Excerpt from a talk given by Dr Harbhajan Singh at Kirpal Sagar (India) on 6 March, 1985
(published in “Sayings of Sant Kirpal Singh”, edition 97-1)
The relation between the disciple and the Master seems to be very strange (if seen) in the worldly way. But as there is no such relation (comparable to) that in the world, it seems to be extraordinary, and people do not pay attention to it.
But those who pay attention and follow the commandments, enjoy it.
I want to tell you from my own life history and from that of my wife. Soon after I had been initiated, about six months later, she got the initiation.
The very next month after I had got the initiation, I wrote a letter to Master, and Master wrote back. He wrote something that hit me very much. Master reminded me of my duties. He said, “Everything is in Master’s hand, but the disciple doesn’t know what He wants.”
Soon we came in very close contact with Him. When she got initiation, Master asked me, if I needed anything. I answered, “Yes, Master, my wife must meditate.” Master agreed.
And so she meditated (according to Master’s wish). That is one aspect, if Master wants (someone to meditate).
There are two types of meditation: one which we do, the other one which Master wishes someone to do. So He wished (that Biji should meditate), and so it was done.
A time came when the separation from Master became very difficult for us. He was in Delhi and we were in Amritsar, and every week we used to go to meet Him.
First we went once in some months, then once a month, then every fortnight, then we started going there every week.
You know, if you compare it with your country, traveling in India is very difficult. At that time we had no fast conveyance, we had to go by train, and sometimes we had to keep standing whole the night as there was no seat left.
But the whole night passed in His sweet remembrance. Once it happened again that only my wife could get a narrow seat while I was standing. Holding the strap from above with one arm I was standing nine, ten hours.
Anyhow, Master was waiting for us. And when we arrived, Master immediately called us in and gave us special time.
Something came from Him (that made me speak). If I spoke something, I did not know why I had said it, but I said, “Master, it is very difficult to meet You, maybe we have to buy a car to have a faster conveyance.”
I did not know who spoke that; I never wanted to buy a car. Things over here are very different, at that time I was not in the position to buy a car.
We finished speaking about it, but within one month I was able to buy a car.
Then we used to drive to Master at any time we liked to do. We could not stand the physical separation. One time, when we were coming from Amritsar in order to go to Delhi, on the way we got to know that Master was not there.
We thought, “Well, half the way we have already traveled, so let us go there!” We had to go a little further to attend a marriage.
Actually we had no interest in the marriage, but we had only one interest – that on the way we could meet Master two times: one time on the way there and one time on the way back.
But it seemed that our wish would not be fulfilled, when we heard it from one person that Master would not come back within ten days.
But on the way we got much vibration and radiation and the smell of roses and jasmin (filled the air). All the time there was a very good atmosphere. We remembered that Master would not be there, but anyhow this experience is there, it is something great.
But when we arrived (at the ashram in Delhi), Master was there. He was standing on the roof and said, “Please, come up!”
One person from Delhi asked, “Master, only yesterday You went and now You have come back. What was the matter, why did You come back? You traveled a lot only for going and coming back?” Master looked towards us and said, “I do not know whose love has fetched me back here!” It is this nearness – then neither the Master nor the disciple can bear the separation.
Master asked, “What is your program?” I said, “Master, we have to go to attend a marriage.” – “Okay, go, but when will you come back?” I answered, “Master, maybe by this or that time.” Master said, “Give me the exact time when you will come!” So we gave Him the exact time.
When we arrived there again, it was nighttime and Master was taking rest already. We did not want to disturb Him, so we went to bed. But early in the morning at four Master sent someone to ask us, what our program was.
Usually Master never asked anybody about such a thing, Master had His own fixed program. But then Master made the program according to our wish.
So He asked, “Well, what is your program?” I replied, “Master, today we have to go back home to Amritsar.” Master said, “I have to go to Chandigarh.” – “Master, this is on the way, then we will not go by way of Ludhiana – we can take a little turn, that doesn’t matter, and we go by way of Chandigarh.”
