This Satsang talk was published in the July 1974 Sat Sandesh.
(“Strait,” as given in the King James Version of the Bible, has the same meaning as “narrow” in modern English.)
The world is a panorama before us; and we, on the sense-level from the day of our birth, are absorbing impressions from it, perpetually increasing our subconscious reservoir. Approximately 80 percent of these impressions come in through the eyes, and through the ears about 14 percent. The rest enter via the other senses; by taste when eating rich foods and getting engrossed in their enjoyment, by the smell of various fragrances and odors, etc. The life we live, therefore, is a superficial one; and we have become the superficial image of it. Forgotten is the existence of an inner life; forgotten is the Inner Way to it.
In this panoramic world, all knowledge which is taught is directly connected with the mind, intellect, and senses — including the scientific degrees. The Spiritual Masters also come to the world, but They teach us: “O man, within you is another life, another world, a new world, which you can seek and find in this human form.” These Masters explain the difference between the two types of knowledge — called Apara Vidya and Para Vidya, exoteric and esoteric knowledge. The former is gained via the senses, the outgoing faculties, the mind and the intellect. The latter can be realized only by going above all these — an experience gained only within the human physical form.
There is a story which tells of a certain mendicant who announced to the people that the following day a special breeze would come, which would cause an insanity in everyone whom it touched, and that the wise ones should hide themselves from this breeze. A few, perhaps ten or twenty people, believed in the integrity of the holy man, and obediently hid themselves indoors on the following day. When the breeze had passed by, they came out of their houses and found that all the other people had gone mad.
The mad people looked at them, and seeing some difference, accused the sane people of being mad. Similarly, whenever Masters come, the worldly people accuse Them of all kinds of things, including a non-functioning of the intellect. People have no appreciation for the Master’s worth, for they are deeply involved in all the superficial worldly knowledge, unaware that another life exists. When He saw this condition, Guru Nanak said: “If I utter a word, they say I am babbling; and if I do not speak, they say I am dumb; if I sit peacefully, they say I am mourning the dead; and when I leave, they mutter against me; In this world one cannot win; O God protect us!” It describes the whole world’s condition. The majority who are mad, are accusing the few who are sane.
This madness can be more aptly termed a forgetfulness, to which all Masters refer. Guru Arjan says: “Eyes are sleeping, but absorbing all illusory sights; Ears are sleeping, but absorbing the gossip of low thoughts.” Since birth we have been busily absorbing all the outer impressions, with the result that we actually lead a superficial life; for man, having forgotten his true Self, has become the very image of the impressions he has absorbed. All the worldly sounds, gossip, backbiting, idle chatter, enter his being through his ears, joining the impressions from the other worldly pleasures; and he enmeshes himself more and more into this web. With the mind so occupied and intoxicated with this changing panorama of worldly life, who can awaken him from this deep sleep, this illusion, this forgetfulness?
“Awake, O beloved, why are you sleeping? The night has gone, but why lose the day also?” The Vedas say,
Awake, arise, and stop not until the goal is reached.
Do not even take a breath until you have reached your goal! In the Gospel of Matthew it says, “Enter ye in at the strait gate….” That gate, through which we enter the Beyond, is very narrow, but:
… wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction,
and many there be which go in thereat:
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,
which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Those who do not find that gate remain in darkness. Through all the nine doors of the body — eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, and two below — we are going into dispersion, disseminating our attention in all directions instead of centralizing it. There is but one road, and it is very, very narrow; and that way is the tenth way which is apart from all nine doors: a gate which is situated behind the eyes. Upon entering this gate, the soul is awakened into a new world. This is the meaning of the strait gate.
The Path of the Masters is a narrow Inner Path, which many may try to approach, but few actually enter therein. Scriptures say the same thing in slightly different phrasing. St. Luke entreated, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate; for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” Guru Nanak said,
Man is blind; he cannot find the way up.
He also said,
Close the nine doors, for in the tenth the true abode is realized;
There the Unstruck Sound rings day and night,
and the words of the Guru’s teaching are heard.
How can we withdraw our attention from all the nine open doors? He says that we should close them; so if, for instance, you close your eyes, you will shut out the entry of outer impressions. All senses remain below the eye-level; so center your attention there, and “Enter into the foxhole of the brain,” from whence the soul rises after withdrawing from all other parts of the body and centering at that point. If you have ever witnessed anyone’s death, you will remember that the dying person does not hear if he is spoken to — his eyes may be open, but he does not see anyone. This is because his attention is withdrawn. There is a rattling sound, and the eyes turn upward as the final withdrawal takes place. The Path of which the Masters speak starts at this very point. “Knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” The Masters give hints and indications.
