What is True Living


The initiate’s daily conduct must reveal that he is a follower of a True Master. When you are given something very unusual, the special gift of God, your duty is to maintain it:

Take heed that the Light which is within you is not darkened.

By not observing these things, whatever Light we get inside or whatever Music we hear is almost stopped. That is why you will find I have prescribed diaries for self-introspection under certain heads:

Truthfulness – no harm, non-violence, in thought, word and deed; chastity – you see? The underlying principle; and Love for all.

All Masters, when They came, told us,

Love one another so that people may know you are coming to a True Saint.

Masters are overflowing with the Love of God and Love for all humanity. They take up this role as given by God. Otherwise, if They were doing it in Their own name, why should They be going around for no purpose, no selfish motive? They have only one motive: to just bring all children of God back to God. That’s all. They don’t need any payment; Their talks are given free; They live on Their own earnings; They are not a burden to anybody else. So when They say something, They say it out of Their Love for all. This is what is wanted.

Now, you will find that an ounce of practice is worth more than tons of theories. Of what use is it to know the principles, if one does not live up to them? If you say, Tell the truth, and you don’t tell the truth; if you say, Love others; don’t think evil of others, and you still think evil of others; what is the use of knowing that? That’s holding information in your brain. Such and such scriptures say such and such; such and such Masters say such and such. Well, what is that to you? We should learn to live up to them.

A learned man with no practice is no better than a beast of burden carrying a load of books, of scriptures, that’s all. So it is infinitely better to practice than to preach. First live, then say. Otherwise, even though you may be a scholar and you may have written commentaries on certain subjects which sound outwardly very religious; even though you read scriptures and preach them to others; if you do not live up to them, then what is the sense of that? Truly, suchlike preaching does not carry any effect. Only the arrow that is drawn to the chest goes to the target. The words that come out of our heart, as we live up to them, carry effect by radiation to others’ hearts.

I remember a case of one woman who brought her little child to Gandhi. She said,

This child eats too much sugar.

Then Gandhi told her,

All right, mother, bring this child back after three days.

She went away, and she came back after three days. Then he told her child,

Well, child, don’t eat sugar.

And the mother said,

Well, Gandhi, if you have only that much to say, why didn’t you say it the other day?

He said,

Because I was eating sugar then.

Mind that, if you don’t live up to what you say, those words won’t carry any effect. I think there is so much preaching going on nowadays: perhaps in the olden days nobody even dreamt of it. And with all that, how many lovers are coming up? How many Saints are there? With all our preaching, our lives have not changed. What is the reason why? The preachers are themselves not living up to what they say.

Mind that, any wind that strikes a burning fire and passes by it, those men who are sitting on the other side of it will have hot winds. And if there is some ice – maunds of ice, tons of ice, heaps of ice – and if any wind passes by it, the man who is sitting on the other side will have cold wind.

So whatever thoughts are in our hearts and any words we give out come charged with those very things that are already there. If a man openly is very good – I am a very good man – and his heart is full of passions and he is not living up to what the scriptures say, naturally whatever words he utters – even though they may be very sweet words – will carry the effect of heat. And if there is a heap of ice and you put a blanket over it which does not appear to be very cold, even then, anyone who strikes that heap of ice, apparently covered by a blanket, will receive cold. Do you follow my point?

This is what is required. A spoon passing through a sweet dish does not have any taste of it. This is just the way it is with persons who have so much knowledge at the intellectual level, but don’t live up to it.

As I told you, an ounce of practice is worth more than tons of theories. This is one thing. And above all, I would say, as I told you before, a pure heart is most essential for Spiritual Progress. You cannot expect a king to enter a filthy cabin. Even a dog does not sit in an unclean place: he cleans the place with his tail. How can you expect God to appear in a heart full of passions, greed, pride, attachment or egotism?

So, what is a Saint? He is a man like you, but He is developed in that way. A little word of His carries more effect than hundreds of lectures given by others. As I told you, so much preaching is going on in almost all the holy places of worship of the religions. And are many men changing? Not in the least.

Our body is the temple of the Living God. It should not be polluted, I would say, with the intake, as I explained to you, of anything that would go to defile it, anything that is not a helping factor on the way, such as meat, fish, fowl, eggs and alcoholic drinks. We have to keep our bodies pure and simple and have a loving heart for all, a helping hand for all. For that reason, we should live up to what the scriptures say. Try never to harm the feelings of others. If a blind man is there and you say to him,

Oh, blind man!,

he feels it.

If you just sit by him and say,

Dear friend, how did you lose your sight?,

he purpose served is the same.

Little words carry much effect. These very words go to work either as a consolation or to flare up feelings. For that reason, we must live up to what we say.

This is one side: this is self-introspection. Along with it, put in regular time to your meditation practices. The secret of success on the Path is practice, more practice and still more practice. Practice makes a man. What is the way to concentration? There is no high road to concentration. The only high road is to concentrate, concentrate and concentrate. For this very purpose, diaries for self-introspection have been prescribed. They will make you regular in your practices. They will bring to your notice any shortcomings that you have in your life. When you know there are so many scorpions and snakes sitting under your seat, naturally you want to clean them out. You have to weed out these things from day to day. For that reason, what should we do? Keep a diary. It is a very helpful factor, I tell you. It can make a Saint out of a robber. Man, who has the human body, has the birthright to see God. We can change, especially when we are helped by others: by Those Who are competent to give us help, Who will take us in Their charge and Who have good will for us – not for us, but for our souls. They look to all the world over from the angle of God in Them. They see all as the children of God, as their own children.

