By Sant Kirpal Singh, Chicago, 19 November, 1972
I can address you as ‘dear children’, you see. I am glad to know you are students of religion, too, and this very, this most important subject, which concerns our own very self. The word religion means — ‘re’ means back, ‘ligio’ to bind. To bind back our souls to God, the word religion means that. And ‘yoga’ the word also comes from the word ‘yuj’ — that means to unite our self to God. The social bodies came into being only to teach this, how we can contact our self with God — the ultimate goal of all religions, outer form of religions. So knowledge is the same for the East and the West — that makes no difference.
There have been so many yogas — and there is only one task — to know God. So ultimate goal of all yogas is absorption into the Brahm, absorption into God. There are so many yogas. There is Hatha Yoga, there is Prana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Gyhan Yoga (etc.), and the ultimate goal of all yogas is to absorb our self into God — to be one with Him.
So the end of all Yogas, as Shankara puts it, is ultimate. They aim at the Samadhi, in which we can have some experience of God. There are two kinds of Samadhi: one is inert Samadhi, the other is conscious Samadhi. You’ll find in many cases, that people have inert Samadhi. (For example) they are put under ground for days together and they again come back. That is not conscious Samadhi. There is another kind of Samadhi, which is a higher form of it, that is called ‘conscious Samadhi’, in which you remain conscious, within you.
So Hatha Yoga enables us to keep the body fit — each Yoga has its own scope. Prana Yoga can prolong your life. In ordinary we take about eight to ten breaths in one minute. If you have recourse to the Prana Yoga, then in that case you control your breathing inside (i.e. reduce its frequency) and can prolong your life as long as you can.
There is Bhakti Yoga, the Yoga of devotion. In that Yoga one man has to form some hypothesis. That is not ultimate rising into Brahm — unconditioned state of. So you know, Paramhansa Ramakrishna was a follower of the Bhakti Yoga — ideal Bhakti Yoga in the East — and worshipped God as ‘Mother’. He saw ‘Mother’ all around — in and out. So he could not rise into the unconditioned state of mind. So he came to his Guru, who was called Totapuri. He told him “I see ‘Mother’ all around, but I cannot rise above this duality. How can that be possible?” Then Totapuri stuck with some glass here between the two eyebrows and gave him a boost, so he rose into Samadhi.
Then comes the Gyan Yoga, also called Jnana Yoga. In this also you’ll find you cannot have more than dips into the beyond, you cannot remain there all along.
So in that case, you find in the Eastern philosophy, there are sheaths, bodies covering the soul. There are ‘Ana-mai-kosh’, ‘Pran-mai-kosh’, and ‘Vigyan-mai-kosh’ is also a kosh, a sheath — it is not the ultimate goal.
Shankara was the one to preach, “it is all unconditioned state of, we can rise into it”, but Ramanuja did not agree with him. He did not appreciate that, but gave right to Vasisht (Advaita) Yoga, in which you can say, you can be drenched with the all consciousness Samadhi, but not unconditioned state of mind. Ramakrishna and all these, they all point to the (necessity of) rising above body-consciousness, and they came up.
Patanjali organized all Yogas in a system at degrees. So he ultimately evolved two things from there — one thing is, that soul can be above body-consciousness, the second thing is, that it can focus its energies, without having recourse to the arduous ways of pranas. In pranas they have to control their breathing. So he (Patanjali) came up to that goal, that even without pranas you can rise above. So full realization or true Samadhi is not a matter of transcending the physical body, though it is a first step — the ABC of the beyond starts when you rise above body-consciousness. Where the world philosophies end, there the religion starts. This ABC starts from there, when you rise above body-consciousness.
