translation of a talk in Hindi, by Sant Kirpal Singh on April 2, 1973, at Manav Kendra, Dehra Dun, India.
If you want to regain your happiness then — “Know Thyself.”
Tulsi Sahib once said, “Yes, brother, the whole world is full of woe from one misery or other, be it physical, financial, or mental.” He was asked if anyone at all is happy, and He said, “Yes, the devotee of a Sant.”
Who is the Sant?
A Sant is one who has realized Himself — that He is a conscious entity, a drop of the Ocean of All-Consciousness, by which the machinery of the whole physical system functions.
If a factory runs on power, then the different departments get contact with that power through various switches. Each department can be shut down operationally by switching off its supply of power. If the main switch is thrown, then all the machinery will stop. Like this, the machinery of the man-body has different departments, all of which are alive and functioning because of us — the soul consciousness. Our whole being is alive because of our “Self.”
You must have experienced many times that when we are deep in thought over something, and the attention or Surat is directed and focused in a particular place, we are not aware of the sounds around and will not even hear if someone speaks directly to us. When asked why we have not heard a certain thing, we would reply that our attention was elsewhere.
So if the attention is not connected with the sense of hearing, the ear is as good as deaf. If a man is in deep thought and a person passes near him, even though he passes in front of the eyes, yet the eye will not register and the person will not be recognized. These departments of the physical system are the five senses, which can only work through the power of attention. In other words, everything is working on the strength of the soul.
The Masters have realized or solved this profound riddle of life, and They naturally advise the people, “O man, know thyself” — who you are, what you are, what your connection is with the physical form and the world, and what that Controlling Power is which keeps you in the body. Those who have found the answers to all these questions through spiritual experience are known as Sant, Sadhu, Mahatma, etc. These forms of address do not imply any particular outer action, or the wearing of yellow, blue or green clothes; only that person can be truly addressed as such who has actually realized himself. When He chooses, at will He works through the body’s machinery; and whenever He feels so inclined, at will He rises above it all.
So how can we become happy?
Our attention, which is an expression of perfect bliss, emits that happiness when it is attached to something, and that happiness remains as long as the attachment lasts. When the object of attachment is removed, or the attention is directed elsewhere, the expression of happiness ceases.
There is no juice in a bone, but if the dog cuts its jaws on the sharp edges, he will enjoy the taste of his own blood.
When the attention becomes attached to something it becomes the very image of that object, and enjoys it. It has the ability to do this because its nature is all bliss. With all that bliss available, yet we have no peace.
Can there be a cure for such a predicament?
The Masters say that those who desire true happiness should take up the service of the Lord. This means in fact to surrender oneself to Him. To gain this perpetual happiness, some direct contact is required:
“He who never dies” —
“When you are in constant touch with That,
there can be no sorrow.”
Such is the Complete Supreme Lord, Who is ever-existent.
And where is He?
He is the Maker of all things and exists in all things; and furthermore He is the Controller or Controlling Power in all things. That Power which controls the world has tied us to this physical form and has placed us here in the world.
But sadly, “(they live) in the same company, in the same house, but they do not converse together.”
The two brothers — the soul and God — reside in the same dwelling, but the tragedy is that the soul knows not how to talk to Him.
Why is this?
Because that outer expression of the soul — the Surat or attention — through connection with the mind and the senses has become the image of the physical form and considers himself to be the physical form alone. It can see the situation clearly only by withdrawing itself from these shackles.
One must come to know oneself. All Masters who have come, either in the East or the West, have recommended the same cure — “O man, awake!”
The ancient Greek and Roman philosophers said the same thing, in their own language, and so did the Persian sages:
“O man, you may have known so much about everything,
but if you have not known your own self, you are a fool.”
Man has learned so much at all levels, physically and intellectually, but if he knows nothing of his own self, and the Power which controls him, then it really amounts to ignorance and failure.
Guru Nanak declared very clearly,
“O Nanak, without knowing yourself,
the illusion will not be erased.”
What is this illusion from which one cannot escape?
It is something not apparent in its original form, but seen only in some other form. The soul is Sat, Chit, Anand — ever-existent, all wisdom, and perfect bliss — but through contact with mind and senses it has become the image of the body and surrounding world.
