See also “Library > Dr Harbhajan Singh — Talks > Detach from the world, mind, and senses“
Extract from a talk by Dr. Harbhajan Singh held in Calw on 15 June, 1995
(Published in “Sayings of Sant Kirpal Singh” edition 1998-1)
We have gathered here for a heart to heart talk. While we are in the world, the most important thing for us is to safeguard our interest – and this is the higher values of life.
If one loses the higher values of life and goes back without having attained them, he is bewildered in the three worlds. And if once one has lost the chance of this man-body, it may or may not be given again. So we have to make the best use of the present time.
Even to think of the past is negative. You know, lots of people and lots of (so-called) masters are there who tell you something about the past. What does it benefit you? Nothing. They may be telling lies. Be sure, that is not in your interest.
There are many, many ways how man is misled in the world and does not find the (right) way. He is so much occupied in the world with the pursuit of other things, most of which are useless. They are not even worth thinking of, and they should not even be brought to our thoughts. You know what we have to do.
Once there was a king who renounced the world for self-realization. Before he left for the forest, his mother told him, “My dear son, live in a very strong fort!” He said, “Mother, there will be no fort, I will have to live under the shadows of a tree or I will have to build a hut of straw out there.” She said, “My dear child, keep the commandments of the Master with you! To live within the commandments of the Master is to live within a fort.”
So we can develop this man body as a fort because we can acquire all those virtues which our Master has got and which are also described in the holy scriptures.
These are the higher values and the hidden values of life, and both work and protect us like a fort. When we leave the body like that, we are not touched by any force in the three worlds because our way is direct and independent with God. So we have to develop in all aspects of life. Physically and intellectually we have done a lot but one part — our consciousness — is lacking.
Further his mother told him, “Son, you should take very delicious food there!” — “Mother, I have to cook the food myself. That will only be coarse grain, how can I take delicious food there?” She answered, “Son, take the food only, when you are really hungry. It will give you power and energy.”
Then she told him, “Son, you should sleep on very soft beds.” He replied, “Mother, there will be no soft beds, sometimes I will even have to sleep on thorny bushes. I don’t know where I will be.” She said, “No, only sleep, when really the sleep overpowers your senses, not beforehand. Before you go to sleep control your mind and senses and overcome your problems so that you are not misguided during the sleep. Have a conscious sleep!”
Conscious sleep means that you are sleeping but you are still conscious so that you are not affected by the mind which works on the level of subconsciousness. What his mother meant was the right way of life.
Master tells us that our only purpose in the world, while we live in this man-body, is to know what we are, who we are, from where we came, how we came, and what the purpose of human life is now. Although this is all our concern, we have forgotten it. So we have to remember all these considerations. The experience of our Masters, which is described in the holy scriptures, should become our experience.
Most of us (present during the talk) have got this gift of life (the initiation) for that purpose. And if those who have not got it accept the teaching and determine to live accordingly, at once they will have the radiation of the Master. The power that is within you does not have to come from outside; it depends on your free will because man is gifted with the free will.
Everyone should have an aim in his life, rather create an aim with determination. Without having an aim one is like a useless instrument in the world. Such persons are bewildered later on. They are not asked anywhere. An aimless person is a useless person, not only here but thereafter also. Some people waste their life and energy only for unimportant things. They waste their time. I tell you, the time which does not credit you, definitely discredits you.
There are only two possibilities — either it is a credit or it is a discredit. If a thing does not credit you, it will discredit you because there are two forces, the positive and the negative power, working all the time around you.
If you wish to be positive and you don’t act accordingly, you are in the severe grip of the negative power. Everything has its reaction: If you want to do something, you want to develop, but you don’t do it (in practice), the effect will be negative.
Once we have determined something, we should do it, otherwise this will be against our interest and we lose the opportunity. If we go through the holy scriptures and read the very secrets of the life of the competent Masters, we can know something about the hidden values of life.
There are the higher values of life, and if you live with them, you get to know the hidden values of life. But before we do not determine our aim, we cannot even live with the higher values of life, what to say about the hidden values of life. Without knowing the hidden values of life you cannot transcend the tentacles of the mind and matter that are there.
All these negative facts like ignorance, misleading others, disrespecting other people, greed, avarice, attachment, lust, ego — these are not only words, but these are very big barriers which are created inside. The effect of these things is very vast and wide, it transcends into our astral and causal body.
When we leave the physical body, we have to overcome these, there is no exception to the rule. Roots are there, and we have to cut the very roots of those things. (At the moment) we are doing it only haphazardly.
On the other hand there are also the virtues like truthfulness, chastity, true living, compassion for others, contentment — there are nearly ten virtues. If we live with those virtues (without transcending the barriers of true living) we can get more virtues, we can multiply those virtues.