Actually, Master wanted to bring us there to Chandigarh (to accompany us).
On the way, in Amballa, where we always take food, Master stopped His car. I immediately got out of my car, which was following behind, and went to Master. It was near a bus-stop, where there was a market; I thought that Master might need something.
I asked, “Master, do you need anything?” Master replied, “Yes, I need something!” I said, “Master, what should I bring? What do You want?” Master said, “I want you!”
I got very much vibration from those words, but there was no reply from my side. Master said, “Shall we go on now?” I went back to the car. Master started and we followed immediately. It was a market place (where Master had stopped the car) and at that time I felt that Master wanted to point out that this world is a big market.
If Master comes into this market, He only comes for His disciple. He takes him back. Master many times gave such an assurance. Why? Master said, “The Father cannot live without His child. He loves him so much. But we cannot know about His love.”
Once in our early time I was there, when Master was asked to visit a small child who was suffering. The doctors had told the parents that they should better take the child back home, as he would not survive. That was what the doctor had said. His mother was crying and weeping when she came to Master, and she asked Master, “I have only this one child, and the doctor refused to treat it, so You please, take pity on us and just go there!” I was also sitting there, and we felt very much with her, but Master felt even more, much more;
He knows everything that is in the heart and what the condition is. He knew the background of the child and the background of the parents and how this background had brought them in contact with Master. Master knew each and everything, and He did not refuse them. Master immediately said, “Okay, I will come!” In the car, Master was on the back seat and one person was sitting along with Him. I was on the front seat, putting my hand like this (leaning over the seat). Master did not speak with His tongue, but some vibration touched me when I felt that Master put His hand on my head;
Master said, “Doctor, this time I will definitely take you back.” It was something which can easily be said, but it cannot be described from heart (how it is). How it was, how I felt it, was something very new to me, it was just like a new life for me.
And I said, “It is a very big promise from the Master.”
That night there was a meeting of the group of people working in Amritsar. When Master selected us, He immediately gave duties to me and my wife. He gave them to both of us, not only to one of us. Right from the beginning Master gave us so many duties that we could not find even a moment for other purposes; we were very busy.
At that time I used to get up very early in the morning, then I took a little breakfast and went to the hospital. Those were very good days then. At six I used to start, and from morning till eleven or midnight I used to be in the hospital. And whenever I asked, “Master, I do not find any time (to free myself) from my hospital,” Master said, “No, it is my work! It is not less than meditation, it is my work.” Everything is coming up in the service (to our fellow beings).
My practice was very different from others. I used to accommodate the poor. Sometimes, if I had to get some money from them, I had to think for a long time. I knew that he had only that much money and if I asked even one rupee more, he would not be able to pay it. And it was always right.
But then I had even not the time to go to the regular Satsang in time. I used to go regularly, but I never could reach the Satsang in time. I asked Master many times (because of this), and Master wrote me in a letter, “If you come to the Satsang in time, this whole matter will be smooth!”
Because there were lots of disturbances in the Amritsar Centre, which were not set by then. Slowly, slowly I could arrange it that on Sundays I could make myself free. And really, when we went there in time, there was never any problem, everything was smooth. Then we not only got much love, but Master was also very strict with us. In the beginning Master said, “Last time I said, this work must be done, but it has not been done, why not?”
It was not my fault, but it was the fault of somebody else. It was in the early time when I had not yet taken up the job of the president of this Centre. The man who was responsible did not answer. So I came forward and said, “Master, don’t worry, it will be done immediately.” I was still quite new, it was only one month after my initiation.
Master looked at me and said, “Who asked you to say these things?” I replied, “Master, I do not know (who made me speak like that)!” Master had not asked me, He had been asking other persons. I interfered when I said, “Okay, Master, it will be done!” Master was sitting there, when I had gone for some work.
