April 14, 1973 — Master’s address to the Governor of Uttar Pradesh
His Excellency Ali Akbar Khan, Governor of Uttar Pradesh, cuts the ribbon at the Father Homes at Manav Kendra (Dehradun)
Instead of addressing you as Your Excellency, I would like to address you as elder brother, for this is the Man Centre (Manav Kendra). How did it all start? As a student I was very fond of reading books and I read many — mostly biographies. I have read the lives of more than 300 great men of the East and the West, and a liberal amount of literature on topical events. As a result of my readings, I arrived at the conclusion that man making is the highest ideal of all. All the scriptures of the Masters say the same thing — that all mankind is one. Men are related to each other like the different parts of the body. If there is pain in one part of the body, then the whole body seems to suffer. Man is the very image of Love; and a true man is he who lives for others. To live for oneself alone, even an animal can do.
By this parallel study of the scriptures I could see that man’s form is the highest. The Persian poet Iqbal says, Moses went to Mount Sinai to meet God; Did he not know that God Himself was in search of man? Man’s status is next to God. All Masters who came said, “O man, become a man.” Man represents God on this earth. And what is he? He has a body, he has intellect, but he is consciousness — the soul which is of the same essence as that of God. We have made great progress physically and intellectually, as we can see: man has reached the moon and is now thinking of reaching out to other planets. We can now travel around the globe in a matter of hours; we can hear and see from thousands of miles, through radio and television. With all this progress, we are still not happy. The reason is that we have ignored man’s third aspect. One Sufi Saint says, O man, you have known so much about everything, but if you have not known your own self, you are a fool.
So man’s most important aim is that he should become a man. Prophet Mohammed said, I am His messenger — His son. Other Masters said similar things. Kabir Sahib said, O Kabir, we are the knower of that far away place, and we bring orders from the Most High. They always say, “We are His children.” What is their work? They say that the people have forgotten God, and we have come to bring remembrance. So these Masters come again and again to the world that is, when they are needed. In the time of Kabir Sahib, there was a clash between Hindus and Muslims. Guru Nanak was his contemporary, and both raised the same cry. Kabir said, I am neither Hindu nor Muslim; consider us both as one. Guru Nanak said similarly, Neither are we Hindu nor Muslim; Allah and Ram is the breath of the body. Guru Nanak was told that he wore the label of a Hindu, so how could he say he was not a Hindu? He told them that he was a puppet made of five elements, in which the invisible was playing — and that was he. This is the quality of man.
All men are born in the same way. They have the same outer and inner construction. The municipality of the body cleans it every day by throwing out the waste matter. But we are the indweller, and not the body. The soul is the indweller, and is the entity of the Lord. So man has first to know himself — only then can he know God.
So for the ideal of man making, Ruhani Satsang was established 25 years ago, by the grace of my Master, Hazur Baba Sawan Singh Ji Maharaj. It was his wish to make a common platform upon which people of all religions should sit. I was consecutively elected President of the World Fellowship of Religions from 1957 onward. Four conferences were held in India, and also in Persia, France, and Germany, as a result of which the narrow-mindedness and bigotry was considerably reduced. Before this, one religious head would never meet another. Sometimes they did not even care to see each other’s faces. Now they do get together and sit together and listen to each other’s points of view. However, there is a new danger arising — that the ruling persons of the WFR are wanting to strengthen their own formations, in spite of the fact that the inner way is the same for all. Man is first man, and there is one Beloved which is God. When the narrow-mindedness was reduced, the other notion arose: that all Hindus should become one, all Muslims should become one, and so on — and in this way huge pillars are being formed against each other. So where is the true integration in this?
It is a blessing to live according to the basis of one’s own religion. Remain in your own religion. Man is a social being. But what was the purpose of joining these religions? It was, to know God. Only the soul can know God, so one must first come to know oneself. For this purpose, Ruhani Satsang was started in Delhi in 1950. After that I undertook three world tours: in 1955, 1963, and I returned from the third tour on January 3 this year (1973). The purpose of these tours was just to bring home this fact: that man is one. At the level of soul we are all one, and He whom we worship is One for everybody. Hundreds of lovers but the Beloved is one for all; Religions and sects are separate, but the work is the same. This is what I gave out during the tours. On the previous tours people attended the talks in hundreds, but on this last one they came in the thousands. Large halls were packed to capacity, including the galleries, lobbies, and balconies — the places were so full that frequently people would stand outside waiting. Talks were also given in churches. This science appealed to them very much. There are at present 209 actively working centers outside India and 80 centers working in India. Here Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, and others come and, forgetting any differences, they feel and realize that a true unity links them all.
Side by side with the working of man making in Ruhani Satsang, a need was felt for man service and land service. For this it was considered necessary to build a hospital for free treatment of the poor and needy who cannot afford to pay for it. People with means can have treatment of their choice but for the poor this hospital has been started. Training for that part of man service which relates to man making commences in the womb of the mother, and after birth the child learns from its parents and is then further taught in schools and colleges. Finally man gets the true teaching by sitting at the feet of a competent Master-soul. I have designed a new scheme for education wherein moral principles have been emphasized. We have started from the primary standard and it will ultimately be taken up to the university level. We will soon be getting land for that. The Father Home which you have today inaugurated has been started, in which the aged people who are poor and without help or support can live a life of peace in their last days, in remembrance of God. Those who have the means of supporting themselves can also live there. In the West, some countries provide old age pensions; it has become a necessity here also.
I have built no temple here for man making. We are all social beings and already live in social bodies. Temples, mosques and churches are all made in the image of man, in which are kept the two symbols of Light and Sound. God is Light and the Sound is vibrating. Go to any sacred building and there you will find the symbols of Light and Sound. So among these places of worship, which can be called the best? for in them all these same symbols are kept. And they were made in the image of man, so how can one say this or that is better? Never say that Kaaba is better than a temple, as in both something is kept to give the sweet remembrance of God; To me the human body is best, where the manifestation of God is visible.
So man is the highest of all; and in man’s form only does the Lord manifest. Here there is no temple then; just the earth beneath and the sky overhead. The true temple of God is the physical form that we carry about with us. Since the basic teachings of all religions are the same, we have started a library here in which will be kept the scriptures of all religions. I have written a book on the Naam or Word, or Kalma, in which quotations from different scriptures are given; and also The Crown of Life which is a comparative study of the different systems of yoga. Apart from these I have written books on Saints and their teachings, and other books. There is intentionally no author’s rights reserved for the publication of these, so that these teachings which are a gift of nature may easily reach everyone.
Along with the man service there is also a dairy farm for ample supply of milk; and everyone must have food, so there will be development of agriculture, too. All this work is increasing, and will reach full development soon. This is a short description of Manav Kendra‘s work, which is inspired by God. It is a great pleasure to have here with us elder brothers like your good self [ to His Excellency the Governor ]. All those brothers who have visited this place have realized the necessity of such an institution. Their good wishes are with us, and there will be help from God. I thank you all who have come to participate in this function today. It is all your work.