The body is made of matter, and matter is perpetually changing, so the body and the world which is also made of matter, are both changing at the same rate. If we are identified with them, subsequently we will presume that all is stationary.
This is a grand optical illusion. The Masters tell us therefore that the one and only means of solving this enigma is to gain knowledge of the self, in truth. Commonly man tries to achieve this by his feelings or by drawing inferences, but these two methods are both subject to error.
Seeing is above all, and seeing is believing. The subject of scientific self analysis has been grossly derided and scoffed at, but just consider: this is my watch, I place it here; this is my waistcoat which I can remove; then if this is my body and these are my senses and this is my mind and intellect, can I rise above them all and separate myself from them?
This is the only true way to know oneself.
In the Gurbani it is written that only by the Guru’s grace can you unravel yourself. The Guru is a realized soul Who has already solved this mystery of life and Who can give one a demonstration of how to rise above body consciousness as a beginning. He will teach one to still the mind and senses.
Then there is the question of the soul’s Companion; for when you come to know who you are, you will realize that you are not the controller of all this machinery of the body, and that there is some greater Power which controls not only your being but the whole world and all Creation.
These two companions which reside in the same house do not converse because one has taken on this illusory image of the world and its environments, through the constant outgoing expression of the faculties.
The soul must withdraw from this outgoing expression and it will then be able to see within itself. I see you all before me, but only if I look back can I see those who are sitting behind me. It is all but a play of the attention — withdraw that attention from outside and invert within.
When Bulleh Shah went to Shah Inayat he asked, “How can God be met?” Shah Inayat replied, “What is there to meeting the Beloved? Just uproot it from here and plant it there!”
This means one should withdraw the attention from without and focus it within. You must first concentrate within yourself, and then you will come to know that you are really a conscious entity — a soul.
It is this lack of realization of what we really are that causes us to direct our whole outlook on life from the body’s level. This is a very powerful delusion.
So when the Masters come, they show the student how to rise above. The Hindus used to have a special ceremony to make small children “twice born” at the ages of five, seven, and nine years; they would see light of the Sun within. Even today that custom continues — they give the Gayatri Mantra — but these days only the mantra is given, without the inner practical experience.
All true Masters say the same things. When Nicodemus, a respected Pharisee leader, came to Christ to pay homage, Christ told him,
“Except a man be born again,
he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Nicodemus was puzzled at this — he could not understand how an old man could re-enter the mother’s womb and be reborn — but Christ was adamant: “Ye must be born again,” and explained that “flesh is born of the flesh and spirit of the Spirit.” Nicodemus was wonderstruck at these teachings, and Jesus reminded him that he was a leader of the people and yet he did not know these things. We must be reborn. To be reborn is to rise into the Beyond.
“Learn to die so that you may begin to live.”
What is Spirituality?
It is no spiritism, no spiritualism, no hypnotism, no mesmerism. It is purely a subject of self analysis — of knowing one’s self and of knowing the Overself — seeing Him face to face. And the ABC of Spirituality starts when you rise above body consciousness.
Plutarch says that those who are initiated into the mysteries of the Beyond have the same experience when leaving the body as the soul has at the time of death.
The one whose soul has experienced the Lord — whose soul, by self analysis, can distinguish the difference between the mind, the matter, the outgoing faculties, through experiencing that Power which is controlling within and without — can be termed the manifested God in man.
The Master is the very image of Truth (God). He knows Himself for what He is, in truth, and He experiences the Lord within Himself. His senses are inverted and withdrawn from outside.
People normally withdraw only at the time of death to the position behind the eyes, then rise above the body and travel into the Beyond; at which time an awakening occurs and the soul suddenly knows who it is, and sees the Power that controls everything.
The competence that enables us to do this at will can be learned only in the man-body and in no other form. This is the real reason why man is accepted as the highest expression in creation.
But mind is under the influence and power of the senses, unfortunately, so the soul has forgotten who she is, and has also forgotten the Life Sustainer.
You can say that illusion is just another name for forgetfulness, and this forgetfulness began when the soul first took on the physical form. It is true we have got a body, but we are not the body; and when one rises above the body consciousness one’s whole angle of vision automatically changes.