In my absence all people said that they wanted the doctor as president of the Amritsar Centre. Master said, “Okay, bring this doctor, who is this doctor?” Master knew it very well. Master said to me, “They all want you to make the management. Can you provide it?” I said, “Master, if You want, I will definitely do that!” Master said, “Yes, thank you, that is what I also want, the Sangat wants you, and I am also with the Sangat!” – “Yes, Master, it is good.”
But after I had been selected by the Master as president, I had to think about something all the time. I began to think only after I had accepted this duty. Whole the day I was feeling much vibration from the Master. But I could not know from my intellect, what I should say to the Master, what my heart wanted to say.
I could not get any reply even from the heart what I should I ask the Master. But there was some question hidden in me. Ultimately a moment came, when immediately I knew that I had to speak with Master in this matter.
Whole the day I was fully busy with myself, and all the time I was thinking that there was something wrong in me, and that I had to speak with Master. But I did not know what was wrong.
Ultimately, at nighttime, I went to Master and said, “Master, I have one question!” Master said, “Well, tell me!” It was an extraordinary time, when I went to Master. Master was sleeping upstairs on the roof, as it was the very hot season then. Master said, “Well, you have come, now speak!” I had brought my secretary with me.
I said, “Master, you have selected us!” Master said, “You tell about yourself, not for the other man.” Again I said, “Master, You have selected me as president, and he is the secretary.” Master said, “Well, what do you want to tell me?” I said, “Master, there were already some others president of this Centre. The first one went, then the next one came, he also went, then the third one came, he also left, then the fourth came, and now the fourth one has gone as well, and now you have selected me.”
Master said, “That is what I want to tell you – you have been selected by me!” I said, “Master, they also began and came up!”
Master said, “There is a difference.” I said, “Master, a time will come when I also go like this!” Master asked, “What do you want to say?” I answered, “Master, if this will happen with me, too, then I’d better leave right now!” Master said, “Don’t speak for the other man, speak for yourself!”
Then Master took His hand above and said, “Don’t worry, nothing like that will happen to you!”
I said, “Master, why did they leave?” Master said, “They had no real interest in the mission. Being interested and becoming responsible is a different thing.” Master said, “This ego took them away. They became the prey of the ego. They could not live in the mission.”
When Master went back to Delhi, He wrote me a beautiful letter. Master said, “Those who remain attached with those who are fully attached with Master will remain attached with Him, and they will ultimately go to the Master Power.”
Those who are detached will remain detached, and ultimately they will be fully detached from the Mission. They will no longer live with the Master Power but will be fully detached (from Him).
Further Master said: “Those who are selfless will always remain with Master, they cannot part from Him and no power can separate them from Master. They will remain one with Master. But those who remain selfish, or those who become selfish, this Power will not keep them. They have to go away, they cannot even come to the Satsang. They will leave the Centre.”
Master had written several letters – about sixty–four letters from the Master are with me. Some letters are very important, and in many letters Master gave me various duties to do. We knew right from the beginning that Master needed selfless service from us.
And the experiences Master gave us right from the beginning that concerned only the selfless service. Master gave me the duties directly.
When my wife was initiated, in her first experience she could know something about the life of Kabir and her contact with Him. Master took her to a well, where there was a bucket tied with a rope. Master started to unwind that rope from the bucket to show that it was fully rusty there, between the rope and the iron there was much rust. She said, “Master, it is very rusty.” Master said, “This is why you had to come back to this world. Your selfless service is still awaited from the Master Power!”
I mean to say, even if one has got the initiation from a very high Power like Kabir, one has to come back into the world only to do the selfless service. According to the experience Master had given to her we had to do the selfless service.
We had worked selflessly beforehand,
but still it was not sufficient.
Selfless service is something that does not end.
All competent Masters were ready to give each drop of their blood, to give even their life as selfless service. They took this man-body from the world, and wanted to dispossess themselves of it. When Master Baba Sawan Singh was sick, He said that each drop of His blood will be utilized for the development of the soul of the disciples. That is what every Master said.
And this attitude is compulsory for a disciple who wants to go home. The more a disciple does for the cause of the Master, the more he (prepares the place within where he) will be accommodated.