To bring this attention beyond is a very intricate way. Some people without proper guidance may be lost. So for that reason They (the Masters) have given out that we should have some such course, that we may rise out of this bondage. You find Hatha Yoga, Prana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Jnana Yoga are not ultimate release, I would say, from the present bondage, not even step by step. We want something which can help us through. Prana Yoga can only lead us to the certain stage. Jnana Yoga can only give us a dip into the beyond, it does not mean staying there all along. That is why Ramanuja did not appreciate the view of his predecessor. He gave out Vasisht Yoga (Advaita), which says that you can have access to the beyond, but not remain there unconditioned always.
There comes the Sound Current, which is the highest form of Yoga, which is the natural yoga. This yoga covers all these problems which other yogas have. This is most natural and easiest of all yogas, which can be exercised by the old, the young and everybody.
So Masters of this (Surat Shabd) yoga teach us, that the Absolute God, though free from attributes in His primeval state, projected Himself into forms and is given two primal attributes: Light and Sound. When God wanted, “I am one and wish to be many”, there was vibration. Vibration results in two things: Light and Sound. So God is Light and God is Sound Principle. God is ‘Music of the spheres’. God is called the ‘Nada’ and the ‘Voice of God’. So there are two outward expressions of the God-into-expression Power, outward aspects, I would say, of the God-into-expression Power, which is called ‘Word’.
“Wordless came into being, it was Word”.
“The Word was in the beginning. Word was with God and Word was God”.
— John 1:1
Whole creation came into being after that. So that God-into-expression Power is called ‘Word’ and in all other terminologies they have called
“Nameless came into being, called ‘Naam’ ”.
“It was ‘Ashabda’, came into being and is called ‘Shabd’ ”.
So that is the cause of all creation, controlling all creation and permeating all creation. All this is manifestation of that Power. So all scriptures with us today speak of this — this is natural yoga. It is called Word. It is called by the Mohammedan Saints as ‘Sultan-ul-Azkar’, the king of all meditations. It is called ‘Nada’, it is called ‘Kalam-i-Quadim’ in their terminology.
“In the beginning was the Word”,
as I just submitted, “Word was with God, Word was God, and all creation came into being after that”. So that ‘Nameless One’ or ‘Shabdless One’ — Absolute God, you may say — when it came into being, that God Power, that came into expression, that is called ‘Word’, ‘Naam’ or ‘Shabd’, or ‘Kalam-i-Quadim’. That Power has two aspects: Light and Sound. So this is what Christ said, this is also what others say, that ‘Shabd’ is the cause of all creation. This creation comes into being by ‘Shabd’, goes back into ‘Shabd’ and again restarts a new creation. So ‘Shabd’ is a power — from ‘Shabd’ the Light was born.
All Masters say, here and there:
“When God said, ‘I am one and wish to be many’,
there was Light,
then further followed by Sound.”
So from Shabd also creation came. Shabd is the real essential core of all. Shabd is the direction power, agent of God, cause of all creation.You’ll find that in scriptures.
Shamaz Tabrez tells us,
“Creation came into being from ‘Saut’.”
‘Saut’ means sound, ‘Saut’ in Arabic word or ‘Word’, — “and from ‘Saut’ spreads all light.”
Moses, you see, he heard the commandments of God admidst thunder and flame. I am quoting you references.
Zoroaster spoke of the same thing. He said, ‘Unstruck fire’, ‘Sarosha’ to light and sound.
Taoism also speaks of the same thing ‘Creative Verbum’ and ‘Divine Light’. So ‘Nada’ it is called, ‘Udgit’, the music of the other side, it is called ‘Akash Bani’, the sound coming from above, it is called ‘Shabd’, ‘Naam’, it is called ‘Saut’.
So many names were given to it: Bang-i-Asmani, Nida-i-Asmani, Sarosha, Tao, Jyoti, Prakash, Tajall — all mean the same thing: Light and Sound.
When God came into expression, there was vibration and vibration results in two things: Light and Sound, and Light and Sound are the way back to Absolute God. You catch the ray of the sun, where will you be led? To the sun, from where it emanates.