So rising above the body is the ABC of Spirituality. It is the first step toward achieving the true meaning of the word yoga — when consciousness is separated from matter. Further into the Beyond there are many mansions in the house of our Father.
“The Lord is in the physical form;
he who searches shall find Him.”
There is the physical plane, the astral plane, and so many others beyond that. Spirituality actually means to know oneself by analyzing the spirit from mind, senses, and intellect; when you rise above these, the Life Sustainer is apparent.
“The whole world is in fear of death;
yet he who lives, cries.”
Why should we all fear death?
It is no bugbear; it is merely a change. I have come from Delhi to this place (Manav Kendra) — so I am not in Delhi, I am here. Death is but a word which means to rise above the physical plane.
The sun sets in one place and rises in another; just like a transfer.
The children used to be taught this self analysis, which they called giving the Gayatri Mantra; but when the personalities who gave practical experience left the world, the people made these schools and colleges which we call religions, and the labels of which we wear.
They were formed with a noble purpose that more people might benefit; but really the true benefit was received only during the lifetime of those practical personalities. With the dearth of these competent people, the preachers of the stomach took over and the Truth was forgotten.
The solution to this tragic plight?
To rise above the delusion we live in — to rise above all forgetfulness to discover that the soul is the entity of the Lord and the Lord is all love.
Love’s nature is to join to something; and the soul, being consciousness, should have rejoined the All-Consciousness, but became involved with the world instead.
This is attachment, and wherever your desire lies, there will you be attached.
One great Master says,
“O soul, you can discern the Truth from untruth;
Receive the Truth and absorb it unto yourself.”
Another Master prays,
“Lead me from the unreal to the real.”
What will happen if you rise above the body?
You will experience an elevation.
People are fearful of death because they do not know how to rise above, which is a very natural yoga. This natural method was taught to children from the age of five years up; but unfortunately, when the competent people leave the world, people become worshipers of the past.
If a blind man leads a blind man, surely both will fall in the ditch. In the ages past, only those men were authorized to preach to others who first led a chaste life for 25 years and studied fully the Vedas and Shastras; then lived as ordinary householders and brought up one or two children; then, after bringing up their children, they left family life for some lonely place to try and experience that which they had read and studied.
At this point in life, they would try to unravel the great mystery of life, and those who succeeded would return to go around teaching the people what they had experienced. This is the real sanyas — true renunciation; but these days preaching has been turned into a profession.
The Truth is already there: the basis of all teachings is the same, and that Truth is absolute. When the Absolute Lord came into expression, He was known as God and by other names. He is in fact Nameless, Soundless, Wordless, Formless. His expression is also known as Naam or Name, Shabd or Word.
Regarding the attributes of the Word, it has been said that
“Naam is the Sustainer of Khand and Brahmand.”
We have also in the Bible,
“In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.”
After this, the whole creation came into being.
So God is the innate Nature in man. When He wished to become from one to many, there was vibration, and from that vibration emitted forth two aspects, Light and Sound. So God is in the form of Light, and God is Sound Principle, the Music of the Spheres.
If you make a careful parallel study of all religions, you will uncover the same basic teachings in all. Even the Greek philosophers spoke of these things. Socrates referred to the Sound that he heard, which took him to a new world. Plato also mentioned it, as the Music of the Spheres. Pythagoras told of the Harmonies of all Harmony, and Truth Clothed in Light. The great Persian sage Zarathustra called the Light the Unstruck Fire, and the Sound Sarosha.
It is written (In “The Surangama Sutra.” See the Master’s book “Naam or Word,” pp.43-63.) that when Lord Buddha was about to leave His body at the time of death, He called His disciples and asked them how they had attained the golden samadhi. Each one recounted how he saw the Light and heard the Sound.
Lord Buddha exhorted,
“Hear ye all, ye coming generations: t
he way back to golden samadhi
is through intrinsic hearing.”
It is mentioned in the Vedas and Shastras, and the great Masters like Guru Nanak, Kabir, and others have all said the same thing in different languages. All have declared the true path to be the one of Light and Sound. So these are the two paths within, and they proceed from the Absolute Lord.