There is no limit to our way, it will open and open and open. It is still very tight, it is in the opening stage, and it will go on opening. It is not like this that we have already done something and that is sufficient; no, it is only a beginning.
There is no end to the selfless service.
It is not like a worldly subject which ends after some time, when we have to take an examination. If we pass this, we say, “Now I have the doctor grade and I am a master of this subject.” No, here it is not like this. Here one loses each and everything, and by losing everything, one rises into the Master.
Man loses his identity and merges into the Master Power, and people cannot realize any difference between disciple and Master, such an affection and love for the Master Power is there. He who – with His wish –has realized even a little bit about Him could not live without Him but they had to do some work for Him as this gives a lot of vibration.
Selfless service or to pass the time with the Master Power is one and the same. Because selfless service entirely belongs to Him and He is the controller thereby. He is always there. We do not see Him but He always sees us. His presence is there to the utmost.
We sleep at night but He is at work,
He is always present.
At that time there were lots of things to do so that we could not wait even one more night, we immediately wanted to go to Master. Once I wrote a letter to Master that I wanted to see Him. Immediately I got the reply that Master was not there. Master had told that no one should visit Him, for He was writing a book then.
He was in Dehra Dun, but nobody was told as where Master had gone. This urge, however, this yearning in us arose from the Master Power. Master remembered us and we were searching Him; we tried to find out as where Master had gone. I phoned (the Centre in Delhi) and then I sent a telegram saying, “I want to know where Master is!” Then they phoned the Master: “That doctor from Amritsar is stressing so much and is inquiring about You. What should we answer him?” Master said, “Okay, give them my address.” So we sent a telegram to Master in Dehra Dun and Master wrote back, “Okay, you can come!”
I did not know if Master was alone there and if there was some arrangement for food for more people. We did not go only the four of us (our children, my wife and me) but we took four more persons with us. It was a beautiful time which we could spend with Master. Nobody else was there and Master was very busy, but nevertheless He had enough time for us.
When we wanted to go, Master said, “No, I will not allow you to go!” The driver and the cook were very surprised, and again and again they said, “You are very lucky, Master doesn’t allow anybody to remain there, people only come and go. Master never asked anybody to stay but He almost compulsively asks you not to go! You can stay with Master for some more days!”
But when He sent us back and Master said good–bye to us, it was a bad thing to see (His condition). In the morning when we had to go back Master became sick and He was very tired.
He did not want us to leave and Master asked the cook to prepare very good food for us (for the journey). Then He was pressing our luggage carrier with both His hands and said, “Well, now you go, there is nothing to fear!” Actually we should have had to meet an accident (but Master had averted it).
On our arrival Master had said, “Who is going to die! You or she?” I answered, “Master, no, we will not die!” Master said, “Yes, this much you know, well, but what is the problem that you are so much after me?” I said, “We do not know why – it was something that was coming from You!” But it was nothing we could explain.
From Dehra Dun back to Amritsar we had to travel ten hours, sometimes eleven or even twelve hours, but due to this pain of separation we did not even know which city was to come or which city we had passed. The journey passed like anything, as if it were only two or three hours.
We went in His sweet remembrance and we could not feel anything else.
We never felt any burden while doing the mission of the Master, as our full attention was there.
While one is doing the service to the Master, both are at work: the man-body and the mind. Both mind and body are fully busy.
And what happens with the soul? The soul awakens and thus finds its way to the feet of the Master.
Those are lucky who make the best use of the separation.
There is only one way to avoid
or to pass through (the time of) separation:
that is the selfless service.
Those who do not do anything also do not feel the separation. But those who feel the separation are bound to work for the Master. They want to put in their full attention for the cause of the Master. There is only one way to overcome the separation – to work for that Power which is separated from us, to please Him, when we work for Him because He is there in His work.
Then we do not feel this separation, we do not feel awkward, and we are not entangled by the mind and the outgoing faculties of the mind. If something is still there, then Master has the way out.
