See also “Library > Dr Harbhajan Singh — Messages > Selfless Service is a great blessing”
Extract from a talk by Dr Harbhajan Singh, St Gilgen, 14 July, 1991
(published in “Sayings of Sant Kirpal Singh”, edition 97-1)
When the aspirant learns and yearns, he starts to weed out his imperfections. Then Master says, “Now the land is fertile, it is fit, the seed of Naam can be sown.” He sows the seed of Naam, and we are born in Him. This is the beginning of our life. We are then in the infancy period, and Master loves His child very much. We have come into the world, we are born with Master to learn more and more.
We are still like a child, and we have to learn a lot. Master loves His child very much. It is the mother who loves the child first and not the child who loves the mother; afterwards it becomes reciprocal. Master loves the child because He has to develop him. He has to develop him according to His own image. The child does not know that he has still lots of imperfections; he thinks that he was fit and therefore he was given the initiation. But Master knows that it is the beginning of his life and he has to learn throughout his life.
Some people say they have learned much; they are ignorant. You cannot know, you cannot write down the attributes of God. Only if, by the grace of the Master, we know ourselves, we can know something about Him. He is an endless ocean.
Kabir says, “When I see that the fish in the water is thirsty, I wonder why.” The fish is in the water and still it is thirsty – that is very alarming.
So once one is initiated, he has to determine his life and keep to a clear direction. Master gives him various tests in his life and when he has passed through a test, Master gives him another lesson, one more test. Master knows that now His child has started to stand on his legs. Then He says, “Now you can walk.” A time comes, when Master says, “Now you can run.” There are many stages in the life of a disciple with his Master.
In the early stages Master has much love for the disciple. He gives him the initiation and looks after each and every interest of the child. This is a stage, when one can learn a lot and develop easily, because more and more help is there. Master is then like a mother who sleeps with the baby in her bed and though she is sleeping, she is very conscious about the child. When the child makes the bed wet, she puts the child on the other side. When the child makes the other side also wet, she sleeps on the wet bed and takes the child on her breast, because a mother has the best wishes for the child.
She thinks, “My child will grow up, he will make a wonderful job in the world; I will earn respect, I will have a faithful child.” She wants to become proud of her child, whom she had to take so much care for. She wants the child to develop according to her wish. Her child should be intelligent, should hold a high position in the world. She has many hopes for the child.
Like that is the condition of the Master, when He initiates the child and sows the seed of Naam in him.
When He has sown the seed of Naam, He regularly gives water to the field. A time comes, when it grows and the harvest is very rich. When it is ripe, Master says, “Now the harvest is rich and labourers are needed to reap it.” Which labourers? Those who want to work selflessly are the labourers that are needed. It is a golden time, when the harvest is rich and Master asks, “O.K., come forward and reap it, you have to get the fruit of what you have earned.”
It is a beautiful stage in the life of the disciple if he becomes a labourer and works whole–heartedly. Master says, such disciples are very fortunate. And this thing (chance) is given by whom? Only by the Master Power, only by His grace.
And who can have it?
Worldly duty is given,
Godly duty is taken.
Anybody who wants to have it from heart is accepted by the Master. Master knows the condition of our heart, everything is apparent to the Him, nothing is hidden to the Master Power. He sees the ups and downs, He sees the will and pulse in the life of the disciple, and He sees that now the disciple can overcome all the ups and downs and the whirlpools of his life. So Master knows that now he is a good reaper, he can reap the harvest very lovably. Such disciples He brings together to do the selfless service.
Master wants from heart that everyone should do the work. Everyone should put his head and heart to do that work. It is His earnest desire, a desire from His heart, because He loves each child and wants to develop everyone. He is not having any connection with us on the physical level, but His contact is direct with the soul.
( With Master it is like this: )
Either He does not cut the tree,
but if He cuts the tree,
He will cut it from the root.
So blessed are those who are chosen for this purpose; they are very fortunate. Master always laid stress upon this subject (the importance of selfless service). Because in the lives of all competent Masters and their devotees, there was only one way:
To live and to do for Him!
And this is the ultimate goal. If the disciple is obliged to the Master, he says, “I have to do whatever my Master would tell me, it is my highest duty to obey His order.”