Christ advised that one should take up the cross and die daily. This is the cross (the body with arms spread wide); and to die daily means to go up, rise above the body, ascend daily. There are two definite paths, outer and inner; but we have no knowledge of the inner one. The Masters come specially to give us that knowledge, but They are accused and derided. Christ said:
It is better for thee to enter into the Kingdom of God with one eye,
than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
What does this mean? It means that there is another eye situated behind the two physical eyes, and at this point lies the practical way into the Beyond.
If you continue seeing with two physical eyes alone all through life, you will go further and further into dispersion, and further into attachment therefore. “As you sow, so shall you reap.” You are unhappy here, and after death there will be unhappiness, too. That is why Christ said that the single eye is better. And what is the single eye?
If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of Light.
That single eye must be opened, and then the whole being fills with Light.
You have a choice of two paths: to enter the Inner Way through the strait gate, which leads you to the Kingdom of God, the Father’s home, step by step; or to pass through the two eyes, ears, and outgoing faculties perpetually, which take you further away from your true home, for you are pulled more and more into the world.
We were once in the Lord’s lap and have not returned there up to now. Had we done so, we would have been of a vastly different color. Instead, we became learned, intellectual, filled with all kinds of bookish knowledge, expert at exploring, and so on; but we, in fact, remained ignorant of and far from the Truth. You can get this outer knowledge anywhere; but as for the Inner Way, forgive me, man does not even grasp the reference to it, which is given in all the scriptures.
Tulsi Sahib said:
In the iris is a black spot which is filled with the secret of creation;
Perceive beyond this dark curtain.
Behind the iris of the eye there is darkness, and you have to go beyond this darkness to gain entry onto the Inner Path. Some people sit in this darkness for years on end and declare they are in samadhi; but the door does not open, and the darkness does not disperse. The name Guru is justly given to He Who breaks open the darkness so that one can see the Light revealed within, whereupon one can testify that there is Light.
If a lamp has many covers over it, naturally it would seem that there is no light at all. To remove our outer covers is a difficult task, and to rise above is even more difficult. Many yogis in the past have spent hundreds of years in attempting to rise above the body, but the truly enlightened Person can teach one the ABC of the science on the very first day, and thereby the Light is seen within. With the same method, in due course of time, each cover is removed until all four are gone; and the Effulgent Light is experienced.
Light a small candle in a very big hall and it will seem very dim, but by placing a shade over it that small amount of light can be concentrated. We have scattered our attention far and wide, and it cannot see anything of the Truth; but the Master withdraws that attention and centralizes it, focuses it, with a little of His attention. The Masters have Their attention in full control, and can do anything with it. When Christ said:
Take heed therefore that the Light which is in thee be not darkness,
He spoke of the Inner Light and the Inner Way, the meaning of which I think you can now understand a little.
The knowledge taught by Masters cannot be learned through reading, writing, or thinking, because the God-into-Expression Power Itself is that knowledge, which is also known as Naam, “Word,” and Shabd. When the Lord wished to become from one to many, there emitted a tremendous vibration, and that resulted in Light and Sound; and that Power sustains the whole of creation. To see that Light and hear that Sound is to experience the true knowledge. You will find many references from various religious scriptures in the book “Naam or Word.“
You are standing on the fringe of a new horizon, and all glory and beauty lie before you — within. And you start to experience that when you rise above the body-consciousness and the senses. Those who can bring their soul above the cage of the body at will can be termed Rishi, Muni, Valli, Pegumber, or Master, or Maha Purush, which means a great man (spiritually). All those who are imprisoned in this body, be they highly intellectual or not, are, in the eyes of the Masters, illiterate and untutored.
Many intellectuals, however, will not consider the possibility of higher knowledge existing, and brush the subject aside as a fable. But the Avatars themselves have a deep respect for the Saints, for they also followed a Guru; they also traveled the one Path.
God has given the beauty of the outer world, which may be appreciated; but the beauty of the inner sun of Maha Brahmand, in which that perpetual Sound is vibrating, surpasses all description. The secret teaching of this was given by Ingris Rishi to Krishna, the son of Devki. You will find reference to this teaching, and to whom it was given, in the Ramayana in the chapter called “Bal Kand.” References and inferences you will find, but without the help of a practical Master you cannot have the practical knowledge of what is written.
During the time of our Hazur (Baba Sawan Singh) there was a very well known philosopher by the name of Kartar Singh Nabina, who attended Hazur’s Satsang one day. After hearing the Master’s talk he said, “Maharaj, I am a person who is not easily won over during discussions; and very few people can stand up to me. However, today I feel like a small child sitting before You to learn his alphabet.“
The Path of the Masters then is something very different from philosophy.
In listening to the message by word,
O friend, do not forget yourself;
the Master’s teaching is something different,
and those who seek it will receive.
The Masters Who give knowledge of the Inner Way have been successful in the past, and still are today. The world is not without Them.