All other yogas have their own scope, as I submitted, and this is the yoga which has the ultimate goal — to take you back to the Absolute God. In the revelation of John you will find,
“His eyes were as the flaming of fire,
his voice has the sound of many waters.
His countenance was as the sun shineth in its strength.”
— Revelation 1:14-16
These are references of those who have experience of the Beyond, of that Power which came into expression.
“And I heard a voice of many waters,
as a voice of great thunder.
And I heard the voice of harpers,
harping with their harps.”
— Revelation 1:2
These are references given to whether Christians or Indians, French or Chinese, whether in central Asia or anywhere. Those who went within (all said the same), this is the basic teaching of all.
In the East, too, you find it given in the Upanishads.
“There is a Sun of Mahabrahmand, the macrocosm.
From there proceeds the sound.”
This was the secret teaching, which was given to Krishna, the son of Devaki, by Ingresh Rishi — it is the oldest one. These have been the basic teachings of all (Masters).
Guru Nanak said so,
“There is inside light and from there proceeds the sound.
If you come in contact with that,
it will take you to the ultimate goal from where all
this God-into-expression Power came into being.”
The same is also said by Paltu, another Saint.
“There is a Light within you, from there a Sound proceeds.
Who can hear it?
Only he who goes into a Samadhi,
who rises above body-consciousness.”
So first step is to rise above body-consciousness, and there are ways and ways for that.
Prana system is a way, but that is a hard work’s way. Everybody is not fit for that. You have to do Kumbakh — and this is not natural.
And in Bhakti Yoga, you have to have some hypothesis to start with, and you cannot rise above duality.
In Jnana Yoga you can only get dips into the Beyond, you see, because Jnana is also a sheath over the coverings of the soul as given by the scriptures. So if there is a sheath, how can there be rising into unconditioned state?
So the natural way back to Absolute God, in which there is no hypothesis, no drawing of inferences — it is a direct contact with the God-into-expression Power, the two aspects of which are Light and Sound.
‘Nad Upanishad’ is purely for this Sound Principle that gives
“First a murmuring sound resembling that of wave of the ocean,
the fall of rain, the running rivulets.
After this the ‘Bhervi’ will be heard intermingled
with the sounds of bells and conchs.”
Now you’ll find why this bell ringing stands in our churches? Why in temples? Why there is light lit in the outer churches, temples and other places of worship?
They are raised after the model of man-body. Temples are dome-shaped; there you light a candle. Whoever enters, he rings the bell. And churches are long, nose-shaped — there you have also got light and bell ringing going on regular ringing. And now you will find the difference between the two: in the church the bell is ringing on all along (at certain times), whereas in the temples those who enter they ring the bell, you see.
These are symbols standing for God, two aspects of the God-into-expression Power, which is called Light and Sound.
And the true temple of God is man-body, in which we reside. We are now conscious entities, a drop of the Ocean of All-Consciousness. We are spirit in man. As spirit is eternal, why can we be afraid that we will die!
So man-body is the true temple of God
which is considered to be the highest in all creation.
It is next to God.
“When the man-body was set up,
angels were asked to bow down before the man-body.”
The only way back to God you can have in man-body only. And this is a golden opportunity that we have got, and all Masters said as I referred to you.
I mean to say, Prophet Mohammed heard this celestial sound — music, which ultimately assumed the shape of Gabriel forming itself into Word. And you know, those who pay pilgrimage to Mecca, they first go and visit the cave Hira where Prophet Mohammed sat for six years to hear the sound? He began to have messages from the higher (planes) when he was in tune with that Sound Principle and Light.
So you know Baha U’llah? You heard his name? He was a mystic, but he passed all his life in jail. He had references to the ‘Flaming Sound’ or the ‘Ringing Radiance’ as the outer expression of the God-into-expression Power.
So there are two powers within us, you see. Socrates, you know, said,
“I heard a sound which took me into the new world.”
Plato also referred to it as the ‘Music of the Spheres’.