If you go to the market to bring some fruit and you see one unripe fruit among the ripe ones, your attention will go to this unripe fruit. You will think, “Who has done this? Why has this unripe fruit been mixed with the ripe fruit? Who has made this mistake? Maybe it could not get proper nourishment, etc.” So Master says, “Do it very exactly!”
When Manav Kendra was being built, everything was to be weeded out. When I was cutting a little shrub there, Master said, “If you have started to cut it, then cut it from the root” This will definitely pay you. If you weed out all your imperfections and cut them from the root, you can work as a selfless worker in the Mission of the Master.
You can come very close to the Master. We believe in the Master, but we do not believe in His teaching, rather we do not act upon His teaching. This is why we do not take the selfless service as our own work.
What is the selfless service? The selfless service will weed out all your imperfections, it will make you physically fit and will overcome the shortcomings of your mind. It will make you deaf to the hue and cry of the world, because you are not attuned with these things any more, because you have selected your purpose.
Your attention is always with your work.
Therefore the example of Newton is given, who was fully absorbed in a (mathematical) problem which he tried to solve with full attention. His attention was so concentrated that he did not know whether the drum–beaters had passed by him or not. How much noise is there when drum–beaters go by!
Master will help you
to overcome all your imperfections,
if really you develop like this.
At the time of King Janak, there was one Rishi who doubted Janak’s Mastership. He said, “He is a king, how can he be a Saint? He is living a very luxurious life!” In order to help him to get rid of his doubt, the king told him, “Well, here is one plate, filled with oil. Now there are so beautiful dramas, songs, and plays going on everywhere in the town, you can go and enjoy all these things, but take care that not one drop falls down from the plate, otherwise you will be hanged!” When the Rishi came back, he said, “Master, see, no drop has fallen down, I have brought the cup as it was.” King Janak said, “Did you see, there was one beautiful play going on?” He answered, “No, I didn’t. My attention was on the oil lest it may not be spilled.” – “Did you see something there on that very corner?” He said, “No, I didn’t see anything.”
So King Janak said to him, “You see, this is my condition. I am a king, but it does not matter if I am a king or if I were an ordinary person – I know my contact with God. That is my condition.”
Heart is heart.
It is neither king nor beggar,
it is neither rich nor poor,
it has the essence in it.
It is over-brimming with love.
And it needs something —
it needs sympathy and compassion
Master says, why selfless service is needed, why everyone should do it? Because it is a fact that Master wants to detach you from the world. For instance, if you know that you have to go from here and move to another city, will you buy a beautiful big cupboard for your room over here? You say, “No, I cannot do that, I have to pay a high price just to carry all these things to that distant place.”
When you become very receptive to the Master, you are very close to Him. Then you can know something for your development. Master will tell you how to step forward, and He will guide you how to make each step. This is a beautiful time in the life of a disciple, if he is always receptive to the Master.
Those who remain with the mind will always have the ups and downs in their life and will never come to the equipoise stage. They remain in the wranglings of the world and lose their life in their ups and downs. Such people can never decide about their life. They think that this only is the life and they only have to think about this kind of life.
Master says, “It is only one breath given to you, compared to the life which you have to live with Master for all the times.” This life was given to us only to begin with the real life. But pity to say, we have forgotten this subject. We do not know how to cure our disease.
Disease is becoming more acute, it is getting chronic. If in spite of hearing so many Satsangs, a disciple does not learn and his condition remains the same, what will the Master do then? When the cloth is soiled, what effect will the red dye have on it? It cannot have any effect on it.
When you become receptive, there will be a radiation. Your heart will carry this radiation far or near. When you become more receptive, this will come back and absorb in the soul, and then you will become even more receptive. Master says, “Don’t lose your receptivity towards Master”, because Master will give you some work to do. He says, “Well my child is very receptive, he is very faithful, he will do everything according to my wish, never in his life he will disobey. I am very sure about his competency.” Master knows that the child is competent and able to do some work. So He surrenders something to him.
You know, a father and a mother build a very beautiful house for the child. They know that once they will have to leave the world, but they say, our son will live in this house then, so they make a very beautiful and strong house.
Similar to this is the condition of the Master. He knows, He needs some people who will work in the Mission of the Master thereafter (after His departure) as well.