When Pythagoras spoke of “Truth clothed in Light,” it was an indication that the Truth is greater than the Light; but its expression is found within the Light. Socrates spoke of the “Music of All Harmonies,” adding, “I heard a Sound which dragged me into a new world.” Plato called It the “Music of the Spheres,” and Zoroaster described It as an “Unstruck Fire.” In those days fire was started by striking two flint stones together, so he described the Inner Fire as one which burns without being struck. He then named It Sarosha, and in that Sarosha or Light is the Sound Principle.
The Saints and the true devotees of God have all told of the Light and Sound. Whatever references I have found, by parallel study of religions, I have incorporated into the book “Naam or Word“; so if you are interested in the references you will find them there.
Masters want to take us into an entirely different world; and when you ascend above the body, you will yourself experience that audible Sound. A certain Saint says that the Sound, which is the God Power, the Christ Power, the Guru Power, is telling us to “Come children; He is awaiting us above.” It is there, awaiting us, and is apparent in the form of Light, audible in the form of Sound, and leads the soul to its Source, where all is a wordless state.
Those who have succeeded in rising out of the cage of the body tell us that there are no other means of achieving this. So what steps must be taken? They tell us, furthermore, that to meet the Lord, the mind must come under control. Put one foot on your mind, and the next step will reach to the Lord’s door. If anything lies between the soul and the Lord, it is the mind. All nine doors are tasteless; the Nectar is at the tenth. The Nectar, which can sweeten the mind, exists only at the tenth door — the strait gate — so enter therein; there is no other way.
Guru Amardas searched for this secret way for more than seventy years of His life, until He finally received the gift at the feet of Guru Angad. Then He said:
When mind is dirty, everything is dirty;
washing the body will not clean the mind;
the world is an illusionary forgetfulness;
few will unravel its enigma.
These few words are pregnant with meaning. The world is racing along in forgetfulness, busily engaged in cleaning the body, etc., but without a single thought for cleaning the mind.
All this dirt has entered the mind via the senses; and for as long as man remains at the sense-level, the mind will absorb more and more impressions, and will, therefore, become dirtier.
Thrust into a room filled with mascara,
no matter how careful, you will get spotted.
It means that you are imprisoned at sense-level, and you cannot stop these impressions from entering your being. One Saint entreated the Lord,
O God, You have placed us on a narrow plank
and pushed it into the ocean;
how can one keep dry under such circumstances?
The Masters come to air-condition us so that we are affected by neither heat nor cold of the worldly influences. References are given out in relation to those points upon which people desire information. They want to know what the Masters teach, and what They give. If the inner knowledge is explained outwardly it can be understood intellectually; and that is a stepping-stone. However, that kind of understanding goes up to a certain point only, and not beyond that point. To go further:
The Guru puts the true Surma (medicine) of Knowledge into the eyes.
This is a simple way of describing the science of the Masters — but — you cannot get this knowledge until the attention withdraws above the senses. Plutarch says:
Those who are initiated into the mysteries of the beyond,
their souls have the same experience
as the soul has when it leaves the body at death.
If you want to meet the Lord, then learn to control your mind.
Repeat, O my mind, only one Naam;
the Satguru has given me this wealth.
The mind can be cleansed only by ascending above the nine doors and entering in through the tenth, where there is a reunion with the God-into-Expression Power, the two aspects of which are Light and Sound. No matter how many practices you may attempt, nor how much you may be able to control the body by force, nor how long you may learn to sit within:
The dirt of the mind will not go,
nor the dirt of the ego.
Many years ago in Kanpur, I met a yogi who, through doing kumbhak, used to lie down on the ground and allow a road roller to stand on his chest. He would give a full talk in this position. He used to wind a thick rope around his neck and allow fifty people to pull on either side, tug-o-war style, but they could not make him move an inch. He could be buried for six days and nights on end underground, but remained unaffected by it. One day, I asked him, “Tell me, what is the condition of your mind?” He replied, “For as long as I remain in kumbhak, it is all right; but when I come out of that state it goes back to its usual condition again.“
Why am I making all these comparisons? Because intellectual people have their own interpretations of everything. The Samadhi which the Masters teach is not jar-samadhi nor kumbhak. It is a connection with the Naam within, with the God-in-Expression Power, the Light and Sound, tasting the Nectar of which renders all other tastes insipid.
Renounce, O friend, this barren place of passion;
drink the Nectar of Naam.
The world is full of passion and low morality, which to the discerning man is a tasteless fruit; whereas there is a delicious Nectar in the Naam, and that is food for the soul — it is the Bread and Water of Life itself. By tasting this, a true and lasting satisfaction is enjoyed; by tasting this, the mind comes under control.
And how can you get it? You cannot get this by arrogance, force, or command, but only through devotion to the Master — neither will you get it by the weight of your worldly learning. The Master will give a spark of His burning fire — on the very first day He will start you on the Path, and make you see.