The Lord is not this, He is not that — He is nothing that can be described — but this is the way back to Him, the path that Masters have taught through practical and scientific experience.
All have stressed the importance of this inner experience…
“If I do not see with my own eyes,
I cannot believe even my Guru’s words.”
With all his enthusiasm, still the student’s belief is a blind belief, unless he sees for himself. And — the Light is born in the Guru’s company.
Temples are dome-shaped; they are made on the model of man himself. You will find symbols of Light and Sound inside all temples. Church spires are usually nose-shaped, again from the man model, and they also keep symbols of Light and Sound therein. The gurdwaras of the Sikhs used to have these symbols, but nowadays they are used on certain special occasions only: then they put a lighted lamp on an upturned pitcher and beat a drum while the lamp burns. So these symbols are found in most of the religious places, and they represent the true Light and Sound of God which already exist within the man-body.
Guru Nanak went to Persia, among other countries. A certain priest there, named Rukn-ud-din, asked him, “You are a very big fakir; you must have seen God; please describe His home to us.”
Guru Nanak replied, “Yes, I have seen,” and began to describe the human form; concluding by saying that at the top of God’s house He Himself is resounding. Unfortunately, the world is sleeping: man either does not know how to enter the “foxhole of the brain,” or if he does happen to enter he does not know how to proceed and progress further.
A true Sikh (lit. ‘disciple’) is one in whom the perpetual Light is burning; he is called a Khalsa (the pure one). To wear the label of any particular religion signifies that one is studying in some school; but only when the true Hukam Din is effulgent within can one be termed a disciple.
We are really all worshipers of the Living Light, and the company of the Guru can make that Light apparent. The human form is the temple, mosque, or church in which this Light of Truth is shimmering. God has made all men with the same outer and inner construction and each is the same conscious entity.
“While the companion resides within,
the body lives;
When the companion leaves,
the body crumbles”
— and who cares for it when the soul has left it? But now we are imprisoned in this form of matter.
“Everything is controlled by Naam;
With great good fortune it is experienced.”
Where is this Controlling Power, which is called Shabd, Word, Naam, or Kalma?
The Masters explain in very clear words:
“The Giver of all sorts of happiness,
the Water of Life, is called Naam;
In this body it resides.”
When can you meet the Naam?
When you withdraw from outer environments and transcend them.
“Full of nectar sweet is the limitless Naam.”
There is an immense intoxication in Naam.
When Guru Nanak was once in the company of Emperor Babar, the king offered him a cup of strong intoxicant, but the Guru said,
“O Babar, if you drink this in the morning
the effect wears off by evening,
and if you drink it in the evening,
the effect has gone by morning;
but I have an intoxicant,
the effect of which is perpetual.”
“The intoxication of Naam,
O Nanak, inebriates day and night.”
It is the Bread and Water of Life, which many Masters have described by the terms “Light” and “Sound.” It is the very basic principle of all teachings and forever remains the same.
During the lifetime of Guru Nanak and Kabir Sahib there were two principal religions in India, but the followers were but worshipers of labels. Each group declared they were better than the other.
Kabir Sahib came and proclaimed,
“Neither are we Hindu nor Muslim,
just think of both as one.”
Guru Nanak, who was his contemporary, for many years, said in similar words,
“Neither are we Hindu nor Muslim;
Allah, Ram, is the very breath of this body.”
The Hindu term Ram and the Muslim term Allah are both given to that Lord or God who is One, for all; the One who has given life to all forms. They looked at Guru Nanak and said, “Brother, you have the label of a Hindu, but what are you?”
He explained to them that, even though he was wearing a label, he was not that kind of a Hindu; neither was he a Muslim in label only, like them.
“My body is made of five elements,
in which the Invisible is playing.”
The matter of which the body is made consists of five elements, and we, the soul, are the consciousness vibrating within it. Other than this, we are worshipers of that Power which controls us in the physical form.
So we should remain in our own religion, for all the basic teachings are the same.
“Lovers are hundreds,
but the Beloved is one and the same.”