When Guru Nanak left His hearth and home to carry the message of God to the world at large, He had two children and a wife.

His mother-in-law came up and said,

Well, Nanak, what are you doing? Why are you leaving your family?

He said,

All humanity is my family.

They give and see from that level. This is also what Christ said. Once it so happened that His mother was seeking for Him in the multitude and could not reach Him on account of the greatness of the multitude.

Someone told Christ,

Your mother is seeking for You.

And He said,

Who is my mother? Who is my brother?

He pointed to the men sitting around Him:

They are my mothers, they are my brothers, who hear the Voice of God.

We already are brothers and sisters in God. Those who have been put on the way, they are True Brothers and Sisters in God. You see? This is the angle of vision from which the Masters look to us.

I’ll tell you the story of a certain prince. He left his hearth and home to become a Saint. His name was Gopi Chand. He went to his Master. What did his Master tell him? – There are ways and ways of Masters. This was a yogi Master.

He said,

All right. Leave your hearth and home and come here.

He sent him to beg, because they had nothing to eat or live on:

Go and bring alms from people’s homes.

But first he advised him to go to his own family, to his own wife, and then to others: to his mother and then everybody else.

He went to his wife, begging. She said,

Now that my husband is gone, what are all these things for? I am left alone.

She gave him all the ornaments that she had.

Then he came to his mother. He had taken up that way of life under the advice of his mother. – Some mothers are very spiritual. They wish their children to be godly. So she had advised her son to take up that Spiritual Way.

She said,

Look here, I will give you three pieces of advice to live by. The first is that you must always remain in a strong fort.

And Gopi Chand asked his mother,

Well, mother, there’s no place to live in. Sometimes we’ll have to pass our nights on the roadside. Why do you say that I should always live in castles – in very strong fortresses?

Then she explained to him,

Look here, live always under the custody of your Master.

That’s a very strong fort, mind that. Master is One at Whose Pole God is manifest and radiates His protection and Love, even from thousands of miles. If you can catch a voice from thousands of miles through the radio, why can’t you have the radiation from the Human Pole at Whom God is working? By radiation you can have it. That means: live where you are, perhaps near or far; always think of that God-Power. Mind that, God is the True Master in whatever Human Pole He is manifested: that manifested God is the True Master Who pervades all creation.

When you come under the custody of such a God-in-man, or man-in-God, when He initiates you, He resides with you always. Never forget Him.

And Christ said,

If you love me, keep my commandments.

That everybody knows. We should live up to them one hundred per cent of the time, if we would like to derive the full benefit of the man’s life and His teachings.

But Christ said one thing more:

Let my words abide in you and you abide in me.

The first part, everybody can understand:

My words abide in you.

Whatever you have been told – all those things – live up to it. But how can you abide in me?

Whomsoever you remember truly at heart, that reacts in the heart of the one whom you remember. That reacts. By that reaction, you abide in his heart. What is meant by this? Never transcend what He says, and live up to it one hundred per cent. But all the same, always have your attention directed to that God-Power Which is working at some Human Pole Which has given you contact with God. That resides in you at the very time of initiation. The more you think of Him:

As you think, so you become.

And that reacts in the heart of the one whom you remember.

That gives you receptivity; that gives you quicker results. You can have that radiation whether from near or far.

Kabir said,

If your Master is living beyond the seven seas, and you are living on this side, direct your attention towards Him. You will have radiation and effect.

That is why Christ said,

When more than one man sits in my name, I am there.

Mind that, Christ did live before Jesus. Jesus was the Human Pole at Which that Christ-Power worked.

What is Christ-Power? It is the God-Power; it is the Guru-Power: not the Son of man, but the God-Power That never dies.

Christ said,

I shall never leave thee nor forsake thee till the end of the world.

That Power always exists and resides in you from the very moment you are initiated.

So it is a great privilege to be put on the way, or initiated. It is no ordinary thing. It is the special Grace of God.

The very same thing that people could not have after many long years, you get on the very same day. Previously the Masters used to prepare men first. Only when they were ready, They gave them something. But the times have changed. Also, in those times, the initiates had to live with the Master for months and years. So now the times have changed.

Now Masters give the initiates some thing within to start with and also take on the duty of making them by giving them a self-introspection report to keep and submit at regular intervals.

So this is the first advice that his mother gave to Gopi Chand. And the second advice was:

Always sleep on very soft, and very nice and elegant beds.

Then again, Gopi Chand told his mother,

Well, mother, there’s no place to sleep there. We might have to sleep on stones and on earth. How can you say that we should have very fine, very soft beds?

Then she told him,

Well, look here; don’t go to sleep unless sleep overtakes you. When sleep overtakes you, there’s no question of whether you’re lying on stones or earth or in a bed.

These were two pieces of advice given by the mother to her son. And the third thing she said was,

What should you eat? Eat the very best dishes; very delicious dishes.

Then again he asked his mother,

Well, dear mother, how can we, when we are begging alms? Somebody will give us dry bread; sometimes we won’t even get anything to eat. How can you say that we should always have a very rich diet, very delicious dishes?

Then his mother told him,

Look here, don’t eat unless you feel very hungry. Do you see? Very hungry. When you are very hungry, even the grams (in India, a kind of beans or chick peas) that you eat will taste delicious.

So these are the three pieces of advice given by the mother of Gopi Chand to her son. If you live up to them, you will find how much good they carry. Live up to the sayings of the Masters. They say,

Have pure lives.

They say,

Let your earnings be honest.

They say,

Just have good lives, good thoughts, good words and good deeds.

And They say,

Always have the sweet remembrance of God.