Master becomes fully responsible for us.
Once Master gave a definition of this separation with a quotation in Punjabi: “He, who after going resides in the mind of the disciple, is the Master Power. He is always with us.” The Master Power who goes from this world, leaving the physical body, but then resides in our mind – this Power is always with us. But who is the blessed one to get this opportunity (that Master resides in his heart)? Those who do the selfless service, who are engaged in His work.
Master always resides in their hearts, in their mind because He controls the mind, He takes charge of the mind. Because there is one thing that disturbs the disciple, and that is the mind. So Master looks after the mind of the disciples – and which disciples?
Those who work for Him, who put their full attention into the cause of the Master to remove the separation. Outwardly the separation is still there, but the pain of separation is minimized like this – and there is no way out.
(After the physical departure) of any competent Master the same thing happened, you may take any example. Those who afterwards called themselves “master” started (to teach) their own way. Some disciples who had no close link with Master and who had no real interest, remained busy with their worldly things and became worldly persons again.
But those who had the pain in their heart, wept until ultimately they were told from within and from outside to start with the work. There was no way out than to start His work. He, whom we want to get, is only happy, if someone starts to work as He was doing.
Sometimes I was disturbed, because I loved Master more than anything else, and I always requested Master that He should live physically with us for a much longer time! This was my utmost desire.
Once I asked Master, “You finish the work completely, and we will always be at Your disposal. Only when the whole work is done, we say, ‘Now time has come, everything is done, let us go back!’ and we happily go there.” That was my earnest wish. But Master had known all the things (to come) and He wanted us to do all this work.
Master often said, “No, why do you want to go back? Who will do the work?” We knew that Master would leave us. It was a very big problem for us, but Master gave the solution. He said, “You have to go, I have to go, she (my wife) also has to go, and all others who have love for you and those who work in the mission of the Master – they all have to go. Master is responsible for them. They will all go together.”
This is how Master is removing the separation.
Now Master is giving us very high ideas, and we are the labourers. In one letter (see below) which Master wrote to me, He said, “You are blessed with right understanding, rather rare right understanding of its special significance, you need not worry.” And Master had written further, “The harvest is ready, it is fully ripe, labourers are needed, and it is the best time for you to develop yourself while helping your brothers.”
To help others by doing the selfless service, means you can help yourself. It is the biggest chance for the development of your soul, if you help others to develop. This letter which Master had written to me is still with me. Where then is the meditation? Where are the separation and other things? All that has been solved. This is a very big assurance that Master gave. And I know, Master wanted all these things also from you.
You may read all the holy scriptures from all over the world – you will get only one ideal; also in the Guru Granth Sahib, it is the most important subject, and it was written about it by all the competent Masters – the selfless service:
Gurbhakti – service to the Master and His Mission. These two things are there.
This is a very important and intoxicating subject. You may read the stories of all devotees. All incidences that happened in their lives concern the selfless service. They did something for others, they even sacrificed their life, and Master was happy with them. Master gave all possible help to the disciple, He gave them guarantee after guarantee, love after love, and Master said to them, “Demand whatever you want, demand anything in the three worlds, (you will get it), if you need anything!” But their lips remained closed. Because the love they had experienced, the love of the Master is higher than everything else, what about the three worlds? They wanted to get rid of these three worlds. So they never demanded anything. They only said, “Master, whatever you give us, that is sufficient for us. We don’t need anything other than that.”
Never they liked to indulge in any things again, because they knew that there is nothing new. Everything is binding us there in all these planes, and when the soul is bound there, it cannot go anywhere. They had just left all that and had surrendered to the Master Power, why should they need anything in the three universes?
If they demanded anything,
they only demanded something
for their brothers and sisters.
They said, “Nothing bad should come to them, they should be saved, they should be taken back.” There were such very devoted disciples of some competent Masters in the past who demanded all (for others). And Master Himself gave this much guarantee that He will be responsible for those who work in His Mission. This is a great guarantee. What more is needed?