On my first tour of the United States, I was in Los Angeles for a few days; and there a blind doctor came for a meditation sitting. The blind people also have Light; it is but a matter of inversion. After the sitting, he admitted, “Yes, I see Light.” So that Light is within all men. This is what Christ meant when He said,
Take heed that the Light which is within thee be not darkness.
Another Master said,
He is an Emperor, who concentrates his attention behind the eyes.
The machinery of the body works because you are in the body, just as a factory functions through the power from the powerhouse. It may have numerous departments, all of which are connected to the powerhouse independently, and which can be switched off separately at any time. However, when the main switch is thrown, all the machinery in the whole factory stops. Like a powerhouse, we are the controller of the body’s machinery — although we are imprisoned in it, and cannot run out of any of its open doors of eyes, ears, nostrils, etc. If the attention is not with the ears, they do not work, and similarly with the eyes, and so on.
He is an Emperor whose eye is open — the inner eye. Guru Ramdas says,
The Guru has taught me to control the house,
and I am now queen over it.
Ten maidservants were put in my control.
Those ten maidservants are the five physical senses and the five senses of knowledge. As our condition stands, we are dictated to by all ten servants — what a grave difference! It is impossible to compare a Master with an ordinary man.
The eye is small, the iris smaller, and the pupil even more minute; but what a mighty secret lies hidden therein! The reason why very few people tread this Path is that their attention is scattered everywhere along that broad, open, consuming path that leads to destruction. The inner secret Path is through the strait gate that leads to Light. How can a man who has fallen into a deep well get out of it by himself? No one can rise above body-consciousness until he is pulled above it. Guru Arjan says that one needs such a Master Who will open the Path here and now and will also show one the pathway in the Beyond, not one who promises all kinds of things after death. If you found one so recommended, would that person not capture your heart?
Open your eye, that you may see the Lord’s radiance.
That eye is closed, even though the physical eyes are open. Kabir Sahib made the tragic remark that the whole world was blind; had there been at least one or two, He could have made them understand.
The blind are not those who have no eyesight;
Blind are they, O Nanak, who cannot see the Beloved.
In the opinion of the Masters, the blind people are those who cannot see through their inner eye. Another Master tells us to close the eyes and ears, and withdraw the attention from all outer things, and lo and behold the inner door will open.
You do want to see the Lord, do you not?
Everything is in this house, nothing is outside;
Those who seek outwardly go into illusionary forgetfulness.
He also says,
The Beloved is within you,
but you roam aimlessly from door to door.
That requires another eye, with which one can see His beauty — not the eyes of the flesh, which when closed in death are finished forever. When that inner knowledge opens up, one can see the glory of the Lord. The Masters describe the same subject in many different ways.
The Koran says that God has sealed our eyes and ears, but comes Himself in the human form to break those seals. That same Godman then makes us see and hear inwardly, and one bears witness to one’s own experience. What a vast difference there is between esoteric and exoteric teaching. Many teachers can be found for the latter; but for the former, very few, although the world is not without Them. It is a truly wonderful thing when the Master comes and turns the face of the child inward — toward God. If one stops chattering outwardly, one will start talking inside.
If you do not believe all this, why not try, and see if it is true? The seekers who came to Hazur also got the experience. It is not a new thing, but is the very ABC of Spirituality taught through the ages. All other practices are merely preparation of the ground for this one; and you will be able to see for yourself the difference between the true Master and the others, and to which points They can take you.
Sit in the closet of the physical body.
Shut your eyes and go beyond. He Who has already mastered the science can give another person a demonstration. “Make both eyes into one.” Concentrate at the focal point of the two pupils, and the inner eye will open. Kabir says,
Put your attention on that imperceptible place
upon which Lord Shiva is meditating.
That is also called the Shiv Netra, which lies behind the forehead, behind the point where the two optic nerves join. The practical demonstration is given at this location.
How can anyone at the sense-level, who has become the very image of the senses, rise above them? The true Masters want to show us the true Path, but man starts analyzing and opposing Their words with his limited knowledge and understanding. Can the soul leave the body at will? It is an imposing question. But the Masters tell us that it can; and if you do not believe this, then close your eyes and see. Tulsi Sahib says, “Just look beyond the curtain of darkness.” But people go on sitting in “samadhi” for years without breaking through this darkness, when following other methods.
Tulsi Sahib then says,
To penetrate through this darkness,
meet a Master of the Science.
With the Master’s attention, the darkness will be torn apart and the Light revealed. The company of such a Master is called Satsang. But in the profusion of public talks given by various speakers, these facts are not mentioned. Why? Because a certain seeker may demand, “Give me that of which you speak!” For this reason silence is kept about this great Science.