If, however, we transcend those barriers and go to the other side, we will lose those virtues. They start to diminish in us. What will happen? A time will come, when we have finished with all those virtues and we’ll remain empty-handed.
As you know, this man-body and this world is only a play field of the negative and positive power. Both are the impelling forces which have their destination fully fixed, and they are doing their utmost. For that reason we have to be very particular and positive in all our saying and doing. We have to live up to it with all we do and say.
We should not leave it at all. If we say something, we should do it. When we do it, the result should be positive and potent, otherwise it will not be in our interest. We speak something out of no reason, without caring for the result. But results are there, consequences are following. There can be such dire consequences in the life of a person that he has to wander in bewilderment.
These things are from everyone’s life. Due to ignorance we do not know, we have never touched this subject. Once we have got to know about it, we have to live accordingly — otherwise we are sinners.
Without a sin we would never come back into the man-body. Masters come for the sinners. We may remain in the world but we should not create a sin, neither on the level of our consciousness nor on the level of our mind — not even in our dreams we should create a sin. But this is only possible when we start with a clear aim and determination in our life. Then we have something with us.
First we should thank God who has given us the man-body. It is a rare phenomenon in the whole creation when a soul comes into the man-body. Master tells us we should be thankful, hundred times we should thank God for giving us this opportunity to realize ourselves and to realize God.
The second thing is that He has provided us with a good atmosphere; we have so many good things. He has given us everything. See the condition of other people, they do not even have good water, they must take the dirty water, and due to that many of them die. We should thank the God Power that He has blessed us with all amenities.
But we cannot really thank Him as long as we do not know why this human life was given to us. Only when we know this, we are able to thank God.
The first preference we should have is: We should live according to the teaching, according to the holy scriptures. Otherwise, all other things are meaningless. A time will come, when we will be forced to detach from all. We don’t want to detach, but we will be forced to do so. There is no exception to the rule.
Once Kabir went to the palace of king Baghel Singh who had just renovated his palace. It was from his ancestors, and when Kabir arrived there, Raja Baghel Singh asked Him, “O holy Saint, today is our inauguration day. Please, speak something!” Kabir said only two sentences, “You will not live in this palace for ever, and this palace will smash down.” The king said, “You are a Master, you should have spoken something good.” Kabir said, “I have told you the only good thing — remember it!” And Raja Baghel Singh became a staunch follower of Kabir’s teaching.
All that we create for our use is good for us only on a certain level, not on all levels. So Masters tell us: Detachment is a big thing. You have everything (you need); if at the same time you are able to be above everything — then you are the right person in the world.
In Rajastan there was one very good artist who used to make stone carvings. He made the image of some goddess, and lots of people gathered there for the inauguration. When the statue was placed in the temple, everybody bowed down before it, but he did not bow down. Some people asked, “Why do you not bow down, you had much work with it?” He replied, “What a foolishness! I cannot bow before it, as I have made it. God has not made it, I myself have made it. If I have created a thing, and I remain attached to it, this is foolishness, how can I bow before it?”
So some awareness is there in man, and if he really uses this awareness, it is in his interest. And what is in his interest now, that will remain in his interest forever.
All Masters lived hundred per cent for others. Only for that purpose they had to come into the world because they had no reaction of the past. They were sent into the world to perform their duty and we are of the same essence as they are. They come for us. They teach the same lesson which they have learned in their life. We have to become like them, no exception to the rule. If you live for others, you live for God. If you respect others, if you give due consideration to others, you respect God in you.
Every action has its reaction, and these are the positive reactions. Positive reaction means reactions which will not bind you back into the man-body. And that is only the selfless service. To live for others is selfless service. All those positive acts are considered to be a selfless service. And in this way we can live with the teaching — every moment.
Masters say, “You should not forget it even for a moment.” You know, if you miss the plane for a moment, you are at a distance of hundred kilometres away from your goal. To miss the purpose of life means you are missing your life-impulse because a time will come when we will leave everything in the world. A time will come in the world, when none of us will be here in the world. Everyone has to go, and what will we have at our disposal then? Nothing.
We have to leave everything in the world, forcibly we will be detached from it. Master stresses that detachment is a must. There is no exception to the rule. If we do it right now and detach on the level of consciousness, the result will be in our favour.
If we are detached only on the level of mind and senses, we must come back where our attention is. Master wants us to detach on the level of consciousness, on the level of our soul. Soul is the driving force in the man-body. So once we determine our life on the level of soul, it is permanent. It will remain with us. It will give us eternal life.
Master tells us, “Those who are proud of their riches will become a snake.” It is from the teaching. “Those who are proud of their beauty will become an insect of bad ordure. Those who are affected with lust become prostitutes.”
It is from the holy scriptures. It is the experience of those Masters who lived according to the teaching (and saw these things inside).