Caste and culture also varies, but our work remains constant; and you can call this right understanding. There is really no high nor low — all mankind is one — and all have the same God-given privileges: intellect, mind, body, senses, etc.
We have evolved considerably intellectually and physically through worldly sciences; so why are we unhappy?
Because in the third part of man’s nature, there is no progress — we are in fact grossly ignorant of that. Those who profess knowledge of the spiritual part of man actually have acquired merely an intellectual knowledge; they have no practical self knowledge, no knowledge of self analysis.
It is an ironic situation — we are supposed to be the drivers of all this machinery, but we are ourselves being driven like anything. The outer enjoyments drag our senses, and the senses control and influence the mind. To know oneself is a very basic necessity; it is the only practical science, taught by Masters, which will take us out of this forgetfulness.
You may know that I was elected President of the World Fellowship of Religions (WFR) from 1957 onwards. Through this organization many differences were smoothed out between the religions. Previously, the conditions were so bad that members of some sects would not take even water from the hands of another sect. They did not care to see each other’s faces. They would not attend each other’s religious gatherings.
Now it is much improved; they do sit together and talk together, as a result of the regular conferences which were held for a number of years. However, a great danger has developed. The brothers who now lead the WFR conferences want to promote their own isms, and as such each religion wants to make a huge pillar: all Hindus throughout the world should become one, all Christians should become one, all Muslims should become one, all Buddhists, and so on.
How can this be true integration?
So I have started this Man Center (Manav Kendra). All Masters have stressed that the whole of mankind is one, the true caste of man is one; so we must first become true human beings. After this, we can call ourselves by any label we like.
But we are first man; that is, we are soul — a conscious entity within a physical form. That entity is a drop of the Ocean of All-Consciousness and is the power that drives us.
All religions teach that the one Power works throughout all creation. There is a difference, however, in each individual’s approach, and depending upon that approach, so a person gains that much understanding.
Each preacher has a certain amount of understanding, which attracts certain followers — this is how the various classes are formed — but when misunderstanding, bigotry and narrow-mindedness are added to this, then brother becomes separated from brother. In truth, there is only one God and only one species of human being.
When the Masters come some of the people gain right understanding. With right understanding we begin to have right thoughts, and with right thoughts we begin to speak right, and subsequently to act right.
In the ages past, kings and emperors had a guiding principle: to act on the advice of wise sages in their courts. History has confirmed this. These sages, you can say, had control of the people’s hearts, while the government controlled only the physical forms; for whatever laws and decrees were passed were formed out of the advice and approval of these wise spiritual men.
They from their side considered everything for the welfare and the good of the people as a whole, and with full consciousness they were able to see the true situation. For the rulers, one word from a sage was enough. Rulers can control bodies only, whereas a sage can control the hearts of all.
Knowing oneself is not an experience at the level of feelings, nor at the emotional level, nor at the intellectual level of drawing inferences. All knowledge at these levels is subject to error. Seeing is above all, and this means to have knowledge of the self through self analysis, by rising above the body consciousness to see the Truth.
Maulana Rumi once prayed,
“O God, send us the Merciful One (the Guru),
Who will take us out of this physical box.”
Seeing begins when by the practical science of Spirituality you rise above the body and are able to see the working of the Controlling Power.
Kabir Sahib remarked quite confidently,
“I rejoice in that which the whole world fears.”
All glory and beauty lies within you; why be afraid of death?
Guru Amar Das says,
“The whole world is afraid of death;
all are searching for life.”
There are two reasons for this overwhelming fear. One is that a man does not know how to leave the body, and the second is that neither does he know where he is going when he does leave.
This is because he has not solved the mystery of life — which is not a simple problem, and yet with the Guru’s grace it can be solved without effort.
If through His grace one gets to know oneself, then not only will one act on the Lord’s orders, but will recognize them for what they are. One becomes a conscious co-worker of the Divine plan. Then you can say that your life has been successful.
We can be conscious of that Power at death, or — if we learn to rise above at will — in life.
An unbeliever once put a notice on his door: God is nowhere. When he lay dying in his room, a small child came to the door and read aloud the notice: “G o d i s n o w h e r e.” The dying man replied from inside, “Yes, child, I do see now that there is some Power.”