The full force of attention from the Beyond
only a certain Master possesses;
O Tulsi, the world knows nothing of this,
for the Beloved’s Path is highly elevated.
It is a long and narrow way, which only the pure can travel.
A Gurumukh sees with His eye,
for His eye is open.
Do not believe until your eye is opened, and you can see for yourself.
I cannot believe even the Guru’s words,
unless I see with my own eye.
Up to the present day, this is the teaching which has been given by all Masters, for the science of the Inner Way is one. Mira Bai said,
I heard about the soul leaving the body
and traversing the heavens;
but since I came to the feet of Ravidas,
I now know it is true.
It is the true Path — a dealing in diamonds and jewels, and whoever practices it becomes a spiritual millionaire. Namdev Ji said once that his value was not more than four sea shells, but that he had become a millionaire. Masters are known as the true Emperors.
Within you is a mine of Amrit.
Understand the science, and then practice it. If you continue with outer practices, your coming and going in creation will continue. Remember, since many aeons past, when we first left the Lord’s lap, we have not up to now returned to that sublime state. Due to ignorance of the Truth, we have spent all our time indulging in cunning, vanity, pride of knowledge, etc. In this respect, Christ said,
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle,
than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.
Why so difficult for the rich man? Because his attention is more scattered, more dispersed into the worldly things.
The body comes with us into this worldly life, but does not accompany us when we leave, and neither does the accumulation of goods and chattels that we call our possessions. It is a very sad fact that man spends all his thoughts throughout his life in dwelling on his own name and fame.
There is an incident which happened one day during the time of Guru Nanak, Who gave one day a needle to a certain rich businessman by the name of Dhuni Chand, telling him, “Keep this needle for me, and give it to me in the next life.” Naturally, Dhuni Chand was amazed, and replied, “But how can I take this needle into the next world?” With a smile Guru Nanak retorted, “True, and likewise then, how can you take your business and all possessions?“
If one gave really serious thought to these facts, all one’s concern for personal name and fame would leave at once. “For what purpose did you come, and what are you doing?” It is a direct question — to bring you to the point. “Within you is a mine of Amrit.” The Nectar which gives you everlasting life is within your own being, and it is limitless. “In this cave [body] is a limitless treasure.” And what is that unending abundance? “In that resides God, the Imperceptible Infinite Lord.” The Koran says, “I, that invisible treasure, am hidden within you — seek Me out.“
How do we seek Him? If you remember Him, He will remember you. God is ever aware of His children; but we, enraptured with the world, have long forgotten Him. What wisdom is there in this? We should bear in mind always that the only chance of realizing Him is during our life in the human form. Man is great; there are great possibilities in him. Even when one wishes to protect some article of worldly value, one hides it somewhere in the house, or even deep in the earth. So turn not your face outwards, but sit down and search within yourself, to find your true Self.
Swami Ram Tirath’s grandson came to see me recently. His grandfather and the poet Iqbal were good friends. Iqbal taught the Persian language to Ram Tirath, while Ram Tirath taught Iqbal Sanskrit. When Ram Tirath’s son passed his engineer’s course for mining, Iqbal told him, “Your father died digging and digging the heavens — now you have started digging the earth!” Those who have some awakening give small hints — the words uttered to that young man held some meaning — after all, what else is mankind doing but digging the earth? But the real treasure is within us. If you spent a night alone in a house, beneath which you knew a large amount of treasure was buried, would you sleep that night? I think you would not be able to sleep, but must dig it out. There is no one watching you now, so why not dig out the real treasure of life?
You call back those whom You sent,
to return home joyfully, with ease.
Go home, children — why remain unhappy? But who heeds the advice of Masters? That worldly breeze has touched the whole of mankind, which is in a state of “madness.” Guru Nanak said similarly,
The Water for which you came here,
that Amrit, can be gotten from the Guru.
He also said,
Leave off assumed appearance, deceit, doubt,
for these will not bear fruit.
Remain in your religion by all means; that is a blessing, for without such bodies there would be corruption — but to die in the chains of hypocrisy and doubt means to die without realizing the true wealth. That wealth can only be had by the Guru’s Grace. Remain in your religion, but seek a Master Who transcends — Who traverses Creation — from within. He will push you within; and when you see, even a little, a true belief will be secured in you. Upon seeing a little of the Truth, one does get some intoxication; but even then one has no desire to leave this world — so seek even deeper: tap inside.
Ignorant man knows not the secret;
Only the Master has the knowledge.
The secret of that deep mine of Amrit is known only by the Master, while the ignorant people who sit at the sense-level are lost on their erring path. But, as the refreshing water of the river flows in a bed of mud, so the holy water of Amrit flows within this physical form of clay. Bathe in that holy water of life — do so by the Grace of the Guru, which will make that Light radiate within you — the Light of God’s Word, the Naam. The outer dust of the Master’s feet is also holy, and wherever He sits that place becomes pure. But the goal does not end there. The seeker’s aim is to contact that which flows in his own body of clay — and that Light is the Guru. When you reach Him within, your head will automatically bow itself in humility and respect.