Pythagoras referred to it as ‘Music of all Harmonies’ and ‘Truth clothed in Light’.
Similarly Zoroaster had the same thing.
Upanishads say the same thing, Buddhist say the same thing. When towards his last days Lord Buddha called for all his disciples, he asked them, “How to attain a Diamond Samadhi?” All referred to the light and sound and ultimately Lord Buddha gave out,
“Let the coming generation know that the intrinsic hearing
is the only way back to Diamond Samadhi”.
So these are things lying within us. There are two (forms), one is the power of seeing and one is of hearing. First when you enter, you see a candle in gloom, you see the light, then the sound follows. In light you see, where you are, and Sound Principle is the guiding principle, where to go. Some people take up the way of the light only, they are environed, enveloped by all the light and they do not know where to go further. There the Sound Principle guides.
And Masters who come, those who are ‘Word-made-flesh’, in whom that Power is manifest, They can give you a contact with that by raising your attention from all outside and the body below, and They open the Single Eye to see the Light of God.
“If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.”
— Matthew 6:22
So there is Light (to see) and there is the Sound Principle which guides you where to go. So ‘Word-made-flesh’ can give you a contact to all that. They are called touchstones, ‘Paras’. One who is ‘Word-made-flesh’, in Him that (Power) is manifest. He resides in every heart.
Man-body is the house we live in. It has got nine doors open, two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, mouth and two underneath. But we cannot run away out of it. Some Power is controlling us in the body, with all these doors open. That controlling Power is the God-into-expression Power called by so many names by different Masters who came in the past; East or West makes no difference.
And the outward expression — two aspects of the God-into-expression Power is Light and Sound. That light can be seen, you see, that is within each one of us.
And Christ said,
“I have come to make people see who do not see.
And others who see may be blind!”
— John 9:39
The word ‘blind’ in the terminology of the Saints means: your inner eye is not opened, the single eye is not opened to see the light of God. ‘Blind’ does not mean those who have got no eyes on the forehead, but the ones whose single eye is not opened within. It is also called Third Eye or Shiv Netra, Divya Chakshu, Latent Eye. So, that eye is within everyone of us.
The man who is ‘Word-made-flesh’, what does He do?
That Power already exists in us, but our soul, the outer expression of which is called attention, that is identified with the mind, the outgoing faculties (senses), body and world so much so that we have forgotten our self. We cannot differentiate our self. Now we work at the level of the man-body.
And man-body is changing every moment of life. The world around us is also changing at the same speed. As we are identified with this and the two things, which we are identified with, are changing, those appear to be stationary. It is a grand optical illusion.
So how to come out of this? Masters gave out:
“Man know thyself! Who you are, what you are!
Are you the body?
No, you have the body, you have got the intellect,
you have got the outgoing faculties.
It is you (soul) enlivening these things.”
So to ‘know’ — generally people take it at the level of feelings or drawing inferences — but they both are subject to error. Seeing is above all!
And seeing arises when? When you rise above the body-consciousness by self-analysis.
The Master who is adept in that way, what does He do?
Our attention, the outward expression of the soul which is identified with the body and outside world that we cannot differentiate our self, He withdraws our attention from all outside and from the body below, takes it to the seat of the soul which is at the back of the eyes. Where? When a man dies his eyes are upturned. From here we leave into the Beyond.
Plutarch tells us,
“Those who are initiated into the mysteries of the Beyond,
their soul has the same experience of leaving the body
as it has at the time of death.”
It is the same process.
You know, this man-body is a strange factory which is run by us. All these outgoing faculties, eyes and everything, gain strength from us and then they are controlling us. Now we cannot differentiate. The first thing that a ‘Word-made-flesh’ gives you is: a demonstration of how to rise above body-consciousness.