So every action has its reaction. Master’s teaching is just like the subject of anatomy which is practically learnt, not only theoretically. Master’s purpose is to help everybody to determine his life. The Masters come only for that purpose. Master loves everybody from heart, this is one special thing in Him, and then He develops us according to His own image.
There is a story of Majnu who was the lover of Laila. Laila used to give alms in form of money or of many other kinds to the beggars. So Majnu took one cup and went there along with the beggars, only to have a glimpse of his beloved. Laila gave something to everybody, but when it was Majnu’s turn, she did not put anything into the cup but struck it from below so that the cup fell down and was broken. Majnu started to dance. People said, “O foolish man, what have you got from her? She has not given anything to you.” He replied, “She has given me that which you have not got so far. It is for my whole life, it is even for the time after my death.”
What had he learned from that? “Detach! When you leave this body, when the ‘pitcher’ will break, you will get everything from Him.”
This is real love. Detachment is real love. If you know how to detach in the world of attachments, you are a real human being. All Masters tell us, “Remain detached from the world of attachments so that you and everyone else may benefit from your vision.” We have to create a very clear vision and we must be broad-hearted.
God gives something to him who is broad-hearted. For what purpose does He give it? He gives it for distribution. The gift of God is of such kind: the more you spend, the more it grows. Is there an end to love? The more you use it, the more it will flourish.
Now our mind is identified in the world and we are caught in the narrow confinements of the mind. Serious consequences are there. To live with the mind means that you have to bear the dire consequences.
If you are identified on the level of consciousness, on the level of soul, you become broad-hearted. You have a place for everybody and you will not discriminate.
On a lower level there is much discrimination, but on the level of a competent Master, there is no discrimination. He loves all. He meets millions of sinners, but He does not become a sinner. He helps everybody. You know, Masters come into the world for those whose eye is not opened. But those whose eye is opened see all in Him.
Before the Master entered the world, He had given three promises to the negative power.
Firstly, a Master will not show any miracle. Miracle is an act of the negative power. All these miracles which are being shown in the world are only from the negative power, the gods, goddesses, avataras, and all other lower forces. Master has nothing to do with them. They only create problems in the world and diseases of the mind.
The Master can only give the right understanding, but He cannot take the soul forcibly, because everyone (in the world) has got the free will.
(The further promises are that man will neither be shown something about his former lives nor the day or hour of his death.)
As you know already, we come into the world with three qualities distinct from the whole creation:
- discrimination power, and
- free will.
On that level Master can take back the soul, otherwise not. He awakens us on ground of these three aspects, although in three other ways Master is bound with the negative power.
- He cannot show certain things to us but He can create the consciousness that is within us.
- He can create the discrimination power that is within us to know what is what.
- He can help us to utilize our free will. We are not able to use our free will (in the right way).
There is the Will of God, and there is the free will of man. Both exist together. But nobody knows the Will of God. But we can attune our will to the Will of God only by following the footsteps of our competent Master, otherwise not.
How easy it is! Now there are His footsteps; there was a time, when there were no footsteps. Now we are fortunate that in the present world we have lots of holy scriptures which are written in one opinion, and we can make the best use of them. We have to make the best use of them. These are the timeless footsteps, time does not concern with. They always remain fresh with us.
Negative and the positive power control man, and man does not know that he is being controlled. Our actions are accounted on the rays of our thoughts.
The rays of our thoughts are accounted, so man’s destiny is made on these things because thoughts are very potent. They give birth to all the creation. We are in this world due to our own problems that we have created in the world. Now we cannot finish with them and cannot go (back home). This is the problem we have. We should correct ourselves starting from our thoughts.
For example, if a snake is sitting in a hole, nobody except for the snake-charmer knows. When he reaches the hole where the snake is hidden, he can feel the atmosphere telling him that a snake is there. Then the snake-charmer will play on the flute and the snake will come out of the hole.
So Master also takes us according to the rays of our thoughts, how the rays react in the heart of other people. These rays of our thoughts go very wide outside. If you think something here, it will transmit to the other corner of the world. Master says, “You should not even think bad of anybody, otherwise you will be affected.” I am telling you very delicate things, but they are meaningful, they are part of the true aspect of life. We must know about it.
What is the purpose of our human life? We should think of the fact that we have to go from this world, we will not live here for ever. Otherwise you will have to suffer the agony of death again and again — death and birth — which is very dreadful. Everybody wants eternal life, everybody wants peace of mind, everybody wants salvation.
To whom should we surrender to fulfill that purpose? To our Beloved who is within us. We should get the answer from within, from our self first, and then from outside.
(What happens if we are confronted with a problem?) Mind will say something, but the soul will contradict to it. When the soul says something, the mind will contradict to it.