I again remember that famous philosopher who had triumphed everywhere with his philosophical arguments, and yet felt like a small child in front of Hazur.
O ignorant man, why search outside — meditate within.
Why drift around in this labyrinth? For how long will you wander? Go within — invert — tap inside. Maulana Rumi referred to the world as a prison, and we are the prisoners occupying it. It is an inducement to take action, to get out — but how can we escape? Metaphorically, we must escape through the roof. The way up is above — above the senses. Rise above. In the labyrinth of the outer world, there is nothing but wave upon wave of diffusion, dispersion of the attention — where will you go? The Master comes to expose this life of illusion, and to guide us out of it.
Why criticize others?
You should try to know who you are.
We keep up vigilant scrutiny of others and criticize them; but we should study our own lives, our own selves — who we are, and what we are. Maulana Rumi prayed:
O God, send a merciful person,
to take us out of this bodily cage.
Swami Ji Maharaj advised:
Again and again pray to your Guru,
to take you out of this cage.
You will be able to see the way out only when the Guru opens your eye.
He Who disperses the darkness is the Guru, for it is a work requiring competency, not force. He Who has the Light can give It to others. “By His life impulse, He gives devotion.” What is His life impulse? That is the Shabd, the Word — He is the Word made flesh. “Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” Christ told His disciples to eat Him and drink Him, and how is that possible? The Master is the Word within you — that is the Bread and Water of Life which you must eat and drink for spiritual sustenance.
Guru Nanak once indicated a dead body to a group of His disciples, saying: “This is a dead body — eat it.” It was enough to shock them all — all but Lehna, who calmly asked, “From which end should we start, Maharaj?” Masters give strange tests, which are usually beyond the world’s understanding.
God is sitting within you, awaiting your arrival.
Everything is in the house, nothing is outside;
those who seek outwardly go into illusionary forgetfulness.
If you put your attention more and more into anything outside yourself, you will travel further and further from the Truth. In Rabindranath Tagore’s Nobel Prize winning book “Gitanjali” there is a prayer which soliloquizes, “O Lord, we are going further away from You.” One Master says: “O seekers of the Lord, you have lost Him in the folds of the mind.“
All the learning connected with the mind is outer knowledge. To see Him is the inner knowledge, achieved by rising above the mind and intellect.
He merges into the Guru,
and distributes the Shabd.
The Guru’s very body becomes the Shabd, and this is the meaning of giving His life impulse.
Why wander aimlessly in forgetfulness,
O naive man!
But man, if acquainted with the correct information, protests that he has no time, and then wastes his whole life trying to preserve time! Brothers, this work can be done only while in the human form — do it now! Remember, wherever your attention is, there you are. I always advise that one should leave one hundred different jobs to attend Satsang, and leave one thousand other kinds of work to do your meditation. Where there is more than one person gathered in Satsang, in His remembrance, the radiation is present there through which one’s yearning increases. Even a tiny ray of radiation can give a great deal of help, so work hard for whatever you are given.
Roaming on pilgrimage increases the doubt,
and the entire truth is lost.
All holy places have become holy places because at some time or other some holy person stayed there. That which is in the holy man is also in you, so why not go within where He is waiting? When Archimedes discovered that there existed a center of gravity, he was really in search of the center of the world and declared that he would shake the whole world if he found it. The center of gravity or center of the world is within man himself — become strong within and you will be able to shake the world!
When Masters come, a flood of Spirituality comes with Them. While others die simply shouting and lecturing, a single word from a true Master has a wealth of potent impact. Kabir asks:
O Rani, settle one argument;
is the holy place greater
or the devotee of God?
You have got the power of differentiation, so judge the Truth from the untruth. Hazrat Mohammed meditated upon the Light and Sound in Mecca, and it is said that one must make the pilgrimage to that city if one wishes to enter the Kingdom of God. Survey the question with a little awareness, and you will realize that the enlightenment you seek is within you — why not invert?
I read once, in the Puranas, that two men agreed to journey all around the world. One man got his ticket and went; the other drew a circle — the shape of the world — and ran around it. If we board an airplane it would take several days to travel around the world, whereas within our own form we have the means of doing it in less than a second. The speed of the soul is much faster than the speed of the mind, and the speed of the mind is faster than electricity — so just consider it.
Within the human form there is no past or future,
but only God Himself.
He is there, awaiting you within; and here you are busily playing instruments and singing, outside. Why not be able to talk to Him within, while you continue your outer life? Of what use is it to sing and play and start some enthusiasm to meet Him if it remains at that?