And they tell us, “Don’t believe in the words of the Master,” if you don’t see for your own self and you testify to it: “Yes, you have risen above body-consciousness!” This is the first step. As I told you, the ABC of spirituality truly starts when you rise above the body-consciousness. All Yogas refer to that. So this is the most easy, the most natural Yoga — a child can do it. Young man can do it, old man can do it.
In the old days there was a system in the East (in the West also the same, they have got their own words for that; they say ‘reborn’, “You must be reborn!” as Christ gave out), they had a system — they made the children of seven, eight, nine years old ‘twice-born’.
One birth into this man-body, the other into the Beyond. And they gave the Gayatri-Mantra. Gayatri-Mantra means to rise above the body, catch the ray of sun, reach the sun itself. There is a prayer,
“Oh God, direct our attention to the sun!”
And they gave out this mantra, but they also gave them a demonstration of that how to rise above body-consciousness and how to open the Single Eye to see the Light of God. To five-years-old children even!
Even nowadays that custom still prevails. Some of the Hindus give them the same Gayatri-Mantra, and they are said to be ‘twice-born’, but for want of practical people (Saints) they do not give the demonstration how to rise above body-consciousness, how to see the Light of God.
The Light is within each one of us. And Christ said,
“Take heed that the light within you is not darkness!”
— Luke 11:35
This light is covered with sheaths, you see. So many sheaths: physical, astral, causal — you have just something to start with (to get rid of these sheaths). Suppose a lamp is there, it is covered by one sheath, one covering, two, three, four, it appears (as if) no light is there. When you take off one cover, you can see some light. When you take off the other cover, still more light (is there), when you take off all covers, full light (will be there).
All Masters referred to the light within that grows more and more as you rise above physical, astral, causal and super-causal plane. So ultimate goal of all Saints has been beyond all these physical planes, in the spiritual planes. You know, in one of the books (of the Bible) it is referred about John, that he was caught in the third plane. They also had that knowledge — for want of practical people however you have forgotten.
Now in all our places of holy worship we have got those symbols of light and sound, and that is showing that suchlike light and suchlike sound is within you. Outer models are made only for the beginners to make them understand that suchlike light is within you and suchlike sound is reverberating within you. And so long as there were practical people (Saints) they gave the demonstration of that — and they gave out:
“Don’t believe in the words of a Master
unless you testify that it is so, maybe more or less.”
Suppose people come and give us a talk on business principles, very wonderful talk. But we poor fellows have no money — what shall we do? Masters use to give something to start with — a seed which cannot be perished, which cannot be taken away by anyone except by the hands of the ‘Word-made-flesh Master’.
So this is one thing, one requirement: Who can give us a demonstration, that we may testify what is what by our own self?
And the second thing is: True living.
”Truth is above all, and true living is still above truth.”
Ethical life is the stepping stone to Spirituality. If you have attachments, you are given up to outer enjoyments, how can you withdraw your attention from that?
The Masters give you little way up. Because They are All-Attention. And you withdraw from outside, from the body below and you see for your own self, light is there, maybe less or more. Those who meet with that thing, for them a necessity is: pure life.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”
Tulsi Sahib says,
“Clean the chamber of thy heart so that thy lover may enter.”
You cannot expect a king to enter a filthy room, do you?
Even a dog — I mean — the lowest of the creatures, when it sits, it cleans the ground underneath with its tail. Can you expect God will manifest in a heart which is filthy, full of lusty and other thoughts, evil thoughts for others? So that is the first step.
Masters, when they come, they don’t touch the outer forms, outer labels that we are carrying of different religions. These religions came into being only recently after the Masters had left the scene. Those who met them there, they had direct knowledge, experience, demonstration of it. When they left, to keep their Teachings alive, these schools of thought (religions) came into being. As long as there were practical people they had the benefit of that, knowing God. For want of practical people the same formations result in stagnation and stagnation results in deterioration. Masters again come to revive this wisdom.
Question: May I interrupt you and ask a few questions?
Sant Kirpal Singh: Yes, most welcome, to the best I know, yes!
Question about light-experience.