When Master founded Unity of Man, He again and again repeated the same thing and also wrote me in one letter, “Labourers are needed. There is a dire need to help your brothers and sisters.”
Unless one loses his mind, he cannot become a true servant. It is the mind who always says: “I am the director, I know what to do, I know the way, I know all the theories, I have learned everything here.” But in reality that one has not learned anything.
He only is the learned one who is receptive and who in spite of all learning remains humble. He is the most learned one. He says, “I have still many things to learn”, because he knows that by learning he will yearn more.
By yearning he gets some serene vibration from his Master. If really you yearn for Him, you will get His radiation directly from Him. These are very fundamental things, I tell you.
When the Master says, “Detach from the world!”, people say, “No, this world is for enjoyment.” There is a distance like that of sky and earth. When a child will not understand his father at all, what should the father do?
But Master says, “I have come into the world to gather my sheep”. He calls them sheep, the sheep is ignorant and innocent.
All human beings, all His children are very innocent. It is only the mind that is the problem. If you take out the mind, you are very receptive, you are very innocent, and you want to know each and everything. As long as the mind is there, there is the question of reasoning without coming to a result – how is this, how is that, this or that.
As soon as you withdraw from the mind, everything will come of itself, like flowing water, fresh water will come and pass. A stream of serene love will overflow through you. Will such a person work for the Master or not?
While this yearning arises in him, he knows that there is, a serene vibration, the radiation from his Master, and he has to live and do for the Master.
That is the ultimate goal for a real disciple; he cannot do without it.
You go through the teaching of all competent Masters, this is the most beautiful thing in the life of a disciple as well as in the life of a Master. Both cannot live separate from each other.
If you are still worried about yourself and you are lost in your thoughts, you must find the problem. To make a decision and determine one’s life, there is no need for time. Those who say, they must think over, are ignorant.
Whatever will touch your heart (which is the innermost longing), that is the reality. If you decide something with the intellect, it will put you away with your wishes. But if you do it with the heart, you can do it very easily. Out of love you can change at once.
So each one of us has to learn a lot. Every day, every step we have to get something from Him. Master says, “A disciple is a beggar, he always begs something from the Master. How should we beg? It is also difficult to know how to beg.”
There are some very good beggars, they get many things. And there are some beggars, who always have an empty cup, they do not receive much. Begging is also an art.
You know, when the cup is above the pitcher, it will never be full of water, only when the cup is held down, it can be filled with the water.
If you want to have the gift of life,
you have to come down
(from the high horse).
Ibrahim Adam was learning and yearning throughout his life. But so far he had not been able to attain the bliss of the Master.
Then Kabir appeared. It was midnight, a moonlit night, and Ibrahim was working on the roof of his palace, remembering the God Power. Seeing a man, Kabir materialized and manifested there in the form of a man.
Ibrahim said to him, “Who are you that at midnight you dare to come on the roof of my palace?”
Kabir answered, “I am only a traveler and on the way I have lost my camel and now I am searching for it.”
Ibrahim said, “How can a camel come up on the roof of the palace?”
Kabir replied, “If my camel cannot come up on the roof of your palace, you also have to come down from the palace to search for the truth.”
This means that we have to overcome our problems, the sooner the better, because our life in the world is very short. When the storm comes, some trees are only bearing flowers and those flowers wither away. Sometimes there is snow, when the fruit has not yet come out and the frost dries up everything. We do not know (in advance) about the ups and downs of our life.
Better to surrender to that one who knows how to swim across the ocean of life. He is the only doer, I tell you, without Him there is no way out. Many people will be lovable to you, they may praise you in various ways, but they cannot help you to get rid of this form (of the body). It is only the Master Power who can do that.
Once both, my wife and me, were sitting together, when one person came and thanked us. I said, “Old man, what do you thank us for?” He said, “Last Sunday I came here, and I was in a big problem, but when I came here and met you, I forgot this problem. And when I went back home, this problem was finished. So I have come to thank you.”
We should thank Him. If you want to know something about us – we are still not worth of being shoes for His holy feet. He is so great, we have not yet known His greatness. How great He is, nobody knows.
He is the God–into–action Power.
To come in contact with such a Power,
I tell you, is a real blessing.