like that of jasmine.
These are the things which are not given in books; but this is how you feel. So the mind must be pure. If your mind is not pure, no matter how you cleanse your body, it will again give out a bad odour. That is why we use so much toiletry every day: we again find the bad odour there. For this, we have to keep our thoughts clean. In the human body of someone whose thoughts are clean, you will find the good ground for God to manifest.
Tulsi tells us,
Just cleanse your heart, your mind.
And what is the cleansing of the mind? Let no other thought other than that of God strike there. Even if you are living in the world, amongst your children, your families, your friends, the needle of your compass should be towards God. It is God Who has given; it is God residing in them. If you always think: all men are alike; they have the same privileges from God and are born the same way; they are the same embodied souls, and the very same God-Power is controlling them in the body; their bodies are the True Temples of God; then, naturally, you will have respect for all. So this is the purity required for being able to progress from day to day.
And last of all comes selfless service, Love for all, Love for God and Love for all others. All Masters said this same thing:
Kabir said so; Guru Nanak said so:
Peace be unto all the world over, under Thy will, oh God.
Christ said so:
Love God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and love thy neighbour as thyself.
So we have to love God; and Love knows service and sacrifice. Love knows giving, sharing with others. Sometimes you will even sacrifice your own interests for the sake of others. That will go to expand your self. If need be, you will sacrifice your own life for the sake of others. Man is truly one who lives for the sake of others. Animals do live for their own selves; and they do love their children. What is the difference between a man and an animal? This is the only difference: a man lives for others, too. He should share with others; because we are all brothers and sisters in God. We are all sharers and partners in God. We are the limbs of the same body of God. And we have the same conscious essence working in us all and the same God-Power controlling us in the body. For these reasons we must have selfless service. If we live for others, naturally others will live for us. An example is better than precept. When you learn to give for the good of others, naturally you will feel joy; because your self expands. You will feel fresh. If you don’t share with others and go on congealing or holding things for your own self, like animals, what will be the result? If there is a well from which no water is drawn out, it will give a bad smell. It will not even, I think, be good for drinking. But the water of any well from which the water is taken out profusely is always fresh, and fragrant, too. For that reason, Masters say,
Let your boats of life remain in water; but let not water enter your boats.
That means that we should not live for outer attachments and outer possessions, but they should live for us. We have to make the best use of them.
You will find that these are very important things, which are always helping factors. Being put on the Way and given the contact with the God-in-action-Power, Which is Light and Sound, is just the commencement. Now you have learned a little bit how to rise above body consciousness. That Light and Voice – whatever you have contacted – is just the initial thing. That still has to grow more and change, to ultimately take you to the place from where It emanated: to the Wordless State of God.
The word Satsangi means: Sat means Eternal, Unchangeable Permanence; and sangi means one who comes in constant contact with the Truth. For that reason you have got some experience to start with. But you have to go on still further and live up to it.
Rome was not built in a day.
Time factor is necessary. When you develop from day to day you will become conscious of that Light and Music of the Spheres that is reverberating throughout all creation. It will come like that in due course, but we have to work for that. Mind that, one does not become a Satsangi, a True Initiate, simply by being given a contact. Of course, some experience is necessary to start with. If you have no experience, it cannot be developed.
So, fortunate you are, that with the Grace of God, all of you have some contact with that. Now we have to develop it, so much so that even while sleeping, working and being anywhere we will always be conscious of that. So the initiate must mould his life in accordance with the principles of Satsang in thought, word and deed. You must be pure and live up to what you are told, even in your thoughts, even in your own speech and even in your own actions. Live up to them.
And the Master tells us,
Those initiates who live up to them, I am at their service.
Actions speak louder than words; and thoughts are even more potent. You are not to tell others that,
I am a flower; the flower is very fragrant.
Let the flower emit that fragrance, and let others say that the flower is fragrant. Let your lives prove that you have something higher. Otherwise, these things already exist in our scriptures. Knowing something is not becoming something. Knowing means just having in your brains and in your memories something that such and such scripture says; but that does not really give you anything, unless you live up to it. People will judge you only by your actions and what you speak. Your thoughts are even more potent than that, because thoughts radiate: if you have loving thoughts, those thoughts will radiate Love. In the lives of the Saints, events have occurred in which even snakes would not go to harm Them.
In one story of Guru Nanak, He was lying under a tree. His whole body was Love personified, and Love overflowed His body. He was lying under a tree, and He was in meditation. The angle of the sun changed, and the shadow which had been over His head also changed. Now the sun’s rays were on His face. A cobra came up and stood in the rays, so that no rays of the sun should fall on His face. The ruler of the place passed by. He thought that Nanak was dead because the snake was there and he must have bitten Him. When he went near Him, the snake went away, and Guru Nanak was alive. Why? Love radiates from our lives.
We had a similar event in our Satsang meetings at Delhi. About two thousand people were sitting there; and while I was giving a talk, one cobra, a little cobra, came out and stood on the stage just like that (Master demonstrates) in front of me.
And the people said,
A cobra is coming!
Never mind; go on with it. Let him come and stand here.
And he – that cobra – stood for one full hour, hearing the talk that was going on, looking at me. When the talk was over, he sneaked away, and the people said,
Let us kill him.
Why? He has not done anything. Why kill him?
So this all is meant to say, if you have Love for all, even snakes won’t harm you. We have got a proverb:
Be wise like snakes.
Snakes are very wise, mind that. They at once catch the radiation, what thoughts are radiated from you. When you see a snake and think, 'Oh, kill him!,' the very thought goes out, and he safeguards himself by attacking. If you have no evil thoughts for anybody, they won’t do any harm to you. So, I am telling you, thoughts are more potent.