Sant Kirpal Singh: That’s on the way, when you rise above different planes as I told you — light is there — the lamp is burning, that has some coverings over that. Then, when all coverings are there, there appears to be no light. When you shake off one, you have little light; then take off two, more light, three — more, like that it goes on the way. You attend your meditation hour, did you see light? No? Others they saw!
Sant Kirpal Singh: So many — only I think, two or four did not see, all others out of three hundred people over there (did see). So it is a very regular way as two and two make four. Only want somebody who knows the practical way. Moreover some outer requirements are there: to be on strict vegetarian diet, no intoxicants, they can get quicker results. So there are only a few who did not (see), all others had it (an experience).
Question: The different lights — do You remember, Master, You said this morning that some people brought more with them from the past lives.
Sant Kirpal Singh: Background — those who have got background. They have something to start with… not all, but some. But they do not know how to proceed further. I have seen suchlike men who saw light. They began to treat their eyes in the eye-clinic. They heard the sound and began to treat their ears by the doctors. Some people do have background, they come up, but they want further guidance, where to go further.
Question: Master, You mentioned also that one should stay in his own religion because Christ taught this same method of reaching God.
Sant Kirpal Singh: Masters don’t touch outer labels, as I told you. It is only made that many people can derive benefit. As long as there are practical people, all people derive the benefit. For want of practical people, you see, — how many are there who can give you a boost like that, a demonstration of that, so you may see yourself?
So there should be something, some capital to start with. And to proceed further with proper guidance and help, you can reach the goal, ultimate goal from where the Light and Sound proceeds, and that is the Absolute God, Wordless State.
Question: May I ask a question?
Sant Kirpal Singh: No reservation, you see! I am also a student of life, you see. Still I continue as a student. Man learns and unlearns all through life. I have been student like you. You people have to take my place — our places — you are the budding hopes of the coming generations!
Question: If Christ taught the same thing, is there any mention of Christ speaking about reincarnation or previous lives?
Sant Kirpal Singh: Christ has given some reference, too. As I join others. We don’t know full history, you see. He gave references here and there. But those who met a Master, why they should think of reincarnation? They won’t come back again to the world. Who sees, who can take a man home, why should they return and have reincarnation again? This is only for those who such Master — ‘Word-made-flesh’ — have not met. Such ones, when they go back home, they have not to return. They come only, are sent only to guide the child humanity, they do not come as prisoners, you see.
Question that is not understandable.
Sant Kirpal Singh: Yes, yes, there is light within — so it is in each man, even the children see it. There should be some boost given, that’s all.
Where the world philosophies end,
there the religion starts, truly speaking.
Physical bodies or outer labels do not form religions, these are social bodies, those are schools of thought (teachings). It shows we have joined this particular school of thought to know oneself and to know God.
Basic teachings have been the same almost and all Masters — only we have forgotten, that’s the pity, for want of practical people. Masters again come from time to time to revive that forgotten lesson, I would say.
Question that is not understandable.
Sant Kirpal Singh: You see, I tell you, God indeed (works) through Master. He is Word. When Word is made flesh, we respect Him. ‘Word-made-flesh’, we respect Him. Word is the Guru manifest — He resides in every heart. Where it is manifest, we respect. Teacher of man is a man, man could be a teacher, not voice which comes from the heaven.
All Masters, you see, Jesus also appeared in the man form, all others, Prophet Mohammed, and others. So teacher of a man is a man who is according to your own level, he passed through the life and had that experience, and can also communicate the same thing, you testify to it. So all Masters who came, they were all in the human form.
That school is better which turns out many successful students, is it not? All these schools of thoughts are schools and we have joined to know God. And if they turned out men like that to know God, I think, all credit goes to them, you see. For want of practical people, we have, I think, forgotten that lesson and Masters come from time to time to give them again. They have again that very thing which we have forgotten.
Thank to God, and you specially who has managed (this talk) over here!