To sing His praise after seeing Him and talking to Him is a different matter. Guru Amardas put a price on His seventy long years of searching when He said,
To sing praise without seeing is a blind man’s song;
to see and then sing, bears forth fruit.
Blind faith crumbles before adversity, for true faith comes only when one can see and hear for oneself. When the trials and tribulations of making the new country of Pakistan were suffered, many well — known devotees started cursing God — “Where is He? Has He gone to sleep?” etc. It was blind faith speaking, through a lack of seeing the Lord. Those who have seen Him say, “I praise Thee now, and whatever the future brings, even then will I praise Thee.”
If you desire to realize Him,
then discard attachment and pride.
Attachment and pride keep us chained to the outer environments. Pride and the love of praise — “I am learned, I am great, I am powerful, there is no one like me!” And attachment stops you from going ahead. Real progress starts when you break all attachment and ego. Sit for a while at the feet of a Realized Soul, where the influence of His radiation will withdraw your thoughts.
Until the shadow of the Pir (Saint) falls upon you,
the attention cannot be controlled.
Also, In the company of a Saint the attention is stilled;
the mind finds wisdom in that stillness.
And the soul comes forth in that stillness. This is a strong indication that you are in the presence of a true Master — it is a sign of His Mastership. There is a pin-drop silence, and the attention is controlled — the mind can then do nothing, for it takes its strength from the attention.
All the holy scriptures are within you,
so why are you ignorant?
What is the origin of all the scriptures? When the Masters traversed inside, They expressed Their experiences; and these were recorded into our holy scriptures. You can observe from all these scriptures that the Masters have parallel thoughts. The language may be different, but the meaning is the same. I have just mentioned a reference from the Upanishads which states that this teaching was given to Lord Krishna, and that within is the sun of Maha Brahmand. Guru Nanak says:
Within is the Light and Perpetual Sound,
contact with which develops the love for the True One.
Paltu Sahib says:
There is an inverted well in the void behind the eyes,
in which the lamp is aflame without wick or oil;
from that flame a voice emits.
True knowledge does not change, but outer knowledge can change by the minute. Matter, for instance, has been analyzed and described differently all through history.
If you go within you will find the source of all that is written in the scriptures, and that which puzzles you now will become clarified. When I went to Rishikesh in 1948, I met a yogi who used to leave his body by Patanjali Yoga. He was about one hundred years old, and welcomed me with all respect and told me, “I have spent all my life in learning this Yoga, and only after many, many years was I able to leave the body. How did you get it?” I told him I learned at the Guru’s feet, and explained how a demonstration is given, an inner experience which is increased daily.
Dadu Sahib says:
Dadu sees and speaks,
but others speak from hearsay.
Another Saint says that for those whose eye is not open, the outer temples and mosques are real. In these buildings you will find symbols of the Light and Sound, which serve to remind us of what exists within man.
Those who are academically knowledgeable can be completely ignorant of the inner knowledge, however. When I was in Lahore, there was a Christian superintendent under me in my office, and I suggested that he ask the Bishop of Lahore why the bells are rung in the church. He did so, and the reply was, “They are only for the purpose of calling people together.” That being so, what about the Hindu, who himself rings the bell as he enters the temple? This lacking in real knowledge comes from reading the subject only, and not seeing for one’s own self.
Outer knowledge can indeed be like a garland of flowers adorning a spiritual Master, and He will use it to explain the subject in a variety of ways. If the Master is not educated in the worldly way, He will explain the same facts within His own vocabulary and education. For example, Bulleh Shah went to His Master, Shah Inayat, Who was a farmer; and on this certain occasion the Master was transplanting some plants. Bulleh Shah asked Him how one can realize the Lord, and Shah Inayat replied: “What is there to realizing the Beloved? Just uproot it from here, and plant it there.” He was referring to the attention, for everything is a play of the attention. I am looking ahead at this moment, and so cannot see what is behind me; but if I turn and direct my attention behind, I will see quite easily.
They say that God helps those who help themselves, and it is true also that God helps those who do not help themselves. It is a new motto. It means to give your whole being over to Him in surrender — body, soul, mind and intellect. And in meditation, just look into the pitch darkness and leave everything else to Him — in surrender — without making any effort yourself. The Light will be there. Without making any effort, you will withdraw from the world, the outgoing faculties, body, mind, intellect; and He will be there.
Without love no one has achieved realization,
so drench your mind in love.
Which is the easiest of all the easy ways to realize God? The Lord Himself has designed that natural gift into our being. God is Love, and the soul is His entity. Kabir Sahib says: “It is a part of God.” Soul is a drop of the Ocean of All-Consciousness and, therefore, has love already innate in it. Love’s natural habit is to attach itself to something, and the soul should have loved God, but instead became attached to the world. That love became an attachment, and that was a misfit. The Master, however, will teach you how to withdraw from the worldly environments and invert, and will connect you to the Lord within.