So if we could only rise above the physical body, we would see that same Power controlling all things, including us. This is a science, which can only be learned in the human form.
Today is specially commemorated to the Integration of Mankind, for which noble purpose all Masters have been forerunners, and it is no new aspiration. This Man Center, with all its aims and principles, is also not new.
You can see there is no edifice here, either temple or other building of worship. There is simply the earth beneath and the sky overhead, and this is the biggest temple one can find!
Then we all have the true temple of God — the man-body.
“With the Guru’s blessing,
one sees that the temple of God is within.”
We will solve this mystery of life in the company of those who have already solved it. Our poor soul has retrograded to the level of mind and senses, and is therefore unable to do anything of its own strength — it has become an image of the world.
Whatever actions we perform, we say, “Oh, we have done this, we have done that.” This indicates we are at the mind and sense level. Being at this level, all we do will be from the same level. We can see this for ourselves, from our own actions.
How then can we rise above on our own efforts?
It is not possible.
Many people have got some background, and they do see some Light; often they seek medical treatment, not understanding what it is. They need guidance, for understanding and for further progress — into the Beyond.
There is but one test or criterion to distinguish one who has solved this mystery of life. He must give a demonstration to show us how to rise above body consciousness; and the Third Eye must be opened to see the Light of God.
“Those that hear, hear not;
and those that see, see not. ”
“This world is blind;
If there were one or two
I could make them understand,
but all around I see only the blind.”
Who is blind, from the Masters’ point of view?
“He is not blind who has no eyes on his face” — that is not the real blindness: “He who does not see the Beloved is blind.”
“When he sees, he sings, and that song bears fruit.”
To first see and then sing praises is vastly different from singing praises by hearsay or bookish knowledge.
Guru Amar Das, after more than 70 years of intense searching and performing many different practices, came to the feet of Guru Angad, and then only was he blessed with the true knowledge.
What did He say in this context?
“One who praises God without seeing
is like a blind man.”
If a blind man describes the sun, we know that his description is intellectual, for he has never seen it. Do not believe until you have seen with your own eyes. It is the prayer of the imprisoned soul which cries out,
“O Lord, when we are the image of the world,
how can we see?”
But in the human form we can awaken.
The Upanishads tell us,
“Awake, arise, and stop not
until the Goal is reached.”
If so far we have not awakened, when do we think we are going to do it?
Those who do wish to awaken are told by the Masters, “Develop love for God; be conscious.” We say we can see only the world; living in its society, enjoying every minute — we are too involved and become identified with it.
How can we love God unless we see Him?
For that we are advised to “Take the Satguru’s teaching.”
And who is the Satguru?
The one who has experienced the Truth; the mouthpiece of Truth or God; the very image of the Truth, who knows the Sat Purush (the True Lord). This kind of personality can be termed a Satguru.
“By meeting a Satguru, one sees.”
The third or single eye is opened; and how?
“When you put your attention
on the ineffable place beyond
all outgoing faculties,
you will see the Lord within.”
Focus your attention within the Shiv Netra — the Single Eye — and the eye of the Light will be opened. In these few words you have the basic teaching.
A man once asked Baba Sawan Singh Ji that, since Masters come to awaken the souls, why did He not start a new sect for that purpose? Hazur replied that since there were already so many wells, why dig another?
There are more than 700 different sects in operation, and each is basically the same; they have forgotten the fact, that’s all. Wherever there is true yearning for God, Nature’s laws work, just as oxygen is there to help fire.
God made the same arrangement for the child born 6,000 years ago to be nurtured with mother’s milk, as He is doing for the children born today. Do you think this law will change in the future?
The Guru appears when the seeker is ready.
Kabir Sahib advises that a man should not be a hypocrite, with one thing in his heart and another on his tongue. If he has not received anything he should admit it frankly, and not lead others astray. He should not hide his faults with cunning words, and in his mind should be a desire to give selfless service and express only humility.
When St. Augustine was asked what the steps were to realizing God, he replied, “First is humility, second humility, and third — humility.”
If you have some humility to start with, you will go to someone to learn something; otherwise each man is nursing an egoistic pride in himself. Even if he goes to learn, without further humility he will not receive; for only the cup which is lower than the pitcher will be filled.