And who has to decide it? Our intellect is there, and it is said to be a balance. If we bring it near to the mind, it will create problems for us. If we bring it more to the consciousness, it will give us a clear-cut view in our life. Then we can discriminate and see everything in its original condition. Who always remain conscious, their wisdom will become holy wisdom.
A man who is blessed with holy wisdom will not stay in this world, he will go back. What has he to do here (in this world)? He is a useless instrument for the mind and for the negative power. Why should he come back? Even the negative power will not accept such a person.
These are very hard facts of life, and we have to go through. So, what should we do? We should detach from the world. We should try to detach from our mind and from our senses. We should only take the work from them according to the necessity. Master tells us, “What is yours in the world? Nothing.” All that we leave in the world brings a reaction, all that we do for God is our heritage. Kabir says,
“O man, you are ignorant.
You can convert everything into gold,
you can convert everything into consciousness.
Your whole labour (for the God Power)
will be studded on the throne of the Master Power
where the Lord Himself sits.”
Whatever we do for God or for others, that is our heritage which we can take with us. Whatever we leave in this world, that brings a reaction. If it is misused later on, you have to bear the reaction because that has come out of your hard labour. Whatever you have worked out, you have to make the best use of it, otherwise you will have to suffer. Master tells us, “The agony of your actions will prolong so much that under the heavy weight of your own deeds you will forget to detach from the world.” We owe lots of things to this world and we have to “undertake a very good bargain” just to pay off the debts. Master tells us that this man-body is like a capital given to us.
Everything is linked with it (this man-body). If you awake and rise above the body-consciousness, you are a real man. You are a man of great heart, you are very broad-hearted! God starts to dwell in you, and you can feel His radiation every moment, if really you live in this way.
Those whose eye is not opened say that this world is everything for them. They enjoy the world, enjoy the life in this man-body, but they are ignorant about the true facts of life. They must know that it may be very nice to enjoy this world and enjoy this body, but it will be very difficult to leave this world and leave the body. We have to learn to leave the world beforehand! Those whose eye is opened say,
False is the king, false is his kingdom,
each and everything in the world is false.
The false has made friendship
with the falsehood and both are drowned!
Everything in the world is false but we have neither to be pessimist nor optimist because in both the ways we will be drowned. If we are pessimistic about the world, we cannot solve the riddle of life.
We have to use everything for the right purpose, not for the wrong purpose. We have to make the best use of the dust (matter) by using it for God’s purpose. It is better not to be optimistic about the world (and to expect something from it). We have to raise our attention above both. What is the use of being either pessimistic or optimistic about this world when we have to leave it anyway? Master says,
“You must remain above the effects of the world!
Then you are in the world,
yet you are out of the world.
Your boat is in the water,
but the water must not enter into the boat.”
Master tells us the very art of life which we have to learn. We have to adopt that way of life — no exception to the rule. Footsteps are there, we should follow them. The opinion of not only one Master but of hundreds of Masters is there, their common opinion is the guideline. All Masters went in the same footsteps.
The steps they have gone are very deep, very brilliant footsteps left for us. Now it is no problem to go blindly on them because if you start going one step, all other steps you take will go on automatically. This is why it is said in the holy scriptures:
“If you take one step,
Master Power comes forward
with millions of steps.”
The work of the disciple is very easy, but the work of the Master is difficult. He has to guide us, He has to take us out of the mud. This world is like a mud where we are stuck fast and we do not know how to get out of it. So the main work is with the Father. The child is ignorant but he must know about the competency of his Father. Masters say,
“When the child is in the lap of the mother,
the child will not even be afraid of a lion.
The mother may be afraid of the lion,
but the child is very happy because he knows, ‘
‘My mother is greater than anything.’
He feels sure because of the love of the mother.
They are very close through this love.”
— Sant Kirpal Singh
Our condition should be like that.
Kabir says, “The fish lives in the ocean but still it says it is thirsty.” One can only laugh about the fish! He lives in the ocean but is still thirsty! The fish must know that the ocean lives in the fish.
The essence of life, the purpose of human life, God, is living within us. God lives in us, the Ocean lives in the fish. If really we know this, we can never be thirsty. We feel thirst for the world and worldly attachments because we think that the fish lives in the ocean. But we are ignorant that the ocean lives in the fish.
When we know that our Father lives within us, we will not create problems for Him. Kabir further says, “The fish has abandoned the ocean and has started to live on the trees, whereas the ocean is burning.” What does this mean? The fish is the life, our soul has abandoned (the Father) and has started to live outside and is directly under the attachments. It is identified into the world. “The Ocean is burning” means that the Master Power within us is not happy because of the separation; He is “burning”.
I wish that we could learn something from the lives of the different Masters — this is our purpose, we simply have to live with it. It is our lost heritage, and we can get it back. It is never far away from us, it is very close, nearer than everything else because it is innate in the soul. Simply we have to bring our heritage back into our fast consideration, we should not delay it.