If love for the Lord is developed, everything, even the world, will be like a swelling ocean of love. Outer love will only trap you and bring you back again and again to the world. Contrary to this, love for the Lord will free you from all shackles.
The Lord of Love is not recognized,
but ghosts and spirits are respected.
True Love is not worshiped, but everyone runs around after ghosts and spirits. The greatest God is Love, and that Love will join you back to the Lord. Christ said that one should …
Love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul,
and with all thy strength,
and with all thy mind.
Love thy neighbor as thyself.
Love the Lord, O mind, love the Lord.
Without love, a man finds no place.
The tenth Guru, after exhorting everyone to open their ears and listen carefully, declared:
Hear ye all, I tell ye the truth;
God is realized by one who loves.
Ravidas Ji was a cobbler, and under the caste system existent in those days, a cobbler was considered very low. Some people rudely accosted Him one day, demanding, “How can you worship the Lord?” Ravidas calmly replied: “That Father is not the reserved right of anyone, only with devotion can you win Him.” One with sincere devotion and respect will realize the Lord — He is not owned by anyone.
Aware of the fact or not, the whole world is gambling; and if they win they are happy; if they lose they are miserable. One Master declares that He is gambling with God, with His life at stake. “If I win, He becomes mine; if I lose, I become His.” Which is a better bargain? In the gamble with God, one wins either way. Increase your love for Him — and, as He is in every form, love all others. Anyone who can love a father should have love for his children also; and so …
If a man say, “I love God,”
and hateth his brother,
he is a liar:
for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen,
how can he love God Whom he hath not seen?
The Nectar of Amrit is abandoned,
and dog-like he constantly seeks the gore.
Man does not choose to seek the Water of Life — he would rather steep himself in the filth of immorality. The sweetest Nectar is within him, but he prefers the lowest tastes just like a dog licking every place he passes. “Forsakes the treasure-house, the Knowledge of Amrit, for an illusion.” He has exchanged the priceless jewel for a worthless sea shell, wandering aimlessly around the external world. Jesus Christ was sold for a few paltry coins — thirty pieces of silver. This sort of thing is thrashing empty husks to gain a nonexistent grain. So Masters try to make us go within — withdraw from all outer things. For this They give a “starter” — a little experience; and if after getting this one still ignores this work, it is indeed a sorrowful state.
Indubitably, at the last breath, there is only regret;
But when the Emperor sits within, ignorance and doubt vanish.
The man who practices the daily habit of withdrawing and going into the inner realms will meet his last day on earth with joy. Others must leave struggling. And those who have wasted the precious gift will, at that time, remember the Guru and realize with regret what valuable wealth they have thrown away. Tulsi Sahib says:
There is but four days’ play of this false world;
he who gave no thought to the Beloved
was swept away in the current.
What value can anyone place on the body which is constantly changing? The soul, however, is ever-existent, all-wisdom, and perfect-bliss, due to which the body is kept alive and functioning. Unfortunately, the ignorance of man prevents him from giving serious thought to the subject of the soul, which is a very deep subject. So Masters are necessary to bring the teaching of it to man, and to start him on the ABC of it; and that is when he rises above body-consciousness. There he is re-born or twice born; and if he can do this for himself, I am very happy for him. If he cannot, then he requires a stronger attention than his own to drag him up; and this is God’s special Mercy and Grace working in the Master. What a great blessing! You may know a little of the difference between outer and inner knowledge, but what are you doing about it? The Truth exists in everyone, and it is each person’s hereditary right to experience It.
Come friend, having met the Satguru let us go across;
If you want to cross, meet the Boatman, why waste time in thinking?
When you Cross over, you are released from the world;
Otherwise you will drown midst this frightful torrent of perpetual sins.
Guru Nanak was once walking alongside a flowing river, which at one point forked into two streams. The Masters usually use outer examples to express some profound fact; and seeing this fork in the river He said, “The river has separated here — when is it destined to rejoin itself?” It is a direct reference to man who is separated from God. We are going further and further from Him — when will we meet Him? His simple words convey the pathetic state we are in.
Whoever has not met the Boatman will drown in poison — what else can happen?
Come, those who want to cross,
for the Satguru has made a ship.
The Satguru’s ship is within you. Today’s Satsang has described the Inner Way, the Inner Path, the Strait Gate; and that Inner Way is one — for all. Those who travel that Path will gain salvation — emancipation from karmic cause and effect. Become pure, chaste, and full of good living.
To travel the Inner Path, sit at the feet of a Master. There is no need to change your religion, nationality, customs, etc., for He will take you beyond all these — they will be left far behind. Those who have already received the wealth should respect and appreciate it, and should benefit from it. Do your work before that last change called death comes, for those who gain knowledge while in the world will also be wise after death.