Whatever a person knows, he knows; by going to learn more, he will not lose the knowledge he already has. When you go to someone, listen. He may say something which is not within your knowledge. The cup which is lower than the pitcher will be filled.
God is within each and every one, and He knows all. The child who is longing for a glimpse of Him will have the special arrangement made for him to meet the realized soul. “Rejoin me back to God — anyone!” He is already in each being, and that is where the reunion takes place.
“My Beloved resides in each form,
there is no place without Him;
but blessed is he in whom
the Lord is manifested.”
Although God is in us all, yet He is not manifested in all, for due to the scattered attention man has become the body and the world of matter. The realized soul, the manifested God-in-man, withdraws that scattered attention and gives it an upliftment — a way up — and at that point he gives the contact. This is the first step toward solving the mystery of life.
This special day is for the Integration of Mankind, and at Manav Kendra, the Man Center, the aims and hopes are the same; it is nothing new.
There are no religious symbols here. This does not mean I do not favor the religions — I will remain in mine, and you remain in yours.
We have taken the first step, for man is a social being and should remain in some social formation; otherwise, either corruption will set in, or some new sect will have to be formed. But while living in one’s religion and within one’s religious teachings, one should be sure to achieve the aim and purpose for which we joined.
That aim is to realize God.
I have started a library here, to hold volumes of all religious scriptures, etc. One should be a credit to one’s religion. The school’s name shall be honored from which the largest number of children graduate. That is why religions and sects were made. Our most noble aspiration is to become as perfect as our Father in heaven.
All these things I learned by sitting at my Master’s feet, and also through a parallel study of religions.
I was earnestly seeking when but a young student. Being a voracious reader of books, I saw that there were three main principles of life, and this very idea came into my heart.
First is man-making, which is the highest.
The second is man-service,
and the third is land-service.
We already have the spiritual gathering — Ruhani Satsang, in which the principle of man-making is upheld.
This was my mission, through the grace of God. Whatever I have understood I have placed before you.
Now, man-service and land-service have been added.
Years ago, I used to occupy my spare time before and after office hours in visiting the sick, in hospitals and in poor localities. We have started here a hospital for the poor — those who cannot afford the proper treatment for their ailments. They will be helped, for the rich can afford treatment anywhere.
We have also opened a home for old people, for those who have no means and no one to support them. They can live here and their last days may be spent in peace.
In land-service, we have started a section for agriculture, dairy development and husbandry. Guru Nanak was a great farmer towards the end of his life. These various schemes are all in the make.
There is a mansarovar (pond), around which the people can sit in peaceful meditation. It is oval-shaped, 350 feet long and 200 feet wide. During the early morning and evening people sit around the water in remembrance of God. Nature itself has supplied the water-source here; otherwise where could you get so much water in Dehra Dun? We get a very powerful flow of water from this spring. A bathing pool has been built nearby, and a separate one for the ladies.
The library has started, and we are also considering starting a school of languages, that our thoughts may reach others and theirs may come to us. Everyone is realizing that the present system of education is a defective system. There should be a moral base to all education, and I have two or three schemes for this.
When the Finance Minister came here to inaugurate the Manav Kendra Education Plan, he liked it very much. The scheme is based on the old style which was set up in the universities of the past.
So this is all a very humble start, resulting from the loving efforts of many. Our President, the Hon. Dr. V. V. Giri, came here to spend a scheduled 15 minutes, but he stayed instead for 45 minutes. I outlined what is being done here, and he spoke very highly of it and said, “It is God’s work.”
We are all brothers and sisters, but we should have the right understanding — as man, as soul, as worshipers of the Lord — that we are all a one, and that unity exists already, but we have forgotten it.
The Masters keep coming to revive this, to remind us of this old, old truth, but we go on forgetting. In a few words, whatever I have understood, I have placed the facts before you.
Live in your own religion; it is not necessary to change it, for each one was formed with a noble purpose.
But it is most necessary for us to know the essential teaching which lies within our religion. Know that and you will see for yourself that all men are basically the same, and the inner way to that knowledge is the same for all.